Curriculum Pathways

Pathway Requirements

Pathway Descriptions, Indicators and Outcomes

updated 4/8/11

I. Cultural Diversity

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

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

*These courses can be taught on campus, online or as study abroad, but must dedicate significant time to course indicators and student outcomes below:

Course indicators

This Pathway requires three of the following indicators:

  1. Content addresses historical and current relationships between or among cultures.
  2. Provides a framework for building student understanding of his/her own culture.
  3. Attends to cultural worldview, examining multiple categories of identity including gender differences.
  4. Teaches students to recognize and analyze power in cultural context.
  5. Provides well-designed opportunities to explore inclusion, equity and justice issues particular to that field of study.

Student Outcomes:

These outcomes are based in the College outcomes of Intellectual and Foundational Skills and Personal and Social Responsibility. In order to fulfill the cultural diversity requirement, courses must cover at least four of the following six outcomes including either Outcome 5 or Outcome 6.

  1. Articulate connections among personal values, cultural knowledge, social behavior, and perception of reality.
  2. Demonstrate awareness and importance of both cultural difference and commonality in communities.
  3. Demonstrate ability to internalize more than one worldview by engaging with ethical and social issues.
  4. Recognize the influence of personal, social and institutional factors on discrimination, prejudice and privilege.
  5. Consciously shift one's perspective into alternative worldview by acting in culturally-appropriate ways in culturally-different contexts, or by inquiring into different cultural contexts through engagement with primary texts.
  6. Participate in justice-seeking, service-learning, or field experiences linked closely with extensive opportunities for critical reflection.

II. Social Sciences

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

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.

Course indicators

This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Address using a broad focus, one or more of the following: psychosocial, economic, social, cultural and/or the political thinking of individuals and societies.
  2. Examine the relationships and interconnectedness between motivation, learning, development and change.
  3. Explore the causes and implications of differences and similarities among people.
  4. Explore alternative theoretical frameworks which have been used to offer meaningful explanations of social phenomena.

Student outcomes:

  1. Apply methodologies used when analyzing social problems, social structures and human behaviors.
  2. Evaluate data as it relates to a specific discipline.
  3. Articulate the role and importance of theory when explaining and examining social issues.

III. World Language

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

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.

Course indicators

This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Lead to increased mastery of communicative skills of language study, such as listening, responding, reading and writing.
  2. Present content designed to highlight the intimate link between the world language studied and the peoples who use it.
  3. Emphasize a cultural perspective that places the world language studied within the context of world cultures.

Student outcomes:

  1. Ask and answer questions, initiate and respond to statements and engage in conversation.
  2. Comprehend short texts, and glean overall meaning in longer texts.
  3. Write messages, take notes and create statements or questions in written form.
  4. Articulate the connection between one's language and culture.
  5. Examine the role of the world language culture within the global context.


IV. Literature

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

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.

Course indicators

This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Content includes the reading of literary works as a major portion of the course content, ranging from forms and genres to modes and historical-cultural contexts.
  2. Promote close reading of and interpretation of texts from a variety of perspectives and issues.
  3. Introduce students to literature as a 'way of knowing' and the ways in which literature has contributed to our cultural experiences and human existence.

Student outcomes:

  1. Identify perspectives, issues and contexts of primary texts under study. These may include historical, philosophical, psychological, political, and/or social concepts and concerns.
  2. Analyze literary works with respect to structure, merit and significance through oral and written interpretation.
  3. Articulate the connection between the human experience and literary works.

V. Analytical Reasoning

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

Analytical reasoning is an approach to knowledge which 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.

Course indicators

This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Examine problems by reducing them into their constituent elements.
  2. Develop the ability and language to recognize and describe the patterns of relationship among elements of a problem.
  3. Employ those abilities to solve a variety of problems and effectively communicate the solution processes to others.|

VI. Natural Sciences

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

The natural sciences attempt to discover principles or laws which 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 inter-connectedness 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.

Course indicators

This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Use scientific principles or laws to describe life and the physical universe.
  2. Utilize the scientific method.
  3. Provide understanding of the scope and limits of scientific endeavor.
  4. Provide understanding of how science has shaped the modern world.
  5. Provide understanding of the technical issues society faces.
  6. Enable the student to appreciate the beauty and the interconnectedness of the natural world.

Student outcomes:

  1. Describe the essential attributes of the scientific method.
  2. Explain the fundamental concepts, principles, and theories of at least one science, and apply the products or effects of the fundamental processes in that science to everyday life.
  3. Recognize and articulate the limits of scientific endeavor.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the interdependence of science and technology and their influence on, and contribution to, modern culture.
  5. Develop an appreciation of the beauty and interconnectedness of the natural world.

VII. History

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

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.

Course indicators

This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Examine the history of any society, people or country using a broad focus with respect to time and place.
  2. Include a knowledge of the distinctive features of the history, institutions, economy, society, and culture under study.
  3. Include a methodological component [tools and approaches] utilized to indicate how and why we know something of a time, place, and people.
  4. Enable students to develop an appreciation for the diversity of the human community.

Student outcomes:

  1. Synthesize ideas and information with regard to historical causes, the course of events, and their consequences.
  2. Evaluate documents/evidence using the tools and approaches of historical investigation.
  3. Explain the historical significance of the major phenomena within the period[s] studied.
  4. Develop an appreciation for the diversity of the human community.

VIII. Fine Arts

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

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.

Course indicators

This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Address historical, cultural, critical, or theoretical dimensions of an artistic field.
  2. Require both critical reflection and practice of methodologies or skills in the fine arts.
  3. Consciously engage with the imagination required to produce artistic objects or performances which express emotion or spirituality, and thus stand outside conventional ideas of utility.

Student outcomes:

  1. Create or analyze artistic expression within the context of human history and culture.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of creative methods and processes.
  3. Relate ideas and creative practices to social structures.
  4. Consider the impact of art on humanity and its influence on spiritual and social values.


IX. Philosophy

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

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.

Course indicators This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Examine the importance and development of various questions addressed by philosophers.
  2. Explore the methods and issues of philosophical inquiry as a 'way of knowing'.
  3. Provide experiences that lead to critical examination of basic assumptions about life.

Student outcomes:

  1. Interpret texts regarding philosophical problems.
  2. Analyze and criticize arguments found in those texts.
  3. Cultivate the ability to question what passes as common knowledge.
  4. Critically evaluate their own and others' positions on basic philosophical problems.


X. Religious Studies

The narrative below describes this particular Pathway. The indicators and outcomes serve as a guide for course development and evaluation.

The study of theology and religion involves the academic exploration of our relationship with God and the nature and role of religion. Courses examine beliefs, rituals, ethics, sacred writings, spiritualities, and the meaning and application of faith in students' lives. Most courses reflect the Christian tradition or the Benedictine Catholic heritage. Consistent with an ecumenical and interfaith perspective, courses are often in dialogue with Protestant Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths. Particular courses focus on the traditions and theologies of other world religions.

Course indicators

This Pathway requires several of the following indicators:

  1. Examine central religious and theological questions and the ways Christianity and/or Catholicism and/or other religions have approached and resolved such questions.
  2. Assist students in identifying and understanding their religious convictions and faith communities.
  3. Encourage an ecumenical perspective and pluralistic sensitivity that respect the diversity of religious convictions.
  4. Stimulate and develop students' critical thinking skills and cultivate facility in academic argumentation.
  5. Introduce students to methodological issues in the investigation and evaluation of religious traditions and texts.
  6. Dialogue about moral questions and social justice issues as a means of developing in students the necessary skills for ethical decision making and living justly.
  7. Foster the integration of theological insights into students' wider educational, social, cultural, religious, and spiritual experience.

Student outcomes:

  1. Critically analyze and dialogue about central theological topics/issues using theological vocabulary, concepts and resources.
  2. Identify and articulate their own religious convictions and, at the same time, develop respect for the religious convictions of others.
  3. Apply their moral and spiritual values to ethical decisions, life choices and the transformation of the world.