Integrated Learning Areas

Students entering St. Joseph's College in fall 2011 must complete at least three integrated learning areas. Students can fulfill the requirements of these areas through courses in the thematic areas of the core, the major or electives, as well as through certain approved co-curricular activities.

Writing Intensive

Students are required to complete two courses in this area, including one before the senior year.

Rationale: Given the multiple ways students use writing to communicate, we believe that teaching writing across a range of practices - academic, creative and professional - should encourage students to understand the role writing plays in academic life and beyond.

Description: Course offerings and experiences in this area will shape students into strong writers by developing their critical and creative reading, thinking and writing abilities associated with expression and composition.

Outcome: In addition to improving basic writing skills, students will be able to use writing and reading for critical thinking and creative expression.


Students are required one experience in this area. Each experience will include at least three technology areas.

Rationale: Technology touches every aspect of our lives and enables us to interact globally as well as locally. A well-educated person needs technological skills to continue to learn, communicate, excel and to be productive in an ever-evolving digital world.

Description: Course offerings and experiences in this area will develop the students’ ability to adapt, navigate and become proficient in at least three of these technological areas: communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, digital citizenship, technology concepts and digital tools. These areas are fluid in nature and thus students’ experiences will reflect the constantly changing technologies, applications and systems in our global society.

Outcome: In addition to developing their basic technological skills (e.g., using email, word processing and presentation tools, researching, etc.), students will be able to demonstrate critical and technological thinking to locate, organize, create, evaluate, analyze, synthesize and ethically utilize information from a multiplicity of sources and media.


Students will complete one course/experience in this area.

Rationale: Achieving our goals often requires that we exchange ideas with others, have successful interactions and know how to move forward with others in a constructive way. Whether one is in the field of academia, endeavoring to be an active citizen or developing a career, the ability to learn from and with others is an important skill. Shared learning experiences provide a framework for engaging the social and collaborative nature of knowledge.

Description: Course offerings in this area emphasize cooperative learning experiences that link courses, curricular material, faculty or student with the aim of promoting deep learning and engagement with other members of the College community.

Outcomes: Students will demonstrate an appreciation of how interdisciplinary and community learning experiences contribute to the integration of knowledge, enhance the value of a liberal arts education and offer deeper understanding of the material they are learning through more interaction with one another and their teachers as fellow participants in the learning enterprise.


Students will complete one experience in this area.

Rationale: Connecting academic work to experiences outside the classroom will provide students with opportunities to practice and apply theoretical constructs, ideas and skills that foster professional and personal intellectual maturity.

Description: Course offerings or activities in this area may include a variety of options designed to supplement and complement the purely academic and theoretical. Structured experiences will encourage educational interaction and participation in supervised and collaborative ventures that will identify specific learning goals that promote the development of knowledge, skills and dispositions associated with the liberal arts and the professions.

Outcomes: Students will learn the value of service and/or experiential learning through interactive experiences and reflections within real-world contexts. These experiences will encourage students to forge a link between theory and practice while clarifying students’ connections to their local and global communities. Students will thus come to recognize the value of and need for ongoing inquiry, analysis and evaluation.


Students will complete one course in this area.

Rationale: The liberal arts tradition should prepare students for lives of integrity, social responsibility and service, in an environment that acknowledges the worth of all individuals, values cooperation and incorporates the diverse concerns of dissenting voices. This core requirement prepares students to understand more fully issues and questions raised by living in a diverse society.

Description: Course offerings in this area are designed to incorporate elements related to a variety of human differences; explore the differences among various groups and forms of human expression in our society; and examine the richness and strengths of complex, heterogeneous societies, while confronting the intolerance, inequality and conflict that often accompany diversity. Courses will, in a substantial and rigorous manner, analyze topics and issues related to these aspects of diversity throughout the course.

Outcome: Students will be able to articulate the contributions and challenges of diverse peoples. They will demonstrate an understanding of critical issues pertaining to diversity and will be able to recognize and scrutinize the way institutional power structures influence such phenomena as marginalization and oppression as well as social and economic integration.

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