Santa Clara University


Providing An Integrated Education

We will foster the education of the whole person and enable students to make connections among different forms of knowledge, faith, understanding, and experience.

Our 1999 accreditation self-study presented four broad goals of an undergraduate education at Santa Clara, as approved by the Board of Trustees: communication and reasoning, breadth of learning, depth of learning, and community. Each college and school has also developed learning goals specific to its graduate program. Students achieve these goals not only through the formal curriculum but also through other kinds of educational experiences.

As reflected in the Statement of Purpose, in which Santa Clara declares its purpose to be the education of the whole person within the Catholic and Jesuit tradition, a holistic approach to learning should be a distinguishing mark of a Santa Clara education. We should ask not only what we know, but also what we value and how we integrate education with how we act in our personal lives and as members of society.

An integrated education is one that encourages students to seek connections between different ways of knowing and being in the world, between different forms of knowledge within the established disciplines, and between new knowledge and that which preceded it.

Our concept of the whole person inevitably embraces our social nature. When he inaugurated Santa Clara's sesquicentennial year, Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, noted that Tomorrow's whole person cannot be whole without an educated awareness of society and culture with which to contribute socially, generously, in the real world. Calling for a new Jesuit educational standard, to educate the whole person of solidarity in the real world, he explained: Students, in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering, and engage in it constructively. They should learn to perceive, think, judge, choose, and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed.

In order to provide an integrated educational experience, we must offer a curriculum and other learning experiences whose content and pattern combine the acquisition and creation of knowledge with the quest for meaning and purpose. At the undergraduate level, for example, this learning environment should encourage students to make connections across the core curriculum, the academic major, and elective courses. It should also help students relate their classroom learning with their out-of-classroom learning, through community-based education, residential learning communities, student organizations, athletics and recreation, and other experiences. And finally, in a more general way, it should nurture their ability to knit the intellectual, social, moral, spiritual, creative, and behavioral aspects of life into a coherent and meaningful whole. Education at the graduate level should provide similar opportunities for integration appropriate to students with more life and work experience.

To enrich integrated education, the University is developing centers of distinction, with the expectation that they will advance its mission and competencies; engage faculty and students from every major academic area as well as experts and leaders from the community; form partnerships to provide leadership in addressing significant public issues; enhance student learning and faculty scholarship; sustain themselves through external funding; and contribute to Santa Clara's overall excellence, Jesuit character, and national recognition. Centers of distinction will serve as a major point of interaction between the University and society.

Strategic challenges:

2.A. How can Santa Clara enable students to make connections among different aspects of their educational experience and to relate what they learn to how they live as persons of solidarity in the real world?


Enhance the coherence and quality of the learning environment to help both undergraduate and graduate students develop the knowledge, skills, and sensitivities they need to become leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion. [2.A.1.]

Expand community-based learning programs through the Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Center for Community-Based Learning; root them more strongly in the curriculum; and develop programs in each school that enable undergraduate and graduate students to integrate rigorous inquiry, scholarship, creative imagination, reflective engagement with society, and a commitment to fashioning a more humane and just world. [2.A.2.]

Draw upon the faith perspectives of all members of the University community in order to foster a common conversation about issues of injustice and a collaborative search for just solutions to social problems. [2.A.3]

2.B. How can Santa Clara develop cohesive themes that span the curriculum and enrich learning, scholarship, and service to society?


Continue to develop the Mike and Linda Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the Louis Bannan, S.J. Institute for Jesuit Education and Christian Values, the Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Center for Community-Based Learning, and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society as centers of distinction that contribute to the University's academic quality, impact on society, and national recognition. [2.B.1.]

Develop residential learning communities as a way of fostering integrated education within a community of scholars. [2.B.2.]

Incorporate international, multicultural, gender, environmental, and ethical issues and perspectives in the curriculum and co-curriculum. [2.B.3.]

Realize more fully the learning opportunities represented by the diversity of the University community, our society, and the world. [2.B.4.]

2.C. How can Santa Clara integrate the use of technology and information resources into its learning environment in ways that enrich learning, teaching, scholarship, and service to society?


Increase financial, material, and technical support for faculty to incorporate information technology effectively in their teaching, scholarship, and service. [2.C.1.]

Showcase and reward faculty, staff, and student innovations in the educational uses of technology. [2.C.2.]