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Academic Catalog

University of Saint Joseph    
 
    
 
  Dec 15, 2017
 
2017-2018 Course Catalog

General Education Requirements - Undergraduate


Also see
Degree requirements  
Critical Writing and Reasoning Portfolio  

All accredited colleges and universities require that a Bachelor's Degree include a structured set of courses from outside your major. This is in keeping with the mission of preparing students not just for jobs, but for life. This is a key part of the University of Saint Joseph mission as well.

The purpose of General Education courses, comprising 41-48 credits, is to develop the broader abilities that are demanded in today's complex world regardless of your major. These courses are designed to foster skills in teamwork, critical thinking, writing, speaking, and researching. These are the skills necessary for success in any profession. At the same time, they introduce you to the great questions, methods of learning, and conversations that have animated all cultures and all times. These courses can come from the liberal arts and sciences as well as professional programs. They are integrated with your major coursework to help you make connections between different fields, so that you can confidently make your mark as a person of integrity and intellectual strength.

The program has four integrated areas.  Courses are designed to cover several areas at once.

Mission focus

Mission focused requirements introduce students to the Mercy Mission, a core belief from the Sisters of Mercy. They also demonstrate the University's religious commitment to helping students understand their own diverse faiths and core values as well as those of others. Students learn the importance of serving others, both professionally and in civic life.

1. First-Year Seminar (FYS)
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of the University of Saint Joseph experience, which may include the ability to:
 
  • Understand the University of Saint Joseph mission and values, including the emphasis on academic integrity and sense of community
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the diverse learning strategies that promote critical thinking, effective written and oral expression, development or research, and collaboration skills
  • Demonstrate personal and academic growth through active involvement in academic and co-curricular activities

Students will meet this requirement by successfully completing a course designated as FYS.

Transfer students: For students transferring with 24 credits or more, the requirement is waived. Transfer students at any level may transfer a similar course of at least three credits.

Program for Adult Learners: This requirement is waived.

2. Religious studies (RE)

Students will acquire a general broad understanding of Religious Studies that may include the ability to:
 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of at least one religious tradition with attention to historical development of the central texts, beliefs, practices or ethical understandings
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the intersections between a religious tradition and issues of social justice, women and faith, service to others, or global responsibility
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the challenges and opportunity of religious pluralism and diversity

Effective fall 2013, new students will satisfy this requirement by successfully completing two courses designated RE, the first of which must be RELS 125 - Faith, Theology in a Religiously Pluralistic World . Current students will satisfy this requirement by successfully completing any two RE courses.

Transfer students: If you have 24 credits or more, you are required to take one course designated as RE. For Religious Studies majors: six credits of Religious Studies courses will count toward this requirement. Additional credits may be counted if they exceed the Religious Studies major requirements.

3. Philosophy (PH)
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of Philosophy that may include the ability to:
 
  • Apply the discipline's terms and concepts
  • Describe, explain and analyze the discipline's questions
  • Describe, explain and analyze divergent answers in the discipline
  • Articulate and support their own philosophical position

Students will meet these requirements by successfully completing a course designated as PH.

Transfer students: For transfer students with 24 credits or more, either a PH course or a VE course is required.

Common foundations

Common Foundations requirements insure that all students have common competencies for use throughout their career at the University of Saint Joseph. These foundations are expected in advanced courses. Common Foundations requirements can be met by courses in the academic major, minor, professional program, or Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students may also waive Common Foundation requirements. These courses can also be used to meet requirements in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Perspectives:

1. Quantitative reasoning
  Students will:
  • Perform computations such as arithmetic, algebraic, geometric and statistical and check results for plausibility
  • Use or interpret mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables, schematics, and draw inferences from them
  • Solve problems using appropriate mathematical methods including arithmetic, algebraic, geometric or statistical means
  • Communicate mathematical information using word, symbol, visual or numerical representations

Students will meet this requirement by successfully completing a course designated as QR. Students can waive this requirement by earning a score of 600 or higher on the Math section of the SAT.

For transfer students: Successful completion of one Quantitative Reasoning course or a course including quantitative reasoning components from another accredited college or university.

2. Writing/revising
  Students will:
  • Devise, support, and defend an arguable thesis in writing, using the conventions of format and structure appropriate to the situation or academic discipline
  • Evaluate appropriate primary and secondary sources
  • Follow principles of academic integrity, using clear, accurate citations to integrate and differentiate original ideas from those of others
  • Write and revise effectively, and use the tools of revision to assist others

Students will meet these requirements by successfully completing three courses designated as WR. Students can waive one course by earning a score of 600 or higher on Critical Reading and Writing sections of the SAT.

For transfer students: Successful completion of three courses including intensive writing-reading components from another accredited college or university.

3. Information technology
  Students will:
  • Use word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software or equivalent application
  • Use the Internet or create web page(s)
  • Understand the historical and/or social dimensions of computer technologies (for example, privacy concerns, lawful use, and other dimensions of digital citizenship)

Students will meet this requirement by successfully completing a course designated as IT. Students can waive the requirement by completing an information technology test administered by the Information Technology department.

For transfer students: Successful completion of an approved technology course from another accredited college or university.

4. Other languages
  Students will:
  • Understand the interconnected nature of language and culture
  • Compare their own language and culture and those of the other language
  • Demonstrate basic oral and written command of a language other than English such as greetings and farewells, time and schedules, likes and dislikes, numbers, nationalities, professions and other personal information, family relationships, daily activities and routines

Students will meet this requirement by successfully completing a course designated LG in any language other than English, including American Sign Language. Students can waive the requirement by one of the following:

  • Submitting test scores from the ACTFL OPI and WPT test
  • Passing an oral/written test administered by the foreign language department
  • Scoring 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement foreign language exam
  • Demonstrating at least one year of successful study at the high school level or above where a language other than English is the primary language of instruction.

For transfer students: Successful completion of an approved other language course from another accredited college or university.

5. Kinesthetics
  Students will:
  • Demonstrate awareness of their individual abilities in body movement
  • Use such knowledge to improve personal well-being
  • Demonstrate practical skills and knowledge for lifelong participation in sports and physical activities

Students will meet this requirement by successfully completing a course designated as KN. Students can waive this requirement by submitting evidence of ongoing, extended participation in physical activity, sports, or dance programs while enrolled at the University; or completion of basic training in the Armed Services. 

Transfer students: Successful completion of an approved Kinesthetics course from another accredited college or university.

Program for Adult Learners: This requirement is waived.

Perspectives

Perspectives requirements present a range of academic inquiry and call on students to understand the world, the place of women, science, the arts, and politics in history and in current times. These courses aim to empower students as citizens to understand and influence their lives and the lives of others.

Perspective requirements may be met by courses in the major, minor, or professional program, and by courses in Liberal Arts and Sciences. While some courses may carry more than one perspective notation, the course may count for only one perspective requirement. Students will meet these requirements by successfully completing six courses, one for each perspective: WS, VE, GI, HE, SI, AE.

1. Women, culture and society (WS)  
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of Women's Studies, including the ability to:  
  • Describe and analyze the conditions and contributions of women
  • Analyze the construction of gender roles and their impact on women
  • Recognize and evaluate the power relations among diverse groups of people, especially women and men
  • Explain and apply feminist perspectives/theory in an area of study
 
2. Values/ethics (VE)  
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of ethics and values, including the ability to:  
  • Describe, explain and analyze a single moral perspective
  • Describe, explain and analyze multiple moral perspectives
  • Apply a moral perspective to a complex real life issue
  • Articulate and support their own (personal) moral position
 
3. Global issues and international perspectives (GI)  
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of global issues and international perspectives, including the ability to:  
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a global issue
  • Demonstrate knowledge of multiple perspectives on global issues (examples of perspectives could include economic, historical, socio-cultural, gender, political, scientific, environmental, theoretical (i.e. feminist, neo-liberal) and others
  • Demonstrate knowledge of global interdependence, currently or historically
 
4. Human expression: literary and artistic (HE)  
Students will acquire an understanding of literary and artistic expression, including the ability to:  
  • Demonstrate understanding of the vocabulary, concepts, materials, techniques and methods of the art or literature studied
  • Demonstrate research or study, including but not limited to analysis of texts or artistic productions using primary and/or secondary sources
  • Demonstrate understanding of the cultural and historical contexts in which an artistic piece is created
  • Apply concepts and tools of the art or literary study, as exemplified in ones own artistic, creative, or critical expression
 
5. Scientific inquiry (SI)      
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of scientific literacy that includes a lab component and the ability to:  
  • Apply the scientific method (required for all SI courses)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of scientific concepts and terminology
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between science and a personal or societal issue (examples of issues could include technological, ethical, social, environmental, economic, health and others).
 
6. American experience: polity, history, economy and society (AE)  
Students will acquire a broad understanding of the American Experience, including the ability to:  
  • Articulate the significance of course topics (e.g. specific events, people, ideas, or productions) relevant to America
  • Apply key disciplinary concepts relevant for understanding American experience
  • Critically assess elements of American experience. Grounds for assessing could include aesthetics, social justice issues, economic and social pragmatism.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with fundamental issues shaping American identity or society. Examples of issues include race, gender, culture, religion, politics, economics.
 

Integral skills

These skills are necessary for college, career and life success. The skills include Oral and Written Communication, Critical Thinking, Research/Scholarship and Collaboration. Over the course of their college careers, students develop these skills and improve on them. Every course in the General Education program supports development of these skills and reflects these common components and outcomes.

1. Oral & written communication
  Students will:
 
  • Gather, organize, and convey information, both orally and in writing
  • Create convincing arguments and analysis, both orally and in writing
  • Evaluate and respond to others' ideas and arguments, both orally and in writing
2. Critical thinking
  Students will
  • Identify, summarize (and appropriately reformulate) the problem/question/work assignment
  • Identify and consider the influence of context and assumptions
  • Develop and communicate own perspective, hypothesis, or position
  • Present, assess, and analyze appropriate supporting data/evidence
  • Integrate using other (disciplinary) perspectives and positions
  • Identify and assess conclusions, implications and consequences
3. Research/scholarship
  Students will:
  • Identify and use discipline-specific research
  • Locate and use a variety of scholarly resources in an academic discipline
  • Evaluate and prioritize information sources and select those best suited to the investigation under study
  • Demonstrate academic integrity in citing references
4. Collaboration
  Students will:
  • Demonstrate collaboration by completion of group projects
  • Analyze group dynamics and identify the strengths and weaknesses of group process
  • Identify differences between collaboration and competition

Such courses require students to use at least three of the four integral skills. Exception: Kinesthetics students will meet their Integral Skills requirements by fulfilling the general education requirements. This requirement will not add additional credit hours.

Perspectives

Perspectives requirements present a range of academic inquiry and call on students to understand the world, the place of women, science, the arts, and politics in history and in current times. These courses aim to empower students as citizens to understand and influence their lives and the lives of others.

Perspective requirements may be met by courses in the major, minor, or professional program, and by courses in Liberal Arts and Sciences. While some courses may carry more than one perspective notation, the course may count for only one perspective requirement. Students will meet these requirements by successfully completing six courses, one for each perspective: WS, VE, GI, HE, SI, AE.

1. Women, culture and society (WS)  
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of Women's Studies, including the ability to:  
  • Describe and analyze the conditions and contributions of women
  • Analyze the construction of gender roles and their impact on women
  • Recognize and evaluate the power relations among diverse groups of people, especially women and men
  • Explain and apply feminist perspectives/theory in an area of study
 
2. Values/ethics (VE)  
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of ethics and values, including the ability to:  
  • Describe, explain and analyze a single moral perspective
  • Describe, explain and analyze multiple moral perspectives
  • Apply a moral perspective to a complex real life issue
  • Articulate and support their own (personal) moral position
 
3. Global issues and international perspectives (GI)  
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of global issues and international perspectives, including the ability to:  
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a global issue
  • Demonstrate knowledge of multiple perspectives on global issues (examples of perspectives could include economic, historical, socio-cultural, gender, political, scientific, environmental, theoretical (i.e. feminist, neo-liberal) and others
  • Demonstrate knowledge of global interdependence, currently or historically
 
4. Human expression: literary and artistic (HE)  
Students will acquire an understanding of literary and artistic expression, including the ability to:  
  • Demonstrate understanding of the vocabulary, concepts, materials, techniques and methods of the art or literature studied
  • Demonstrate research or study, including but not limited to analysis of texts or artistic productions using primary and/or secondary sources
  • Demonstrate understanding of the cultural and historical contexts in which an artistic piece is created
  • Apply concepts and tools of the art or literary study, as exemplified in ones own artistic, creative, or critical expression
 
5. Scientific inquiry (SI)      
Students will acquire a general broad understanding of scientific literacy that includes a lab component and the ability to:  
  • Apply the scientific method (required for all SI courses)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of scientific concepts and terminology
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between science and a personal or societal issue (examples of issues could include technological, ethical, social, environmental, economic, health and others).
 
6. American experience: polity, history, economy and society (AE)  
Students will acquire a broad understanding of the American Experience, including the ability to:  
  • Articulate the significance of course topics (e.g. specific events, people, ideas, or productions) relevant to America
  • Apply key disciplinary concepts relevant for understanding American experience
  • Critically assess elements of American experience. Grounds for assessing could include aesthetics, social justice issues, economic and social pragmatism.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with fundamental issues shaping American identity or society. Examples of issues include race, gender, culture, religion, politics, economics.
 

Requirements

For such courses students will show the ability to meet at least two-thirds of the stated objectives.

To complete their General Education requirements, students must take at least 36 credits in Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) courses approved for Integral Skills. These credits do not include the Liberal Arts courses used for the Mission Focus requirement but may include any Perspectives or Foundation course that is also a Liberal Arts or Sciences. To satisfy this requirement:

  1. No more than three courses from a single discipline may be counted toward LAS
  2. 12 three- or four-credit courses must be taken
  3. 18 credits must be courses at the 200 level or above
  4. Coordinating seminars, independent studies, internships, practicum, and field studies may not be used
  5.  Students may not use major courses to meet this requirement with three exceptions:
  • Students pursuing teaching licensure with a liberal arts and science major may count up to 2 classes as both a major requirement and general education or liberal arts and science elective
  •  Students with two majors in liberal arts and science disciplines may count up to 2 classes per major as both a major requirement and general education or liberal arts and science elective
  •  Students who transfer into HDFS interdisciplinary majors with 24 credits or more may count up to 2 classes as both a major requirement and general education or liberal arts and science elective