Jul 15, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Officers and Services

Academic Officers

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

The provost 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 Student Academics

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 Programs and Planning

The Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Planning provides leadership and coordination in academic program planning and review, internationalization and global learning, community engagement, strategic planning, educational effectiveness, and organizational learning.

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.

Academic Officers and Services

Director 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.

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.

Student Success Office (SSO)

The Student Success Office (SSO) is a leader in Higher Education known for delivering high-impact practices with proven outcomes. Our practices are focused on providing equity and access to all students. Under the leadership of the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success, SSO comprises the Academic Honor Council, Career and Professional Development Services, High Potential Program, Lamont Madden Book Fund, Student Disability Services, Student Engagement and Academic Success, Student Success Collaborative (software), and Tutorial and Academic Skills Center.

The SSO and its departments provide students with connections, opportunities, and initiatives that foster: holistic learning and education; academic, personal, and professional development and excellence; degree achievement; and positive post-graduate outcomes from a developmental and strengths-based perspective.

SSO strengthens collaboration among staff and faculty to foster a culture of commencement in which successful graduation is a shared universal expectation. To uphold that expectation, SSO supports an expanded understanding of student success, including academic, personal, and psychosocial well-being. SSO is committed to providing undergraduates and graduates 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.

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.

SSO serves as a consultant to and resource for students, faculty, staff, and parents and families concerning academic policies, standards, and student academic performance and standing. SSO has responsibility for the following core functions:

  • Coordinate the academic probation and disqualification review process
  • Convene the Academic Probation Review Board and coordinate the academic disqualification appeal process
  • Hear student appeals and grievances to the Academic Probation Review Board decisions
  • Hear student and faculty disagreements pertaining to student disability accommodations
  • Review and act on petitions for substitutions to academic requirements based on appropriately documented disabilities
  • Adjudicate student grievances against faculty and staff noncompliance of disability accommodations
  • Review and act on student petitions for exceptions to academic policies

For more information, please visit: stmarys-ca.edu/success.

Student Engagement and Academic Success (SEAS)

Student Engagement and Academic Success (SEAS) provides opportunities and implements initiatives, utilizing high-impact practices, which foster holistic learning, academic excellence, and degree achievement for students. SEAS is an innovative leader in student success initiatives. We inspire students to identify and utilize the power within them to be independent learners, successful scholars, and contributing members of society at and beyond Saint Mary’s College of California. The campus community recognizes and values our holistic strengths-based approach to promoting academic excellence and student achievement.

Services include: coaching, workshops, academic success, major exploration, time management, anti-procrastination techniques, study skills, career preparation, cover letter and résumé writing, business etiquette, professional social networking, etc.; individual and group consultation; student outreach; academic monitoring and early alert; and referral and interdepartmental collaboration.

For more information, please visit: stmarys-ca.edu/seas.

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 economically and educationally underrepresented groups in higher education. The High Potential (HP) Program and TRIO Student Support Services are designed to draw on the strengths and resiliency of first generation and/or students demonstrating financial need as they transition from high school to college. HP staff, faculty, and peer mentors work together with 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 to baccalaureate degree completion.

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 hp@stmarys-ca.edu. For more information, please visit the High Potential Program website: www.stmarys-ca.edu/hp.

The Advising Office (TAO)

The Advising Office supports faculty members in their roles as undergraduate academic advisors. In conjunction with the First Year Advising Steering Committee, TAO is responsible for the administration, logistical coordination, and curricular management of the First Year Advising Cohort (FYAC) Program.

Through participation in the mandatory FYAC Program, each first-year student is assigned a faculty advisor from a discipline or field closely related to the student’s academic interest. The FYAC Program is designed to help students navigate the complex issues and options encountered as they transition into the college environment, and to provide guidance in establishing longer range goals and strategies for academic success. With the guidance of their FYAC advisor, students are encouraged to declare an academic major in the spring of their first year.

Beginning in the sophomore year, students with a declared major are assigned to a faculty advisor from the appropriate academic department or program. Specialized advisors are provided for allied health science, pre-med, and pre-law students.

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: stmarys-ca.edu/tasc.

Career and Professional Development Services (CPDS)

Career Professional Development Services (CPDS) focuses on discovering internship, volunteer, diverse employment, and post-graduation opportunities for students and alumni through building and enhancing internal and external partnerships. CPDS works closely with academic administrators, deans, department chairs, and faculty to integrate academic and professional development goals for students and alumni.

CPDS collaborates with the Success Coaches in SEAS and HP to promote a holistic approach to students’ lives, and to foster the personal and professional development of students. The collective goal is to provide a diverse array of possibilities so that students will be prepared for their post-graduation paths.

Additionally, CPDS helps students prepare for graduate and professional school (i.e., law). These services include identifying and selecting schools, application assistance, identifying and approaching references, essay and personal statement writing, and standardized test preparation.

CPDS provides on- and off-campus part-time and full-time job listings for undergraduate, graduate students, and alumni as well hosting as annual Career/Internship/ Non-Profit/Grad School Fair and On-Campus Interviewing opportunities. All current job listings are online through Handshake. For more information, please visit stmarys-ca.edu/cpds

Student Disability Services (SDS)

Student Disability Services is dedicated to ensuring equal opportunity and access to all academic programs, services, resources, and campus life activities at Saint Mary’s College for qualified students with disabilities. The goal is to promote educational advancement in a safe, nondiscriminatory environment. Individualized assistance for reasonable and appropriate accommodations is provided for students with appropriately documented learning, health, psychological, or physical disabilities.

For more information, please visit: stmarys-ca.edu/sds.

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 community engagement 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 Community Engagement (CE) 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.

Community Engagement in the Core Curriculum

Nearly one-quarter of the undergraduate student body participates in a Community Engagement (CE) 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 CE and social justice education, initiates and sustains community partnerships, coordinates faculty support through the Engaged Learning Facilitators (ELFs), and provides administrative backbone support to CE 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 stmarys-ca.edu/cilsa. Contact CILSA’s director, Jennifer M. Pigza, PhD, at jpigza@stmarys-ca.edu or (925) 631-4755.

Center for International Programs

The Center for International Programs (CIP) 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, offering 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 assimilation to American culture.

The Center oversees the immigration advisement of F-1 and J-1 international students and scholars, and leads orientations focusing on cultural assimilation, 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, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain. Saint Mary’s has also established semester exchange programs with partners in Australia, Japan, and Spain. Through the Lasallian Consortium, Saint Mary’s students have additional study abroad opportunities in Argentina, Costa Rica, Poland and Ireland. All students are eligible to receive academic credit for successfully completing courses during the 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 studyabroad@stmarys-ca.edu. 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

Chief Technology Officer

The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 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), 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, and telephone services.

Director, Educational Technology

The director, Educational Technology fosters collaborative partnerships among faculty, academic leaders, and technology professionals to encourage development of innovative, technology-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.

The Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CTLS): EDTECH

An Educational Technology team works closely with the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship to best support the adoption and use of technology in relation to the College’s academic mission. This team also provides focused support for various classroom-based and online academic/instructional applications, providing “tech camps” and digital literacy initiatives for faculty each academic year as a means to enhance understanding of the instructional technology resources and services available to faculty. The EdTech team is located in Saint Albert Library 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 stmarys-ca.edu/museum.