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Integrative Learning. A primer for advisors and students under the 2013-15 catalog (including transfer students without an AA degree). What is integrated learning?. Integrated learning is:. Making connections across disciplines

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integrative learning

Integrative Learning

A primer for advisors and students

under the 2013-15 catalog

(including transfer students without an AA degree)

integrated learning is
Integrated learning is:
  • Making connections across disciplines
  • Including the Liberal Arts (humanities, social sciences, creative arts, and natural sciences)
  • Including the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (philosophy and theology)
  • Including (directly or indirectly) Fundamental Skills and Knowledge
there are 4 ways to address the integrated learning requirement
There are 4 ways to address the integrated learning requirement
  • Honors Program (by invite only)
  • 2nd Major in A&S or Economics
  • Signature Integration Concentration (SIC)
  • Interdisciplinary Minor (IM) including an Individualized Interdisciplinary Minor (IIM)

What’s the best option?

honors program
Honors Program
  • may be taken off the list since it is by invitation only.
  • It is worth noting that the Honors Student must complete Honors I to fulfill Gen Ed integrated learning.
  • Any student who drops Honors I still has to fulfill the Gen Ed requirement
2 nd major in econ or a s
2nd Major in Econ. or A&S
  • This is an excellent but not a particularly popular option.
  • Students getting 2 majors in the same department must take at least 15 ‘unique’ credits (credits that don’t double dip)
  • There is a “Second Major” option in Theology: 27 credits and designed for students not intending to go on to Grad. School.
interdisciplinary m inors i ms
Interdisciplinary Minors (IMs)
  • Exist as a convenient “off-the-shelf” option.
  • German Studies and Leadership require only 15 credits (12 credits in Gen Ed).
  • Catholic Studies, Justice & Peace Studies, Women’s Studies include only Gen Ed coursework, even though they require more than the min. 15 cr.s.
  • Classical, Environmental, and Pre-Law minors require more credits, and not all cr.s are Gen Ed
individualized interdisciplinary minors iims
Individualized Interdisciplinary Minors (IIMs)
  • At least 15 credits
  • From 2 different academic departments
  • At least 9 credits in Gen Ed
  • 6 credits already taken may be counted
signature integrative concentration sics
Signature Integrative Concentration (SICs)
  • 12 credits
  • 3 credits may be from major
  • 3 credits may be substituted with experiential learning
  • 6 credits already taken may be counted
  • Student must complete a non-credit “capstone experience”
  • Credits must come from A&S and/or CIT

The next slide is the most important slide you will see. You may wish to study it rather carefully…

difference between sic and i im
Difference between SICand (I)IM
  • 12 credits
  • Plus capstone experience
  • Uses credits from A&S and CIT only (“pool” is 27 cr.s)
  • shows up on program evaluation only as: app. received, app. approved, and requirement met
  • Doesn’t appear on transcript
  • 15 credits
  • No capstone
  • Uses credits from FS&K, A&S, and CIT (“pool” of 44 credits).
  • All courses show up on program evaluation as projected & completed
  • Minor shows up on transcript.
now play with me a minute here
Now play with me a minute here...

... think of each of these four sets of requirement areas as boxes and the specific curricular requirements as pebbles, divided up appropriately among those boxes…

in either case
In either case...
  • There could be no additional credits in General Education if the student designs a program of studies by the time they register for their classes for the spring semester.
  • For most students the best option is likely to be an Individualized Interdisciplinary Minor
in any case
In any case…
  • Remind yourself that this is less about finding the easiest, and most pain-free option than it is about adding quality to your education. (and besides, it is as easy and pain-free as we can make it!)
  • Ask yourself: what sorts of things, outside my discipline, would it be helpful for my major to know?
  • Go to the General Education website and complete the appropriate online application form (SIC or Interdisciplinary Minor), using your worksheet as your guide.
  • Note that, in that application, you must include your advisor’s e-mail address - a copy of your application will be sent to that address.
  • We prefer that students select IIMs/SICs before registering for spring semester. NSS and other First Year advisors will be primarily responsible for assisting students with this process.
  • Advisors in the student’s proposed major may wish to have an opportunity to suggest an IIM or SIC that the department may have prepared especially for their students.

Q.: how can students and FY advisors be aware of these IIM/SIC templates?

answer to 1
Answer to #1
  • Any department that has templates is responsible for getting them to their prospective students: this is no different than current practice.
  • The Gen Ed office can help by creating a file of templates, organized by department, on our website. FYS and NNS advisors can be directed there.
  • In the long term, we should have an expanding ‘library’ of templates to which advisors can turn.
2 how will the gen ed committee manage the completed forms
#2: How will the Gen Ed committee manage the completed forms ?
  • All application forms are now electronic and, once submitted, go to an initial file.
  • Gen Ed office will do a preliminary check to make sure that the app.s are filled out properly and if they are not they will be returned immediately.
  • Completed app.s will be distributed among the committee members to be evaluated.
  • Any questionable app.s will be taken to the full Gen Ed committee for evaluation.
3 w hat will the timeline be
#3: What will the timeline be?
  • The Gen Ed Committee asks that all SICs and IIMs be submitted (via electronic form on our website) by the completion of fall registration.
  • The committee will have these forms approved or returned for revisions by Christmas break.
4 w hat about transfer students
#4: What about transfer students?
  • Currently, students transferring to SAU without an AA degree are subject to the same requirements as all other students, regardless of how many credits they are transferring.
  • Remember that up to 6 credits can be ‘grandfathered’ in to the IIM or SIC, including transferred credits, CLEP, AP, etc.
  • Students with an AA have their own Gen Ed requirements.
5 a bout these templates
#5: About these templates
  • Templates for IIMs designed by departments may ‘converted’ to IMs if they prove to be very popular.
  • However, if students simply use them as starting points from which they individualize for their own purposes, they should remain IIMs.
  • We do anticipate that IM options will expand
6 sic advisor
#6: SIC advisor
  • This person is not necessarily the student’s major advisor.
  • It could be the NSS or FYS advisor
  • It could be any prof. to whom the student is logically attracted, given the chosen SIC
  • In any case, even if the student changes majors, the SIC advisor need not change
  • The SIC advisor is responsible for evaluating the capstone
7 changes to the sic
#7:Changes to the SIC
  • Gen Ed cannot track changes made to the SIC program of studies
  • We urge students to notify us about changes they make to their SIC
  • Students should alert SIC advisors to changes
  • Frankly, this is one reason why the SIC is NOT typically the best option for students. They will fall through the cracks.
8 e xperiential l earning
#8: ExperientialLearning
  • If it is part of an internship or other already required experience, there must be content added specifically to address integration.
  • It is not explicitly part of the IIM proposal: the Gen Ed committee will have to address this.
9 h ow long till there are more changes to the gen ed program
#9: How long till there are more changes to the Gen Ed program?
  • We understand our role not as crafting a permanent carved-in-stone program, but as navigating ever changing waters, so changes will be on-going.
  • For example, now that it is emerging that the IIM option is the best one for students and advisors, we need to address potential weaknesses to it that we’d not addressed before: should they include both A&S and CIT coursework? Do we permit experiential learning? Should there be a capstone?
10 w here can i get help with all this
#10: Where can I get help with all this?
  • The Gen Ed website is being constantly improved with on-line forms and most up to date information.
  • The Gen Ed office should be able to answer most questions before they cause problems.
  • The Gen Ed committee members are our most proficient and literate experts, use them.
members of the gen ed committee
Members of the Gen Ed Committee
  • Kathryn Anderson -
  • Thomas Carpenter -
  • Barbara Ehrmann-
  • Laura Harrison -
  • ImtiazMazumder -
  • Lisa Powell -
  • Tracy Schuster-Matlock -
  • Brad Thiessen -
gen ed contacts
Gen Ed contacts
  • E-mail: