At USFSM, students continue to take upper-level courses that develop the Pillars of Intellectual Engagement: communication, critical thinking, leadership, ethics community engagement, and diversity.  

Students take upper-level Pillars courses when they are classified as juniors, having earned at least 60 credits (exceptions may be made with dean’s approval). As juniors and seniors, students have been previously introduced to the Pillar values and competencies and are able to reflect upon them at a more sophisticated level.

In the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, students take three (3) Pillar courses (9 credits) to meet the university’s upper-level Pillars requirement.  These courses each have two Pillar values and competencies to a field of inquiry:

Communication and
Critical Thinking
This Pillar is addressed in each student’s degree capstone course. 
Leadership and Ethics Depending on a student’s degree program offerings, this Pillar requirement may be met within the major or outside of it.  
Community Engagement and Diversity Depending on a student’s degree program offerings, this Pillar requirement may be met within the major or outside of it.  

In the College of Education, the Pillars are developed and assessed throughout the curriculum, so students do not take specific Pillar courses in addition to their major course of study. 

Pillars courses are all numbered 3000-4999 and can count toward the required minimum of 48 upper-level credits for a bachelor’s degree.  Students are required to meet their upper-level Pillar course requirements with USFSM courses; therefore, no transfer credit can be used to satisfy the Pillars requirements.  All students must achieve a grade of “C-” or better in each of the upper-level Pillar courses.  

Communication and Critical Thinking Pillar Courses (SMCC) (1 course, 3 credits)

Typically, the capstone course in a student’s major will count for this requirement. The degree capstones all require advanced competency in communication and critical thinking as students apply and synthesize the learning outcomes that shape their degree.  In Communication and Critical Thinking courses, a significant portion of the student’s grade is based on assignments that allow students to demonstrate mastery of the following Core Outcomes:

  1. Communication: Students will communicate effectively by means of written and/or oral modalities.
  2. Critical Thinking: Students will demonstrate the skills necessary to be proficient critical thinkers.

Upper-Level Communication and Critical Thinking Pillar Courses

Course Number

Title

Credits

Requisites (KEY)

CCJ 4939 Senior Capstone Seminar 3 PR: CCJ 3024, CCJ 3117, CCJ 3701
CIS 4935 Senior Project in Information Technology 3-5 Senior Standing in Information Technology
ENC 4268 Sr. Seminar in Professional & Tech Writing 3 PR: ENC 4946; senior standing
ENG 4934 Senior Literature Seminar 3 PR: ENG 4013, senior registration status.
GEB 4890 Strategic Management & Decision Making 3 Senior standing; PR: FIN 3403, MAN 3025, MAR 3023. Senior standing.
GEY 4692 Professional Development and Engagement in Aging  3 PR: GEY 3601, GEY 3625, GEY 4612
HFT 4945 Hospitality Leadership & Internship 3 Senior Standing. Before students take the HFT 4945 Advanced Internship class, they must complete 650 documented working hours in the hospitality industry.
HIS 4936 Pro-Seminar in History 4 History major status and 2.25 HTY major GPA required.
ISS 4939 Senior Capstone Seminar in ISS 3 PR: ISS 3931
LDR 3263 Community Leadership Practicum 3 PR: LDR 2010 or LDR 4104 with a minimum grade of C-
PCB 4679 Biology Capstone Course: Evolution 3 PR: BSC 2010, BSC 2010L, BSC 2011, and BSC 2011L; Biology majors must have senior rank.
PSY 4938 Pro Seminar 3 PR: PSY 3213. Senior standing. 
SPA 4050 Introduction to the Clinical Process 3 PR: SPA 3004 and SPA 3310

Leadership and Ethics Pillar Courses (SMLE) (1 course, 3 credits)

Students will take one upper-level Pillars course designed to develop and evaluate advanced application of principles and methods of leadership and ethics through interdisciplinary examination of a topic.    

In Leadership and Ethics Pillar courses, a significant portion of the student’s grade is based on assignments that allow students to demonstrate competency in the following Core Outcomes:

  1. Leadership: Students will analyze and apply specific leadership theories or characteristics.
  2. Ethics: Students will apply ethical perspectives and concepts to situations and justify the implications of their applications.      

Upper-Level Leadership and Ethics Pillar Courses

Course Number

Title

Credits

Requisites (KEY)

ECP 3203 Labor Economics 3 PR: ECO 3101 or ECP 3703 with grade of C or better
ENC 3242 Technical Communication for Majors 3 PR: (ENC 1101 and ENC 1102) or (ENC 1121 and ENC 1122)
GEY 4647 Ethical and Legal Issues of Aging 3 None
HFT 3603 Law & Leadership Ethics for the Hospitality Industry 3 None
INP 4004 Industrial Psychology 3 PR: PSY 3213 with a grade of C or better or CI
INR 3038 International Wealth and Power 3 None
LDR 4204 Ethics and Power in Leadership 3 None
MAN 3025 Principles of Management 3 None
REL 4171 Contemporary Christian Ethics 3 Junior standing or CI.

Community Engagement and Diversity Pillar Courses (SMCD) (1 course, 3 credits)

Students will take one upper-level Pillars course designed to develop and evaluate advanced application of principles and methods of community engagement and diversity through interdisciplinary examination of a topic.  This course will be experiential as student engage in course-relevant local and/or global community involvement. 

In Community Engagement and Diversity Pillar courses, a significant portion of the student’s grade is based on assignments that allow students to demonstrate competency in the following Core Outcomes:

  1. Community Engagement: Students will demonstrate and integrate understanding of a societal issue as the result of engagement outside the classroom (literal or virtual).
  2. Diversity: Students will demonstrate and integrate an understanding of the complexity of elements important to various cultures, groups, beliefs, and/or practices.

Upper-Level Community Engagement and Diversity Pillar Courses

Course Number

Title

Credits

Requisites (KEY)

AML 3630 U.S. Latino/a Literature in English 3 None
BSC 4057 Environmental Issues 3 None
EDF 3604 Schools and Society for Non-education Majors 3 Upper level standing
ENC 3310 Expository Writing 3 PR: (ENC 1101 and ENC 1102) or (ENC 1121 and ENC 1122)
HFT 3894 International Food and Culture 3 None
LIT 3031 Survey of Poetry 3 None
LIT 3093 Contemporary  Literature 3 None
MCB 4277 Insect-Borne Diseases and Global Health 3 PR: BSC 2010 and BSC 2011
POS 3078 Veterans’ Reintegration and Resilience 3 None
SSE 4380 Global and Multicultural Perspectives in Education 3 PR: EDG 3604 and EDG 4620
SYD 4601 Community Building and Social Change 3 None
SYG 3235 Latina/Latino Lives 3 PR: SYG 2000 or SYG 2010