The Student Affairs Division at The College of St. Scholastica has identified Learning Outcomes for students who actively participate in our programs. Our mission is to foster a diverse, challenging, and mutually respectful environment. Which provides opportunities for students' holistic growth and the integration of curricular and co-curricular learning.
Learning Objective - Holistic Growth
Awareness of Benedictine Values into Personal Belief System
Need: College offers the opportunity for students to shape their personal belief systems. CSS is unique in this opportunity because our heritage is well-established. As early as Orientation, students will learn about and meet the Benedictine Sisters. For most students, it will be the first introduction to the Benedictine Values. Students need to explore how these values fit into their lives.
Philosophy: Our institution embraces the Benedictine Tradition so strongly that our corridors and office walls display the framed Benedictine Values. Student Affairs fosters an environment that is guided by these values.
Action: We encourage students to grow and change through the varied opportunities that exist on our campus. Some examples are:
Community Day: Involvement with CSS students, faculty and staff for a day of volunteerism and reflection helps students to share responsibility in supporting the Duluth community.
(Community) First Year Experience: Students are learning about the mission, thus welcoming new ideas and preserving the material heritage entrusted to us by the Benedictine Sisters.
(Love of Learning) Athletics: All teams participate in team building activities and goal setting which promotes a sense of community. The training and coaching they receive keeps their minds and bodies active.
(Stewardship) Residential Life: The training received by the RA's teaches the residents to respect and support each other. The training assists the residents to be responsible for decision-making that affects themselves, as well as others.
(Respect) Campus Ministry: Activities such as Peer Ministry, VITA, retreats and Liturgy create an atmosphere of acceptance and welcoming.
Result: When students graduate from The College of St. Scholastica, they will do so with degree in hand and with an awareness of the Catholic Benedictine Values. Students will be introduced to and be given the opportunity to explore the traditions that have shaped the institution. They will be exposed to a community who makes every attempt to promote a curriculum that has enriched their academic life; activities that have taught them how to balance their lives and an atmosphere that has supported the worthiness of all who work and study here.
Utilization of Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution Skills in Making Decisions
Need: Students are constantly making decisions that impact their life. Problems and conflicts are a normal part of college life. Students need a process to help evaluate information and develop a plan of action that best fit their circumstances. Through the course of a college career, students should develop a style of critical thinking which allows them to understand the complexities of a situation rather than perceive difficulties in simplistic terms.
Philosophy: Student Affairs utilizes a model of problem solving and conflict resolution that emphasizes critical thinking which includes: defining the problem, generating possibilities, creating a plan, and acting on your plan. Student Affairs professionals help the student organize this process. Students are encouraged to take action rather than relying on someone else to resolve an issue. Student Affairs staff model and encourage critical thinking by asking students challenging questions, helping students explore the complexities of a situation, rather than fixing the situation for the student. If the problem or conflict is beyond a student's sphere of influence, a plan is developed with the student that includes others.
Action: A few examples of places students develop these skills includes:
Working with residential life staff to resolve conflicts with a roommate.
Team meetings in athletics to identify and resolve concerns.
Individual counseling through various student services departments.
Meeting with the Dean of Students about a multitude of campus concerns.
Dialogue with instructors about difficulties in academic performance including.
Asking for help.
Negotiating with other students when required to work on group projects.
Results: In a global and rapidly changing environment, academic, professional, and interpersonal success require increased sophistication in the area of problem solving and conflict resolution. Students are expected to leave the college with the confidence and skills necessary to negotiate problems and conflicts in an ethical, thoughtful, respectful, and collaborative manner.
Foster an Environment Supportive of Spiritual and Faith-Based Exploration
Need: Grounded in the Catholic, Benedictine heritage the college understands and is called to witness the importance of a meaningful and grounded connection to faith and spirituality. As students journey amidst a challenging academic focus and a somewhat confusing, but beneficially diverse culture it is clear that there is a need for finding a place where the sacred can be explored. We at the college are committed to providing space and opportunities for students to find grounding, hope and direction.
Philosophy: Students arrive with pre-set parameters and expectations regarding spirituality and faith. Others come with no background or preconceived notions. As a Catholic and Benedictine college we can serve as a resource in helping students arrive at a place that is neither relative nor rigid. Through an open atmosphere students can bear their personal, lived experience upon the timeless truths of our rich Catholic and Benedictine heritage. Through this vital dialectic of experience and culture with our larger heritage, we will help students accomplish our mission of "intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work."
Small group faith sharing
Clubs: InterVarsity, Peer Ministry
One on one conversations in Campus Ministry, the Counseling Center or the Career Center about vocational plans
Mass in the dorms
Spiritual component to Residential Advisors floor activities
Communication of faith offerings on campus
Results: It is hoped that students involved in a spiritual or faith based journey are more likely to be grounded and engaged in an awareness of themselves and the world. This is in keeping with the values associated with our Catholic and Benedictine roots. Fostering the life and importance of community is vital to our shared existence. Making decisions in the context of community will help to influence how our graduates make decisions and touch the world.
Engage in Activities that Promote Physical and Emotional Wellness
Need: Students attend college to learn and be challenged on an intellectual level. What students sometimes fail to notice however is how their physical and emotional well-being serves as a foundation to learning. Students need opportunities to explore what it means to be physically and emotionally well and how this "wellness" leads to academic success. Student Affairs fosters a climate to support students in their physical and emotional well-being, how they can improve their physical and emotional state and how learning is enhanced by being well.
Philosophy: Wellness encompasses a vast array of meanings. To Student Affairs, wellness is about the "whole person". By taking advantage of opportunities to develop the whole person, inside and out, one can enhance their learning experience. The benefits of physical well-being are obvious. In college however, physical well-being (which includes healthy nutrition as well as exercise) can give students the strength, stamina and energy to endure the academic rigor of CSS. To be well on an emotional level, individuals are free from internal burdens that might compromise their academic performance. Students have a better opportunity to think more clearly, retain information and stay focused. In addition, emotional well-being enables individuals to cope with life stressors in a healthy manner. These are skills that transfer to life after college.
Action: Some examples of how Student Affairs assists students in the area of physical and emotional well-being:
Participation in college athletics and intramurals. Utilization of The Wellness Center.
Joining Outdoor PURSUIT!
Choosing healthy meal options through Food Service.
Receive individual counseling through the Student Center for Health and Well-Being.
Address health concerns immediately and learn about health-related issues in Student Health Services.
Receive intensive academic assistance along with personal counseling through Student Support Services.
Attend "Life Happens" Workshops such as Time Management, Stress Management and Conflict Resolution.
Take advantage of relaxation sessions provided by SCHAWB counselor before finals.
Results: By engaging in physical activities that challenge their bodies, learning to fuel their bodies with healthy building blocks for energy, and taking advantage of opportunities that support emotional well-being, students have the ability to focus on learning. When an individual is not well, he or she cannot take on the challenges that the academic world presents. With a healthy body and a clear mind, one can withstand these challenges, have the fortitude to work hard and be successful.
Participation in Experiences that Enhance Leadership Skills
Need: The stated vision of The College of St. Scholastica is to "send forth thoughtful leaders, sharpened by the liberal arts, which are committed to serve and to transform the world." As students navigate their college career and upon graduation, they will be placed in positions of responsibility. The complexity and global nature of the world requires leadership capabilities. The acquisition and utilization of leadership skills will place CSS students in a position to transform the world.
Philosophy: The ability to provide thoughtful leadership requires the development of a set of skills including: living ones values, developing and communicating a vision, being a good listener, being positive and affirming, giving and receiving feedback, sharing responsibility and credit, and a willingness to take risks. Both personally and academically, CSS students are placed in positions of leadership and have the opportunity to develop and practice the skills necessary to be an effective leader. Students are expected to assess their leadership capabilities and hone new skills critical to their overall development and success.
Actions: The opportunity for students to be in a position of leadership at CSS are many. Leadership responsibilities takes many forms. This may include participation in many of the student organizations on campus, becoming a peer mentor, tutor or peer advisor, modeling your values, confronting inappropriate behavior by others, or bringing community groups together through collaboration. Specific activities students may engage in to develop and practice their leadership skills include:
Taking a peer leadership training course.
Participating in intercollegiate athletics.
Training as a resident advisor, peer mentor, peer advisor and/or peer ministry.
Being a tutor or academic role model.
Participating in a leadership workshop offered by the office of Student Activities.
Joining a task force or committee that deals with campus issues (alcohol task force, eating issues committee, etc.).
Joining and participating in the numerous student led organizations such as Student Senate, Volunteers Involved Through Action (VITA), third Wavers, Student Outdoor Pursuit, Inter varsity Christian Fellowship, and many others.
Result: When a student graduates from The College of St. Scholastica, s/he should have acquired the skills necessary to "touch the world" in a variety of contexts, be able to collaborate as a team member, and be a thoughtful leader.
Explore one's Values, Skills and Interests in a Meaningful Vocation
Need: The mission of The College of St. Scholastica is to provide intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work. Students often have difficulty determining what, for them, constitutes "meaningful work." Without a clear goal, students may experience a lack of motivation or may be unsure as to why they're at college. The results are often poor grades or leaving school. Students need a process and experiences which assist them in determining their career and life goals.
Philosophy: Students come to college with a definition of "work" which has been fostered by parents, media, friends, and society. Student Affairs encourages students to arrive at a definition of meaningful work through experiential, self-exploration and academic endeavors. Arriving at a definition of meaningful work requires both self-awareness and knowledge of the world of work. It is only when a student understands their own interests, values and skills that they can begin to define their vocational needs and desires. Students are taught to explore the world of work and to integrate their self-knowledge and development of life goals into that world. Students will be more motivated to succeed in their academic life if they can relate academia to their life goals.
Action: Student Affairs offers several methods for students to achieve this exploration of self and work. Some examples of activities designed to assist students are:
On and off-campus activities
Part-time and/or summer jobs related to their interests or major
One-on-one career exploration with a counselor, including interest inventories and investigation of occupations
Connection with alumni mentors
Service learning trips
Results: When students are actively engaged in the above activities, they will obtain the knowledge required to make decisions regarding responsible living and meaningful work that are most appropriate to their own lives. Our goal is to assist students in choosing vocations congruent with their skills, values and interests.
Learning Objective - Intercultural Competence
Understand the Influence of Personal, Social, and Institutional
Factors on Discrimination and Prejudice
Need: College opens up a whole world of new experiences that impact the way students think. Exposure to different types of people, cultures, and lifestyles is a normal part of student life. The way students react to these experiences varies depending on their frame of reference. Students need to be aware of and understand the factors that influence their reactions so they can be open to learning and embrace the world with cultural sensitivity. In addition, students need to develop an understanding of the world in order to be successful both personally and professionally.
Philosophy Student Affairs fosters a climate respectful of each student's set of beliefs and values. At the same time, students are encouraged to take advantage of the vast array of opportunities that expose them to diverse issues. SA challenges students to reflect on their own belief system and think about how their frame of reference influences their reactions.
Action: Some of the opportunities that SA offers and supports to assist students in this way include:
Diversity Organizations: Being involved in diversity organizations and taking an active role in diverse student issues helps students to engage in real life issues that affect our diverse culture. In addition, students are educated about different ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles, etc and gain insight to the unfamiliar.
Counseling: Through counseling, students can discuss personal experiences that make up their belief system. In addition, students are challenged to look at various perspectives on issues and be open to things that are out of their "comfort zone".
Residential Life: The social factors that influence discrimination and prejudice are often observed and addressed within the Residence Hall. RAs are trained to assist students with a host of issues related to living with different types of people. Students learn to respect others and understand how the skills they are learning here can be utilized in the "real world".
Catholic Benedictine Values: As an institution, The College of St. Scholastica impacts student belief systems. The college is built on a foundation of Benedictine values and these values along with an overall philosophy of inclusiveness, offers students a framework not only to help them to feel respected, but also to teaches them how to respect others. Incorporating the Benedictine Values into the work we do with students, teaches students the significance these values can have in their lives. SA believes that in order to "truly touch the world" it is important to understand the factors that influence discrimination.
Training &Education: SA supports the institution's efforts to create a more culturally sensitive college through training opportunities, ensuring that staff are aware of the issues that affect our diverse culture.
Result: As students complete their academic journey, they will discover that Student Affairs has also created learning opportunities. Students leave CSS not only with a plethora of knowledge, but more self-aware as well as aware of others. They have been exposed to opportunities and experienced events that have enhanced their academic work. Through these experiences, students have been provided a platform from which to function in the world and interact with people from all walks of life aware of and sensitive to discrimination or prejudice.
Participate as an Advocate on Issues of Diversity
Need: The College of St. Scholastica strives to send forth thoughtful leaders, sharpened and sensitized by the liberal arts, who are committed to serve and to transform the world. Whether in the community, workplace, family system or social setting students will have opportunities to transform the world by acting as an advocate for diversity. However, to feel confident in an advocacy role and to be effective as a proponent of diversity, students need guidance, tools and opportunities to develop these skills.
Philosophy: Informed by our Benedictine heritage and the values of community, hospitality, respect, stewardship and love of learning, Student Affairs encourages students to be open to diverse points of view and not avoid dissent. We strive to educate students on what it is to be an engaged community working for social justice for all. To do so, we recognize and celebrate differences and equality including but not limited to: race, class, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities and ethnicity. Students Affairs will provide opportunities for students to learn about the lens through which they view the world. Student Affairs will also provide a safe place to discuss, listen, learn and come to a personal understanding of the value of diversity and the necessity of advocacy for those who are underrepresented or marginalized.
Action: Student Affairs offers a number of ways for students to understand diversity and opportunities to advocate for diversity.
Experiential Learning - Campus Ministry provides a chance for students to learn and understand the dynamics of the poor and marginalized as well as the opportunities to bring action for change through service. Examples include:
Volunteers Involved through Action (VITA)
Alternative Spring Break Service Trips
Spirit and Justice Trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico
Long Term Volunteer Fair
Programming - Student Affair provides on-campus opportunities for all community members to increase the knowledge and skills necessary to act as advocates on issues of diversity. Examples include:
Student Diversity Services - Strange Like Me (diversity presentation), Diversity Training
Trio Program - Scary Guy (The New Face of Love presentation)
International Student Advisor - International Week, Brown Bag Lunch Exchanges, Poland Presentation, Informative Bulletin Board
Role Modeling - Individual Student Affairs Staff members speak out against degrading or hateful words and actions. As a group, Student Affairs Staff promote opportunities for healthy dialogue surrounding diversity issues. Student Affairs also provides a formal process to deal with inflammatory statements or actions that harm, demean or reduce the rights of others.
Results: Using these resources, programs and services, students will move beyond simply understanding and tolerating differences to a position of encouraging, embracing and advocating diversity. Students will be equipped to speak out against discrimination and prepared to challenge friends, neighbors or colleagues who act or speak in ways that perpetuate stereotypes and degrade others. Students will be prepared to pursue opportunities that advocate justice and equality for all.
Develop the Capacity to Understand and Interact Effectively
with Others Who Differ in Beliefs, Behaviors, Values and Worldview.
Need: Understanding others who differ in beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews is as elusive as understanding human nature. Dealing with these differences at the interpersonal level calls for two things: 1) a conscious awareness of our own personal beliefs and 2) a conscious awareness of our own beliefs and how these beliefs effect the way we interact with others. Students need to: Understand what beliefs and values support their thoughts, concepts and ideas.
Philosophy: Interactions with others challenge us to deal with different beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews. Collective beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews create the general environment in which individual evolve.
We think of this framework as fundamental guidelines for human concern and how we should live. Many of the Values from the Catholic Benedictine Heritage express concern for the individual and society through Community, Hospitality and Respect. Through Stewardship the College respects and values the dignity of all work created by all people. As students are challenged through academia to defend their beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews, Student Affairs professionals assist students to process these new concepts.
Action: Student Affairs assist students to understand and view differences in many ways. Many of the support programs (SSS, Student Diversity Advocate, International Student Advisor, Campus Ministry, Athletics, etc..) are examples of how we assist students with differences. To help students build awareness, we must:
Assist students in identifying and understanding their own beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews. This is accomplished in many venues...campus ministry, code of conduct, outlining expectations of behavior, service learning, peer ministers, diversity programming, community day, mission integration, and international student connections.
Students identifying their own beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews and how these preconceived notions can limit effective interactions with others. This is accomplished in several venues: conflict resolution with RA's, counseling settings, residential life, team building in athletics and in general, taking charge of their own educational/life processes.
Staff in Student Affairs set the example in how we can differ in beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews and continue to effectively work together. This is accomplished through participation in activities outside our normal work areas and collaboration in program development and events.
Integrate understanding of beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews into our work. This is accomplished by constantly referencing the Catholic Benediction values in our work; understanding our own beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews and how we impact others in our work.
Results: Students will have numerous opportunities to open their minds to differing beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews. St. Scholastica students will be known for possessing the ability to self examine their own beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews. Students integration of self-awareness will foster continued exploration of beliefs, behaviors, values and worldviews (Love of Learning) Learning Objective - Responsibility to Community
Develop an Understanding, Appreciation and Participation in Service Learning
Need: The mission of the college is to provide intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work. When students use their hands and hearts as well as their heads when interacting with academic material and community needs, they will be challenged to apply what they are learning to the real world. In doing so, they will challenge their own identity and their role in the world.
Philosophy: Service learning is a pedagogy that uses learning based on experiences in the community to facilitate learning in the classroom or on campus. It can be used by student affairs and academic staff to enhance the learning of academic subjects, communication skills, critical thinking, or the development of values. The other component of service learning is service to the community. This service should be defined and controlled by the community.
Action: Typical service learning activities at the college would be:
Community Service Day
Semester in Mexico
Spirit and Justice J-term in Mexico
Grant Reading Partners
Grant After School programs
East Hillside Summer Theater Program
Needs assessment projects
Organizing around social justice issues
Speakers and campaigns on campus
Results: Students who participate in college service learning programs should have a better understanding of responsible living and meaningful work. They should be able to evaluate their life and work in the context of their local and global community.
Take Responsibility for One's Personal Actions and its Impact on Self and Others
Need: Students are emerging adults in a greater society. As a Benedictine Institution we teach students the Benedictine values of respect, dignity and tolerance for all human life. Students need to learn how their actions impact self and others.
Philosophy: Student Affairs believes in the importance of developing the knowledge and skills necessary for holistic growth and responsibility to community. Students' understanding of their actions and impact on self and others is critical in their personal and professional development.
Co-curricular Opportunities: Use events, club activities, workshops, and trips as opportunities for students to learn responsibility and how to positively interact with others.
Residence Hall: Be it roommate conflicts, discipline, event planning, personal or lawful choices in behavior, each situation should be met with a reflection on how their behavior impacts themselves and others.
Health: When health issues exist for a student, Student Affairs professionals coach students to understand what it means to be healthy and how to take responsibility for their own mental and physical health.
Academic: Student Affairs assists students in taking responsibility for their own academic success. We do this through providing easy to access resources and making appropriate referrals to services such as tutoring, academic advising and workshops.
Results: By encouraging students to take responsibility for ones own actions in college, they are more likely to become productive and contributing members of our greater community. In addition, by providing avenues for students to explore how their choices and behavior impact themselves and others, students develop a sense of self that contributes to positive holistic growth.