2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Apr 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Core Curriculum (SJNY Brooklyn)

Common Learning Area

The St. Joseph’s University Core Curriculum includes two courses which form the basis for the general education program. The courses in this Common Learning Area are designed to improve student writing and communication skills and to introduce first-year students to college-level academic work and the college experience at St. Joseph’s University through a topic-based seminar and a required First Year Experience Program. Transfer students enroll in SJC 200 rather than in SJC 100 and FYE.

ENG 103 - Writing for Effective Communication

Analysis and application of the principles of effective writing. Skills developed in the performance of various writing tasks. Research techniques are also implemented.

SJC 100 - The Freshman Seminar FYE - First Year Experience

A seminar course for all first year students which will introduce them to the academic world of college and, along with the required First Year Experience Program (FYE), will serve to engage students in the college experience at St. Joseph’s. Each course section will focus on a unique and engaging topic related to the discipline or avocation of the instructor and may also incorporate interdisciplinary themes. This course will offer a laboratory experience of careful and critical reading, writing to learn, research skills, and cooperative classroom activities.

SJC 200 - Transfer Seminar

This one-credit course will introduce new transfer students to the mission and goals of St. Joseph’s University. Additionally, students will explore learning and research skills, opportunities for campus and community involvement, and the nature of the liberal arts as envisioned by SJC. This course is required of all transfer students as a vital part of the process of becoming familiar with the ethos of St. Joseph’s University and helping them to integrate into our social and learning environment.

Thematic Learning Areas

The St. Joseph’s University Core Curriculum includes courses which represent the areas of human knowledge and culture deemed essential for a liberal education-that is, for free men and women who must assume responsibility for directing their own lives and contributing to national and international decisions. By grouping the courses into five broad Thematic Learning Areas, the University has indicated the relationships among the various disciplines and the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the liberal arts and sciences.

In order to ensure balance across the disciplines, students may offer no more than two courses from any particular discipline toward the requirements of the Thematic Learning Areas of the core.

Quest for Meaning

Students are required to take two courses in this area.

Rationale: Some questions transcend our specific culture and are deeper and broader than a focused preparation for a career. They invite us to engage in a sustained practice of self-reflection in community with others on things that matter to us as human beings in the world.

Description: Course offerings in this area examine various human attempts to understand the nature of such values as truth, beauty, goodness, justice, and love; and invite students to engage in a systematic examination of such core human questions as: Who am I? Why do I exist? What can I know? How can I be a good person? For what can I hope? And even to question these questions.

Outcome: Students will be able to formulate and articulate their own view of the meaning of human existence, morality and the “good life.” Students should achieve a working knowledge of some of the ways in which humans have approached these big questions and attempted to answer them.

Global Perspectives

Students are required to take two courses in this area.

Rationale: Openness to the exploration and understanding of diverse ideas, traditions, and cultures, coupled with an appreciation of problems that transcend national boundaries, will supply students with a strong background for working in a global economy, for living in a multicultural society and for making intelligent decisions as global citizens.

Description: Course offerings in this area are designed to broaden the perspective of the student to include knowledge of world cultures, traditions, and peoples facilitated by the study of a range of global topics presented in courses from diverse disciplines.

Outcome: Students will develop sufficient cross-cultural literacy to engage effectively the global community with sensitivity and open-mindedness. To that end, students will demonstrate an understanding of the world’s peoples and culture, of the forces that bring peoples and cultures together, and demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with people of diverse backgrounds.

Self & Society

Students are required to take three courses in this area: one history course and two courses in two different areas of the social/behavioral sciences.

Rationale: No woman or man is an island. Each life exists within the wider context of the human community. Moreover, the story of each generation finds its place within the ever unfolding saga of human experience.

Description: Course offerings in this area seek to understand the person within these broad communal and temporal horizons. They examine the reciprocal relationship between the individual and society, situating personal dynamics within a study of the prevailing social, political and economic realities and a historical understanding of how those factors came to be.

Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with some basic concepts and methodological principles in at least two of the social and behavioral sciences and will likewise be able to show that they are conversant with certain essential aspects of the historical method and perspective.

The Mathematical, Physical, & Natural World

Students are required to take three courses in this area including one mathematics course and one lab science course.

Rationale: Understanding our physical and natural world and the ability to think analytically are core components of being an educated person. Hypothesizing and testing the rules that govern the workings of the physical and natural world are the essence of empirical science. Deducing the rules that govern an abstract construct lies at the heart of mathematics. Together, these processes comprise analysis. These important skills can be applied in other disciplines and other aspects of their lives.

Description: Course offerings in this area invite students to engage in critical thinking and problem solving in the realm of science and mathematics. These courses will provide students with the skills that will enable them to interact effectively with the physical and natural world of the sciences and the abstract world of mathematics.

Outcomes: Students will be able to use scientific and inquiry methods when working with mathematics and scientific information and use appropriate mathematical and scientific instruments and technology. They will also develop their ability to solve multi-step problems and construct logical arguments and demonstrate a proficiency in organizing, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative information.

Human Expression

Students are required to take two courses in this area.

Rationale: Imagination, resourcefulness, and the willingness to understand and communicate the human experience through a variety of perspectives and voices are critical capabilities in the modern age.

Description: Course offerings in this area develop an understanding of humankind through a wide range of literary, cultural, and aesthetic expressions. Students will also acquire skills to express themselves artistically and verbally and to appreciate the range of artistic expression throughout the human community.

Outcome: Students will demonstrate an ability to articulate their views and ideas creatively and will develop an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of such creative expressions.

Integrated Learning Areas

In support of the University’s mission to provide a strong academic and value-oriented education, the St. Joseph’s University Core Curriculum includes courses and experiences in five Integrated Learning Areas*. These areas are designed to build intellectual skills and abilities (Writing Intensive and Technology Integrated), to enhance the connections among and between the various academic disciplines and co-curricular life (Learning Communities and Service & Experiential Learning), and to foster an environment of openness to the exploration and understanding of diverse ideas, traditions, and cultures (Diversity Integrated).

Students can fulfill the requirements of these Integrated Learning Areas through courses in the thematic areas of the core, the major, or electives, as well as through certain approved co-curricular activities.

*** All Students Must Complete 3 Out Of 5 Integrated Learning Areas.***

Writing Intensive

Students are required to complete two courses in this area, one before the senior year. ENG 103  does not satisfy this requirement.

Rationale: Given the multiple ways students use writing to communicate, we believe that teaching writing across a range of practices - academic, creative, and professional-should encourage students to understand the role writing plays in academic life and beyond.

Description: Course offerings and experiences in this area will shape students into strong writers by developing their critical and creative reading, thinking, and writing abilities associated with expression and composition.

Outcome: In addition to improving basic writing skills, students will be able to use writing and reading for critical thinking and creative expression.

Technology Integrated

Students are required one experience in this area. Each experience will include at least three (3) technology areas.

Rationale: Technology touches every aspect of our lives and enables us to interact globally as well as locally. A well-educated person needs technological skills to continue to learn, to communicate, to excel and to be productive in an ever-evolving digital world.

Description: Course offerings and experiences in this area will develop the students’ ability to adapt, navigate and become proficient in at least 3 technological areas: communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, digital citizenship, technology concepts and digital tools.* These areas are fluid in nature and thus students’ experiences will reflect the constantly changing technologies, applications and systems in our global society.

Outcome: In addition to developing their basic technological skills (e.g. using email, word processing and presentation tools, and doing research, etc.), students will be able to demonstrate critical and technological thinking in order to locate, organize, create, evaluate, analyze, synthesize and ethically utilize information from a multiplicity of sources and media.

SJC Learning Communities

Students will complete one course/ experience in this area.

Rationale: Achieving our goals often requires that we exchange ideas with others, have successful interactions, and know how to move forward with others in a constructive way. Whether one is in the field of academia, endeavoring to be an active citizen, or developing a career, acquiring the ability to learn from and with others are important skills. To these ends, shared learning experiences provide a framework for engaging the social and collaborative nature of knowledge.

Description: Course offerings in this area emphasize cooperative learning experiences that link courses, curricular material, faculty, or student with the aim of promoting deep learning and engagement with other members of the College community.

Outcomes: Students will demonstrate an appreciation of how interdisciplinary and community learning experiences contribute to the integration of knowledge, enhance the value of a liberal arts education, and offer deeper understanding of the material they are learning through more interaction with one another and their teachers as fellow participants in the learning enterprise.

Service & Experiential Learning

Students will complete one experience in this area.

Rationale: Connecting academic work to experiences outside the classroom will provide students with opportunities to practice and apply theoretical constructs, ideas and skills that foster professional and personal intellectual maturity.

Description: Course offerings or activities in this area may include a variety of options designed to supplement and complement the purely academic and theoretical. Structured experiences will encourage educational interaction and participation in supervised and collaborative ventures that will identify specific learning goals that promote the development of knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with the liberal arts and the professions.

Outcomes: Students will learn the value of service and/or experiential learning through interactive experiences and reflections within “realworld” contexts. These experiences will encourage students to forge a link between theory and practice, while clarifying students’ connections to their local and global communities. Students will thus come to recognize the value of and need for ongoing inquiry, analysis, and evaluation.

Diversity Integrated

Students will complete one experience in this area.

Rationale: The liberal arts tradition should prepare students for lives of integrity, social responsibility, and service, in an environment that acknowledges the worth of all individuals, values cooperation, and incorporates the diverse concerns of dissenting voices. This core requirement prepares students to understand more fully issues and questions raised by living in a diverse society.

Description: Course offerings in this area are designed to: incorporate elements related to a variety of human differences; explore the differences among various groups and forms of human expression in our society; examine the richness and strengths of complex, heterogeneous societies, while confronting the intolerance, inequality, and conflict that often accompany diversity. Courses will, in a substantial and rigorous manner, analyze topics and issues related to these aspects of diversity throughout the course.

Outcome: Students will be able to articulate the contributions and challenges of diverse peoples. They will demonstrate an understanding of critical issues pertaining to diversity and will be able to recognize and scrutinize the way institutional power structures influence such phenomena as marginalization and oppression as well as social and economic integration.


*Adapted from the National Educational Technology Standards for Students, Second Edition, © 2007, ISTE® (International Society for Technology in Education), www.iste.org. All rights reserved.