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Core Curriculum

Welcome to University Explorations

University Explorations (UE) "Because You're More Than Your Major."

University Explorations (UE) is Saint Leo University’s general education program. We say that the UE experience is important “Because You’re More than Your Major.” Although we offer a variety of excellent academic programs at Saint Leo, a university education is broadened by the experience of an effective and rich general education program.

While some general education programs offer a cafeteria menu of courses from which to choose, we took UE in a different direction. Our students will not find a large list of courses that have no connection to each other. They also will not find sweeping survey courses or introductory courses. Instead, our UE Advisory Council and our faculty course developers created a program that demonstrates the relevance of the liberal arts to our students’ lives based on a topical model, and with that, cultivating in students essential skills in critical thinking and decision making, effective communication, problem solving, analysis, and creativity.

In the UE program, students will find Foundational Courses in mathematics, English, and computer skills and five clusters of courses from which to choose that represent the liberal arts and sciences: The Human Adventure (Social sciences), Science in a Changing World (physical and life sciences), The Creative Life (the humanities and fine arts), The Human Mosaic (diversity), and The Reflective and Spiritual Life (religion and philosophy).

We believe this vital learning experience will deepen every student’s education and will prepare them to be culturally competent members of the global workplace.

Dr. Mary Spoto, Vice President of Academic Affairs

What is University Explorations?

University Explorations is the university’s general education program. General education is a vital part of a student’s course of study at Saint Leo University, as it informs, deepens, and extends learning beyond the major.

Through a topical focus, University Explorations courses demonstrate the relevance of the liberal arts and sciences to today’s world, cultivating in students essential skills in critical thinking and decision making, effective communication, problem solving, analysis, and creativity.

The curriculum consists of 42 credit hours comprised of the following:

  • 12 credits from Foundation Courses
  • 30 credits hours spread over five learning clusters representing the liberal arts and sciences

Foundation Courses

Foundation Courses in writing, mathematics and computer science prepare students to deal effectively with the rest of their coursework at Saint Leo University. These essential courses lay the groundwork for undergraduate students to succeed by providing them with the basic skills and tools that are required in upper-level courses.

Complete all 9 sub-requirements below:

  1. University Campus Students ONLY

    • SLU 101 - Introduction to the University Experience (3 credits)
    • SLU 125 - Choosing Wellness (3 credits)
  2. Technology Competency

    • Demonstrate Technology Competency Skills
  3. University Explorations

    • ENG 121 - Academic Writing I (3 credits)
    • ENG 122 - Academic Writing II (3 credits)
    • MAT 131 - College Mathematics or higher (3 credits)
    • PHI 210 - Thinking and Doing Ethics (3 credits)
    • REL 115 - Is God Silent? How to Read Scriptures (3 credits)
    • REL 125 - Searching for Light in the Darkness (3 credits)

Learning Clusters

Exploring the past, living in the present, and shaping the future

The Human Adventure captures the nature of the human experience from social, political, psychological, economic, and historical perspectives. These courses require students to examine their lives within the context of a broader society and explore the ways in which humans understand themselves and interact with one another across space and time. Integrating the Core Values of Respect, Community, and Responsible Stewardship, these courses will provide students with the tools necessary to understand the past, live in the present and affect the future.

Complete two courses from the following choices:

  • ECO 110 - Economics for Life (3 credits) 
  • HTY 110 - Immigration: The Changing Face of America (3 credits)
  • POL 110 - Revolution Now! Democracy in Troubled Times (3 credits)
  • PSY 110 - Psychological Well Being: How to be Sane in an Insane World (3 credits)
  • REL 120 - Politics of Jesus (3 credits)
  • REL 125 - Searching for a Light in the Darkness (3 credits)
  • SOC 110 - The McDonaldization of Society (3 credits)
  • SWK 210 - Moving Forward: Anti-Racism in Action (3 credits)

Learning to live in a global society

Focusing on the Core Values of Respect and Community, the courses within the Human Mosaic are designed to prepare students to live and work in our diverse and global society. While exploring issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, and gender, students will come to understand that they cannot understand the totality of the human experience without taking into account its diversity. These courses will provide students with the tools of tolerance, respect, and cultural awareness that will be essential to their success as they encounter new ideas and interact with a wide array of people in their daily lives and in their careers.

Complete two courses from the following choices:

  • ART 110 - Curves Ahead: Women Artists and the Female Form (3 credits)
  • IDS 115 - The Imagined West: The Western Myth in Literature, Art and Philosophy (3 credits)
  • LBS 120 - Stories of Resistance: Power and Identity in the U.S. (3 credits)
  • GLO 210 - Feeding the Planet: Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century (3 credits) 
  • HUM 215 - Breaking the Code: Language and Culture (3 credits) 
  • HTY 110 - Native American History and Life: More Than Tipis and Tomahawks (3 credits)
  • IDS 210 - Once Upon a Time: Readings in Folklore and Culture (3 credits)
  • REL 223 - World Religions: East and West (3 credits)
  • SOC 110 - Building a Multiracial Society (3 credits)
  • SWK 220 - HipHop and Social Justice (3 credits)
  • SWK 225 - Becoming an Advocate for Justice (3 credits)

Expanding the possible

Progress in contemporary sciences continues to have a significant, ongoing impact on human life. Science in a Changing World examines the contemporary topics that impact the way humans live. Students will apply the fundamental principles of the natural world to provide possible solutions of today’s real-world problems. As a result, Saint Leo students will be better prepared to be informed members of the 21st century global community.

Complete two courses from the following choices:

  • SCI 110 - Evaluating the Predictions of Global Warming (3 credits)
  • SCI 115 - Is Evolution True? Your Inner Fish (3 credits)
  • SCI 120 - Human Ecology (3 credits)
  • SCI 125 - The Science of Cooking (3 credits)
  • SCI 215 - Science in Science Fiction (3 credits)
  • HON 261 - Nature (3 credits, Honors Program ONLY)

Expressing the human experience through the arts

The Creative Life not only introduces students to the producers, products and processes of imagination; it activates their own imaginations. Through these courses, students will investigate the spectrum of human creativity and artistic endeavor, as well as the world’s outstanding artists, gaining an understanding of the contributions of the arts to the world. Just as important, they will be given the aesthetic tools to both appreciate the artists’ work and art in general, and to live a creative life.

Complete two courses from the following choices:

  • FAS 110 - Living the Theatre: Dramatic Skills for all Disciplines (3 credits)
  • HUM 110 - Giants of the Arts (3 credits)
  • HUM 115 - Film: Art of Choice (3 credits)
  • MUS 110 - Spirituals to Rock and Roll: The Story of How American Popular Music Conquered the World (3 credits)
  • MUS 210 - Making Sense of the Sound: The Art of Listening Well to Great Music (3 credits)
  • ENG 210 - Love and Desire in Literature (3 credits)
  • ENG 215 - Monsters and the Monstrous in Literature (3 credits)
  • ENG 225 - Writing Wild: Exploring the Four Genres (3 credits)

Program Goals and Objectives

Here are the types of skills and knowledge that University Explorations seeks to develop in our students and that they should be able to understand and demonstrate upon their completion of the program:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking skills
  2. Demonstrate quantitative skills
  3. Understand how living things and physical systems operate and the relationships among them
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse populations and differing belief systems, values, and norms
  5. Understand issues and events in terms of historical, political, and economic context
  6. Demonstrate appreciation for various forms of creative human expression
  7. Communicate clearly and effectively using multiple types of media: listen attentively/ speak articulately, read critically/write clearly
  8. Understand Catholic and Benedictine-inspired values and traditions

The University Explorations curriculum provides undergraduate students with an understanding of Saint Leo University’s Benedictine-inspired values and Catholic traditions while focusing on the liberal arts and sciences and introducing undergraduate students to an understanding of the knowledge needed to succeed in college and in lifelong learning. Based on the educational experiences that students have while in the Program, Saint Leo University seeks to graduate students:

  • Who exhibit skills in learning, writing, reading, critical thinking, information and technology literacy, and numerical applications
  • Who exhibit skills in dealing with fundamental human questions regarding the nature of human reality and the ways in which human beings come to know the world and issues of human morality
  • Who have learned to love learning, who understand the importance of the liberal arts as a basis for all learning, who find the curriculum relevant, and who are prepared to become lifelong learners

UE objectives by course

Students are expected to gain a set of skills and knowledge from the UE courses they select. Critical thinking, communication, and quantitative skills are acquired across the program, while knowledge is specific to each learning cluster.

Each course developer selected a set of course objectives that combine skills and knowledge the students are expected to master in the course. Click on the buttons below to access the list of course objectives by skill category and knowledge cluster.

Technology Competency Skills

Technology is threaded through our personal, professional, and educational interactions. To successfully manage these interactions – specifically relating to education and employment – our students must have the ability to navigate and operate essential computer functions, beyond social media. Demonstrating competency of basic technology skills is essential for the success of all Saint Leo University students.

Saint Leo University requires undergraduate students to demonstrate technology competency prior to degree conferral. These technology competency skills can be satisfied through a waiver exam, micro-credential module, or academic course (COM-140 or equivalent; earning a grade of C or better within 10 years). Students should meet with their advisors to discuss options and establish a plan to satisfy the graduation requirement.

Waiver Exam Information

Students may take the technology competency skills waiver exam to satisfy the Saint Leo University technology competency skill requirement. The Waiver Exam tests your knowledge of Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Windows, and the Internet. The exam is Pass/Fail and you must receive a minimum score of 74% to pass. If you receive a passing score, you are exempt from taking the SLU Technology Competency Skills training.

There is no charge for the exam. Students are ineligible to take the wavier exam if they have taken COM140 at Saint Leo, regardless of grade received.

If you receive a score below 74%, you must satisfy the technology competency through an alternative means.

Exam Details:

  • The exam will test your knowledge and experience of MS office.
  • Number of attempts for the waiver exam: 1
  • Minimum passing score: 74
  • Time allotted: 75 minutes
  • Number of Questions: 50
  • The exam must be completed within the designated testing period.
  • Students must complete the waiver exam request form for registration.
  • Emails are sent to qualified students at the beginning of the testing period with access instructions.
  • Students must requests to enroll in the Waiver during registration periods only.

Waiver Exam Request Form

Technology Competency Skills Micro-credential:

A self-paced, online module designed to develop and reinforce computer competencies and literacy. The module introduces general computer operations using current computing technologies and software. Selected topics include the Internet, security and safety, digital communication practices, operating systems, as well as creating and evaluating documents, worksheets, and presentations. Guidelines for selecting computer hardware and software are addressed. Satisfactory completion of this micro-credential meets the Saint Leo University Technology Competency Skills graduation requirement. Upon completion the micro-credential, students will earn a digital badge. This badge can be shared as confirmation of demonstrated skill and ability. This course is not covered by financial aid.

  • Students are expected to successfully complete this online module and demonstrate proficiency by earning an overall passing score of 80%.
  • Students will have 8 weeks to complete the micro-credential module.
  • Students may attempt the micro-credential module twice.
    • If a student is not able to demonstrate proficiency after two attempts of the training, they will be required to complete COM 140.
  • A digital badge will be issued upon successful completion of the module.

Micro-credential Registration

COM-140 Basic Computer Skills

COM-140 is an introduction to computer applications including basic computer concepts and terminology. Students gain hands-on experience in using the operating system and word processing, spreadsheet, presentation management, and database management software. All students are required to take this course if they cannot demonstrate proficiency by passing the Technology Competency Skills Waiver Exam or by having taken a suitable substitute at another regionally accredited higher education institution. In order to fulfill the requirement, a grade of C or better must be earned.

Alternatively, transfer students may satisfy the requirement with comparable transfer work, if the course was completed with a grade of C or better and completed within 10 years.

Contact your advisor or student success coach to review these options and register for the appropriate option.

Contact Us

WorldWide Students: For questions or concerns, please contact facultyservices@email.saintleo.edu.

University Campus Students: For questions or concerns, please contact student.success@saintleo.edu.

UE Advisory Council

The UE Council is the primary advisory body of the Saint Leo University General Education curriculum. The UE Council was charged by the Saint Leo University Administration and advises the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. The UE Council works in consultation with the Faculty as well as the Saint Leo University Senate’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Mission

The mission of the UE Council is to improve the Saint Leo University General Education program. In order to do so, the Board of Directors will:

  1. Communicate with the entire Saint Leo University community, including prospective students and parents about the mission, goals and objectives and the value of the UE curriculum,
  2. Assist in improving and maintaining the quality of the UE curriculum and the quality of the teaching and learning experience in all locations and delivery methods,
  3. Review the Saint Leo University Undergraduate Catalog to ensure accurate description of the UE requirements,
  4. Evaluate the extent to which UE courses are helping students meet the UE goals and objectives
  5. Collaborate with Assessment & Institutional Research, Assessment, Research, and Planning Committee and the appropriate academic departments in the ongoing assessment of UE courses, and
  6. Develop and maintain student advising guidelines based on the UE curriculum.

Members

Voting Members (end of service term)
Dr. Chris Wolfe (2021; Chair)
Dr. Timothy Jussaume (2021)
Renee Gould (2021, secretary 2018-2021)
Dr. Matthew Tapie (2022)
Dr. Brian Camp (2022)
Charlotte Braziel (2023)
Dr. Nataliya Glover (2023)
Dr. Tasia Hilton-Betton (2023)

Non-Voting Members
Dr. Heather Parker (Dean of College of Arts and Sciences)
Karen Hatfield (Registrar)
Liz Vestal (Registrar)
Dr. Ellen Boylan (Assessment and Institutional Research)

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