Integrated General Education

Do you want to make a difference? We believe that with a strong knowledge base, applied skills, passion, and ingenuity — you can be the change you want to see in the world.

Saint Mary’s is launching a new, Integrated General Education Program that will set you apart from other graduates. Today’s employers are looking for leaders who can view problems from varied lenses.

While every student will gain a valuable perspective through our Integrated General Education Program, each path is as unique as the student taking it. We know you each have different interests, dreams, and goals.

Our first-year students starting in fall 2018 will be enrolled. This distinctive new program offers you:

  • An interdisciplinary minor
    Choose from Environmental Sustainability; Creativity and Inquiry; Global Diversity and Social Justice; and Self, Society, and the Sacred — and then chart your own path through courses that interest you. (You will also have the time and opportunity to choose a second minor in a discipline of your choice.)
  • A senior-year capstone project where you will address real-world issues through a local, community project
  • Exemplary skills in oral communication and writing, which are at the very top of potential employers' wish lists
  • An e-portfolio that showcases your experiences and accomplishments

The Program

The program — rooted in Saint Mary’s Lasallian Catholic identity and mission — has three main components: the First-Year Experience, the Interdisciplinary Minor, and the Capstone.

Your First-Year Experience focuses around themes of place, purpose, and well-being. During your first year at Saint Mary’s, your Integrated General Education experience begins with:

  • An Anchor Course, 4 credits to be taken in fall. This course will expose you to an interesting topic in a field of choice outside of your major. 
    [The Lasallian Honors Program has its own Anchor Course.] 
  • First-Year Writing, 4 credits, taken in either semester. This course will include work in reflective writing, which will prepare you for the portfolio.
    [Honors students will not need to take this course.]
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits, taken in either semester.
  • Theology: 3 credits, taken in either semester.

Your faculty adviser will help you chart your own path through the interdisciplinary minors. 

Students will choose among four minors, or they will move directly into the Lasallian Honors sequence, which functions as its own “Great Books” minor.

Environmental Sustainability
We understand “environment” as the biological, economic, and cultural surroundings on which we depend and with which we interact. What resources are available to us, and how do we exercise wise stewardship of them?

Creativity and Inquiry
How do you see? How do you know? How do you create? This integrated minor examines the role of inquiry, intelligence, creativity, and innovation in human endeavors.

Global Diversity and Social Justice
This minor will focus on diversity of populations, the distribution of resources, and issues of global and social justice.

Self, Society, and the Sacred
What is our responsibility to ourselves, our society, the natural world, and the sacred? In this minor, you will examine how people from a variety of times and cultures have explored these questions and begin to develop answers of your own.

Students within the same minor can have a different general education experience, based upon the courses you choose. All minors will include courses representing these disciplinary areas:

  • Theology, 3 credits
  • Philosophy, 3 credits
  • History, 3 credits
  • Literature (English and Spanish), 3 credits
  • Math, Computer Science, and Natural Sciences (including a lab), 6-8 credits
  • Social Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Political Science, Human Services), 3 credits
  • Arts (Theatre and Dance, Music, Art and Design) and Communication, 3 credits

A Capstone project at the end of your four years will bring together students from different disciplines to work on a complex community project. Through this project, you will learn how having a broad perspective can help to build innovative connections and solutions. 

For Transfer Students

  • Transfer credits can apply to any of the minors if they fit the theme and disciplinary areas of the minor.
  • We will work with you on an individual basis to apply your credits in an appropriate way.
  • If you can demonstrate that you meet the disciplinary area requirements (but not in a way that suggests any of the four existing minors), you may work with an adviser to propose an independent interdisciplinary minor.

For Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors

If you are a sophomore, junior, or senior, you will continue through the pre-existing general education programming, which will enable you to graduate with a broad base of skills and knowledge that will ensure you are well-prepared to be a successful, engaged citizen of the world.

Over the course of your four years, Saint Mary’s will provide you with advanced skills in oral communications, writing, critical thinking, and problem solving. These valuable intellectual and applied skills will prepare you to become engaged, contributing, and visionary leaders in today’s changing world.

General Education Programs