American Diversity

Learning goal, outcomes, rationale and implementation of American Diversity.

Learning Goal: The dignity of the human person is a foundational belief of the Catholic faith. We live, study, and work in an increasingly diverse American society. Therefore, in the core curriculum students will be asked to intellectually engage with social, cultural, economic, and political diversity in the United States. They will understand what it means to be civically engaged in diverse communities and to work cooperatively in diverse workplaces.

Learning Outcomes: Students will

  1. Analyze aspects of social diversity (e.g., ethnicity, race, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, and political identity) and how they affect society in the United States of America; and
  2. Explain how social categories and structures of power may affect the human person.

Rationale (i.e., the intention of the proposed outcomes): By diversity we mean any of the myriad of ways that people within the United States differ, with the most important examples listed. We intend the wording to be interpreted inclusively, to include sociological, political, historical or anthropological approaches to diversity. All courses on diversity should have a comparative element, e.g., studying gender categories of women in comparison to those of men, racial categories of African-Americans in comparison to those of whites, Latinos, etc., economic categories of the working poor in comparison to the upper-middle class.

Diversity is not a neutral phenomenon. Social categories and differentiation have both positive and negative consequences. The positives can include the formation of one s identity, group solidarity, and a greater richness to the human experience. Negatives may include exclusion, unearned privilege, inequities, and injustice. The language of the goal recognizes this value element of diversity by rooting it in the Catholic understanding of human dignity. Outcome #2 requires that every course or experience fulfilling American Diversity must address the value element of diversity as it affects the human person. The language is intentionally broad, allowing for study that focuses on the positives, negatives, or both.

Implementation: All of the goals within Engaging the World respond to broad areas of concern that flow out of the Saint Mary s mission. Thus, students and faculty should have a wide degree of freedom (under the oversight of the Core Curriculum Committee) in seeking ways to explore these areas in the SMC curriculum. In particular, courses that fulfill the American Diversity goals will often fulfill other goals, i.e., double-dipping is encouraged.

Proposal Evaluation and Recommendation Form: Used in determining 2013-14 Core. American Diversity

Courses designated as fulfilling this goal:

Questions? Contact the CCC