Graduation Requirements for Class 2017

Motion 2011-2012-21 (Passed on 5/8/12)

The Academic Affairs Committee moves that the St. Lawrence Faculty approve the following as the requirements for a St. Lawrence undergraduate degree:

Preamble
A St. Lawrence education prepares students to think critically and creatively, to examine and express their ideas and values, to understand those whose beliefs and circumstances may be different from their own, and to pursue an understanding of the natural world and human experience. A St. Lawrence education encourages and develops within students the virtues important for lifelong learning, such as inquisitiveness, perceptiveness, intellectual honesty and humility, fair consideration of evidence, respectful treatment of those with whom one is in dialog, and a commitment to the free exchange of ideas. These virtues promote within students a personal ethic of considered values and the capacity to fully realize their abilities as people and local, national, and global citizens. As part of a St. Lawrence education, all students should develop knowledge of the importance of cultural, natural, political, and socio-economic systems in shaping one another.

To realize this vision, a St. Lawrence education is designed to develop:

  • 1) an ability to speak and write clearly, articulately, and persuasively;
  • 2) an ability to acquire, evaluate, and communicate information;
  • 3) an ability to analyze and resolve complex problems, both independently and collaboratively;
  • 4) an ability to reason quantitatively, logically, and/or symbolically;
  • 5) an ability to integrate knowledge from multiple perspectives;
  • 6) an ability to critique and/or create artistic works;
  • 7) a knowledge of the complexity and diversity of the human experience;
  • 8) a knowledge of the complexity and diversity of the natural world, and
  • 9) a depth of understanding in at least one field.

Requirements for a St. Lawrence undergraduate degree:

I. Complete the requirements of a major

II. General education requirements

A. FYP

B. FYS

C. The Human Experience and the Natural World
Students are required to complete at least one unit from each of the following perspectives: The Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Natural Sciences. Courses fulfilling this requirement need to be from different departments and only one course may be from the student’s major. FYS courses can be used to fulfill this requirement. The instructor of record designates the perspective of her/his course using the guideline that at least 75 percent of the course’s content achieves the learning goals for The Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities, or Natural Sciences, as described below (NOT All courses have to fulfill this requirement and be designated as ARTS, SS, HUM, or NSM-L):

1. The Arts (ARTS): Courses have primary learning goals in which students develop:
a. an enhanced awareness of the process of artistic production through making works of art; and/or
b. an understanding of the diverse ways to interpret and analyze works of art.

2. Social Sciences (SS): Courses have primary learning goals in which students develop:
a. an enhanced awareness of the diverse ways in which economic, political, and social institutions can be organized; and/or
b. an understanding of the various ways in which evidence about social structures and interactions is acquired and handled; and/or
c. an understanding of how social science knowledge is gained through the formulation, testing , and reformulation of theories and hypotheses.

3. Humanities (HUM): Courses have primary learning goals in which students develop:
a. an enhanced awareness of the variety of ways humans understand, signify, and make meaning of their lives; and/or
b. an enhanced awareness of how cultures and the interpretations of cultures change over time.

4. Natural Science with Lab (NSM-L): Courses have primary learning goals in which students develop:
a. an understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, and/or behavioral phenomena of the natural world and, insofar as possible, an ability to relate them to everyday experience; and
b. a theoretical and quantitative understanding of the processes underlying the physical, chemical, biological, and/or behavioral phenomena of the natural world; and
c. an understanding of how scientific knowledge of the natural world is obtained and revised through hypothesis testing using experimental and/or observational methodologies.

In addition, Natural Science Lab Courses are required to include a regularly scheduled laboratory component that meets weekly for at least 90 minutes, in which students have the opportunity to examine phenomena of the natural world using experimental and/or observational methods.

D. Human Diversity: Culture and Communication

Students are required to complete one of the following combinations in human diversity and communication:

1. one course approved for diversity credit (DIV) and one course in a foreign language (LANG); OR
2. two courses approved for diversity credit (DIV); OR
3. one course approved for diversity credit (DIV) and an experience on an off-campus program approved for diversity credit by the Academic Affairs committee.

FYS courses may be approved for diversity or LANG credit.
Students may meet the LANG requirement by

  • passing a SLU proficiency test OR
  • scoring at least 4 on a language AP Exam OR
  • demonstrating English as a second language.

The Academic Affairs committee will approve courses for diversity credit (DIV) and foreign language courses for LANG credit. Both are at least one unit and include primary learning goals in which students develop:

a. a capacity for critical self-reflection on social location designed to locate their multiple identities as active members of the United States and/or global community and to recognize that differential perspectives on knowledge and power derive from particular social locations; and
b. a recognition of diversity within and among groups and an awareness that these differences affect individuals’ life chances, behavior, and ways of knowing; and
c. an understanding of the dynamics of power and justice within and/or among groups or societies and an ability to reflect on their responsibilities toward others as citizens at the local, national, and global scales.

E. Quantitative/Logical Reasoning (QLR)
Students are required to complete at least one unit that meets the learning goals of either quantitative reasoning or logical reasoning courses. The Academic Affairs Committee will approve courses that fulfill this requirement using the following guidelines:

1 . Quantitative Reasoning Courses have primary learning goals in which students through multiple opportunities and classroom instruction develop their abilities to:
a. address questions by examining quantitative evidence using appropriate methods of analysis and evaluation; and
b. explain their conclusions and the quantitative methods they used in developing their reasoning.

2. Logical Reasoning Courses have as the primary learning goals that students develop:
a. an understanding of deductive and/or inductive logic; and
b. an understanding of the methods of determining the reliability of these types of reasoning.

F. Integrated Learning
Integrated learning helps students combine the benefits of the breadth and depth in their education by fostering a synthetic understanding directed toward a particular question, topic, or theme.

Learning Goals: Integrated learning offers students the opportunity to:
1. enhance their knowledge of a particular question, topic, or theme by bringing into conversation some combination of written, visual, artistic, experiential, or laboratory based inquiry; and
2. use two or more ways of knowing and/or theoretical approaches to cultivate a more nuanced understanding of a particular question, topic or theme.

Students may meet the Integrated Learning requirement by completing any of the following:
1. An integrated learning component (ILC) of 4 courses around a particular question, topic, or theme, selected in consultation with the academic advisor. The 4 courses must be from at least 2 different departments or programs and may include courses counted toward other general education requirements. The academic advisor must approve the student’s ILC prior to graduation.
2. A semester-long off-campus study program that has been approved by CIIS as meeting the learning goals for Section F listed above.
3. An interdisciplinary major or minor, a combined major, or a multifield major or minor.

G. Environmental Literacy (EL)
Students are required to complete at least one unit that meets the learning goals of environmental literacy courses. Courses that fulfill the EL requirement may also fulfill other general education requirements. FYS courses can be used to fulfill the EL requirement. The Academic Affairs Committee will approve courses for EL credit. At least 50 percent of the course’s content achieves the learning goals Environmental Literacy, as described below.

1. Environmental Literacy Courses have primary learning goals in which students, through multiple opportunities and classroom instruction, develop:
a. A recognition of the consequences of human activities on natural systems and/or
b. An awareness of the cultural, economic and political forces that affect environmental policies and/or
c. An understanding of natural systems and/or the impacts they can have on the environment, human life, health and welfare.

Before this curriculum is sent to the State of New York, the Dean of Academic Affairs will form an ad hoc committee tasked with studying the feasibility of its implementation in terms of resources and resource allocation. This ad hoc committee will report its finding to Faculty Council, and any component of the curriculum that Faculty Council concludes is not possible to implement without significant redirection of resources will be returned to the Faculty for its reconsideration. The Faculty requests that this committee’s membership be determined in keeping with Faculty Council’s 21 April 2011 resolution that ad hoc committees involving faculty “have their faculty membership determined in consultation with Faculty Council or the faculty.”