When St. Kate’s was founded in 1905, its curriculum was modeled on elite liberal arts colleges and universities at the time. Majors offered then included philosophy, chemistry, art history, botany and English — to name a few — and the goals were clear:
A liberal arts education at St. Kate’s emphasizes disciplinary breadth and depth that cultivate curiosity and forge connections among disparate arenas of knowledge.
The vision of St. Catherine University is to be respected globally for educating women who transform the world. In its mission, the University is committed to the liberal arts as the broad base of learning and to the pursuit of excellence for its students. St. Catherine offers academic curricular and co-curricular programs in an atmosphere that stimulates students to make their lives full and meaningful and provides opportunities, both intellectual and personal, for them to develop leadership abilities, spiritual values, and responsible commitments to society.
Along with the depth of knowledge provided by her chosen discipline, the student at the St. Catherine University will have opportunities to acquire broad knowledge in a variety of disciplines and transferable skills to serve as a foundation to a life-long process of learning. St. Catherine University has identified seven themes of a St. Catherine’s education encompassing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that it seeks to develop in its graduates.
Based on our commitment to women, the liberal arts, and the Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry and social teaching, an education at St. Catherine University emphasizes the following.
The ability to lead and influence for ethical and responsible action and for systemic change; the ability to work well with others, especially in joint intellectual effort.
Students will demonstrate leadership and collaboration by their ability to
The ability to apply ethical standards to judge individual and collective actions; the development of attitudes and behaviors that reflect integrity, honesty, compassion, and justice in one’s personal and professional life.
Students will demonstrate a commitment to ethics and social justice by
The ability to understand and analyze the impact of diversity and systems of power and privilege on the individual and society; the ability to decipher and honor multiple and global perspectives in creating mutual understanding; the ability to imagine and
take action toward justice.
Students will demonstrate a commitment to diversity and global perspectives by their ability to
The ability to gather, analyze and critically evaluate information to develop reasonable arguments, sound judgments, and effective solutions. This ability is founded on a broad knowledge of the achievements of human creativity and of the variety of disciplinary approaches for exploring truths.
Students will demonstrate critical and creative inquiry by their ability to
* Breadth of knowledge applies to all degrees except the graduate degrees, where the focus is on in-depth development of disciplinary skills.
The ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge, values and skills in at least one major field of study and to relate disciplinary approaches to those of other fields.
Students will demonstrate discipline-based competence by their ability to
The ability to read, write, speak, view, and listen effectively; the ability to present information in a clear and engaging manner.
Students will demonstrate effective communication by the ability to
The ability to continue personal and professional development based on ongoing self-assessment, feedback from others, and new learning.
Students will demonstrate a commitment to purposeful life-long learning by
We live the liberal arts at St. Kate’s in the way our students claim their education at all degree levels and across disciplines, both in the liberal arts and in professional programs.
This “Claim your education” mantra comes from Adrienne Rich, whose 1977 essay “Claiming an Education” is a popular one with our first-year students in “The Reflective Woman” (TRW) course. In the essay, she writes:
“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” (p. 53, TRW core reader)
That’s right. At St. Kate’s, you are empowered to choose for yourself!
Here are the three faculty members bringing St. Catherine University's mission to life.