the academic experience
When San Francisco State University succeeds in realizing
its vision, the academic experience will be
SFSU's teaching and learning community
stands on a foundation of discovery and invigorating liberal education
that turns creativity into innovation and bridges theory to practice.
The University fosters students' acquisition of cultural, historical,
scientific, and professional knowledge. The faculty join with students
to develop knowledge and skills through scholarly research, creative activities,
and community service that extends from local neighborhoods to distant
regions of the world. Graduates leave the institution as informed, empowered,
and responsible thinkers and doers.
Thinking, Learning, and Doing. SFSU's academic experience of "thinking,
learning, and doing" emphasizes intellectual rigor and creativity.
The academic program aims not only to enhance students' knowledge
and understanding of humanity and the natural world but also to equip
them for open-minded inquiry and reflection in many contexts. Each disciplinary
and professional program enables students to become proficient in the
skills and knowledge of their chosen field and, as appropriate, to develop
their creative imagination and abilities.
The University's programs help shape the future leaders for California,
the United States and the global community. The undergraduate programs
provide students with academic experiences that generate intellectual
curiosity, a critical approach to understanding the world, and involvement
as culturally aware citizens. As part of its institutional mission, SFSU
makes a particularly important contribution in graduate education. Its
post-baccalaureate certificate, credential, master's, and doctoral
programs stand out for their advanced disciplinary content, intellectual
exactitude, and rigorous training in the development and application
of disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and skills. Graduates
as scholars, professional practitioners, and leaders for a diverse, knowledge-based
society of ever-increasing complexity. As products of a learning environment
that integrates theory and practice, they leave the University prepared
and eager to make a difference in the world in which they live.
The general, disciplinary and professional curricula attempt to help students
attain three broad learning objectives:
- The ability to communicate clearly, concisely,
and compellingly. Because writing is the foundation of learning and
inquiry, the University strives to make good writing a hallmark of its
- The ability to participate in the intellectual
life of a discipline, to think cogently about issues in that discipline,
and to use its tools. Graduates must be both fluent in the "language"
of their chosen field and technically competent in its practice.
- The ability to link disciplinary theories to
reality-based practice. Graduates demonstrate the capacity to integrate
their training with knowledge from different sources; to adapt and apply
that knowledge in new situations in order to design and implement problem-solving
strategies; and to renew their knowledge and skills throughout their
careers and lives. SFSU's graduates are prepared to think, analyze,
Challenges, Connections, and Lifetime Learning.
As scholars, SFSU's faculty are recognized for their contributions
to the bodies of knowledge within and across disciplines. As teachers,
they possess broad-based pedagogical skill. They adopt an integrated approach
that facilitates learning beyond classrooms and laboratories and combines
research with the application of knowledge to meet the needs of the community
and the world. Because the faculty engage in partnerships both on and
beyond the campus, they are respected not only as a community of scholars
but also as scholars for the community.
Teachers and students working together form the core of a quality academic
experience. At San Francisco State University, accessibility means not
just the opportunity to enroll in courses and programs valued by the student
but also the capacity to form meaningful learning relationships with faculty
Accessibility to meaningful learning also requires that modes of instruction
accommodate students' varied learning styles as well as their complex
and challenging life situations. SFSU seeks to remove barriers between
people in different disciplines in order to create an atmosphere that
fosters open dialogue among groups.
The University also gives significant attention to the affective dimension
of learning. It recognizes the impact of social and psychological factors
on successful learning and provides strong support services for students
dealing with stress or other personal issues. It also recognizes the importance
of the social and emotional development of its students by preparing them
to interact in many different settings both inside and outside the classroom.
Preparation for life beyond the University is also a key aim of the academic
experience. San Francisco State University not only prepares students
for careers and professions but also develops their interest in and capacity
for learning throughout their lives.
Citizens and Leaders. In the University's classrooms, studios, and
laboratories, students from diverse backgrounds work together toward shared
educational goals, thereby coming to appreciate and act on their common
humanity. In this atmosphere of tolerance and freedom, the University
engenders respect for the dignity and rights of all human beings.
Through their studies and interactions with others, students develop skills
as problem solvers. They prepare to engage as informed and empowered,
ethical and responsible citizens and leaders in the political, economic,
cultural, scientific, and social life of the San Francisco Bay Area, the
state, the nation, and the world. They are equipped not only to participate
successfully in a changing and challenging economy but also to confront
the complex needs of a pluralistic democratic society and an interdependent
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