Book in Common FAQs and Suggestions

What is the Book in Common?

The Book in Common is an initiative where all first-year students receive the same text to experience as a class. The book selected is incorporated into our first-year seminar course and utilized to direct campus events and programming throughout the year.

Why do we do this?

The purpose of Bellarmine University’s Book In Common program is to engage the first-year community in the liberal arts. We will accomplish this through a common learning experience where students can discover a shared language and participate in conversations around relevant topics that encourage critical thought and relate to current issues.

What will students learn?

*Select Learning Outcomes were taken from the Liberal Education Task Force (LET) Student Learning Outcomes*

Students will:

  • Connect to Bellarmine’s liberal arts mission  
  • Discover the interconnectedness across peoples, cultures, and disciplines
  • Demonstrate self-reflection
  • Cultivate critical reading and thinking skills including logic, analysis, evaluation, and problem solving
  • Identify with a community of peers through a shared experience
  • Consider and explore the concept of good citizenship

How are books selected?

Suggested books are read by a committee of faculty and staff from across the university, and judged by the following criteria:

  • Would this text meet the ascribed learning outcomes? If so, how?
  • What is the reading level of this text? Is it appropriate for our incoming population?
  • What kind of campus events could transpire as a result of the content in this text?
  • What are potential draw backs of choosing this text?
  • Is the author available to visit campus?
  • What is the feasibility that this text could be used in a variety of courses?
  • Are there resources already in place for faculty to use this text, or would be need to create them from scratch?

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