First Goal

Advance an innovative and distinctive liberal arts curriculum that will empower students to engage their world by focusing on courses, programs, and teaching that build on the University’s commitment to reflective thinking, scholarship and learning.

St. Lawrence University has made great strides in enriching its academic experience over the past decade, adding 19 new faculty positions, nearly a dozen new majors and international programs, and myriad new student-faculty research opportunities. Our challenge now is to continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of students and society while remaining competitive amid a new economic reality.

We will do so by building on the strengths and talents of our faculty and staff, fostering the close faculty-student interaction and the nurturing and supportive academic and residential environment that fosters reflective thinking and creative endeavor. Our academic program will be challenging and innovative, and will prepare graduates for successful personal, professional, and civic lives.

We also recognize the need to examine new approaches to teaching and learning. The curriculum and programming being developed will look beyond traditional department alignment and existing organization to explore connections among disciplines that highlight the advantages of liberal arts learning in the 21st century, offering students an education that fosters creativity by crossing boundaries and bridging the lines of differences.

We will embrace a regular process for reviewing and assessing the curriculum that allows for greater adaptability, including the flexibility to add, consolidate, and repurpose programs. We will be more focused on student outcomes, and on continuing to develop a diverse body of graduates who are creative, environmentally conscious, globally aware, and committed to a lifetime of learning and service.

High-impact learning occurs when the traditional classroom is connected to outside experiences: internships, interdisciplinary seminars, student-faculty research, community-based learning and off-campus study. We will expand internships and add experiential learning opportunities so that all St. Lawrence students will graduate with at least one such experience as a vital component of their preparation for their lives and careers. Moving toward guaranteeing internships will be a priority, with the aim of increasing participation by students in internships of all kinds from just under half of the student body to 65 percent by 2014.

Technology will play a key role in experiential learning and in other areas across the curriculum. We will be a leader in embracing technology inside and outside the classroom in our teaching and career planning, while also reflecting on the implications of that technology for learning and for society as a whole. We will seek guidance for best practices from faculty on campus and elsewhere who are innovating with technology. And we will investigate alternative modes of teaching and learning, including online, blended, and hybrid learning, consistent with our residential liberal arts mission.

Building on our existing strengths and talents will allow us to focus on opportunities for distinctiveness while remaining fully engaged globally and locally. This will include appreciating and valuing our connections to our local and regional communities and emphasizing our expertise across disciplines in studies related to the North Country, the Adirondacks, and Canada.

Key objectives:

  • Develop a new, integrative general education curriculum by fall 2013.
  • Make experiential learning a focal point of the University’s educational program, including working toward providing guaranteed internships as well as expanding leadership opportunities, community-based learning, and mentored research.
  • Pursue creating a business arts major and related experiential learning opportunities rooted in the liberal arts, as well as other programs that address evolving curricular needs.
  • Explore creating a center to examine issues of diversity.
  • Enhance commitment to faculty scholarship, research and creative endeavors.
  • Highlight our location and geography as it supports our mission, building on our expertise in and service to the North Country, the Adirondacks, and Canada.
  • Enhance and further develop sustainability as a core element of our educational programs.
  • Review technology needs and bolster the use of technology in growing a creative, innovative, and forward-thinking teaching and learning environment.