Academic Catalog

University Colloquium 2021-2022 Catalog Year

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.

The University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future

Conceptual basis for University Colloquium
Adopted January 15, 1997: Dean’s Council Meeting

We have made a commitment as a university to make environmental education an integral part of our identity. One of our university-wide 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 undergraduate students must complete, and in which faculty from all five colleges would be involved. Because “ecology” applies to our total living space and interrelationships, human and natural, it is relevant to all our disciplines and professions. Thus, an ecology course would touch on all the university-wide goals and outcomes, and more. Students would not be introduced to FGCU values, they would participate in them.


The University Colloquium is an interdisciplinary environmental education course designed to explore the concept of sustainability as it relates to a variety of considerations and forces in the environment. In particular, we will consider ecological, social, ethical, historical, scientific, economic, and political influences. The course goals are:

  • To provide a "sense of place" and an understanding of the unique ecological features of the environment of which you are a part;
  • To assist in developing an ecological perspective and a commitment to community awareness and involvement in order for students to know the issues related to economic, social, and ecological sustainability, analyze and evaluate ecological issues locally and globally, participate in projects requiring awareness and/or analysis of ecological and environmental issues;
  • To provide experiences to assist in moving toward achieving the university learning goals of effective communication skills and critical thinking skills as well as the university’s stated mission of “practicing and promoting environmental sustainability and “encouraging civic responsibility”;
  • To enable a practical understanding of sustainability, of environmental education, and of ecological literacy.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of environmental issues through writing and class participation.
  2. Critically analyze environmental issues from economic, social, political, and ecological perspectives.
  3. Describe the unique ecological features of the area and analyze Southwest Florida’s unique environmental and ecological challenges.
  4. Demonstrate a practical understanding of sustainability, sense of place, and ecological literacy.