General Education Program
The Purpose of SXU's General Education Program
SXU's General Education Program is the common, academic foundation that unites all students who attend and graduate from Saint Xavier. It carries the values of a Catholic University sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, provides an intellectual framework which infuses personal and professional practice with the spirit of liberal learning, and deepens the characteristics that promote a well-lived life. The Program consists of a set of course and curricular requirements that the University believes are important for all undergraduates, especially skills, like critical thinking, effective writing, persuasive speaking, and the capacity to work well with others; and characteristics, like persistence, personal and social responsibility, determination, and ethical integrity.
To achieve these aims, the General Education Program offers students a curriculum that includes a limited set of courses that all students take, including Rhetoric and Writing (ENGL 120), Oral Communication (COMM 101), The Examined Life (PHIL 140/150), and First-Year Seminar (FYS 175). There are also General Education requirements that could be fulfilled by a variety of courses, allowing students to pick those courses that interest them the most.
When it comes to the characteristics of a Catholic University sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, SXU's General Education Program teaches "the Catholic intellectual tradition in its pursuit of truth and the integration of knowledge for the common good." It upholds "the values of mercy, justice and compassion," by developing graduates who are "informed and shaped intellectually, socially and spiritually through a faith-inspired education." The academic study of the liberal arts and sciences and mastery of the professional disciplines "enable Mercy graduates to be responsible leaders in their communities and [in their] professions, informed by a Christian commitment to mercy and justice".