The Theme Semester is designed to promote integrative learning and to foster a sense of community and shared purpose. Integrative education has received a great deal of attention in recent years, both theoretical and applied, even though there is not a single definition. The American Association of Colleges and Universities defines it as: “an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus”.
Specifically, the Theme Semester will achieve the following goals:
- What is the difference between 'right' and 'good'?
- How do we decide who or what is 'right'?
- How do we define and understand our world and our role in it?
- What causes us to take action?
- What factors do we consider before taking action?
- How do cultural and historical contexts affect notions of ‘right’ and ‘good’?
Besides these important teaching/learning goals, the Theme Semester will have additional benefits:
- Act as a catalyst for general education goals
- Increase student retention
- Create a more cohesive and collaborative teaching/learning environment
- Heighten WSU's visibility in the community
- Generate new opportunities for external funding