May 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
2024-2025 Academic Catalog

Academic Officers and Services

Academic Officers

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Provost and Executive Vice President provides strategic and operational leadership, vision, and direction for the design and implementation of the College’s academic programs, student and residential services, and programs, and enrollment services. The provost initiates plans and direction for the establishment and maintenance of a physical environment conducive to teaching, learning, and living as well as providing academic and administrative leadership to the College’s students, faculty, and staff. The provost works collaboratively with the entire College community, including the Board of Trustees, the president, the faculty, and the staff to advance the mission of the College.

Vice Provost for Academic Success

The Office of the Vice Provost for Student Academics provides curricular and academic support programs that touch all students, fostering a culture of Commencement by concentrating especially on practices that increase student engagement, persistence, and graduation. The vice provost supports the integration of students’ experience across disciplines, degrees, and schools on behalf of our mission to link students’ intellectual, existential, affective, and spiritual lives.

Vice Provost for Academic Innovation

The Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Innovation provides leadership and coordination for excellence in graduate and professional programs and academic innovation across the College.

Vice Provost for Institutional and Educational Effectiveness

The Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional and Educational Effectiveness provides executive level direction, management oversight, and strategic leadership of the College’s comprehensive data strategy, and supports strategic and academic planning and decision-making through analytics, including the presentation and distribution of relevant and timely information, policy analyses, peer comparisons, and projections of future trends. They have direct leadership oversight for the College’s Institutional Research and Assessment functions, as well as coordinating oversight for the decentralized data and analysis functions.

Deans of the Schools

The deans of the schools, in collaboration with the provost and vice provosts, are responsible for the academic affairs of the schools, including the recommendation to the provost of appointment, promotion, and retention of their school faculty and administrative staff; matters relating to orientation and evaluation of faculty and staff; curriculum planning, academic policies and programs; and all other aspects of the academic enterprise in their respective schools.

Dean of the Core

The Dean of the Core provides leadership and coordination for the undergraduate signature programs at Saint Mary’s College: the Core Curriculum, Collegiate Seminar, January Term, the Honors Program, and Summer Session. The Core Curriculum is designed to educate students in three broad intellectual areas: Habits of Mind, Pathways to Knowledge, and Engaging the World, and to develop skills in critical thinking, shared inquiry, oral and written communication, and information evaluation and research practices. 

Dean for Library and Academic Resources

The dean for library and academic resources is responsible for the development, programming, administration, and assessment of the services, programs, staff, and resources of the Saint Albert Hall Library, the College Archives, and the Museum of Art. The dean ensures that the services, collections, and activities of Academic Resources support the educational programs of the College through a broad-based collaboration with faculty, the campus administration, and staff.

Academic Services

Office of Faculty Development

The director is responsible for administering the Office of Faculty Development that provides faculty and student support services. Professional and scholarly development and collaborative faculty/student research funds and technology grants are distributed through the FD Office by the Faculty Development Fund Committee, and the Faculty Technology Group.

Student Success Offices (SSO)

The Student Success Offices strengthen collaboration among professional staff and faculty to foster a “culture of commencement” in which successful graduation is a shared universal expectation. To that end, SSO supports a broad understanding of student success that includes academic and personal well-being. SSO is committed to providing undergraduate students with the guidance and services necessary to help them find the correct balance of support, challenge, structure, and independence needed to realize their full potential. Under the leadership of the Vice Provost of Student Academics, the Student Success Offices include The Advising Office, Academic Success Coaches, the High Potential Program, Student Disability Services, and Tutoring Services. Additionally, SSO promotes academic responsibility, integrity, accountability, and respect among Saint Mary’s College students and faculty, ensuring compliance with and support of the college’s academic standards and policies.

The Advising Office (TAO)

The Advising Office is dedicated to helping Saint Mary’s students realize their academic potential by connecting them with faculty advisors, support offices, and campus resources they need to succeed.

First-year students are connected with a faculty advisor by enrolling in the First Year Advising Cohort (FYAC). Transfer students are paired with a faculty advisor in their discipline prior to their first semester and receive additional faculty and peer support in a transfer advising cohort (TAC). Continuing sophomores, juniors, and seniors establish ongoing individual relationships with an academic advisor, usually a professor in their major program. For more information, visit our website

Success Coaches

Success Coaches work one on one with students to identify and utilize campus resources and to help them develop strategies to balance college, work, and family. They develop programs and workshops that help students meet their educational and personal goals; from the transition to college life, to the exploration of academic majors, and to planning for graduation and a career. Their work is vital to student academic and personal success. For more information, visit the website.

Coaches help students develop strategies to approach their coursework, manage their time, and set and achieve goals. Success Coaches also develop programs and workshops that help students meet their educational and personal goals; from the transition to college life, to the exploration of academic majors, to planning for graduation and a career. 

For more information, please visit our website.

High Potential Program (HP) and TRIO Student Support Services

Saint Mary’s College has a fundamental mission to provide access to education for dedicated students from traditionally underrepresented groups in higher education. The High Potential (HP) Program is designed not only to provide that access, but to foster student success by drawing on the strengths and resiliency of first-generation and/or low-income students as they transition from high school through college. HP coaches and peer mentors work together with HP students to develop their academic and leadership skills and connect them to the College community. The initiative furnishes a continuum of support for approximately 160 students from just prior to the first year of college through baccalaureate degree completion. The HP program provides a comprehensive range of services and individualized support. For more information, visit our website

Once accepted into Saint Mary’s, interested students may submit an application to the High Potential Program, and are selected for participation based on the information provided, and a personal statement. High Potential program students may participate in the Summer Academic Institute for Leaders and Scholars (SAILS), an intensive summer residential program that includes earning units toward graduation. In the fall and spring semesters, HP students enroll in First Year Advising Cohort courses taught by faculty to introduce students to a broad range of academic and personal support programs, designed to form a solid foundation for high academic and psychosocial achievement. Over their time at the College and through collaborative interventions with faculty, staff, peer mentors, tutorial services, and other resources of the College, the HP program staff provide students with structured academic guidance, personalized supports, and leadership development opportunities intended to prepare them for the global workplace and society.

Interested students should contact the High Potential office at (925) 631-4835 or For more information, please visit the High Potential Program website, visit our website.

Tutorial and Academic Skills Center (TASC)

The Tutorial and Academic Skills Center (TASC) offers a variety of support services and programs to students who are seeking to achieve greater academic success regardless of their level of academic performance. The Center offers tutorial services for all currently enrolled students. Tutoring is available in almost all courses taught at Saint Mary’s, in individual and group settings depending on the subject and demand. TASC provides tutorial services in collaboration with the STEM Center. Tutoring and workshops are also available for students who wish to complement their study efforts through enhanced academic skills development such as time management, note-taking, writing skills, study techniques, and reading comprehension.

For more information, please visit our website.

Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (CWAC)

The Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (CWAC) offers guidance and resources to enhance writing throughout Saint Mary’s College of California. Pursuing the construction and expression of knowledge through shared inquiry and inspired by the Lasallian tradition of service through education, CWAC is guided by the Burkean Parlor model of collaborative dialogue to nurture writers in a supportive, inclusive, and productive space. Trained Writing Advisers guide peer students through individual or small group sessions in any genre, level, or stage of the writing process. CWAC also offers faculty development workshops to guide the sharing of ideas among peers who are teaching Writing in the Disciplines or Collegiate Seminar courses. By supporting faculty and students, the Writing Center helps all writers enter more fully into scholarly dialogue, sharpening their skills, building their confidence, and connecting writing strategies across contexts. For more information, please visit our website

Student Disability Services (SDS)

Student Disability Services (SDS) is a committed partner to students with disabilities, helping coordinate access and support for students. Accommodations are handled through the Disability Services office in an effort to create an equal opportunity to enjoy and participate in Saint Mary’s educational programs and campus life.

All student accommodation requests, including but not limited to registration, housing, and classroom accommodations can be made by contacting the Disability Services office. Students with disabilities who would like to disclose and request accommodations can call (925) 631-4358 to set up a confidential introductory appointment to discuss accommodation guidelines and available services. For more information, visit our website.

Career Center

The Career Center focuses on discovering internship, volunteer, diverse employment, and post-graduation opportunities for students and alumni through building and enhancing internal and external partnerships.The Career Center collaborates with academic programs and other student success offices to promote a holistic approach to students’ lives and to foster the personal and professional development of students. Additionally, the Career Center helps students prepare for graduate and professional school (law school, for example). These services include identifying and selecting schools, application assistance, identifying and approaching references, essay and personal statement writing, and standardized test preparation.

The Career Center provides on- and off-campus part-time and full-time job listings for undergraduate, graduate students, and alumni as well as hosting an annual Career/Internship/Nonprofit/Grad School Fair in the fall and a One-Stop Job Shop Hiring Fair in the spring and on-campus interviewing opportunities. Students can see all current job listings online from Handshake and discover all of our resources, workshops, events, formats for resumes and cover letters, tips on creating a compelling LinkedIn profile and so much more through our website.

Additional support for career exploration and professional development is provided within the Academic Schools (Economics & Business, Education, Liberal Arts, and Science) and is tailored to the needs of students in those majors, minors, and graduate programs.

Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism (CERP)

Founded in 2008, CERP is the academic center at Saint Mary’s for promoting interreligious understanding and interfaith engagement across religiously diverse and non-faith perspectives in service of the College’s goal of “inclusive excellence” and its mission, which states in part: “Recognizing that all those who sincerely quest for truth contribute to and enhance its stature as a Catholic institution of higher learning, Saint Mary’s welcomes members from its own and other traditions, inviting them to collaborate in fulfilling the spiritual mission of the College.”

CERP creates linkages with other colleges and universities, as well as organizations (such as the American Academy of Religion and the Interfaith Youth Core) to enhance Saint Mary’s knowledge about and ability to address interfaith challenges and opportunities.

CERP works with faculty to develop scholarship, curriculum, and workshops that advance interreligious understanding and interfaith leadership, including active collaboration with the newly developed minor in Interfaith Leadership. CERP also produces interfaith awareness and engagement programs and events to enrich and complement Saint Mary’s curriculum, often in partnership with other organizations and with academic departments on campus. In so doing, CERP supports the College’s commitment to collaboration and dialogue, to diversity, to prepare students for ethical and effective engagement in a diverse and global environment, and to build leadership that advances social justice.

Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action (CILSA)

CILSA is an academic center that is working toward the day when all people collaborate to enact social justice, inclusion, and sustainability in every aspect of life. To that end, CILSA collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and community partners to create and sustain transformative Engaged Learning experiences inspired by the Catholic, Lasallian, and liberal arts traditions. CILSA utilizes the framework and integration of “head, heart, and hands” to guide its work:

Head - CILSA fosters students’ intellectual development, content knowledge, and capacities for critical reflection about issues of justice, and pathways for change.

Heart - CILSA supports students’ emotional engagement and meaning-making in service; students also explore their growing sense of purpose and vocation.

Hands - Through CILSA, students engage in practical action in the world to apply knowledge, to explore skills and interests, and to learn about social justice while contributing to the common good.

Student Leadership & Service Opportunities

Each year, nearly 100 students participate in CILSA’s service and leadership development programs, most of which qualify for Engaged Learning (EL) designation in the Core Curriculum. CILSA’s programs include: Monument Corps for Middle School Success, Santiago Living-Learning Community (in collaboration with Mission and Ministry), Public Service Internship Program, Engaged Learning Facilitators (ELFs), and the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT). Additionally, CILSA hires 30+ students each year for Jumpstart, an education program in Oakland preschools, and sponsors the MICAH Summer Fellowship, with locations in the Bay Area and Tijuana.

Engaged Learning in the Core Curriculum

Nearly one-quarter of the undergraduate student body participates in an Engaged Learning (EL) course or program each year. CILSA collaborates with faculty and program sponsors to provide pedagogical and practical support. Specifically, CILSA offers faculty development related to EL and social justice education, initiates and sustains community partnerships, coordinates faculty support through the Engaged Learning Facilitators (ELFs), and provides administrative backbone support to EL via the Get Connected website, partnership agreements, and student reimbursement process.

Americorps Vista Program

The College’s collaboration with community partners is strengthened by CILSA’s sponsorship of the AmeriCorps VISTA Program. Through VISTA, recent college graduates serve full-time for one year at CILSA-affiliated non-profits. VISTA Members assist with collaborative activities, volunteer recruitment and management, and a capacity-building project identified at each site. CILSA not only hosts VISTA Members at Saint Mary’s, we have replicated our program at four additional California universities.

Visit CILSA in 203 Ferroggiaro Hall or at our website. Contact CILSA’s director, Jennifer M. Pigza, PhD, at or (925) 631-4755.

Center for International Programs

The Center for International Programs develops and supports international programs and activities on and off campus to support the Core Curriculum intellectual area-Engaging the World-which asks students to engage with the world in substantive and meaningful ways. Saint Mary’s offers study abroad programs throughout the world, providing students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, and deepen their understanding of the world and their role in it. Furthermore, on campus, the Center promotes global understanding through a variety of events, workshops, presentations, and programs that provide a platform for discussion and exchange of ideas. The Center staff guides inbound and outbound students through the process of discovery, and assists students as they explore the option of study abroad and acclimatization to American culture.

The Center oversees immigration advising for F-1 and J-1 international students and scholars, and leads orientations focusing on cultural acclimatization, familiarization, and immigration regulations related to the F-1 student or J-1 scholar visa status. Orientation occurs throughout a student’s four-year program as international students make their transition to a new academic culture. Orientation often includes a Global Fair, country-specific presentations, and the opportunity for interchange and exchange. The International Club, referred to as the iClub, offers domestic and international students an opportunity to be involved in an organization specifically focused on all things global. The iClub is mentored by a CIP staff member. The International House (iHouse) is a living and learning community focused on intercultural communication. International and domestic students discover a “common ground” where they can communicate across cultures.

A wide variety of study abroad programs are offered to students during the fall and spring semesters. Current destinations include Australia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and Spain. Saint Mary’s has also established semester or academic year exchange programs with seven partners around the world. All students are eligible to receive academic credit for successfully completing courses during their term abroad. When students enroll in Saint Mary’s-sponsored study abroad programs, they are able to apply their federal, state, and Saint Mary’s scholarship aid to cover most of the cost of their overseas program. For more information, call the main departmental line (925) 631-4245 or email. The Center is committed to enriching all students’ life experiences, whether in the United States or abroad.

The Library

Saint Albert Hall - The Library

Saint Albert Hall was named after the 13th century philosopher and theologian Saint Albert the Great and in honor of the former President of Saint Mary’s College, Brother Albert Plotz, FSC, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in the 1960s.

The Library provides all students with a wealth of scholarly resources, comfortable physical spaces to study and work, expert librarians to assist in study and research, and helpful paraprofessional staff members. Not only can students and faculty get the help and advice of librarians by physically visiting the library, they can also get help and advice by telephoning or sending an electronic inquiry via email, chat, or text. Every student can make an appointment with a librarian specializing in a subject area to obtain individualized help and tutoring in research skills. Developed in partnership with teaching faculty, the library has an extensive instruction program geared to helping students develop scholarly research skills, and particularly, how to use the library to complete class assignments.

The Library’s research, teaching, and learning collections include a mix of print and electronic books and journals, films, music, and newspapers. Some of the highlights of these collections include:

  • A Course Reserve Collection of high-use materials assigned by faculty members.
  • A Textbook Collection of textbooks frequently assigned by faculty for all courses at Saint Mary’s College.
  • A Best Sellers Collection of new and recent books cited on the New York Times best seller list.
  • An Instructional Video Collection of documentaries, theatrical performances (dance, opera and theater), interviews, and television series.
  • The Byron Bryant Film Collection, consisting of award winning and significant feature films in many languages, and representing many cultures.

In addition to its own collections, the Library has sharing agreements with thousands of other libraries giving students access to millions of books and articles worldwide.

Throughout the Library, students will find computers, (some with specialized software), printers, and scanning devices, as well as technical support staff. The Library has the fastest Wi-Fi on campus and students can now do cloud printing in the building. Tech Bar staff can help students and faculty with technical computer problems.

There are six group study rooms that may be reserved by students. All group study rooms are equipped with a television, DVD/VHS player, and a whiteboard. One study room is also equipped for students to practice, record, and play back their own presentations and lectures. There are two quiet study spaces, a large silent study room on the first floor, and a small, quiet reading room with soft furniture on the third floor.

The Library also houses the College Archives, which collects and makes available materials relating to all aspects of Saint Mary’s College history. The Special Collections Department collects and makes available rare and unique materials from many time periods on many subjects. Three examples of its unique collections are the rare works comprising the California and Western Americana Collection, the Cardinal Newman and His Times Collection, a rare and extensive print collection of the Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman’s writings, as well as materials illuminating his life, and the intellectual and political world in which he lived. Finally, Special Collections houses the Library for Lasallian Studies, an extensive collection by and about Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The collection documents his influence and place in 17th century French spirituality.

Information Technology Services (ITS)

Chief Information Officer

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) oversees the strategic intent of the College’s adoption and use of technology resources while also leading the College’s Information Technology Services department (ITS). ITS provides central IT support which includes educational technology services, audio/visual and media services, the IT service desk and tech bar, desktop computing, technology purchasing, administrative information services, web services, infrastructure and operations services.

Director, Educational Technology

The Director of Educational Technology fosters collaborative partnerships among faculty, academic leaders, and technology professionals to encourage the development of innovative, technologically enhanced instruction and academic event support with an eye on the distinction in the College’s academic mission. The director leads an Educational Technology team charged with development, service, support, and maintenance of many and varied IT applications and resources identified by faculty as most appropriate to enhance teaching, learning, and academic events.

Educational Technology Center 

The educational technology team (EdTech) operates out of the  Educational Technology Center, also referred to as the EdTech Center,  supporting the adoption and use of technology in relation to the College’s academic mission. The EdTech team also provides focused support for various classroom-based and online instructional applications, providing “tech camps” and digital literacy initiatives for faculty each academic year to enhance their understanding of the instructional technology resources and services available to faculty. The EdTech team is located in the library, St. Albert Hall, in the EdTech Center, which is to the right of the foyer as you enter.

The IT Service Desk and Tech Bar

The IT Service Desk, located in room 111 in Galileo Hall, provides email, voice, walk-in, and online service as a clearing house for all support that IT Services provides to the College community. The IT Service Desk also loans various computing and audio/visual equipment to students, faculty, and staff.

The IT Services Tech Bar has a primary location in Saint Albert Library to the right of the foyer as you enter. The Tech Bar is staffed mostly by students, and provides “just in time” walk-in technology support for students, faculty and staff on a very broad array of topics.

Technology in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship

The primary ITS mission is to support the curricular and research activities of faculty and students, campus communication, and information dissemination services. The Saint Mary’s network is built upon the foundation of a high-speed fiber-optic infrastructure that extends throughout the campus. This network links faculty and staff offices, student computer laboratories, technologically enhanced classrooms, residence halls, and the Library. The College’s networked data and voice communications resources are procured, developed, and maintained by ITS, and are also available to students, faculty, and staff via the Internet when off campus.

The IT Services Media and Desktop teams maintain and support software and computing/media equipment to serve faculty and students in classrooms and online. Desktop and Media teams are responsible for service and support of technology in classrooms and computer laboratories located throughout the campus. EdTech also supports academic and non-academic events and conferences for both internal and external individuals and groups.

The ITS department page on the College’s website offers information and interactive self-service to students, faculty, and staff, along with contact information and hours of operation for the IT Service Desk and Tech Bar.

Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art

Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art, located in the campus’ Arts Corridor, holds an outstanding encyclopedic permanent art collection, and organizes exhibits that support teaching, learning, and scholarly research. The Museum’s vision is to infuse Saint Mary’s College with the unique virtues of art through high-quality, thought-provoking, multisensory arts programming that inspires encounters with the complexity, beauty, and meaning of human experience and its expression.

The Museum of Art advances academic excellence in and through the arts via active collaboration and deep engagement with our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, Museum members, and the greater Bay Area Arts community. The exhibition program integrates artistic excellence and intellectual merit using objects from the permanent collection and outside sources to reflect different cultures, styles, and periods of art history, and fosters community involvement and lifelong learning.

The collection of over 4,500 objects includes The William Keith Collection of late 19th and early 20th century California landscapes and portraits, historical and contemporary landscape paintings with a focus on California, works on paper consisting of primarily American and European prints and photography, sculpture focused on religious icons and contemporary sculpture, and an ethnographic collection.

Founded in 1934 by Brother Fidelis Cornelius Braeg, a Saint Mary’s College art professor and biographer of William Keith, the Museum began with a collection of Keith’s works. Keith was a key figure in the history of California art, and a partner of naturalist John Muir. The Museum’s donors provide support that allows the Museum to offer student scholarships and internships.

Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For further information, see our website.

SMC Veteran Support 

The college offers support to Veteran and Military-Affiliated students by assisting veterans and dependents in obtaining their VA educational benefits, tracking students’ academic progress, and reporting enrollment details to the VA. The School Certifying Official also serves as the Veterans’ Academic Resources Manager and maintains the Veteran Resource Center, as well as runs programming for Veterans and Military-Affiliated students on campus.

Procedures and Policies for Using VA Education Benefits

Applying for and Verifying VA Educational Benefit Eligibility 

Steps to apply for your VA Education Benefits: 

Step 1.) Visit the VA education and training benefits webpage at
Veterans/Dependents may be eligible for one of the following categories:

  • Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation)
  • Chapter 33 (Post 9-11 GI Bill®)
  • Chapter 35 (Dependents of deceased or disabled Vets)
  • Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill® Selected Reserve)
  • Chapter 33 (Post 9-11 GI Bill®, Yellow Ribbon)

Step 2.) The VA will mail you a Certificate of Eligibility, of which a copy must be sent to Attn: VA Certifying Official in the Veterans Support Services office in Filippi Academic Hall, 190, or emailed to  Please turn in this form, even if you are still awaiting your acceptance decision from Saint Mary’s.

Step 3.) Once we have your Certificate of Eligibility and you are enrolled in classes at Saint Mary’s, we will begin reporting your enrollment to the VA, so you receive benefits.


For more information on Veteran’s Support and Benefits, please visit our Financial Aid page by clicking here.