The Integrated Learning Component (ILC)
NOTE: This component of the St. Lawrence curriculum is required for students who matriculated from 2013-2015, optional for students who matriculated from 2016-2018, and is no longer part of the curriculum for all students matriculating from 2019 on.
In addition to depth in a field (the major), breadth, and core competencies, the SLU curriculum requires integration of learning across courses and departments. Integrative learning helps students combine the benefits of the breadth and depth in their education by fostering synthetic understanding directed toward a particular question, topic, or theme. Real-world problems and phenomena cannot be fully understood from the perspective of any single academic discipline, but require investigation using multiple disciplinary tools or an interdisciplinary vantage point.
All students are required to complete an ILC through which they
a. 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
b. 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 ILC requirement by completing any of the following:
• A cluster of 4 courses of at least one unit, each organized 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 course cluster prior to graduation.
• A semester-long off-campus study program that has been approved by the Committee on International and Intercultural Studies (CIIS) as meeting the description of integrative learning above. By virtue of the structure and required curricula, these SLU-approved programs have been certified by CIIS as meeting the ILC learning goals for every student completing them.
• A multi-field major or a major or minor approved by the Academic Affairs Committee as meeting the description of integrative learning above. A list of approved majors and minors can be found on the ILC completion form.
You can start thinking about your ILC theme as early as you wish. A good way to do so is to identify common course content across courses or questions that animate the content of different courses. You might develop your ILC theme out of a personal passion or area of interest, taking courses that reflect upon it from different disciplinary perspectives, so you come to understand it more deeply and complexly.
Once you have identified a question, topic, or theme uniting four courses you have taken and articulated the connections among them, or when you have completed a qualifying off-campus study program or major or minor, you must submit the ILC completion form to the registrar's office, which will certify your fulfillment of the requirement.