Common Threads in the General Education Curriculum

SEU's general education course coordinators and directors have completed an inventory of the courses we supervise records how these courses introduce, reinforce, apply and assess the various skills and competencies that St. Edward’s has identified as essential for our graduates. To assist us in this task, we created a series of tables (aka matrices) tracing the development of these skills and competencies from freshman to senior level courses. This mapping represents the first step in our collaborative attempt to better "vertically integrate" the general education curriculum. The pages below allow faculty, students, advisors, or other staff to examine the general education Core's scaffolding of Essential Learning Outcomes either by competency or by course.

A Note on gaps: Some gaps remain in our mapping, and moreover, not every class should be expected to cultivate every competency. We also focused only on assessable tasks found consistently across all or most sections of a general education course, such as exams, papers, presentations, homework, or other class activities. Thus, not every competency developed in a course will be represented below.  

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Courses

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are statements focusing on what students will know and be able to do in their college education. They can address specific kinds of knowledge, skills and long-term attitudes and values.

 St. Edward’s emphasizes nine general kinds of learning outcomes in our general education curriculum: Critical Thinking, Global Learning, Moral Reasoning, Information Literacy, Social Justice, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Scientific Literacy and Quantitative Literacy. These learning outcomes are heavily influenced by the university’s mission statement, which stresses the analytical abilities and social responsibilities that will enable students to make long-lasting contributions to a rapidly changing world. 


The general education component consists of 57 credit hours, spanning all four years. Courses within this curriculum build on each other, integrating knowledge and skills that students gain as they progress through their college career. Students are introduced to the liberal arts their freshman year through Freshmen Studies. The courses included in their freshman year also include Foundational Skills in Written and Oral Communication, Mathematics, Computational Skills and Modern Languages. These are followed by a series of interdisciplinary courses called Cultural Foundations, where students learn about American and world cultures through literature, the arts, history and other social sciences. Students simultaneously take courses focusing on Foundations for Values and Decisions, including courses in Ethics, religious studies, and science. The general education curriculum culminates in a Capstone course, where students demonstrate and hone the skills that they have learned throughout previous coursework as they research a contemporary social issue.