FGCU has structured its curricula to emphasize the interrelationship of knowledge across disciplines and to provide students with the ability to think in whole systems. A three credit hour course, University Colloquium, brings together students and faculty from all disciplines in an interdisciplinary learning experience. The university’s guiding principles and values are discussed in this course, and students are expected to develop critical thinking and communication skills. Because this course is required for all undergraduates, the University Colloquium is housed within Undergraduate Studies. It is a writing intensive course and students are required to complete ten hours of service-learning related to the natural environment as part of the course.
“We have made a commitment as a university to make environmental education an integral part of our identity. One of our university-wide student learning outcomes is that all students will develop ‘an ecological perspective.’ A way to accomplish this perspective is to devise a course, or group of experiences, with an environmental focus that all FGCU students must complete, and in which faculty from all colleges are involved. Because ‘ecology’ applies to our total living space and interrelationships, human and natural, it is relevant to all of our disciplines and professions. Thus, an ecology course would touch on all nine of the university-wide goals and outcomes, and more. Students would not only be introduced to FGCU values, they would participate in them.” (Adopted at the Deans Council, 15 January 1997)
The University Colloquium is an interdisciplinary course designed to explore the concept of sustainability as it relates to a variety of considerations and forces in Southwest Florida. In particular, we consider environmental, social, ethical, historical, scientific, economic, and political influences.
The goals for students are to: