Basic drawing, design and drafting-- tear down previous modes of drawing and seeing and build up an effective 2-D visual language. Focus on balance, form, shape, line, weight, shading, light, shadow, perspective, proportion etc–the basics of classical drafting.
3-D design and form/space relationships-- again builds up new ways of seeing, constructing, feeling form and spatial relationships. Focus on positive/negative space, proportion, blocking, mass, texture, visual motion. Stay away from junk sculpture or complex relationships, focus on simple basic shapes, how they go together and why they go together.
Color theroy–color, how and why it works. Focus on hue, saturation, value, scientific relationships, expressionistic relationships, psycological meaning and use, balance etc. Use any and all mediums available from oils to markers and computers.
Visual Art history-- Not the "memorize artists paintings, movements, dates Art history, but the hows and whys of that art history. Provide a context and meaning for that art and design.
Critical theroy-- class in critiques and criticism, with or with out bias.
Basic discourse is lacking in design. We can say what we like or don’t like but we have to learn how to act and react to critical comments in a diplomatic way.
It goes beyond the business side of things. A class where one must build, propose, support and defend opinions and actions effectively. (It may not be useful in the earliest foundation period but having some sort of structured excercise in discussion and discourse would be of immense help. It should go beyond the “I like,…”)
Ideally make sure that all of the foundation courses are relevant to each other, they work together to build a foundation, from which specialties arise.
Check out the curricula at the Bauhaus, the better art and design schools teach variations on it.