Academic Program

Academic Program Overview | Dignitas | Required First-Year Courses | Pathways | Study Abroad | Honors | Prior-Learning Assessment | Cross-Registration | Summer Session

Academic program

The curriculum at The College of St. Scholastica reflects a commitment to prepare students for their responsibilities as working professionals, as citizens of a democracy and as individuals who seek to live full human lives. A student's academic program consists of three parts: general education requirements (General Education), specialized coursework (a major) and electives. The major prepares the student for graduate school or for a profession and is normally selected during the sophomore year. Elective courses allow students to pursue particular interests.

Students who complete an undergraduate degree at The College of St. Scholastica will achieve outcomes related to:

  • Heritage
  • Scope and depth of learning
  • Intellectual and foundational skills
  • Personal and social responsibility
  • Integration of learning
     

Degree Requirements

The following minimum College requirements must be met for the bachelor's degree:

  1. Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 128 semester credits including:
    • Forty-two upper-division credits (numbered 3000 or above). A major program as stipulated by a department or adviser.
    • Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major as well as an overall "C" average.
  2. Fulfill the residence requirement:
    • The last 32 credits before graduation must be earned at The College of St. Scholastica.
    • A minimum of 16 credits must be earned in a major field at The College of St. Scholastica.
    • Cross-registered courses may count toward residence; CLEP and Portfolio Assessment credits must be earned before the final 32 credits.
  3. Complete the general education requirements. Requirements for some majors are more stringent than these minimums.

Awarding of a Second Bachelor's Degree

A second bachelor's degree must be granted 12 months or more after the first degree.  The new degree must include at least 32 unique credits. Otherwise, a second major is awarded.

Learning Outcomes for the Twenty-First Century

Heritage

The College of St. Scholastica is a Catholic academic institution in the Benedictine tradition.  We are shaped by the Benedictine principles of formative study, meaningful work, responsible living and daily prayer. The College of St. Scholastica embraces the fundamental principles of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition: reason and faith are equally valid and ultimately compatible; rational inquiry and the search for meaning are key values; the contributions of other perspectives are enriching. The College intentionally fosters a community of diverse voices, religions and philosophies. St. Scholastica students should reflect our distinctive identity and, as beneficiaries of the College's heritage, recognize their responsibilities to the academic community that nurtures them and to other communities in which they may contribute.

Students at St. Scholastica will:

  • Articulate the ways they have experienced the Benedictine values while at the College.
  • Recognize the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and its role in their college experience.
  • Contend with academic issues where the tension between reason and faith is present.
  • Analyze critical questions of our time from the perspective of the College's Benedictine heritage and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

Scope and Depth of Learning

As an institution founded on the love of learning, the College has a commitment to prepare students for their responsibilities as working professionals, as citizens and as individuals who seek full human lives. St. Scholastica students need the scope and depth of learning that will enable them to understand and navigate the world in which they live.

Students at St. Scholastica will:

  • Recognize and value different ways of knowing by exploring a wide range of liberal arts and sciences courses.
  • Achieve the learning outcomes designated by their major.

 

Intellectual and Foundational Skills

St. Scholastica students need intellectual and foundational skills that prepare them for responsible living and meaningful work.

Students at St. Scholastica will:

  • Think critically and analytically.
  • Write and speak clearly and effectively.
  • Demonstrate linguistic proficiency in a second language.
  • Recognize the need and importance of living and working in a diverse community.
  • Demonstrate scientific, mathematical and technological abilities.
  • Evaluate uses and sources of information.

 

Personal and Social Responsibility

As a Catholic and Benedictine institution, the College has a particular obligation to share with St. Scholastica students why it believes in the worth and dignity of all persons, why it places importance on extending hospitality to all and why it works for peace, justice and stewardship in a diverse world.

Students at St. Scholastica will:

  • Apply academic learning to public issues.
  • Recognize, analyze and work to resolve ethical and social issues.
  • Engage in activities that promote physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.
  • Examine the influence of personal, social and institutional factors on discrimination and prejudice.
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of service in service-learning activities.

 

Integration of Learning

To prepare students for responsible living and meaningful work, the College believes that students should direct a substantial portion of their effort toward excellence within a particular discipline. In addition, the College believes that on-going study in the liberal arts and sciences will prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century. Since the skills and knowledge necessary for life and work are changing more quickly than at any time in history, St. Scholastica students need practice in applying and integrating their learning.

Students at St. Scholastica will:

  • Integrate learning between liberal arts and science courses and the coursework in their major.

 

General Education Program

The mission of the General Education Program at The College of St. Scholastica is to engage students in defining and practicing responsible living and meaningful work. The first three of the College outcomes define this distinctive program and reflect the Benedictine values of the College. The program has three components: a first-year experience known as Dignitas and two required courses in composition and communication, a range of liberal arts courses called Pathways and an upper-division Writing Intensive requirement.

Historically Benedictines have been scholars, caregivers, educators and artists; the liberal arts mirror the broad pathways that Benedictines have pioneered. The rigor and breadth of our program prepare St. Scholastica students to meet the present and face the future with wisdom, faith and imagination.

 

 

Dignitas

Click here for more information regarding Dignitas.

Additional Required First-Year Courses

 
ENG 1110 First-Year Composition       (4 credits)

ENG 1110 emphasizes the development of thinking and writing skills. Based on principles of contemporary writing pedagogy, the course includes prewriting activities, the writing process, considerations of audience and purpose, writing reflections, peer evaluation, drafting, group writing and conferences with one's instructor. Early assignments depend on personal experience and then sequence to referential and argumentative writing. Includes basic documentation and bibliographic instruction.

CTA 1102 Human Communication       (4 credits)

CTA 1102 combines the areas of interpersonal communication and public speaking. The course focuses on the nature of the communication process as it applies to relationships, the self, perception, verbal communication, assertiveness, listening skills, nonverbal communication, conflict management and cultural differences. Students will be introduced to styles of presenting themselves and their ideas to public groups. The course emphasizes purpose, audience analysis, choice of supporting material, organization, delivery behaviors and rhetorical skills.

Pathways

Students satisfy the Pathways component of the general and liberal arts requirements by taking a wide range of courses, amounting to about one-third of the 128 credits required for graduation.

Cultural Diversity (I)                          (4 cr.)
Students are required to take one course that can count for both cultural diversity and another liberal arts distribution requirement.

Social Sciences (II)                                  (4 cr.)

World Languages (III)                           (0-8 cr.)
Students need to demonstrate a language competency equal to the second semester of a beginning language course. This requirement can be met in one of four ways:

  1. By having completed three years of one language in high school grades 9-12.
  2. By successfully completing ASL 1112, FRN 1112, GMN 1112, LTN 1112, OJB 1112, RUS 1112,or SPN 1112.
  3. By showing equivalent proficiency at the same course levels (respectively in American Sign Language, French, German, Latin, Ojibwe, Russian, or Spanish) through a St. Scholastica placement exam.
  4. By English not being your first language.

Literature (IV)                                           (4 cr.)
Analytical Reasoning (V)                         (4 cr.)
Natural Science (VI)                                 (4 cr.)
History (VII)                                                 (4 cr.)
Fine Arts (VIII)                                            (4 cr.)
Philosophy (IX)                                           (4 cr.)
Religious Studies (X)                               (4 cr.)
Writing Intensive (WI)                              (4 cr.)

Students are required to take an upper-division Writing Intensive course in their junior or senior year. This requirement must be taken at St. Scholastica.

The Roman numerals found after course titles in this catalog identify which Pathway(s) a specific course fulfills. Each course may be used to satisfy only one Pathway, with the exception of the cultural diversity requirement.

Courses Approved for Pathways Requirements

The most current set of Pathways courses is listed on the General Education website at:

http://www.css.edu/Academics/General-Education.html

Disciplinary Concentration

To prepare students for responsible living and meaningful work, the College believes that students should direct a substantial portion of their effort toward excellence within a particular discipline. This entails pursuing a major to develop a depth of knowledge and skills and the modes of inquiry common to the discipline, as well as considering the larger context of the roles the discipline plays in society. Requirements for all the majors are found under Curriculum. 

Electives

Electives provide an opportunity for students to explore areas of interest outside of the General Education program and the major. The number of electives a student can take will vary based on the student's major, the number of college credits they brought to the College from other sources, and the number of credits taken each semester. Students are encouraged to stretch themselves by selecting electives that expose them to new ideas.

I. Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity challenges the student to articulate how her/his perception of reality is culturally embedded and how values, assumptions and beliefs are reflected in behavior. This scrutiny fosters respect for the diversity of peoples and cultures. This respect requires more than mere exposure to cultural differences; it requires intellectual discourse that examines such differences critically and is attentive to the challenges of understanding those whose lives are shaped by cultures other than one's own.

II.  Social Sciences

Social Science is the study of psychological, economic, social, cultural and/or political thinking, and behavior in individuals and societies. Students discover the interconnectedness and relationships among motivation, learning and development, including the causes and implications of differences and similarities among people.

III. World Language

Language guides our thinking, shapes our perceptions and is the foundational element of culture. The four skills of language study - listening, responding, reading and writing - provide the key that opens the door to a deepened understanding and appreciation of the world's cultures and peoples.

IV. Literature

Literary study emphasizes close reading of and thoughtful expression about texts from a variety of perspectives and issues, ranging from forms and genres to modes and historical-cultural contexts. Focused on language, literary study involves both individual work and communal ways of understanding texts through oral and written interpretation. Literary study fosters the imaginative and intellectual effort needed to engage in varying cultural experiences to understand human values.

V. Analytical Reasoning

Analytical reasoning is an approach to knowledge that includes the ability to break down a larger problem and theory into constituent elements; gain an organized, logical and/or empirical understanding of the patterns and relationships among those elements; apply that understanding in a methodical fashion to similar situations; and communicate that understanding in language appropriate to the problem. The development of analytical abilities enables students to consider and respond more capably to the complexities of responsible living and the challenges of meaningful work.

VI. Natural Sciences

The natural sciences attempt to discover principles or laws that describe life and the physical universe through the cycle of observation, formulation of hypotheses, experimentation and development of theory. The fruits of scientific discovery enable humans to appreciate the beauty and interconnectedness of the universe in its many parts and exercise stewardship over the resources nature provides. Students who take natural science courses are better able to understand the scope and limits of the scientific endeavor, how science has shaped the modern world and the technical issues society now faces.

VII.   History

History is an interdisciplinary study that reflects upon and analyzes human experience. It focuses on the ways women and men are active agents in transforming the world and how the past illuminates the present. Students explore human societies in different times and places, encouraging cross-cultural comparisons. Courses in history contribute to creating better informed, more critically thinking citizens who understand themselves and the world around them in deeper, more diverse ways.

VIII.  Fine Arts

Art is created in all human cultures as a response to life. All forms of art can enable us to express depths of spirituality and emotion, rationally explore that which gives us pleasure, shape social values, reach out to others across time and culture and create something more lasting than we are. Through the creation and study of art, students consider its definition, interpretation and impact on humanity. Art merits both technical and reflective study as part of a liberal education.

IX. Philosophy

Philosophy, the love of wisdom, uses natural reason to guide the search for the good life. The study of philosophy challenges the student to think critically and make and evaluate arguments. The aim of philosophy courses is to contemplate those questions that will lead to responsible living.

X. Religious Studies

Religious studies invites students to explore religion as a central means of preparing themselves for responsible living and meaningful work by challenging them to work for justice and social change, and encouraging them to shape religious beliefs and spiritual values for their personal and professional lives. Special emphasis is placed on our Catholic and Benedictine heritage.

XI. Writing Intensive

During junior or senior year, students must select a four-credit course designated Writing Intensive (WI) outside their major. This requirement must be completed at St. Scholastica. The purpose of this requirement is twofold: 1) students will have the opportunity to apply liberal arts skills and values developed in their major field to a body of subject matter outside their major; and 2) students will have the opportunity to further develop and practice writing skills essential to personal and professional growth.

Courses designated WI build on skills developed in Dignitas. In WI, courses students write about personal experience, narrate events, gather, summarize and evaluate information, rewrite and edit, incorporate feedback in drafts, develop arguments and produce texts that reflect research. WI courses challenge juniors and seniors to apply further those communication skills and principles they have learned in and out of the classroom.

Study abroad

Many options are available, including College-sponsored courses, programs at universities affiliated with the College and independent programs. Additional details about specific programs can be found here:

http://www.css.edu/StudyAbroad.

HECUA Off-Campus Study Programs

The College of St. Scholastica is a member of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA). HECUA provides off-campus experiential learning opportunities that link academic study with hands-on work for social change. Students earn 16 St. Scholastica credits in the semester-long programs and four St. Scholastica credits in January-term programs. The program is open to all St. Scholastica students. St. Scholastica financial aid travels with students in semester programs. More information can be found at  www.hecua.org.

Other Countries

Faculty occasionally lead study programs to other countries. Arrangements also can be made for St. Scholastica students to participate in other college and university programs abroad. Financial aid, however, may not be available for programs other than those sponsored by St. Scholastica. For a full list of study-abroad opportunities, please visit our website at http://css.edu/Undergraduate/Academics/Study-Abroad.html.

Argentina

The College of St. Scholastica has a special affiliation with Lincoln University College (LUC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. LUC is fully accredited by the government of Argentina as an institute of higher education. It is an American institution with an international faculty, housed in a grandiose villa in the heart of the city. LUC provides a range of general education courses along with a strong business program. Argentina offers many opportunities for travel, both within the country and to nearby Latin American destinations. All courses are taught in English and students take intensive Spanish to enrich their learning experience. Tango lessons are also available!

Belize

Senior and graduate nursing students have the unique opportunity to complete a service-learning program in Belize. Students are placed in local clinics and schools and even make home visits to offer medical care to the members of the community. Although the senior and graduate programs differ in their curriculum, both programs emphasize experiential learning through a process of action and reflection.

China

The College offers a semester at a new liberal arts college in China near Hong Kong. All instruction is in English and the student body and faculty are international. General education and business credits can be earned through this program. Campus housing is available. Students also often have the option of studying in China during the winter break in a program covering Chinese economics, government, language and history. All majors are welcome to participate.

 

England

The British American College London (BACL) shares the Regent’s College campus with two British business schools. About 2,000 students more than over 100 countries are enrolled at this international, multi-ethnic college set amid trees and ornamental gardens in the heart of London. The curricula offered enable students to earn credits toward general education requirements. The college has a special affiliation that enables The College of St. Scholastica to award academic credits directly for BACL courses. All students live on campus. BACL also offers summer classes including “Shakespeare in the Park.” Many courses focus on the history and civilization of Britain as well as the fine and performing arts. Special courses take students to the theater and inside museums and historic buildings as a part of their coursework. Continental Europe is a train ride away. BACL follows the American semester calendar and learning approach. Its faculty is predominantly British.

 

Germany

The College of St. Scholastica cosponsors an exchange program with the University of Leipzig, developed for students in the health science fields, that promotes the integration of language and professional interests in an immersion model. During a two-week stay after the end of spring term, St. Scholastica students live with and shadow Leipzig students in their professional training and clinical practice in Germany. In the fall term, Leipzig students come to the St. Scholastica campus and repeat the exchange. Participation in the exchange requires a minimum of one year college/three years high school German and is recommended at the end of the junior or senior level to maximize professional experience.

India

The College often offers students the chance to participate in a winter break program to Hyderabad, India. The primary objective of this interdisciplinary course is to introduce students to the cultural, psychological, sociological, political, geographic, environmental, scientific, and economic issues of the country. Students will be exposed to individual social values and political and economic systems that affect our perspectives and lifestyles. Through individual projects, students will interact with their mentors developing research and critical thinking skills.

Ireland

The College sponsors an Ireland program during each spring semester. The program enables a student to pursue a full semester's coursework in liberal education in addition to experiencing intercultural exchange, travel and personal enrichment. The course offerings will vary each year dependent upon the two resident St. Scholastica faculty members who participate in a given semester.

Italy

St. Scholastica offers students the opportunity of an accelerated travel course in Catholic Studies. The course is listed in the student course manual as TRS 2120. As part of the program, students travel as a class to Rome, Italy, a city internationally known for its historic artistry. The city is used as the classroom, giving students a chance to examine religion and faith expressed in the wide variety of art on display there. Course availability is dependent upon the number of registered students.

Mexico

The College offers a summer program in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Students and faculty live and study at Quest Mexico. The center is dedicated to educating students about social justice issues and the life of the poor in Mexico. Students will study Spanish language at a local language school and learn about Mexico from Quest Mexico staff. St. Scholastica faculty teach a course on Mexican history. The final two weeks of the program are spent in a service learning placement in the community. Students must be at the sophomore level and have the equivalent of two semesters of Spanish language to participate in the program.

Morocco

The College often sponsors a winter break program in Casablanca, Morocco, that looks into the marketing relationship in the utilization of the application of contemporary marketing to the basic marketing function with ultra-fragmented distribution channels in the Middle East. Groups of students conduct research to illustrate how the contemporary marketing fundamental principles can apply in an environment that still, to this modern day, uses the trading principles of the 18th century while at the same time functioning with contemporary marketing concepts that we use in the West.

Russia

The College of St. Scholastica conducts a series of summer language camps in cooperation with the Karelian State Pedagogical University in Petrozavodsk, Duluth's sister city in Russia. Russian language camps are intended for American students of Russian and are held every other year in June and July in Petrozavodsk. Language classes are taught at the beginner through advanced-intermediate level by the faculty of the Karelian Pedagogical University. The Russian camps also include a number of cultural and recreational activities as well as extended visits to St. Petersburg and Moscow. The Russian language camps are an integral part of St. Scholastica's Russian Language Program, but they are open to any interested student. In alternate summers, St. Scholastica faculty offer English language camps for students from Petrozavodsk. St. Scholastica students also are encouraged to participate in these camps by acting as hosts to the College's guests from Russia.

Tanzania

Students at St. Scholastica have an opportunity to spend a few weeks every other summer on a service-learning program in Tanzania. Students examine the concepts of culture, cultural competence and health from a global perspective and apply them during a service-learning opportunity in Tanzania that provides the opportunity to explore equity and justice issues through critical examination of their personal and professional values in light of the Benedictine values that are also embraced by our hosts - the Benedictine Sisters of St. Agnes in Tanzania. Students are introduced to history, language, and sociopolitical systems of Tanzania along with Swahili language and safe travel preparation. Service-learning projects match the skills and talents of the students and faculty with the work and needs of the rural people that the Tanzanian sisters serve. Everyone involved in the program assists in gathering and carrying medical and teaching supplies for the two monasteries we visit.

Honors program

The Honors Program at The College of St. Scholastica was created to give intellectually motivated students enriched learning experiences and a community of peers devoted to a vigorous life of the mind. The Honors Program encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning through discussion-oriented classes. Investigation of compelling and controversial ideas and an emphasis on depth of coverage of material from multiple perspectives are other features of the Honors Program. Honors courses meet general education requirements, so do not involve extra coursework. Typically, meeting two of the following criteria will lead to the opportunity to request an interview with the Honors director for admission to the program: top 15 percent of high school class, high school grade point average of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale, and ACT score of 26/SAT score of 1100.

Prior Learning Assessment

The college classroom is not the only place college-level learning may occur. The College of St. Scholastica has several mechanisms by which it recognizes college-level learning acquired outside the classroom.

Portfolio Assessment

Students who wish to document prior learning through Portfolio Assessment begin the process by attending an online workshop that helps them decide if this program will be useful. In the online workshop, students identify their college-level learning experiences. The online workshop facilitator guides students through the process of documenting their equivalent learning in a portfolio that will be reviewed by faculty members. To register for the online workshop, please contact your academic adviser.

Credit by Examination

The College Board and the Educational Testing Service provide a national program of examinations called the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) that is used to evaluate college-level education. The Registrar maintains a list of the CLEP exams that meet Pathways requirements. Academic departments determine which CLEP examinations can substitute for major requirements, so students are advised to discuss their CLEP plans with their academic adviser. Note that credit cannot be granted for both a course passed by examination and a regular classroom course that duplicates the subject matter. No credit can be given for an examination if an advanced course in that area has already been taken.

Challenge Exams

A degree-seeking undergraduate student may request the opportunity to take a "challenge" examination to seek credit for a course for which a CLEP examination is not available. Challenge opportunities are provided at the discretion of the department chairman. Please contact your academic adviser for specific procedures to request a challenge.

Cross-Registration

Full-time students at St. Scholastica may also enroll for up to two courses per semester at two other local universities without payment of additional tuition. Such enrollment, called cross-registration, is available at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the University of Wisconsin- Superior. Cross-registration is open at the University of Wisconsin-Superior to a total of 15 St. Scholastica juniors and seniors. There are no numerical limits at the University of Minnesota- Duluth. If a student's total credits exceed 18, the student will be charged for those excess credits at the current College of St. Scholastica cost-per credit rate. Course or lab fees must be paid prior to registration. The grade earned at the cross registered institution counts in your St. Scholastica GPA.

Complete details of the program are available in the Registrar's Office. Cross-registration is not available during the summer, nor does it include graduate level work at any time.

A variation on cross-registration may be available with other institutions with advisor approval. For example, many students on our Brainerd campus take consortium work through Central Lakes College.

Summer session

The College offers a variety of study opportunities during the summer, including traditional courses on the Duluth campus, accelerated courses at all of our extended campuses, and online courses. Contact an academic adviser for more information on summer offerings.