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Western Heritage

Heritage Goals

Western Heritage is an all-college program. But why does Carthage view Heritage as so important? What does it provide our students?

As a liberal arts college, Carthage is in the business of turning out well-rounded individuals. Well-rounded means that when you graduate, you will be able to converse about a variety of topics both socially and professionally. Heritage accomplishes this by using literature based on the themes of identity, community, and cultural interaction. Well-rounded also means that you will have the skills necessary to carry you through the rest of your life as a life-long learner. These skills are laid out in the Heritage Guide: reading, writing, cultural literacy, and oral communication.

Proficiency at these skills requires practice. There is no short cut. The Heritage sequence is designed to help you polish these skills.

Read Critically, Write Engagingly

Let’s begin with the skills of reading and writing. Some of you are saying to yourselves, “But I read and write well now, so why do I have to do more? What can Heritage possibly teach me about reading and writing?”

Reading and writing are skills that demand practice. Our Carthage athletes know to stretch their muscles and practice shots, patterns and routines before a game. Players always warm up before a game. Would a basketball player dare to not practice his or her jump shot or free throw before a game?

In many ways, college is a way for you to warm-up before you go on to your chosen career. Reading and writing are skills that you will need no matter what you do after college. And Heritage is the first step in helping you to become a skilled writer who can write in a variety of formats.

Communicate Effectively

In addition to reading and writing skills, while you may not always remember the content from the classes you take here at Carthage, one of the skills that will serve you well is knowing where to find the information you need. Knowing how to find information, and being able to evaluate its worth, will definitely help you down the road, both in your other college courses and in your life after college. Yes, Virginia, there is a life after college.

After you find this information, at some point either with friends or for business, you will want to be able to communicate your knowledge effectively to others. Another goal of Heritage is to help you polish your oral communication skills. The basic skills are the same for giving an oral presentation in front of your peers or the executives of your company. Heritage can place you on the path to success to help your team.

The final goal of Heritage, but by no means the least important, is cultural literacy. The world we live in demands that we continually interact with individuals from a variety of ethnic groups, cultures and religions. In every career path there will be situations where you will need to interact with people from other cultures. And in order to interact well with these people, you must understand how cultural differences might lead to misunderstandings, on your part or theirs, and may prevent you from effectively communicating with others.

See Possibilities

If you sum up these skills you come up with the final product — an increase in your analytical ability. This is your ability to explore multiple options, to see different possibilities, and to understand the many facets that may be involved in the issue you are considering. This is the heart and soul of a liberal arts education. And this is why Carthage views the Heritage program as so important.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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