Academic Vision Statement
The following statement was approved by the Faculty Senate in August, 2012, as an expression of their shared commitment to, and vision for, the academic mission.
Stonehill College is a community of scholarship and teaching dedicated to developing the full potential of all its members. Our commitment to academic excellence goes beyond expanding students’ knowledge and skills and seeks to cultivate modes of knowing and habits of mind that lead to lives of purpose and meaning. In the rich tradition of the liberal arts and the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Stonehill launches students on a quest for life-long learning and the pursuit of truth for its own sake. As devoted teacher-scholars, faculty guide students in discovering the unique joys of intellectual inquiry. A thoughtful engagement with ideas of enduring significance endows students with a reflective and innovative approach to knowledge and problem-solving. By leading students to consider fundamental questions of human existence and confront the origins and implications of their own values, a Stonehill education is transformative. From a heightened understanding of the natural world to an appreciation of beauty, from moral reflection to disciplinary rigor, a Stonehill education prepares students for meaningful lives by encouraging service to the common good, the practice of responsible citizenship, and the pursuit of professional fulfillment.
Serving the common good
A Stonehill education fosters a commitment to the common good. In proclaiming and modeling the value of diversity and respect in the classroom and across campus, faculty encourage students to do the same in their own present and future communities. In this regard we are guided by a central goal in the College’s mission statement: that “each Stonehill graduate thinks, acts, and leads with courage toward creating a more just and compassionate world.” Our commitment to justice and compassion reflects Catholic social justice teachings and the distinctive aspiration of the Congregation of Holy Cross: to educate the mind and heart. A Stonehill education inspires in women and men enduring hope, a profound respect for the dignity of others, and a special commitment to the underprivileged – all exemplified by our quest to be of service to our neighbors. As a faculty guided by these traditions, we work to cultivate the imagination and empathy that are necessary for understanding the beliefs and values of all who inhabit our diverse global community.
Engaging in responsible citizenship
A Stonehill education prepares students for responsible citizenship in their local and global communities. Building on our commitment to the common good, the faculty stresses knowledge and skills in tandem with curiosity and passion that cut across academic disciplines and foster the deep engagement required for informed and active citizenship. Through original scholarship, public speaking, and professional service, faculty model responsible citizenship and the rewards of intellectual inquiry. Guided by active scholars seeking new truths in a dynamic range of fields, students learn to think critically and to build and communicate rigorous and persuasive arguments. Central to achieving and fully expressing disciplinary mastery in their chosen field of study, students also learn how to formulate discerning questions about inherited knowledge and new information. The faculty remains committed to innovative and collaborative modes of teaching and research that integrate the educational experience so that students develop ethically-grounded, creative, and constructive approaches to their own challenges and the challenges faced by society.
Pursuing professional fulfillment
A Stonehill education inspires students to pursue rewarding professional lives. Central to this process is our identity as a small residential liberal arts college focused primarily on undergraduates. Small classes, dedicated advising, and close faculty-student collaboration foster extraordinary student development. The faculty encourages students to discover, academically and personally, their own unique paths and purpose at Stonehill as the foundations of professional fulfillment. The enduring strengths of the liberal arts tradition – critical thinking, moral reflection, and scientific inquiry – dovetail with the requirements of a fulfilling and successful career in our times. Ideally, Stonehill graduates possess the open-mindedness, intellectual dexterity, and creative spirit not only to excel but also to adapt, and to do so while sustaining their sense of purpose and meaning. Building on this liberal arts foundation, all of our programs of study prepare students for graduate programs and professions that call for more specialized knowledge and skills.
In these ways, Stonehill College – a curious, critical, creative, and compassionate community of research and teaching wherein free inquiry and ideas are valued as ends in themselves – is dedicated to cultivating student potential through academic excellence and rigor. Our programs of study in the humanities and the arts, in the social and natural sciences, and in business, education, and health care administration are united in this effort to educate the whole person and prepare students for the next stages of their civic and professional lives in the 21st century.
Statement on Diversity
Stonehill’s faculty play a key role in creating our campus community as one that truly honors the dignity and humanity of all of its members. In our classrooms, in our curriculum, and in our day-to-day interactions with students and colleagues, we strive to recognize and respect differences in age, ability, color, creed, cultural background, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religious affiliation or spiritual affinity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, political viewpoints, or veteran status.
Faculty who have experienced or witnessed discrimination of any sort can bring their concerns to a department chair, the Dean of the Faculty, Human Resources, or the College Counsel. Faculty interested in furthering the College’s diversity mission can find support from the following campus offices.
Office of the Provost
The Provost provides leadership on the Academic Division’s efforts to cultivate an inclusive campus climate and to diversify our student body, our faculty, and our curriculum. The Provost’s Advisory Committee on Diversity was formed to make recommendations on improving hiring practices and creating more inclusive classroom climates.
The Office of Intercultural Affairs is always available to work with faculty interested in adopting more inclusive teaching practices and building a more inclusive curriculum. The OIA’s Inclusive Excellence Grant can provide funding for faculty and student initiatives meant to engage the community in conversations around diversity. The OIA will also visit classes to present on a variety of diversity-related topics.
The Center for Teaching & Learning can consult with faculty about various questions regarding classroom climate, inclusive pedagogies, and curricular transformation. The CTL also offers regular professional development opportunities specifically focused on questions of diversity.
The Office of Community-Based Learning can advise faculty on teaching students about various systems of inequality, particularly those that relate to our students’ engagement with local communities. The OCBL also offers an experientially-based diversity training that can be conducted as part of a class or as a separate session.