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The Hallmarks Program for General Education

Mission

Philadelphia University pursues its mission of professional education with a broad and innovative approach to general education, which advances a set of shared learning goals across the general education core curriculum, the majors, and the co-curriculum. Our Hallmarks Program for General Education aligns all three of these educational experiences to fulfill the University’s Value Proposition for General Education.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Hallmarks Program is organized around a Value Proposition that defines our goals for each student.

General education at Philadelphia University empowers students to:

  • Question, based on curiosity and confidence
  • Adapt, based on contextual understanding and global perspective
  • Contribute, based on empathy and collaboration
  • Act, based on initiative and ethical reflection with the goal of imagining and realizing better futures.

This statement identifies eight Hallmarks outcomes that we consider vital to our students’ personal and professional success. These also serve as the learning goals for the Hallmarks Core curriculum:

  • CURIOSITY: Create strategies for expanding knowledge through reflection and research.
  • CONFIDENCE: Challenge concepts, practices and experts with reasoning and evidence.
  • CONTEXTUAL UNDERSTANDING: Develop and share insights using appropriate means of expression.
  • GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Navigate diverse environments and complex issues by managing multiple systems of knowledge and behavior.
  • EMPATHY: Consider multiple perspectives in order to relate to others and strengthen communities.
  • COLLABORATION: Achieve goals by integrating skills and knowledge in a team setting.
  • INITIATIVE: Take creative and intellectual risks when exploring ideas and real-world problems.
  • ETHICAL REFLECTION: Affirm an ethical compass to guide personal, civic and professional life.

Program Description

Within this framework of learning outcomes, our Hallmarks Program advances and tracks student achievement through a coherent and comprehensive general education core curriculum (the Hallmarks Core) and an electronic portfolio process (the Hallmarks Folio). The Hallmarks Core sets the foundation for these 8 outcomes and develops them progressively across four years of study. These outcomes are reinforced and given professional context in each student’s major and they are given personal meaning in co-curricular activities like study abroad, student organizations, and internships. The Hallmarks Folio is the digital space where students collect and post evidence of their progress towards fulfilling the 8 Hallmarks outcomes. This electronic portfolio allows students to display “artifacts” of their learning for each outcome in all three parts of their educational experience: their major, the Hallmarks Core and their co-curricular activities.

Value Proposition Learning Goals (Competencies) GEN-ED CORE Curriculum:  e-portfolio artifact MAJOR: e-portfolio artifact CO-CURRICULUM, major or core curriculum: e-portfolio artifact
Question Curiosity X X X

Confidence

X X
Adapt   Contextual Understanding X X X
Global Understanding X X
Contribute Empathy X X X
Collaboration X X
Act Initiative X X X
Ethical Reflection X X

As students compile their Hallmarks Folio, they pair each artifact with a reflective essay describing how the assignment or experience they have chosen demonstrates their advancement within that particular Hallmarks learning outcome. This process of documentation and reflection makes our students more intentional learners, with a clear sense of how their experiences at Philadelphia University are combining to prepare them for meaningful personal, civic and professional lives.

The Hallmarks Core

The Hallmarks Core, our general education core curriculum, guides Philadelphia University students through an integrated education in the liberal arts and sciences and advances their mastery of the eight Hallmarks learning outcomes, in partnership with the broader Hallmarks Program for General Education. It also contributes to the Hallmarks Program by providing structure and oversight for students’ completion of their Hallmarks Folio. This electronic portfolio review occurs in our “Touchstone” courses, which students take during each of the four years of the program: DBTU-114 Debating U.S. Issues, WRIT-201/202 Writing Seminar II, DBTG-300 Debating Global Issues, and HALLMK-499 Capstone Folio Workshop.

The Hallmarks Core requirements are sequenced over four years in order to build skills, knowledge and learning outcomes progressively. In most cases, the requirements are scheduled at a specific time in the curriculum of each major. Students should consult with their academic advisors before registering each semester and use the chart provided here to ensure that they are on track in terms of sequencing and prerequisites.

First Year Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year

First Year Seminar:

FYS-100: Pathways Seminar: Preparing for Academic and Professional Success  (1 credit)

Writing Seminar II: Multimedia Communication

WRIT-201/202: Writing Seminar II

(Prereq: WRIT-101/101G)

Debating Global Issues

DBTG-300: Debating Global Issues

(Prereq: WRIT-201/202, GDIV-2xx or GCIT-2xx)


Capstone Folio Workshop

HALLMK-499: Capstone Folio Workshop

(Prereq: DBTG-300, ISEM-3xx, ETHIC-2xx, ADIV-2xx, GCIT-2xx, MATH-1xx,
Scientific Understanding)

Global Diversity

GDIV-2xx: Europe

GDIV-2xx: Latin America

GDIV-2xx: East Asia

GDIV-2xx: Africa

GDIV-2xx: Middle East

GDIV-2xx: Great Britain

GDIV-2xx: Italy

GDIV-2xx: India and South Asia

GDIV-2xx: Class, Gender and Race in World Societies

GDIV-2xx: World Philosophies

GDIV-2xx: Exploring World Literature

ARAB-101: Arabic I

CHIN-101: Chinese I

FREN-101: French I

GER-101: German I

ITAL-101: Italian I

JAPN-101: Japanese I

SPAN-101: Spanish I

(Prereq: DBTU-114, WRIT-101/101G)

Integrative Seminars

ISEM-3xx/DECMTHD- 300: Ethnographic Research Methods

ISEM-3xx: Telling Stories, Selling Stories

ISEM-3xx: Human Behavior and the Physical Environment

(Prereq: WRIT-201/202, GDIV-2xx or GCIT-2xx)

Writing Seminar I: Written Communication

WRIT-101/101G: Writing Seminar I

Ethics

ETHIC-2xx: Evil and Good
ETHIC-2xx: Applied Professional Ethics

(Prereq: DBTU-114, WRIT-101/101G)

American Diversity

ADIV-2xx: Gender Studies

ADIV-2xx: The African-American Experience

ADIV-2xx: The Urban Experience

(Prereq: DBTU-114, WRIT-101/101G)

Debating U.S. Issues

DBTU-114: Debating U.S. Issues

Global Citizenship

GCIT-2xx: The Global Economy

GCIT-2xx: Human Rights

GCIT-2xx: Global Politics

GCIT-2xx: The Individual and the Global Environment

ARAB-201: Arabic II

CHIN-201: Chinese II

FREN-201: French II

GER-201: German II

ITAL-201: Italian II

JAPN-201: Japanese II

SPAN-201: Spanish II

(Prereq: DBTU-114, WRIT-101/101G)

Mathematics

MATH-100/1: Finite Math

MATH-103: Introduction to Calculus

MATH-102: Pre-Calculus

MATH-103: Introduction to Calculus

MATH-110: Precalculus for Science and Engineers

MATH-111: Calculus I

Scientific Understanding

SCI-101: Environmental Science

SCI-102: Exploring Science

SCI-108: Sustainability and Eco-Innovation

SCI-110: Landscape Ecology

SCI-112: Materials Selection

BIOL-101: Current Topics in Biology

CHEM-101: General Chemistry

PHYS-101: Gen. Physics

BIOL-106: Biology for Design

CHEM-103: Chemistry I (4 cr.)

BIOL-103: Biology I (4 cr.)

PHYS-201: Physics I (4 cr.)

Mathematics OR Scientific Understanding


Introductory and Fundamentals courses:
Some students begin the Hallmarks Core sequence with appropriate preparatory courses in reading, writing and mathematics (determined by placement testing). Courses at the 100-level (WRTG-100 Introduction to Academic Writing, WRTG-100G Introduction to Academic Writing: Global, ITXA-100 Introduction to Textual Analysis, and ITXA-100G Introduction to Textual Analysis: Global) carry academic credits that apply towards graduation. Courses at the 099-level (MATH-099 Fundamentals of College Mathematics) carry credits that do not apply towards graduation.

Description of Hallmarks Core requirements

First Year Seminar:
This one-credit course introduces first-time freshmen to university life and academic strategies that will enable their success at Philadelphia University and beyond. Students will create personal, professional, and academic goals, as they plan for effective learning and career development in their majors.
FYS-100: Pathways Seminar: Preparing for Academic and Professional Success

Writing Seminar I: Written Communication:
In Writing Seminar I: Written Communication, students develop skills and practices vital to the writing process: reading, synthesizing, outlining, drafting, and revising. Written Communication asks students to anticipate the needs of an audience and create academic arguments to address those needs. To achieve these goals, students write in a variety of academic genres. Through the theme of “Finding Philadelphia,” students analyze both published and student texts. This course is the first in two writing-specific courses at the University, and it helps students develop their Contextual Understanding competency.
WRIT-101 Writing Seminar I: Written Communication
WRIT-101G Writing Seminar I: Written Communication--Global

Debating U.S. Issues:
In Debating U.S. Issues, students examine a series of pressing current political, economic or social issues in the United States. Students and faculty will work together to uncover the underlying historical factors that have shaped these important topics, and to debate competing interpretations of and responses to them. This inquiry-based approach helps students develop their Initiative competency and Debating U.S. Issues also serves as a Touchstone course, introducing students to the Hallmarks Folio and reviewing their first postings in it.

DBTU-114: Debating U.S. Issues

Mathematics:
In the Mathematics requirement, students learn the language of mathematics so that they can manipulate mathematical symbols correctly, translate words into mathematical forms and translate mathematical forms into words. The Mathematics requirement helps students to develop their Confidence competency as they apply mathematical reasoning to answer real-world questions. Depending on the requirements of the majors, students take a minimum of one course with a MATH prefix and a maximum of two courses in this category to fulfill the Hallmarks Core requirements (the majors may require additional math training beyond this).

MATH-100/1: Finite Math
MATH-103: Introduction to Calculus
MATH-102: Pre-Calculus
MATH-103: Introduction to Calculus
MATH-110 Pre-Calculus for Science and Engineers
MATH-111: Calculus I

Scientific Understanding:
In the Scientific Understanding category, students apply scientific methods to problem solving, investigate the functioning of the natural world, and assess the validity of scientific information presented in written and graphic formats. This requirement helps students develop their Curiosity competency as they learn how to generate data and test ideas in a systematic way. Depending on the requirements of the majors, students take a minimum of one and a maximum of two courses in this category to fulfill the Hallmarks Core requirements (the majors may require additional science training beyond this). These courses are typically in the first two years, but this can vary by major.

SCI-101: Environmental Science
SCI-102: Exploring Science
SCI-108: Sustainability and Eco-Innovation
SCI-110: Landscape Ecology
SCI-112: Materials Selection
BIOL-101: Current Topics in Biology
CHEM-101: General Chemistry
PHYS-101: Gen. Physics
BIOL-106: Biology for Design
CHEM-103: Chemistry I (4 cr.)
BIOL-103: Biology I (4 cr.)
PHYS-201: Physics I (4 cr.)


Writing Seminar II: Multimedia Communication
In this course, students produce collaborative and individual projects to develop critical reading, writing, thinking and researching skills. Through analyses of professional communication, students consider the rhetorical framework and strategies for effective, ethical communication. Student projects include written, oral and visual presentations, with particular emphasis on project management and process as well as the final products of their work. In the Hallmarks Program, this course helps students develop their Collaboration competency, and it also serves as a Touchstone course in which each student's Hallmarks Folio is reviewed and assessed at its sophomore-level stage of development. There is also a 4-credit version of the course for all incoming transfer students; this version will be a residency requirement that introduces new students to the Hallmarks Folio and helps them “backfill” it with artifacts and/or reflections from previous course work or life experiences.

WRIT-201: Writing Seminar II: Multimedia Communication
WRIT-202: Writing Seminar II for Transfer Students: Multimedia Communication


Ethics:
Courses in the Ethics category provide frameworks for moral decision making in students' professional, civic, and personal lives. By debating contemporary ethical issues in everyday life and in their professions, critically analyzing their own ethical commitments, and studying different approaches to ethical decision making, these courses help students develop their Ethical Reflection competency.

ETHIC-2xx: Evil and Good
ETHIC-2xx: Applied Professional Ethics


Global Diversity:
In the Global Diversity category, students explore the cultural and social dynamics of various world societies. Students enhance their ability to understand others by experiencing the perspectives of societies and value systems from around the world through the analysis of a variety of cultural artifacts. This requirement helps students develop their Empathy competency by raising their awareness of ethnocentrism and building their intercultural understanding.

GDIV-2xx: Europe
GDIV-2xx: Latin America
GDIV-2xx: East Asia
GDIV-2xx: Africa
GDIV-2xx: Middle East
GDIV-2xx: Great Britain
GDIV-2xx: Italy
GDIV-2xx: India and South Asia
GDIV-2xx: Class, Gender and Race in World Societies
GDIV-2xx: World Philosophies
GDIV-2xx: Exploring World Literature
ARAB-101: Arabic I
CHIN-101: Chinese I
FREN-101: French I
GER-101: German I
ITAL-101: Italian I
JAPN-101: Japanese I
SPAN-101: Spanish I


American Diversity:
In the American Diversity category, students examine cultural and social issues, past and present, in the United States. Using close reading, critical thinking, and the analysis of primary texts and cultural artifacts, students strengthen their information literacy skills as they find, consider and evaluate multiple perspectives on course topics. The requirement helps students develop their Confidence competency by using reasoning and evidence to challenge arguments and reach conclusions.

ADIV-2xx: Gender Studies
ADIV-2xx: The African-American Experience
ADIV-2xx: The Urban Experience

Global Citizenship:

In the Global Citizenship category, students analyze political, economic and sociological issues at the international level to consider the meanings and obligations of global citizenship. These courses address various dimensions of the modern globalization trend and their impacts on cross-cultural understanding. This requirement helps students develop their Global Perspectives competency.

GCIT-2xx: The Global Economy
GCIT-2xx: Human Rights
GCIT-2xx: Global Politics
GCIT-2xx: The Individual and the Global Environment
ARAB-201: Arabic II
CHIN-201: Chinese II
FREN-201: French II
GER-201: German II
ITAL-201: Italian II
JAPN-201: Japanese II
SPAN-201: Spanish II

Integrative Seminars

Integrative Seminars provide an in-depth examination of specific topics or themes related to one or more of the University’s professional majors. Geared for a general audience, these courses evaluate their topics from a variety of perspectives, including those from the disciplines of history, the social sciences and/or the humanities. These junior-year, writing-intensive courses help students develop their Initiative competency by encouraging them to take intellectual risks as they explore real-world issues using advanced research, communication and critical-thinking skills.

DECMTHD-300 / ISEM-378 Ethnographic Research Methods
ISEM-302 Telling Stories, Selling Stories
ISEM-360 Human Behavior and the Physical Environment

Debating Global Issues:
Designed to be taken in the junior year, this writing-intensive course challenges students to evaluate competing perspectives on the origins and intersections of current global trends and issues and their impact on world societies, including the U.S. Students will also research and consider how these issues will affect their chosen professional field, in both individual and collaborative projects. As a Touchstone course in the Hallmarks Core curriculum, the course work includes an upper-level review and assessment of each student’s Hallmarks Folio and the course assignments address many of the 8 Hallmark Competencies.
DBTU-300: Debating Global Issues


Capstone Course in the Hallmarks Core:
This is the final requirement in the Hallmarks Core curriculum. Students evaluate their fulfillment of the 8 Hallmark Competencies as they refine and complete their Hallmarks Folio prior to graduation. Course activities include peer reviews of folio artifacts and reflective essays, and a reinterpretation of a previous project from the student’s major to address Hallmark Competencies of their choice. All students take this course in their senior year. It is writing intensive and cannot be taken for credit/no credit.

HALLMK-499 Capstone Folio Workshop

POLICIES

The Hallmarks Program and Transfer Students

The University is mindful of the need to be accessible to students who transfer from two-year colleges and other four-year institutions. In general, students who transfer academic credit from other colleges to the bachelor’s degree program at Philadelphia University may have that credit apply toward the requirements of the Hallmarks Core program.

Courses for which credit can be transferred include all of those Hallmarks Core courses for which equivalent courses have been completed at other accredited institutions. Since Hallmarks Core courses are designed specifically for Philadelphia University, the University will determine transfer course equivalency.

Three specific courses in the Hallmarks Core curriculum--Writing Seminar II, Debating Global Issues, and the Capstone Folio Workshop--serve as “touchstone” courses in which students are evaluated in terms of their progress towards completing their Hallmarks Folios and their reflective essays are reviewed and revised. Therefore, AP/transfer credit is not awarded for these three courses, which are residency requirements at the University. WRIT-202 Writing Seminar II for Transfer Students is specifically intended to introduce new students to the Hallmarks Program and to help them jumpstart the Hallmarks Folio process.

Advanced Placement and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits will be accepted under the policy that is currently in effect at the University. Their acceptability to the curriculum will be determined in the same manner as transfer credit from other colleges.

Transfer students should meet with their academic advisors during orientation or at the beginning of their first semester to review whether/how courses taken at other institutions apply to their degree requirements at Philadelphia University.