Mission Markers are flagged elements within existing courses for the core or major, not additional required courses. They are designed to deepen students’ learning in areas particularly important to the SEU mission: communication, problem solving, and social justice.
Below are the requirements for each of the Mission Markers (Writing-Rich, Experiential Learning for Social Justice, and Social Identities). Click on the link to jump to each component or scroll down.
Writing-Rich Courses: 1 course at any level, 1 course at the 3000 or 4000 level.
St. Edward’s University is committed to developing students who are “able to express themselves articulately in both oral and written form,” and Writing-Rich courses ensure students are writing in a variety of courses across the Hilltop. Faculty at St. Edward’s are committed to idea that writing is an integral part of learning across disciplines. Writing and research is not restricted to “writing” courses. Therefore, writing-rich courses build on and extend work students began in their Year 1 and Year 2 “writing” courses by reinforcing writing as a process, including the significant roles that feedback and revision play in effective writing. These courses often introduce students to the process of learning to write effectively in discipline-specific formats and styles by helping them make writing choices appropriate for particular discourse communities. Writing-Rich courses may be completed by students in general education and major courses. Students must complete two (2) Writing-Rich courses to fulfill their general education requirements: one (1) at any level and one (1) at either the 3000- or 4000-level.
Courses may receive the Writing-Rich (WR) designation after being vetted by a cross-disciplinary, university-wide committee composed of full-time faculty members, which will include representation from each school. The committee will evaluate the assignments integrated into the curriculum, using the following requirements:
- A Writing-Rich course must carry at least three units of credit and must be taken for a letter grade.
- A Writing-Rich course will schedule writing assignments for regular intervals throughout the term.
- These writing assignments may include multiple short papers or larger projects.
- These writing assignments may include papers, posters, lab reports, web pages, and other formats and types of writing appropriate to the course or discipline.
- These writing assignments may be components of one large writing project or several smaller papers, or some combination of the two.
- Informal, ungraded, writing assignments may also be used to help students create one polished piece of writing.
- A Writing-Rich course will offer students feedback on their writing.
- This feedback will take place through faculty written (or recorded) comments or individual conferences and may also be supplemented by feedback from peer review; class conferences; writing workshops; use of a teaching assistant; or other opportunities to discuss a writing assignment with the faculty member teaching the course.
- A Writing-Rich course will use feedback on student writing to emphasize the process of revision.
- Students will complete at least one substantive revision (i.e., not just copyediting) of a writing project based on feedback provided in the course.
- These revisions may include rewriting to improve a grade; producing successive drafts; polishing a paper for an on- or off-campus conference or publication; or other discipline-specific approaches as approved by the university-wide committee.
Experiential Learning for Social Justice
These courses or other experiences have a significant social justice and experiential learning component. The flag can be satisfied in approved courses within the curriculum (gen ed or the majors) or through approved co-curricular experiences (with specific and significant learning and assessment guidelines).
Defining Experiential Learning for Social Justice
Experiential Learning for Social Justice involves engaging students in contexts outside of the classroom in which they will broaden and deepen their awareness of social problems and participate in community-based activities that address these issues.
At their best, courses designated as Experiential Learning for Social Justice (EL4SJ) should reflect St. Edward’s Holy Cross Mission by pursuing academic excellence through experiential learning that uses any of the following approaches:
- Research with faculty
- Internship or field experience
- Immersive domestic or international travel experiences
- Students apply knowledge developed through the course to engage with social justice issues. EL4SJ courses explore social justice through any of the following lenses:
- Interrogate the ways existing social, economic, and cultural institutions contribute to and maintain inequality,
- Honor the value of students’ lived experiences, critically support their identities, and help them clarify personal values
- Promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity through drawing on a diverse set of voices and perspectives
- Be rooted in movements and the fight for social equity
2. Students carry out a social justice project that engages with a local community. EL4SJ courses engage with the community in one of the following ways:
- Learning with the community—Students apply their knowledge and skills from the classroom to address a challenge in a specific community.
- Researching with the community—Students work with the community on a joint project where the community’s knowledge is integrated and amplified by student research.
- Knowledge sharing with the community—Students share disciplinary knowledge with the community in order to further the well–being,aspirational goals, rights, etc. of the community.
- Including practitioners as teachers—Students learn from the practical knowledge and specific expertise of community members invited into the classroom or out in the field. Note: Community members engaged as instructors should be recognized for their knowledge and properly compensated.
- Social innovation by student—Students devise a new strategy,product, process, etc. to address a social need in a specific community.
3. Students reflect on how community-based, social justice work shapes their understanding of the course material and their values, and how it relates to a liberal arts education at St. Edward’s University.
Students will demonstrate an understanding of social identity through courses that focus on topics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, physical ability, language, and/or social class with an emphasis on analyzing equity. Students will apply and evaluate approaches or modes of inquiry used to analyze diversity and equity and the social barriers to these goals.
Proposed courses fulfilling at least ONE of the following SLOs would meet the Social Identities curriculum component.
- Express ways in which the intersection of social identities such as race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, gender identities (SOGI), ability, national origin, religion and other identities influence individual life experiences and/or perspectives.
- Integrate, synthesize, and apply course content about underrepresented cultures in both focused and broad interdisciplinary contexts as defined in requirement #1.
- Articulate an awareness and compare some of the central historical and present diversity issues addressed in the course, including race, ethnicity, gender, social class, religion, sexual orientations, gender identities (SOGI), ability, national origin, or other identities.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the history, customs, worldviews, and/or other cultural markers of two or more groups of minority status either within the United States or of national origin outside of the United States.
- Identify, explain and analyze racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ageism, ableism, prejudice, transphobia and discrimination and the impact of these forms of oppression on privilege and marginalization.
- A significant amount of the Social Identities Curriculum Component content must relate directly to the SLOs.
- The Social Identities Mission Marker must be taken after successful completion of Diverse American Perspectives.
- Diverse American Perspectives Curriculum Component prerequisite to the Social Identities Curriculum Component; not to be taken concurrently.
- Recommend courses (Diverse American Perspectives and Social Identities Mission Marker) be conceptualized as scaffolded. Social Identities curriculum component is expected to build on the Re-Examining America component.
- Students should be made aware that they can take more than the one required Social Identities CC course in various majors and disciplines.