Ethical Citizenship for the 21st Century | Saint Francis University
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Ethical Citizenship for the 21st Century

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  • More Information 
    Visit the   academic catalog
    and scroll to General Education
    located under Academic Affairs 
    contact the Office of General Education
    at 814-472-3149. 

    Our General Education Philosophy

    Through our General Education program, Ethical Citizenship for the 21st Century, you’ll build for yourself a solid academic base, establish critical thinking skills, a love for learning, and a strong moral foundation—essential tools for your success in today’s world. The program extends beyond the classroom to include lectures, presentations, performances, service projects and other educational activities. The result is an educational experience that is diverse and practical, and at the same time integrated and focused. The General Education program is integrated with all majors from the School of Business, School of Health Sciences & Education, and School of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics.

  • Core Curriculum

    Inner Core

     *Students who entered the University in 2012 or 2013 must complete Core 121-124.

    • CORE 103 - Community Enrichment Series
    • CORE 104 - Community Enrichment Series
    • CORE 113 - First-year Seminar
    • CORE 211 - Personal Wellness*
    • CORE 212 - Community and Global Wellness*
    • EXAM 301 - Writing Competency Exam (Completing ENGL 199 with a grade of C or better can also satisfy this requirement.)
    • ENGL 103 - Writing for a Discipline
    • ENGL 104 - Introduction to Literature
    • RLST 105 - Franciscan Goals for Today
    • Any history course at the 100- or 200- level (HIST)
    • SCI 101 - Science for Active Citizenship , or any natural science course that has an associated lab, if the lab is also completed.
    • MATH 101 - General Mathematics or any Math course higher than Math 101
    • PHIL 205 - Discovering Philosophy Reasoning and Responsibility
    • Three credits of Fine Arts electives (FNAR, ART, MUS, THTR)
    • Any language course at the 102- level or above (ASL, FREN, GERM, ITAL, LANG, LATN, SPAN)

    Two 3-credit courses (6 credits) from the following. (Selections must be from two different disciplines: ECON, PSYC, PLSC, or SOC.)

    • ECON 101 - Principles of Economics I
    • PSYC 101 - Introduction to Psychology
    • PLSC 102 - American National Government or
    • PLSC 103 - World Politics
    • Or any sociology course at the 100- or 200- level as follows:
    • SOC 101 - General Sociology
    • SOC 102 - American Society and its Problems
    • SOC 103 - Sociology through Film
    • SOC 104 - Sin and Society
    • SOC 202 - Introduction to Women in Society
    • SOC 208 - Globalization and Development
    • SOC 210 - Sociology of Sport
    • SOC 295-299 - Special Topics

    Outer Core: General Education Thematic Minor or Open Program

    Fifteen credits (five 3-credit courses) in a General Education Thematic Minor OR the Open Program, distributed in five categories, as follows:

    • Category 1: Ethics
    • Category 2: Science and Quantitative Literacy
    • Category 3: Diversity and Communications
    • Category 4: Social Systems
    • Category 5: CORE 407 - Senior Keystone Seminar
    • Specific General Education Thematic Minors require specific courses in each of these categories; up-to-date lists of courses for each GETM are available from the General Education Office.

    Total Ethical Citizenship credits: 51


    Additional Central Components
    • Community Enrichment Series - A wide-range of cultural events are also integrated into the GED curriculum as CES credits.  By attending a lecture, concert, theatrical performance, or other select events on campus, students can receive community enrichment credits towards completion of their degree.  
    • Writing Competency Examination - The writing exam is designed to “assess ability to write a clear, developed, and organized essay”. Passage of the exam is a requirement for graduation, and most students take the WCE in their Junior year.
    • Wellness Initiatives - Students explore the 7 dimensions of health and wellness (physical, social, emotional, environmental, spiritual, intellectual, occupational) while completing a online portfolio of wellness artifacts in the first two years of their education.
    • Summer Reading Program - One of the first activities incoming classes participate in each year is the Summer Reading Program. For the program, we select a meaningful, thought-provoking (and interesting!) book for the campus community. The book is then incorporated into a year-long slate of activities in the classroom and beyond. This year's book: The Immortal Live of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
    • Study Abroad and Service Learning - The General Education program also helps to enhance our study abroad and service learning initiatives through exploration of foreign languages and Franciscan values.
    Goals & Objectives

    As approved by the SFU Faculty Senate, May 2017  
    GOAL 1: Understand moral and ethical questions. 

    • Objective 1a: Identify, examine and defend a solution to an ethical dilemma.  
    • Objective 1b: Examine how Franciscanism addresses moral and ethical questions. 

    GOAL 2: Demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for cultural diversity.  

    • Objective 2a: Explore and articulate multiple perspectives on race, ethnicity, social class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, national origin, verbal behavior, age, and religion.  
    • Objective 2b: Examine and explain the ethical and societal implications of specific diversity perspectives. 

    GOAL 3: Build the foundations for commitment to lifelong learning, personal well-being, and community service.  

    • Objective 3a: Foster curiosity, skepticism, initiative, and desire for deeper learning. 
    • Objective 3b: Develop a commitment to personal wellness.  
    • Objective 3c: Share skills and abilities for the betterment of the community. 

    GOAL 4: Develop effective communication skills.  

    • Objective 4a: State, develop, and support a clear thesis in a communication context.  
    • Objective 4b: Adapt language, communication style, and media for an intended audience and purpose. 

    GOAL 5: Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative literacy and scientific reasoning.  

    • Objective 5a: Interpret and communicate mathematical and statistical arguments.  
    • Objective 5b: Solve mathematical and statistical problems applicable to civic and professional contexts.  
    • Objective 5c: Understand and apply major scientific methods, theories, and principles. 

    GOAL 6: Develop critical and creative skills, abilities, and reasoning. 

    • Objective 6a: Analyze evidence, statements, and alternative interpretations and use these to synthesize multiple points of view in the creation of an argument.  
    • Objective 6b: Critically evaluate sources and source information using discipline-related standards in order to distinguish relevant from irrelevant information.  
    • Objective 6c: Demonstrate an understanding of at least one form of artistic expression. 

    GOAL 7: Conduct research using discipline-appropriate materials and methods. 

    • Objective 7a: Articulate specific research questions.  
    • Objective 7b: Identify and access information necessary to answer research questions. 
    • Objective 7c: Communicate research results in an effective and ethical manner. 

    GOAL 8: Understand the demands of active citizenship. 

    • Objective 8a: Identify relevant theories and solutions to contemporary domestic and international social, economic, and political issues.  
    • Objective 8b: Work collaboratively with others to promote social justice, being aware of the roles played by power, privilege, and subordination.  
    • Objective 8c: Evaluate the significance of historical events and documents within the United States and worldwide.  
    Thematic Minors

    One of the unique things about the General Education curriculum at Saint Francis is that you can choose to target your general education requirements to earn a General Education Thematic Minor. Through a fifteen-credit sequence of courses that focus on a common theme related to the Franciscan Mission of Saint Francis University, students may declare that GETM minor and have it listed as such on their transcripts.

    Topics include:

    • Active Citizenship
    • Global Community
    • Science, Technology, and Society
    • Social Justice and Peacemaking
    • Sustainability and the Environment
    • Utopian and Dystopian Visions
    • Women, Family, and the Community