Mission and Learning Goals

Preparing Students to Make a Difference

The Department of Political Science equips students to understand political life, to be effective citizens, and to achieve positions of political leadership.

The Department of Political Science makes the following mission commitments:

  • Prepare students for successful careers or graduate study in government, public policy, law, business, and not-for-profit sector and related fields.
  • Expand and strengthen critical thinking, research, and communication skills of students.
  • Examine politics through innovative teaching, experiential learning, and student/faculty collaboration across the main fields of political science so students can achieve political literacy appropriate for citizenship responsibilities.
  • Help our students discover and learn the concepts and theories of our discipline so they can integrate new facts into their own worldviews.
  • Encourage students to adopt the habit of the examined life, to reflect upon themselves in relationship to others, to take risks, to participate actively in political life and to accept responsibility for their actions.
  • Encourage our students to participate and accept leadership in a variety of special programs, clubs and activities both on and off campus.
  • Invite students to embrace the Benedictine traditions of service, stewardship, and community.


Based on consensus within the discipline, and in accordance with the liberal arts mission of CSB-SJU, faculty in the Department of Political Science have approved the following set of student learning goals subject to evidence-based revision and subsequent program development.  These learning goals represent only a fraction of what we expect Political Science students to learn from their successful completion of the Political Science curriculum.  Nevertheless, these goals represent a stable foundation of what it means to complete a Political Science curriculum at CSB-SJU.  (Revised May 2015)

As a result of successful completion of the political science curriculum at CSB-SJU, students will demonstrate competence with respect to the following knowledge, skills, and values.

LEARNING GOAL ONE: Knowledge about political systems and processes.

A.            Familiarity with basic elements of domestic and international systems. 

B.            Comparison of institutions and goals of different political systems.

C.            Understanding of authority, conflict, and cooperation in political systems.

LEARNING GOAL TWO:  Skills for political effectiveness.

A.            Discussion/Presentation

B.            Writing/Analysis

C.            Quantitative reasoning

D.           Qualitative analysis

E.            Research

F.             Critical consumers of political information

LEARNING GOAL THREE: Values that support engagement in civic and political life.

A.            Importance of engagement with political systems.

B.            Understanding of the role and importance of values in politics.