Forms Manager

Way of Thinking - Abstract Structures Course Proposal

Abstract Structures

This Way of Thinking focuses on formal and symbolic representations of objects, structures and/or experiences. Through this focus, this Way of Thinking examines such representations and the relationships between them and explores ways that formal and symbolic models can be applied to a range of more concrete examples and situations. Abstract reasoning by its nature requires unambiguous, systematic, and/or well-defined rules for the creation and manipulations of symbols and relationships.

Students will focus on developing representations (numeric, symbolic, graphical, and otherwise) and rules. These courses will refine students’ manipulation and understanding of those representations and rules appropriate to the subject being studied. As Abstract Structures model objects, structures and relationships, a course would be expected to cultivate students’ abilities to move fluently between these abstract representations/models and the concrete examples (and/or simpler abstractions) they represent. Examples of Abstract Structures include but are not limited to: music theory; symbolization and evaluation of the validity of arguments; analysis and composition of algorithms and computer programs; analysis and development of mathematical models; linguistic analysis; deductive arguments and formal proofs.

In the Integrations Curriculum a course can be designated as either:

  1. A Way of Thinking, AND/OR
  2. A Thematic Encounter or Thematic Focus
  3. CSD: Identity (CI) or CSD: Systems (CS), OR
  4. INTG 100: Learning Foundations (LF), INTG 205: Transfer Seminar, or INTG 300: Learning Integrations (LI), OR
  5. Theological Explorations (TE) or Theological Integrations (TI)

Any course carrying one of the above designations may also have one engagement^ (except for TE, CSD: I, LF, and LI, which cannot carry engagements):

  1. Artistic engagement (AR)
  2. Experiential engagement (EX)
  3. Global engagement (GL)*

Any course may satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) skill requirement.

Any course (except courses that fulfill Theological Explorations, Theological Integrations, Learning Foundations, or any course with THEO course number) may also satisfy the Benedictine Raven (BN).*

Any 2xx or 3xx, 4-credit course (except for INTG 100 Learning Foundations, CSD:I, INTG 205 Transfer Seminar, and INTG 300 Learning Integrations) may satisfy the WR (Writing Skill) designation.**

^Semester-length study abroad courses may carry both GL and EX.

*Classes entering the Fall of 2020 and 2021 are waived from the GL and BN requirements.
**For classes entering in the Fall 2022 onward.


A Way of Thinking course may only carry one Way of Thinking per instructor; team taught courses may have two distinct Ways of Thinking.

Will your course be team-taught?



Basic Course Information

Grading type

Please note:

A.  The committee understands that some courses may still be in development. Prompts that ask for examples of assignments seek information about the spirit of what students will do and instructors are not bound to the specific details (e.g. writing prompts) provided.

B.  The committee includes faculty from a variety of disciplines. Please remember to briefly explain disciplinary terms, contexts, and/or texts to allow all the members of the committee to best understand how your responses address the question.

C.  As you are answering these questions, please keep in mind that students will need to produce work to assess their fulfillment of the related learning outcomes if applicable.

Will you be applying for a Thematic Encounter or Thematic Focus designation?

If yes, you will need to fill out a separate application for either the Thematic Encounter (25% of 4-credit course at 100, 200, or 300 level) or Thematic Focus (100% of course at 200 or 300 level).

Are you applying for an Engagement (only one Engagement is allowed, unless your course is a semester-length study abroad which can apply for GLO and EXP)?