Academic Program

Academic Program Overview | Dignitas | Required First-Year Courses | Pathways | Study Abroad | Honors | Prior-Learning Assessment | Cross-Registration | Summer Session

Academic program

The curriculum at The College of St. Scholastica reflects a commitment to prepare students for their responsibilities as working professionals, as citizens of a democracy and as individuals who seek to live full human lives. A student's academic program consists of three parts: general education requirements (General Education), specialized coursework (a major) and electives. The major prepares the student for graduate school or for a profession and is normally selected during the sophomore year. Elective courses allow students to pursue particular interests.

Students who complete an undergraduate degree at The College of St. Scholastica will achieve outcomes related to:

  • Heritage
  • Scope of learning
  • Intellectual and foundational skills
  • Personal and social responsibility
  • Integrative and applied learning
     

Degree Requirements

The following minimum College requirements must be met for the bachelor's degree:

  1. Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 128 semester credits including:
    • Forty-two upper-division credits (numbered 3000 or above). A major program as stipulated by a department or adviser.
    • Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major as well as an overall "C" average.
  2. Fulfill the residence requirement:
    • The last 32 credits before graduation must be earned at The College of St. Scholastica.
    • A minimum of 16 credits must be earned in a major field at The College of St. Scholastica.
    • Cross-registered courses may count toward residence; CLEP and Portfolio Assessment credits must be earned before the final 32 credits.
  3. Complete the general education requirements. Requirements for some majors are more stringent than these minimums.
  4. The maximum number of physical education credits that can count toward graduation is 8.

Awarding of a Second CSS Bachelor's Degree

A second CSS bachelor's degree must be granted 12 months or more after the first degree.  The new degree must include at least 32 unique credits. Otherwise, a second major is awarded.

Learning Outcomes for the Twenty-First Century

Heritage

The College of St. Scholastica is a Catholic academic institution in the Benedictine tradition.  We are shaped by the Benedictine principles of formative study, meaningful work, responsible living and daily prayer. The College of St. Scholastica embraces the fundamental principles of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition: reason and faith are equally valid and ultimately compatible; rational inquiry and the search for meaning are key values; the contributions of other perspectives are enriching. The College intentionally fosters a community of diverse voices, religions and philosophies. St. Scholastica students should reflect our distinctive identity and, as beneficiaries of the College's heritage, recognize their responsibilities to the academic community that nurtures them and to other communities in which they may contribute. Students at St. Scholastica will:

  • Articulate the ways they have experienced the Benedictine values while at the College.
  • Recognize the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and its role in their college experience.
  • Contend with academic issues where the tension between reason and faith is present.
  • Analyze critical questions of our time from the perspective of the College's Benedictine heritage and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

Scope of Learning

The College of St. Scholastica is committed to preparing students broadly for their responsibilities as skilled and ethical working professionals, as engaged and informed citizens, and as individuals seeking to realize their full human potential. CSS students gain broad experience in liberal education, focused by engagement with meaningful questions, both contemporary and enduring. This occurs especially in the General Edudation Curriculum but also across other programs and experiences.

  • Scope: Through study and engagement in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, languages, and the arts.

Intellectual and Foundational Skills

The College of St. Scholastica equips students with the intellectual and foundational skills that prepare them for responsible living and meaningful work. CSS students practice these skills extensively, throughout their experiences at the College, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.

  •  Inquiry and analysis
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  •  Quantitative literacy
  • Information literacy
  • Teamwork and problem solving

Personal and Social Responsibility

As a Catholic Benedictine institution, The College of St. Scholastica prepares students to live and work in a diverse world and to live in justice and peace, consistent with Catholic Social Teaching, which calls us to live simply, sustainably, and in solidarity with all people. Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and practical challenges, CSS students take on ever-increasing levels of responsibility for thinking about diversity and for understanding how our individual identities impact relationships.

  • Civic knowledge and engagement - local and global
  • Intercultural knowledge and competence
  • Ethical reasoning and action
  • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning

Integrative and Applied Learning

In majors, minors, and other programs, students of The College of St. Scholastica direct a substantial portion of their effort toward excellence within a particular discipline. Additional ongoing experiences in the liberal arts and sciences prepares students for the challenges of the twenty-first century. CSS students demonstrate their application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems

  • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies

General Education Program

The General Education program at The College of St. Scholastica provides students a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences that is rooted in our Catholic Benedictine Heritage and cultivates a conscientious use of knowledge that prepares them for responsible living in a global community. The program has three components: a first-year experience known as Dignitas and two required courses in composition and communication, a range of liberal arts courses called Pathways and an upper-division Writing Intensive requirement.

Historically Benedictines have been scholars, caregivers, educators and artists; the liberal arts mirror the broad pathways that Benedictines have pioneered. The rigor and breadth of our program prepare St. Scholastica students to meet the present and face the future with wisdom, faith and imagination.

 

 

Disciplinary Concentration

To prepare students for responsible living and meaningful work, the College believes that students should direct a substantial portion of their effort toward excellence within a particular discipline. This entails pursuing a major to develop a depth of knowledge and skills and the modes of inquiry common to the discipline, as well as considering the larger context of the roles the discipline plays in society. Requirements for all the majors are found under Curriculum. 

Electives

Electives provide an opportunity for students to explore areas of interest outside of the General Education program and the major. The number of electives a student can take will vary based on the student's major, the number of college credits they brought to the College from other sources, and the number of credits taken each semester. Students are encouraged to stretch themselves by selecting electives that expose them to new ideas.

STUDY ABROAD

The College of St. Scholastica is dedicated to helping students become more responsible members of their communities, extending to the global community. St. Scholastica has a tradition of study and service abroad that foes back more than thirty years to our first program in Ireland. Students at St. Scholastica are sure to find a study abroad or service learning program through the many available options, including College-sponsored courses, programs at universities affiliated with the College and independent programs. Additional details about specific programs can be found here: http://css.edu/academics/study-abroad.html.


Types of Experiences

  • St. Scholastica Faculty-led: a St. Scholastica professor or instructor leads a group of students abroad.

  • Consortium and Exchange: St. Scholastica and the school abroad sign an agreement regarding curriculum, financial aid and scholarships. Current examples include; HECUA and the Irish American Scholars Program.

  • Outside programs: Any program not directly associated with St. Scholastica. This can be a program from another school, a program from one of our many providers, or a study abroad opportunity through another college or university found by the student. Financial aid, however, may not be available for programs other than those sponsored by St. Scholastica. For a full list of study-abroad opportunities, please visit our website at http://css.edu/academics/study-abroad.html

HECUA Off-Campus Study Programs
The College of St. Scholastica is a member of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA). HECUA provides off-campus experiential learning opportunities that link academic study with hands-on work for social change. Students earn 16 St. Scholastica credits in the semester-long programs and four St. Scholastica credits in January-term programs. The program is open to all St. Scholastica students. St. Scholastica financial aid travels with students in semester programs. More information can be found at  www.hecua.org.

Which semester should I travel?
Deciding when to study abroad is different for everyone. Some majors are more flexible than others, so it's important to talk with an academic advisor about the best time for studying abroad. If a semester or year program is not possible for your schedule, take advantage of a program departing during winter or summer break. The key is to plan early!

How financial aid works:
Students who choose a St. Scholastica faculty-led, a consortium, or an exchange program will, in most cases, be able to apply any institutional aid such as scholarships or grants. Students who choose an outside program will not be able to utilize institutional aid but will be able to use any applicable federal or state aid, outside scholarships and student loans to pay for study abroad programs.

Credit transfer:
Credit for courses taken abroad will be evaluated and transferred back to St. Scholastica. For faculty-led programs, credit transfer is automatic. For consortiums, exchanges, and outside programs, the credit will be reviewed and applied to the student's transcript.

Getting started:

  1. Decide where you want to go. Research study abroad options through the CSS Study Abroad website, or through external study abroad providers.

  2. Learn more about each program. For St. Scholastica study abroad programs see the faculty program advisor or contact the program provider (for external programs).

  3. Find out how this will impact your financial aid. Make an appointment with Financial Aid to determine your budget and how your loans and scholarships will apply to study abroad.

Belize

Nursing students have the opportunity to participate in this service-learning elective. Students, through intensive experience applying principles of civic engagement and nursing knowledge, gain understanding of cultural differences and similarities between people of different cultures. Students use their skills and knowledge to help bring solutions to community-identified problems.

China

The College offers a semester at a new liberal arts college in China near Hong Kong. All instruction is in English and the student body and faculty are international. General education and business credits can be earned through this program. Campus housing is available. Students also often have the option of studying in China during the winter break in a program covering Chinese economics, government, language and history. All majors are welcome to participate.

 

England

Students study in London on a three-week May program, led and taught by St. Scholastica faculty every other year. With a focus on literature and theatre, this program exposes students to the vibrant cultural history of London and includes multiple theatre performances, workshops, museums, and historical sites. A three-day excursion to the cities of Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon is also included. To receive two elective credits, students may choose one of two courses-"London Theatre and Culture" or "Literature of London"-with a shared core itinerary. The literature course requires enrollment in an additional 2-credit spring semester course on campus prior to the program.

Germany

The College of St. Scholastica cosponsors an exchange program with the Leipzig University developed for students in the health science fields, that promotes the integration of language and professional interests in an immersion model. During a two-week stay after the end of spring term, St. Scholastica students live with and shadow Leipzig students in their professional training and clinical practice in Germany. In the fall term, Leipzig students come to the St. Scholastica campus and repeat the exchange. Participation in the exchange requires a minimum of one year college/three years high school German and is recommended at the end of the junior or senior level to maximize professional experience.

Ireland

The College sponsors an Ireland program during each spring semester. The program enables a student to pursue a full semester's coursework in liberal education in addition to experiencing intercultural exchange, travel and personal enrichment. The course offerings will vary each year dependent upon the two resident St. Scholastica faculty members who participate in a given semester.

Italy

The Theology and Religious Studies Department offers a two-part course focused on the study of Christian art, culminating in a trip to Rome, Italy. Students participate in a semester-long study of the arts in the Christian Tradition (TRS 2120 - The Christian Faith in Art] prior to traveling as a class to Rome, a city internationally known for its historic artistry as well as its significance in the Christian tradition. The city is used as the classroom, giving students a chance to examine religion and faith as expressed in a wide variety of art, as well as a number of historical religious locales including St. Peter's. The trip to Rome is dependent upon the number of registered students.

Mexico

The College offers an intensive 10 credit, six-week service-learning study abroad summer program in Cuernavaca, Mexico called Cuernavaca Quest. This exciting program combines academic work and experiential education focusing on social justice issues. It promotes personal transformation through the integration of knowledge, action, and reflection. Students and faculty live and study at Quest Mexico. This center is dedicated to educating students about social justice issues and the life of the poor in Mexico. Students study Spanish at a local language school and learn about Mexico from Quest Mexico staff, community leaders and activists. St. Scholastica faculty teach a course on Mexican history. The final two weeks of the program are spent in a service-learning placement in the community. Students must be at the sophomore level and have completed the equivalent of two semesters of college-level Spanish to participate in the program.  All credits earned in the Cuernavaca Quest program count towards a major or minor in Spanish. 

Morocco

The College sponsors a winter break program in Morocco providing undergraduate students the opportunity to research marketing practices in a global setting. This course applies contemporary marketing theory to marketing functions within the ultra-fragmented distribution channels of Morocco. Students conduct research on a variety of businesses to illustrate how contemporary marketing principles apply in an environment that still, to this modern day, uses the trading principles of the 18th century while at the same time competing in the modern global marketplace.

Russia

The College of St. Scholastica conducts a series of summer language camps in cooperation with Petrozavodsk State University in Petrozavodsk, Duluth's sister city in Russia, and Saint Martin's University in Washington.  Russian language camps are intended for American students of Russian and are held every other year in June and July in Petrozavodsk. Language classes are taught at the beginner through advanced-intermediate level by Petrozavodsk State University faculty. The Russian camps also include many cultural and recreational activities as well as extended visits to St. Petersburg and Moscow. An integral part of St. Scholastica's and Saint Martin's Russian Language Programs, the camps are open to any interested student. In alternate summers, St. Scholastica faculty offer English language camps for students from Petrozavodsk. St. Scholastica students also are encouraged to participate in these camps by acting as hosts to the College's guests from Russia. 

Tanzania

Students at St. Scholastica have an opportunity every other summer to spend a few weeks on a service-learning program to Tanzania. In a required course the previous semester, students are introduced to the history, culture, and sociopolitical situation in Tanzania, along with some basic Swahili instruction and safe travel procedures. Students continue to examine and reflect upon concepts of culture, cultural competence, global development, equity, and social justice issues while traveling. Particular focus is given to a critical examination of one's personal and professional values in light of the Benedictine values that are also embraced by our hosts - the Benedictine Sisters of the Monastery of St. Agnes in Tanzania. Service-learning projects are matched to the skills and interests of the student and faculty participants to work with the needs of the rural peoples that the Tanzanian Sisters serve. All participants assist in gathering and carrying medical and teaching supplies for the monasteries that we visit.

Honors program

The Honors Program at The College of St. Scholastica cultivates the life of the mind for highly motivated students. The program emphasizes close reading of texts, clear communication, and seminar-based discussion and inquiry. It provides students with rich opportunities to explore great ideas from diverse cultures and time periods; encounter concepts and methods from a range of disciplines; and integrate knowledge as means to address complex questions and uncertainties.  Honors courses can fulfill Veritas requirements as designated by the instructor. Prospective students who meet two of the following criteria will qualify to request an interview with the Honors Director for admission to the program: rank in the top 15% of high-school class, high-school GPA of 3.5 or above, and ACT score of 26.

Prior Learning Assessment

The college classroom is not the only place college-level learning may occur. The College of St. Scholastica has several mechanisms by which it recognizes college-level learning acquired outside the classroom.  Credit may be accepted from specialized or special purpose institutions, including the U.S. Armed Services, provided the work is applicable to St. Scholastica's baccalaureate degree programs and is recommended by the American Council of Education (ACE).

Portfolio Assessment

Students who wish to document prior learning through Portfolio Assessment begin the process by participating in an online PLA orientation that helps them decide if this program will be useful. In the online PLA orientation, students identify their college-level learning experiences. The online PLA orientation facilitator guides students through the process.   After completing the PLA orientation, the student will document their equivalent learning in a portfolio that will be reviewed by faculty members. To register for the online PLA orientation, please contact your academic adviser.

Credit by Examination

The College Board and the Educational Testing Service provide a national program of examinations called the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) that is used to evaluate college-level education. The Registrar maintains a list of the CLEP exams that meet Pathways requirements. Academic departments determine which CLEP examinations can substitute for major requirements, so students are advised to discuss their CLEP plans with their academic adviser. Note that credit cannot be granted for both a course passed by examination and a regular classroom course that duplicates the subject matter. No credit can be given for an examination if an advanced course in that area has already been taken.

Challenge Exams

A degree-seeking undergraduate student may request the opportunity to take a "challenge" examination to seek credit for a course for which a CLEP examination is not available. Challenge opportunities are provided at the discretion of the department chair. Please contact your academic adviser for specific procedures to request a challenge.

Cross-Registration

Full-time degree-seeking traditional undergraduate students at St. Scholastica may enroll for up to two courses per semester at two other local universities without payment of additional tuition if the total number of credits does not exceed 18 credits. Such enrollment, called cross-registration, is available at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the University of Wisconsin-Superior.  The College of St. Scholastica does not open on-line courses to cross-registration.

If a student's total credits exceed 18, the student will be charged for those excess credits at the current College of St. Scholastica cost-per-credit rate.  In addition, students are responsible for payments to the host institution for course fees. The host institution reserves the right to withhold grades if payments for course fees are not received. The grade earned at the cross-registered institution counts in your St. Scholastica GPA.

Complete details of the program are available in OneStop. Cross-registration is not available during the summer, nor does it include graduate-level work at any time.

A variation on cross-registration may be available for traditional students or for non-traditional and graduate students with other institutions with adviser approval. For example, many students on our Brainerd campus take consortium work through Central Lakes College.

Summer session

The College offers a variety of study opportunities during the summer, including traditional courses on the Duluth campus, accelerated courses at all of our extended campuses, and online courses. Contact an academic adviser for more information on summer offerings.