Santa Clara University

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goals And Objectives Shape The Way You Think

Because a liberal education in the Jesuit tradition is oriented toward particular ends, the Core Curriculum affirms a set of central learning goals. These goals are divided among three broad categories—Knowledge, Habits of Mind and Heart, and Engagement with the World—and sixteen narrower subcategories.

Every course approved for the Core Curriculum provides information about how learning related to the goals will be measured. To achieve that, every Core area lists learning objectives shared by every course approved for that area, and every Core course specifies how assignments will map to those learning objectives (download here). The learning goals that are distributed across the three components of the Core Curriculum (Foundations, Explorations, and Integrations) are listed below:

Knowledge

To be prepared for well-informed engagement in society, students must comprehend the forces that have shaped the world they have inherited and the ways the world is interpreted and understood. They must also understand how they might transform the world for the better. The Core Curriculum deepens students' knowledge of the ideas and ways of knowing that emerge from the arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences.

Global Cultures: The intertwined development of global ideas, institutions, religions, and cultures, including Western cultures

Arts and Humanities: The production, interpretation, and social influence of the fine and performing arts, history, languages, literatures, philosophy, and religion

Scientific Inquiry: The principles of scientific inquiry and how they are applied in the natural and social sciences

Science and Technology: The formative influences, dynamics, social impacts, and ethical consequences of scientific and technological development

Learning Goals & Objectives

Diversity: Diverse human experiences, identities, and cultures within local and global societies, especially as formed by relations of power and privilege

Civic Life: The roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizens and institutions in societies and in the world

Habits of Mind and Heart

To contribute to a rapidly changing, complex, and interdependent world, students must develop ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that allow them to educate themselves for the rest of their lives with passion and purpose. By attending to the cognitive and affective dimensions of human experience, the Core Curriculum enables students to think more deeply, imagine more freely, and communicate more clearly.

Critical Thinking: The ability to identify, reflect upon, evaluate, integrate, and apply different types of information and knowledge to form independent judgments

Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning: Analytical and logical thinking and the habit of drawing conclusions based on quantitative information

Complexity: An approach to understanding the world that appreciates ambiguity and nuance as well as clarity and precision

Ethical Reasoning: Drawing on ethical traditions to assess the consequences of individual and institutional decisions

Religious Reflection: Questioning and clarifying beliefs through critical inquiry into faith and the religious dimensions of human existence

Communication: Interacting effectively with different audiences, especially through writing, speech, and a second language

Engagement with the World

To engage with the world in meaningful ways, students need opportunities to explore and refine self-knowledge in relation to others. The Core Curriculum enhances students' understanding of the integrity of their own lives and the dignity inherent in the lives of others, especially the impoverished, suffering, and marginalized.

Perspective: Seeking out the experience of different cultures and people, striving to view the world through their eyes

Collaboration: The capacity to collaborate intellectually and creatively with diverse people

Social Justice: Developing a disciplined sensibility toward the causes of human suffering and misery, and a sense of responsibility for addressing them

Civic Engagement: Addressing major contemporary social issues, including environmental sustainability and peaceful resolution of conflict, by participating actively as an informed citizen of society and the world.

A university expresses its most basic values in its Core Curriculum, the part of an undergraduate education required of all students. Santa Clara University's Core Curriculum explicitly integrates three traditions of higher education. As a Catholic university, Santa Clara is rooted in the tradition of pursuing an understanding of God through the free exercise of reason. As a Jesuit university, Santa Clara promotes a humanistic education that leads toward an ethical engagement with the world. As a comprehensive American university committed to liberal education, Santa Clara seeks to prepare its students for intelligent, responsible, and creative citizenship. The distinctiveness of a Santa Clara education develops from the complex interrelationship of these three traditions in courses that foster the kind of informed and ethical decision making that characterizes citizens and leaders motivated by competence, conscience, and compassion.