Institutional Fast Facts:
Benildus is located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Minutes from downtown by an “El ride,” our location in one of the country’s largest cities, which is invaluable to the Benildus experience: students get to use Chicago as their second campus. Faculty members frequently incorporate out of class experiences and excursions in their classes and allow you to explore Chicago and discover all the city has to offer as an enriching education experience. The best example of this is your first common core class; Discover Chicago! The co-curricular experiences available in the city are countless; internships, community service projects , cultural workshops etc. All students are encouraged to find something that interests them within our community and realize what it means to not only be a Benildus student, but also a Chicagoan.
Benildus University Learning Outcomes Students at Benildus should gain:
What you will do:
Knowledge of other cultures (and international perspective of the U.S.)
Having knowledge of other cultures means our graduates are able to reflect on how their own culture and the cultures of others shape our everyday interactions in a globalized world. We must focus on ourselves before we focus on others. Benildus graduates will be able to articulate their personal values and make life decisions that align with those values.
Knowledge of oneself
Knowledge of math, science, arts & humanities
Increased critical thinking skills
Effective communication skills
Ethical decision making skills
A value for civic engagement
A value for diversity
A value of lifelong learning
A liberal arts institution, we believe that by gaining a breadth of knowledge across many disciplines, our graduates are able to gain skills in a variety of inquiry methods and synthesize all they are learning utilizing their broad knowledge base. Benildus graduates will be able to think critically. They will be able to acquire knowledge, analyze it objectively, and use different methods of inquiry to come to their own conclusions. Language is at the center of who we are and how we relate to others. We believe that in order to be a successful citizen and professional, our graduates need to be able to articulate their thoughts, needs, and values to others in a succinct manner. Our graduates must be able to consider their personal needs and communal needs, and make decisions when confronted with an ethical dilemma that address those needs. Our Lasallian traditions are strongly connected to helping the less fortunate and marginalized. Benildus graduates should value becoming involved in their communities where they disseminate their knowledge gained through higher education that others were not able to gain. Only with a value for diversity can our graduates effectively interact with others in a globalized society. Graduates will appreciate diversity of culture, background, and thought of those around them, and be able to articulate why they have that value. Learning does not stop at a diploma. Because we live in a continually developing society, it is important to continually learn. Benildus graduates will leave with the intent to find new ways to educate themselves on innovations and changes in their field and society.
Fields of Study: Anthropology Asian Studies Biology Catholic Studies Chemistry Communications Criminal Justice Dance Economics Education English Environmental Studies French German History Human Services International Studies Italian Latin Latin American Studies
Mathematics Music Musical Theatre Peace Studies Philosophy Physics Political Science Religious Studies Spanish Theatre Theology Urban Studies Visual Communications Womenâ€™s Studies
Minors: African Studies Art Ethics Exercise Studies History Linguistics Marine Science
Music Public Policy Statistics Urban Studies
Curriculum breakdown: 52 hours of major studies (depending on program) 60 hours in the 5 Areas of Inquiry 20 hours of Common Core classes 12 hours of elective courses Students must have 144 hours to graduate.
A study of liberal arts and sciences is crucial for all students in order to be able to think and act critically, become an effective citizen, communicate effectively, engage in decision making, both personally, professionally, and socially, and understand the U.S. in a global context (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2007). The prescribed curriculum at Benildus follows this tradition and seeks to education the whole student through common core classes, 5 Areas of Inquiry, and specialized studies.
First-Year Writing & Rhetoric Because language is at the center of all we are, it is important for our graduates to be able to effectively communicate with others (Boyer, 1987). Thus, all first-year students will be required to register for one of the writing & rhetoric courses in which students will learn how to effectively structure a written argument that exemplifies thorough, critical analysis of information. This will help our students gain effective communication Discover Chicago!: These courses seek to introduce Benildus students to the city that will be their second campus. Faculty members, in conjunction with student affairs professionals, instruct the courses that teach general college skills, contain an experiential component in the city, and seek to address a topic across many disciplines.
Second-Year Multiculturalism The courses focused on multiculturalism include courses involving questions about race, ethnicity, gender, religion, culture, language, sexual orientation, and ability. Although course topics vary, all courses help students gain a better understanding of multiculturalism, how our cultures affect our actions, and how we interact in cultures different than our own. To be successful in their communal and personal lives, graduates must be able to understand and work with people different from them (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2007; AAC&U, 2005, DePaul University, 2011).
Third-year Experiential Course All students must complete an â€œexperiential courseâ€? in order to apply what they are learning to real world applications. Students may elect to do a professional internship, study abroad program or academic fellowship. These types of experiences give students the ability to foster their understanding of others, employ critical thinking skills when faced with workplace issues (Jenkins, 2011), and experience the world of academia, supporting further study after college (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005).
Capstone Experience The capstone course is the culmination of a studentâ€™s Benildus experience. All students present on a current ethical dilemma facing a specific future profession. Students should exemplify critical thinking skills, an understanding of themselves related to ethical decision making, a value for diversity and other cultures. They will demonstrate their skills by addressing the cultural implications of their assigned dilemma using effective communication skills; exemplified through their chosen medium of presentation. The experience provides an academic challenge to students, and serves as a transitional situation from college to further life pursuits (Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, Whitt, & Associates, 2005).
Jessica Tyler Class of â€˜12 Urban Studies Major
Acting Out Course Number: 12345 Professor Merri Biechler This course centers on the theatrical arts in Chicago. Students will be exposed to the different types of theater such as: Broadway, community, tragedy, comedy and satire. In conjunction with viewing multiple productions, students will be asked to explore the historical, cultural, and political roles that theatre has played both in the U.S. and beyond.
5 Areas of Inquiry All students complete 3, 4 credit hour courses in each area of inquiry. The breadth of courses support numerous university learning outcomes and seek to provide students with a broad base of knowledge and opportunities for growth and synthesis across disciplines. The 5 Areas of Inquiry and Common Core Courses serve as the basis for Benildusâ€™s liberal education which gives students the ability to act critically and reflectively, not only in their given profession, but also in the contexts outside of their careers (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2007).
Global Perspectives: These courses teach students to look at cultures and societies outside the U.S. and understand how culture influences social, political, economic, and legal decisions. Global Perspectives support the university learning outcomes by furthering our studentsâ€™ knowledge of other cultures and helping them gain a value for diversity.
Math & Natural Sciences: Aesthetic Awareness: These courses teach students various methods of inquiry, specifically the scientific method. so that students may better acquire, synthesize, and analyze knowledge. Furthermore, studies in math and science help students understand the social implications of various scientific and technological advancements of the 21st century (AAC&U, 2005).
United States in the world: These courses, unlike the Global Perspective courses, help prepare students for civic engagement by focusing on the social, political, legal, and economic institutions specifically within the United States in modern and historical contexts. Students will discuss what it means to be a citizen of the U.S., a multicultural country, in a globalized society (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2007).
The ability to interpret works of art as forms of cultural expression is invaluable. These courses seek to expose students to different mediums of art, so they may critically analyze the role that art plays in our society and learn to respond appropriately. These courses allow students to interpret other cultures in a new way, and help them understand themselves better through aesthetic interpretation, while fostering their critical thinking skills (DePaul University, n.d.; The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2007). Religious Dimensions: These courses help students explore the religious dimensions of life and culture. This area of inquiry offers courses with a comparative, thematic or ethical focus, and help students gain knowledge of themselves regarding their faith, explore religious aspects of other cultures, and further explore what role religion plays into their daily lives (DePaul University, n.d.).
Amelia Shepperd Class of â€˜13 Religious Studies major
â€œStudent Affairs is dedicated to supporting the whole student, and providing experiences at Benildus to foster growth academically, mentally and spiritually.â€?
ltner, airs e K a h t ent Aff Saman or Stud sident f
I joined a program from the Office for Community Service where I worked in a soup kitchen and I learned about the social implications that such organizations have in our communities. I also got credit in my Sociology course for my participation. Not only did the experience make me understand how important activism and civic engagement are, but having the realworld application helped me understand the academic material better (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). -Kim Mercer ‘14
As a first-year student, I loved attending the workshops and programs from the Office of New Student Engagement, because the transition to college can be hard, and they provided me with different types of support that made the transition easier (Evans et al., 2010). I met new friends, learned how to access some resources on campus, and learned more about what it meant to be a Benildus student. -Alexis Taylor ‘13
Attending some workshops from the Office of Multicultural Student Services gave me an opportunity to interact with others different from myself. Not only did learn from others, but I also increased my critical thinking abilities, because I was challenged to think in different ways. It also made me more open-minded when working with others (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). -James John ‘13
I joined a student organization, Student Government, sponsored and advised by the Office of Student Life and have never looked back. Not only did I meet new friends, but I also got the chance to learn more about myself, how I lead, how I make ethical decisions in a group, how to critically think (Gellin, 2003), when making decisions on behalf of other students, and how I interact with others different than me (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). -Ben Turner ‘13
All of the offices within University Faith and Ministry understand that spiritually engaged students experience greater satisfaction at college (Mayrl & Oeur, 2009). Studies show that over 75% of incoming college students are searching for meaning in their life, and most of them find that expression of spirituality is essential to that search (Burchell, Lee, & Olsen, 2010). And, while it can be often difficult for students to find a safe place to discuss religion and spirituality, because most college professionals aren’t comfortable doing so (Burchell et al., 2010), we seek to become a “mentoring community,” where you feel comfortable to discover your faith .
Supporting the University Mission The Office for Religious Diversity seeks to directly impact and support our students’ identity development. Because the office values the role that spirituality plays in a person’s understanding of himself or herself, we provide an environment in which it is safe for students to ask those big questions. By gaining a better understanding of one’s own faith and spirituality, one gains a better understanding and greater knowledge of oneself. Additionally, by learning about other faiths through programs and interactions with others, students learn to value diversity.
Office for Religious Diversity
Why do we do what we do?
“When I got to Benildus, I really did not know what my faith was, but thanks to things like the Interfaith Council, where they facilitated spiritual discussions across faiths, I was able to decide what I wanted to believe for myself.”
Anna Blake ‘14
“When I left home, I was afraid that I would lose touch with my Islamic identity, but I joined the Muslim Student Association and found a local mosque through the Coordinator for Islamic Programming,.”
Benildus Hillel Creates a meaningful experience for Jewish students by providing a range of cultural and social programs like volunteer trips and Shabbat services. Interfaith Council Holds weekly discussions, workshops, and programs to provide a place for all religious and non-religious students to discuss faith in the contexts of their lives. Muslim Student Association Oversees the management of the Musallah (prayer room) located in the office, provides religious programs including prayer circles, study sessions, and celebrations of Muslim holidays. CRU In dedication to Christ, provides small group Bible studies, fellowship, prayer, events, and support during one’s spiritual exploration.
-Aahil Doka ‘13-Aahil Doka
Where we live
“Because I was on campus, it was easier for me to stop by a professor’s office, or pick up a game of basketball with my friends. I loved living in Lincoln!” -Adrian Jackson ‘13
Some benefits of living on campus: Increased cognitive skills Increased level of openness to others You learn to be autonomous You learn to work and interact with others Students living on campus are more likely to graduate (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005).
“While in the hall, I got the chance to make friends with people from all different kinds of backgrounds, and I learn from them every day. I wouldn’t have gotten that without my Wray Hall experience. Residential Education seems to have structured the halls in a way that prompted interactions between students, so we could learn from one another (Longerbeam & Sedlacek, 2006). -Jackie Groves ‘14
Residential Education staff (hall director) in each hall Resident Advisors (RAs) on each floor providing educational programming including diversity education, community service excursions, and cultural celebrations Communal bathrooms A ground floor lounge area with spaces prompting academic and social interactions among students Rooms with single, double, and triple occupancy Residential floors consisting of a communal space flanked by same-sex hallways with one bathroom each A living learning community
Living learning communities are located in every residence hall at Benildus and all center around an overarching theme and include faculty participation, academic and cultural programs, academic advising, mentoring, and on-site classes (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005).
Engagement in an LLC is strongly encouraged, but not required; however, even students not participating in the LLC experience some benefits such as perceiving the residential community to be more welcoming and supportive (Longerbeam, Inkelas, & Brower, 2007).
The growth that one experiences in a traditional residence hall environment, such as a value of diversity and increased critical skills/cognitive growth, is amplified in a more structured environment like an LLC (Gellin, 2003; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Inkelas, Lee, Daver, Longerbeam, Vogt, & Leonard, 2006).
The LLC located in every residence hall is a collaborative effort between academic affairs and student affairs. A faculty member and a hall director work as a team to serve as the leadership to our 6 LLCs.
Although every LLC at Benildus is unique, all of theme provide certain basic services. All LLCs: Are connected to a major of study at Benildus Sponsor a Discover Chicago course taught by its faculty advisor Are staffed by RAs that have monthly meetings with hall director and faculty member to ensure programs provided support the goals of the LLC Have a mentoring program where first-year students are mentored by previous LLC members, who serve as a resource during the college transition Provide academic advising from the faculty advisor that takes place in the residential community
Sociology and Environmental Studies faculty members Located in Hannah hall Programs include: â€œgreenâ€? initiatives, speaker series, and community volunteering opportunities
International Studies faculty member Located in Wray hall Programs include: model UN, cultural dinners, celebration of holidays with the Center for Cultural Programming
Any faculty member in conjunction with a professional from Undergraduate Advising Located in Jefferson hall Programs include; specific advising sessions, career assessment/exploration programs, miniinternship programs to explore career pos-
Theatre faculty member Located in Lincoln hall Programs include: internship coordination with local art organizations, theatrical views, museum trips, and end of the year showcase
Faculty member from Religious Studies Located in Amel hall Programs include: MLK day of service, a monthly soup kitchen, university wide service programs, community partnership opportunities, and monthly facilitated service reflections
Sociology an d Urban planning faculty members Located in Gregor hall Programs include: facilitated excursions into the city to visit different cultural neighborhoods, speaker series, and meeting with city officials to gain a better understanding of issues that arise in the management and development of a metropolitan area
Shannon Grey ‘14
Dean Miller ‘15
University Learning Outcomes Knowledge of other cultures Knowledge of oneself Knowledge of math, science, arts & humanities Increased critical thinking skills Effective communication skills Ethical decision making skills A value for civic engagement A value for diversity A value of lifelong learning
“ I came and became Benildus. You should too!”
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