General Education Mission Statement
General Education, as an integral component in the achievement of the Mission of Saint Francis University, provides a means for the University to honor many of its most important commitments. Ever mindful of the rapidly changing world around us and the need for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry to address complex problems, General Education is dedicated to providing students with the values, skills, and knowledge necessary to meet future challenges. True to the liberal arts roots and Franciscan heritage of the University, the program encourages students to examine ethical issues, demonstrate global awareness, become actively involved in community service, and prepare for life-long learning of new skills and knowledge.
General Education contributes to the development of the whole person, allowing individuals to achieve more rewarding and purposeful lives. General Education strives to achieve 8 goals that collectively represent the values, skills, and knowledge deemed most important by Saint Francis University. These include:
- Goal 1: Understand moral and ethical questions.
- Goal 2: Demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for cultural diversity.
- Goal 3: Build the foundations for commitment to lifelong learning, personal well-being, and community service.
- Goal 4: Develop effective communication skills.
- Goal 5: Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative literacy and scientific reasoning.
- Goal 6: Develop critical and creative skills, abilities, and reasoning.
- Goal 7: Conduct research using discipline-appropriate materials and methods.
- Goal 8: Understand the demands of active citizenship.
General Education encompasses the learning Saint Francis University wants for its students generally, regardless of academic major or professional ambition. At Saint Francis University, general education is a multi-year program that weaves together core curriculum courses plus other program components including first-year experiences such as the Summer Orientation and Academic Registration (SOAR) program, a summer reading program, the First-Year Seminar, and the First-Year Cornerstone Franciscan Course (Franciscan Goals for Today); co-curricular offerings such as the college-wide Community Enrichment Series (CES); other curricular requirements such as the Wellness Sequence (CORE 211 -CORE 212 ) and the Writing Competency Examination; an upper-level Keystone Seminar; and options such as the General Education Thematic Minors (GETMs) to create a connected, coherent academic experience that provides a foundation for life-long learning.
All Saint Francis University undergraduate students will complete the revised General Education program, “Ethical Citizenship for the 21st Century.”
General Education - a multi-year program that incorporates core curriculum courses plus other program components to create an academic experience that provides the foundation for life-long learning.
Keystone Seminar- a course that enables students to make connections based on material, information, and ideas encountered and developed during their undergraduate years.
General Education Thematic Minor (GETM) - a 15-credit sequence of courses that focus on a common theme related to the Franciscan Mission of Saint Francis University. Four of the five courses address (respectively) Ethics, Science and Quantitative Literacy, Diversity and Communications, and Social Systems; the fifth is the Keystone Seminar. Students opting to complete a GETM may declare that minor and have it listed as such on their transcripts.
Open Program - Students may also choose to complete the final 15 credits of their General Education requirements without choosing a unifying common theme; however, the Open Program does NOT lead to a declared minor.
General Education Core Curriculum
Ethical Citizenship for the 21st Century: A Program for General Education
This program is to be completed by all Saint Francis University undergraduate students.
Firmly rooted in Franciscan heritage and values, “Ethical Citizenship for the 21st Century” includes the learning that Saint Francis University wants for all of its students. Starting with the First-Year Seminar and the First-Year Franciscan Cornerstone Course, which includes a service-learning component, the program offers curricular and co-curricular experiences designed to provide students with the values, skills and knowledge necessary for responsible, engaged citizenship in today’s world. This general education program is a multi-year program that weaves together core curriculum courses and other program components to create a connected, coherent academic experience that provides a foundation for life-long learning. The program includes a 36-credit inner core of course offerings (some common core courses and some choices within defined parameters) and a menu of 15-credit General Education Thematic Minors that allow students to take responsibility for choosing a focus for a significant portion of their general education. All of these thematic minors culminate in a Keystone Seminar that includes a collaborative project. Students will explore various aspects of health and wellness including completing a portfolio project in the sophomore year. In addition to the core courses, students engage in the university’s Summer Academic Orientation and Registration (SOAR), a first-year summer reading program, and a college-wide community enrichment series (CES). In order to assure that graduates can express complex thoughts and write at an appropriate level, all students must either pass a junior-level writing competency examination or complete ENGL 199 or WRIT 199 , WRIT 385 , or WRIT 387 with the grade of C or better.
EXAM 301: The Writing Competency Exam
The Writing Competency Exam (WCE) is part of the General Education requirements of Saint Francis University. The exam is designed to “assess ability to write a clear, developed, and organized essay”. Passage of the exam is a requirement for graduation, juniors (students with 60 completed credits, but no more than 95) who have not yet either passed this exam or completed ENGL 199 or WRIT 199 , WRIT 385 , or WRIT 387 with the grade of C or better will be automatically enrolled in the exam. Students will not be allowed to drop the exam except under extraordinary conditions and with the approval of their advisor and the Director of General Education. Students who are enrolled in the exam, but fail to take it, will receive an “F” on their transcripts
Students who fail the WCE will automatically be enrolled for the WCE each semester until they pass it, unless they petition the Office of General Education to be allowed to miss a semester (for study abroad, etc.). Students who are automatically enrolled for the WCE cannot drop it without permission from the Office of General Education. Students who wish to withdraw from the WCE after the drop/add period has passed must get permission from the Office of General Education. Students who are enrolled for the WCE, but fail to take the exam, will receive an F.
Students who have not passed the WCE or completed ENGL 199 or WRIT 199 , WRIT 385 , or WRIT 387 with the grade of C or better by the first semester of their senior year (or by the first semester after they have earned 96 credits), regardless of whether they have attempted it or not, will automatically be enrolled in CORE 199 , a required 5-week writing remediation course. Students in CORE 199 will take the Writing Competency Exam at the end of the course; if a student enrolled in CORE 199 does not pass the WCE, a grade of CN will be recorded and the student will be required to take CORE 199 again. This requirement will be deferred for one semester for students who transfer in as Seniors, and may be deferred for other causes by petition to the Office of General Education. Students required to take CORE 199 will not be eligible to sit for EXAM 301 until they have passed CORE 199 . Students who complete ENGL 199 or WRIT 199 , WRIT 385 , or WRIT 387 with the grade of C or better will be exempt from EXAM 301.