St. Bonaventure University

Learning Goals & Objectives


St. Bonaventure University is a Catholic university dedicated to educational excellence in the Franciscan tradition. We enhance the lives of our students and help them prepare for their futures by providing experiences that build knowledge, skills, and character. In particular, we help them develop:

  1. Basic knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences, specialized knowledge in a particular area of study, and the ability to integrate knowledge from different academic disciplines.
    Learning Objectives:
    1. Students demonstrate familiarity with diverse cultures, including Western civilization.
    2. Students describe how knowledge evolves in the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, and how that knowledge impacts the world.
    3. Students apply the knowledge and perspectives of a particular discipline in the ways that discipline is practiced.
    4. Students use what they have learned in their general education studies in their particular discipline.
    5. Students connect ideas from different disciplines.
  2. The ability to think constructively, critically, and creatively, including competencies in analytic inquiry, quantitative literacy, information literacy, evidential reasoning, and problem solving.
    Learning Objectives:
    1. Students define effectively an issue, goal, or problem.
    2. Students identify and obtain the resources that they need to address an issue, goal, or problem.
    3. Students interpret, assess, and integrate resources with attention to their assumptions and potential biases.
    4. Students derive conclusions, hypotheses, or solutions that are appropriate to the issue, goal, or problem they are working to address.
    5. Students assess the validity of their own conclusions, hypotheses, or solutions.
  3. Competence in multimodal communication with special emphasis on oral, written, and digital communication, including an understanding of key issues relating to their use.
    Learning Objectives:
    1. Students identify and respond to contexts using appropriate processes and modes of delivery.
    2. Students use effective content and approaches to organization, style, and design that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of communication.
    3. Students demonstrate control of syntax and mechanics by using language that communicates with clarity, fluency, and minimal errors.
  4. A disposition to understand societal issues, seek solutions, and become responsible citizens.
    Learning Objectives:
    1. Students identify problems in contemporary societies and analyze factors (i.e ., social factors, economic factors, political factors, ethnic factors, historical factors, oppression, power, and privilege) that contribute to them.
    2. Students describe and evaluate various strategies and tactics for addressing contemporary societal problems.
    3. Students demonstrate personal involvement in addressing societal problems.
    4. Students reflect critically on their personal experiences in addressing societal problems through the lens of their academic studies.
  5. An ability to engage with ultimate questions of a metaphysical, theological, and philosophical nature.
    Learning Objectives:
    1. Students analyze how ultimate questions have been addressed by major thinkers and movements.
    2. Students look at ultimate questions from others’ perspectives and compare them with their own perspectives.
    3. Students formulate and critique their own positions on metaphysical, theological, and philosophical questions.
  6. A basic understanding of the Catholic tradition and an appreciation of the intellectual and moral virtues expressed in the Franciscan movement (e.g., humility, compassion, justice with peace, love of wisdom, and the inherent goodness of all creation).
    Learning Objectives:
    1. Students identify and describe the major elements of the Catholic tradition, including its expression in the Franciscan movement.
    2. Students identify and describe the principal intellectual and moral virtues of the Catholic and Franciscan traditions.
    3. Students relate what they have learned about these virtues to their own lives and social issues.

I. Learning Goals & Objectives for Required Specific Courses


SBU 101. Community of Learners

SBU 101 will introduce students to the characteristics and functions of community and community participation and provide frameworks to evaluate them. At the same time, SBU 101 will teach students about effective learning strategies to enhance their scholarly activities. By exploring facets of St. Bonaventure's learning community, students will gain the understanding that learning is often a communal, not an isolated, process. This course is intended for first-year students in their first semester at the university.

This course fulfills Goals, 2, 3 and 4 of the St Bonaventure University Undergraduate Learning Goals and Objectives.

Course Goals: In SBU 101, a student will

  1. Examine the meanings, purpose and characteristics of community and community participation, from local to global levels.
  2. Acquire knowledge and practical skills to develop and sustain personal and communal well-being.
  3. Integrate effective learning strategies and skills with academic content.
  4. Actively engage in St. Bonaventure's learning community.

Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify and evaluate characteristics of community, including functional and dysfunctional communities. (Course Goal 1).
  2. Analyze and critique the All Bonaventure Reads common text. (Course goals 1, 2, 3)
  3. Explain effective learning strategies and describe why the strategies are effective. (Course goals 2, 3)
  4. Describe at least one comprehensive model of mental health and empirically supported recommendations for healthy living, (Course goal 2).
  5. Articulate degree requirements, policies, and procedures as defined by the university. (Course goals 2, 4)
  6. Evaluate personal insights on strengths of character and their relevance to life decisions such as majors, degree completion, careers & vocations. (Course goals 2, 4)

SBU 102. Contemporary Diversity

Students begin to develop the language, intellectual framework, and empathy to understand many forms of diversity (especially people unlike themselves). By examining such issues in a contemporary context, students can engage in better-informed dialogue about current events and engage more actively as citizens of the modern world.

This course fulfills Goals 2 and 4 of the St Bonaventure University Undergraduate Learning Goals and Objectives.

Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Students engage in a variety of experiences and perspectives different from their own.
  2. Students examine privileged and non-privileged historical legacies, which might still adversely affect some groups more than others.
  3. Students compare their culture or their perspective of their culture with at least one other culture or one other perspective.

FS/THEO 101. The Way of Francis and Clare

This course is intended to introduce students to the Franciscan roots that underlie the mission and values of St. Bonaventure University. After familiarizing themselves with the social and cultural context that shaped Francis and Clare of Assisi, students will examine their lives, values and spirituality, and then study how these achieved systematic theological expression in the thought of St. Bonaventure. Students will then connect and apply key Franciscan insights to contemporary concerns.

This course fulfills Goal 6 of the St Bonaventure University Undergraduate Learning Goals and Objectives.

Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will understand and critically analyze the origins and development of the distinctive Franciscan charism within the Catholic faith tradition and its theological expression.
  2. Students will examine and articulate how this Franciscan tradition might address contemporary social issues in a way that includes people of diverse backgrounds.
  3. Students will reflect on their personal beliefs about ultimate reality and their relationships m the local context and to the global community in light of Franciscan values.
  4. Students will develop an ability to discuss deeply-held personal beliefs with sensitivity and openness toward others with differing perspectives.

PHIL 104. Introduction to Ethics

Ethics enquires into the fundamental perspectives and principles that bear on the evaluation of human conduct. It examines prominent theories about what constitutes a good life, articulates relevant principles of right action, poses basic questions about the nature of morality and engages with various moral problems that confront the individual and society. This course endeavors to acquaint students with traditions of moral inquiry and to equip them with key concepts by which to exercise their own moral reflection.

This course fulfills Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the St Bonaventure University Undergraduate Learning Goals and Objectives.

Course Learning Objectives: In PHIL 104, students will

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of major ethical theories.
  2. Demonstrate a comprehension of basic (meta-)ethical issues.
  3. Demonstrate a capacity to engage arguments on contemporary ethical problems.

ENG 101. Writing I

A composition course emphasizing writing foundations, including the development of a writing process with attention to generating content and addressing concerns of structure, style, syntax, and mechanics. Course assignments emphasize critical reading, writing, and argumentation skills, as well as professional and oral communication. This course is a prerequisite for ENG 102.

This course fulfills Goal 3 of the St Bonaventure University Undergraduate Learning Goals and Objectives.

Course Learning Objectives: Students who successfully complete the course will be able to

  1. Demonstrate a writing process involving multiple drafts and strategies for research, invention, drafting, revision, editing, peer review, and reflection;
  2. Understand writing as a conversation with other writers;
  3. Analyze texts in terms of argument, structure, style, and audience;
  4. Adequately document sources and develop an understanding of the significance of different types of sources and the function of documentation;
  5. Produce writing that meets accepted standards of style, syntax, and mechanics for academic and professional writing;
  6. Deliver content through both formal papers and formal presentations.

ENG 102. Writing II

A composition course emphasizing the development of a writing process, contextual awareness, and knowledge of conventions of academic and professional discourse. Course assignments foreground advanced communication challenges grounded in research, discipline-specific writing, and multi-model communication, as well as style, syntax and mechanics.

This course fulfills Goal 3 of the St Bonaventure University Undergraduate Learning Goals and Objectives.

Course Learning Objectives: Students who successfully complete the course will be able to

  1. Demonstrate an advanced writing process with attention to academic research, argumentation, structure, and style;
  2. Understand writing as a disciplinary endeavor;
  3. Analyze texts in terms of disciplinary conventions;
  4. Document sources in standard academic formats;
  5. Produce writing that addresses different audiences and purposes and makes use of different modalities;
  6. Deliver content through advanced digital media and modes.

II. Learning Objectives for the Seven Distributions


Franciscan Studies/Theology

  1. Identify, explain and analyze various aspects and issues associated with an understanding of God.
  2. Identify, explain and analyze a theological understanding of the nature of the universe, what it means to be human, and/or how humans should conduct their lives individually and socially before God.
  3. Discuss and explain different types of theological or Franciscan source materials used in this course.
  4. Explain how the material covered in this course has been relevant to them.
  5. Identify and apply a theological or Franciscan studies approach to contemporary social problems.

Historical Studies

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the distinct perspectives and values of past societies.
  2. Explain the evolution of one or more aspects of human society over time.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the key dates, names, events and dominant themes of one or more historical periods.
  4. Evaluate, analyze, and/or comprehend primary source material(s) within its historical context.

Literature and the Visual and Performing Arts

  1. Students can describe the relationship between form and content in literary, visual, or performing artworks.
  2. Students can identify some of the primary concepts, theories, and techniques developed by scholars or artists in literary studies, the visual arts, or the performing arts.
  3. Students can apply some of the primary concepts, theories, and techniques to specific examples of literary, visual, or performing artworks.
  4. Students can formulate arguments of their own about specific creative works using some of the primary concepts, theories, and techniques of literary studies, the visual arts, or the performing arts.

Natural Science with a Lab

  1. Examine the mode of inquiry in the natural sciences
  2. Apply investigatory skills of the natural sciences in a problem-solving context
  3. Investigate discoveries that illustrate the ongoing scientific process
  4. Analyze data and observations within the scientific process

Philosophy

  1. Students can accurately describe some unified subset of the concepts, theories and techniques developed by philosophers past and present to address philosophical questions.
  2. Students can accurately describe philosophers’ application of those concepts, theories and techniques to philosophical questions.
  3. Students can use the concepts, theories and techniques of philosophy to conduct independent philosophical inquiry
  4. Students can critically assess the process and product of their inquiry by engagement with alternative positions and perspectives.

Quantitative Literacy

  1. Provides accurate explanations of information presented in mathematical forms, such as formulas, graphs, tables, and schematics. Makes appropriate inferences based on that information.
  2. Competently converts relevant information into an appropriate mathematical portrayal—which may be symbolic, visual, numerical, or verbal—in a way that contributes to a further understanding.
  3. Identifies what calculations are required to solve a problem and correctly performs those calculations.
  4. Competently uses arithmetical, algebraic, or geometric methods and/or interprets statistical results to solve problems.
  5. Expresses pertinent quantitative evidence in support of work or reasoning. Presents this evidence in an effective format.

Social Science

  1. Identify components of the scientific method used to explore social phenomena including hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and analysis.
  2. Identify the differences between rigorous and systematic thinking versus unscientific thinking about social phenomena.
  3. Identify major concepts, models and issues in at least one discipline in the social sciences.

III. Learning Objectives for the Two Designations


Diversity

  1. Student can explain differences found in human cultures and societies with particular reference to historical antecedents of current problems or injustices.
  2. Student is conversant with the modes of inquiry within the discipline
  3. Student is s a thoughtful/responsible consumer of information when taking a position on issues related to diversity.

Intensive Writing

  1. Students identify and respond to contexts using appropriate processes and modes of delivery.
  2. Students use effective content and approaches to organization, style, and design that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of communication.
  3. Students demonstrate control of syntax and mechanics by using language that communicates with clarity, fluency, and minimal errors.