Jul 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog (Curriculog Connected) 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog (Curriculog Connected)

Salem Impact

Salem Impact - Salem College’s Core Curriculum Program

Rebecca Dunn, Director of the Salem Impact

Salem Impact Mission Statement

Building on the commitment of Salem’s founders to the education of women, Salem Impact provides an innovative and rigorous liberal arts education in support of the college’s focus on health leadership. In a community devoted to scholarly inquiry, gender equity, and diversity, students participate in disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, as well as experiential learning. Through problem-solving approaches and ethical decision making, students will ask incisive questions and forge complex solutions, emerging as leaders and change-makers in their professions and communities-global citizens ready to create a healthier world.

The purpose of a general education is to provide a broad exposure to multiple disciplines, to integrate learning across the college between the academic curriculum, co-curriculum, and experiential learning. This empowers students with broad knowledge and transferable skills and cultivates social responsibility with a strong sense of ethics and values. Salem Impact supports the college’s focus on health leadership by incorporating health-related themes in our first-year seminar, our fourth-year seminar, and our Wellness and Leadership course. In addition, the Salem Impact includes requirements and competencies that are foundational to the interprofessional Health Leadership Competency Model that was designed for leadership development in practice and academic settings of all kinds. This ensures that completing the Salem Impact enables Salem graduates to enter a profession or pursue further education in a broad range of careers centered on the health of local and global communities.

Salem College has an articulation agreement with North Carolina Community Colleges. If a student has an AA or AS degree, the only additional general education courses those students need are one Gender Inquiry course, two semesters of one language (modern language, ASL, or a modern computer language), and SALEM 350. These courses may transfer in with approval from the Registrar, the Director of Salem Impact or the appropriate program directors.

Salem Impact Competencies

The Salem Impact requires students to demonstrate competencies in critical thinking, communication, intercultural knowledge and engagement, gender inquiry, ethical inquiry, and data interpretation and communication. Course requirements are grouped into: liberal arts interdisciplinary dimensions; liberal arts disciplinary dimensions; and liberal arts experiential dimensions. Specific courses which satisfy the various dimensions are listed following the requirements.

After having completed their education, graduates of Salem College will possess and demonstrate a range of competencies, detailed below. These competencies should not be confused with specific course requirements, which are listed in the section on “Degrees and Requirements.” Competencies to be demonstrated by the time of graduation are as follows:

Critical Thinking - Students will think critically and solve problems.

Students will possess the ability:

  • to evaluate, interpret and explain evidence, issues and arguments
  • to draw reasonable conclusions
  • to apply critical thinking in solving problems.

Communication - Students will speak, write and use technology to express ideas, concepts and information clearly and effectively.

Students will possess the ability:

  • to communicate orally
  • to communicate in writing

Intercultural Knowledge and Engagement: Students will demonstrate an understanding of complex social identities and engage respectfully and effectively across cultures.

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • reflect on cultural differences and cultural norms
  • engage with diverse and multiple perspectives
  • understand their civic identity, community membership & the common good
  • act with behavioral flexibility and respect within culturally appropriate boundaries

Gender Inquiry - Students will articulate the role of gender and apply it as an analytical lens.

Students will possess the ability:

  • to apply gender as an analytical lens
  • to articulate the influence of gender on individuals and on society
  • to analyze the intersection of gender with other identities such as race and sexuality
  • to describe the historically and culturally specific roles of women.

Ethical Inquiry - Students will describe, analyze, and take considered positions on ethical issues.

Students will possess the ability:

  • to recognize ethical issues in complex, multilayered contexts
  • to evaluate differing ethical principles or concepts with understanding
  • to apply relevant principles or concepts to ethical situations or issues
  • to decide among ethical positions, actions, or outcomes

Data Interpretation and Communication-Students will be able to use data to extract insights and select the most effective format to communicate data to a variety of audiences.

  • Identify reliable resources for data collection
  • Collect and interpret data to determine trends or insights
  • Select suitable graphics and visualizations that provide information to inform audiences

Writing Intensive- Salem College is committed to the continuing development of students’ writing skills throughout the undergraduate curriculum by engaging students in the writing process. In the Salem Impact Core curriculum Program, SALEM 110 - First Year Seminar SALEM 111 - Honors First Year Seminar SALEM 112 - Academic Writing Seminar , and SALEM 130 - Transitions: A First Year Seminar  are designated as writing intensive (WI) courses that provide significant exposure to the writing process. Since a variety of different experiences hone a student’s skills in composition, exposition, and critical thinking, other courses in the curriculum may be designated as WI courses.

  • Includes improving writing proficiency as a student learning outcome;
  • Distributes writing assignments throughout the course;
  • Provides formative feedback to students at key stages in the writing process;
  • Includes the opportunity for students to review assignments or to incorporate formative feedback on one assignment in the production of the next assignment.
  • Writing intensive courses will usually include both informal and formal assignments, and might include draft-revision assignments, peer review, reflection papers, position papers, journals, annotated bibliographies, reports, creative expression, carefully constructed written arguments, or research papers, as well as other forms of writing.
  • Students intending to pursue graduate studies should be aware of writing intensive requirements for their prospective graduate programs.

Salem Impact Requirement

Note: A single course may be counted toward two (but not more than two) Salem Impact requirements if it appears in more than one list. Special topics and HONR courses may be approved to fulfill a Salem Impact requirement. Courses with the SALEM prefix cannot be counted toward major requirements and may not be used to meet Salem Impact requirements for which they are not explicitly named. Contact the Director of the Salem Impact with questions.

Liberal Arts Interdisciplinary Dimensions

Gender Inquiry: One course (minimum of 3 semester hours) from the Interdisciplinary Dimensions-Gender Inquiry list.

Intercultural Knowledge and Engagement: One course (minimum of 3 semester hours) from the Interdisciplinary Dimensions-Intercultural Knowledge and Engagement list.

Ethical Inquiry: One course (minimum of 3 semester hours) from the Interdisciplinary Dimensions-Ethical Inquiry list.

Data Interpretation: One course (minimum of 2 semester hours) from the Interdisciplinary Dimensions-Data Interpretation list.

Writing Intensive: One course other than SALEM courses (minimum of 3 semester hours) from the Interdisciplinary Dimensions- Writing Intensive list.

Liberal Arts Experiential Dimensions

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from one of the following:

A Service Learning Course (for a minimum of 3 semester hours): Service learning courses can be found in a variety of disciplines. Courses meeting this requirement are designated with (SL) after the course description in this catalog. SALEM 210 - Service Learing Seminar  is also offered periodically. If a major requires a service learning course, that course will fulfill the Salem Impact requirement. Service-learning courses may be transferred from other institutions, only with approval from the registrar and the director of the Salem Impact program.

Internship Experience (for a minimum of 3 semester hours): Internship courses can be found in a variety of disciplines as well as SALEM 270  and SALEM 275 . If a major requires internship credit, that will count towards the Salem Impact Experiential requirement. NOTE: A minimum of 3 semester hours of internship work is required to fulfill the Salem Impact requirement for graduation; however, students may meet this requirement with partial-credit internships taken in multiple semesters. A student must work a minimum of 40 hours in her internship for every hour of credit awarded. Therefore, every student is required to work a minimum of 120 hours to fulfill the Experiential requirement. Internship requirements set by programs as well as experimental internships fulfill the graduation requirements as long as the 120-hour minimum has been met. EDUC 399  also fulfills the internship requirements. It is left to the discretion of each program to determine the number of semester hours that will fulfill major/minor internship requirements. Students should discuss these options with their advisers and/or the dean of undergraduate studies. No more than 16 hours of internship credit may be counted towards the semester hours required for graduation.

Study Away courses: Different travel courses both within and outside the country will be offered during the semester and the summer. These need advanced planning, please see the Director of the Lucy Rose Center for more information.

Liberal Arts Disciplinary Dimensions


One course with lab (minimum of 4 semester hours) from the Disciplinary Dimensions-Science with Lab list.

In the Laboratory Sciences at Salem, students gain an understanding of how scientific arguments are developed, presented, and critically evaluated using the scientific method. Through hands-on learning, students are given opportunities to participate in the testing of hypotheses, including the collecting and reporting of empirical data, both quantitative and qualitative. Students will improve their comprehension of the structure and function of the universe and how its components interact.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students correctly implement the steps of the scientific method.
  • Students effectively communicate the results of scientific inquiry.

Social Science:

One course (minimum of 3 semester hours) from the Disciplinary Dimensions-Social Science list.

Through the social sciences, students develop an understanding of institutionalized policies and cultural practices and their consequences. To advocate for equity, students will engage in analysis that involves historical and socioeconomic perspectives, along with formal and informal social relationships. Using ethical, evidence-based, and data-informed decision-making processes, the social sciences give students the grounding necessary to solve problems and effectively communicate potential solutions to local and global audiences.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Explain how social science theories can be used to analyze contemporary issues, to understand diverse populations, and to develop policies for social change.
  • Use information technologies to conduct ethical research about cultural practices and/or institutional policies; develop potential solutions to complex problems.
  • Exhibit effective communication through personal interaction, media content creation, and classroom presentations (individually or as part of a group), to a larger audience


One course (minimum of 3 semester hours) from the Disciplinary Dimensions-Arts list.

The Arts at Salem expose students to the principles and elements of the creative process that represent the human condition via aesthetic expression. Through the study of the arts, students engage in creative expression or analysis that is both subjective and critical, while developing informed perspectives on society, culture, and history. The visual and performing arts can foster empathy and improve well-being for individuals and within communities.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will demonstrate understanding of the principles and elements of the creative process.
  • Students will develop informed perspectives on society, culture and history through the study or practice of the arts.


One course (minimum of 3 semester hours) from the Disciplinary Dimensions-Humanities list.

The Humanities at Salem engage students in analyzing cultural and cross-cultural expressions of what it means to be human. The study of language, literature, and history, often attentive to ethical and religious dimensions, includes expressions that can be creative, theoretical, or empirical. Through humanities courses students acquire cultural competency and develop their abilities to read closely, think analytically, and write effectively in a variety of genres and contexts.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop and demonstrate the ability to engage with historical, cultural, or textual questions, evaluate evidence, consider alternative perspectives, and take positions, recognizing the limits of their own knowledge [think analytically]
  • Students will develop and demonstrate skills of close reading, analyzing sources with attention to genre, to patterns and relationships, and to details [read closely]
  • Students will develop and demonstrate skills of effective writing, as measured in essays, papers, or other compositions [write effectively]


At Salem, we expand on the position mathematics holds in the original liberal arts by giving students exposure to mathematical functions and expressions that model many observable phenomena in the natural, physical, and human-made realms. Students develop an understanding of mathematics as a foundation for many disciplines, as well as a grounding in the logical processes that underlie mathematical thinking.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will apply mathematical functions accurately to solve problems from the natural, physical, or social sciences, or related to finance.
  • Students will effectively express mathematical results and ideas visually.
  • Students will clearly communicate mathematical results and ideas verbally, using appropriate technology as necessary.


Two semesters of coursework in one language of another culture or two semesters of one modern computer language (CPSC 100  and CPSC 101 ) are required. If the student is placed into the intermediate level or higher (030 level) via the Salem College placement test, one additional language course in that language or a new language is required (3-4 hrs). Students transferring in with college credit for two semesters of language have fulfilled the requirement.


Courses which satisfy Salem Impact Requirements

Interdisciplinary Dimensions - Gender Inquiry

Courses meeting the gender inquiry interdisciplinary dimensions are designated with (GI) after the course description.

Interdisciplinary Dimensions - Intercultural Knowledge and Engagement

Courses meeting the intercultural knowledge and engagement interdisciplinary dimensions are designated with (IK) after the course description.

Disciplinary Dimensions - Science with Lab

Courses meeting the science with lab disciplinary dimensions are designated with (LS) after the course description.

Disciplinary Dimensions - Humanities

Courses meeting the humanities disciplinary dimensions are designated with (HM) after the course description.

Disciplinary Dimensions -Mathematics

Courses meeting the mathematics disciplinary dimensions are designated with (MA) after the course description.

Disciplinary Dimensions -Language

Courses meeting the language disciplinary dimensions are designated with (LA) after the course description.