Educated Person Dialogue

Center for Faculty Development
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192


How is this Campus Dialogue concept relevant to SJSU's curricula and programs?

What is the meaning of an Educated Person for students? What is our role as faculty? These are just a few of many questions that touch the hearts of our faculty in our ongoing Dialogue. In this site, you will find meanings to your questions regarding

Reasons for this Dialogue: What Does It Mean to Be an Educated Person?

Universities continually discuss what it means to be an educated person, what a "liberal education" means or looks like and why it is or is not important, and how general education courses help or hinder.

We all face the question of what it means to be an "educated person" regularly in helping students to know why they are required to take GE courses, why they should get involved in campus activities outside of class, how to help students become lifelong learners, and how to reinforce GE skills and knowledge in major courses.

University Scholar Self Assessment Tool [pdf]

This question also touches on many activities at SJSU including:

  • WASC accreditation (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)
  • Regular review of GE Guidelines that is called for in S96-9 This was completed in Spring 2005 [pdf].
  • Updating of the RTP policy - should a professor's dossier or teaching portfolio include a description of their teaching and learning philosophy and how their course design and delivery helps to facilitate student advancement to becoming lifelong learner

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How this Dialogue Works and How to Join

Participation in the Dialogue is open to all members of the SJSU community - employees, students, alumni, and community members.

Online Dialogue

A SJSU listserve discussion group is set up solely for this purpose. You will need to join the e-mail list to participate.

Face-to-Face Dialogue

Face-to-Face Dialogue consists of regular forums or brown bags discussions that are held once or twice monthly during the academic year.
  • Where to meet

    • IRC 101 from NOON - 1 PM; usually on Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • How to access the current schedule

Your Role

  • Join the email discussion group (Online Dialogue) and offer your views on the question(s) posed.

  • Get others involved in the face-to-face and online discussions, including students.

  • Discuss the topics in smaller groups with your colleagues or in the classroom. Discuss the topic with people at other campuses.

  • Participate in the twice monthly Face-to-Face Dialogues.

  • Volunteer to do some research as needed.

  • Keep current with some of the literature on this vast topic. There are many helpful links in our Background Information.

  • Become an "Educated Person Fellow" by attending workshops and leading an online discussion.


  • Examples of questions raised in Online Dialogues since May 2003

    • What does it mean to be an educated citizen/person? [May 2003]

    • Is helping students to become educated citizens/persons an appropriate goal for all majors at SJSU?Does the student's incoming level of preparedness for university-level study matter? [Fall 2003] A new question based on the 9/9/03 face-to-face discussion: What do we expect an educated person/citizen to be able to do?

    • Broadly speaking, what is needed to help someone become an educated citizen/person? What was the "most educational" course or experience you had that might be reproduced for others? What role should a university play in helping students become educated citizens/persons? Who all needs to be involved – what is the role for each party? Could we create a roles and responsibilities chart? [Fall 2003]

    • What is the best term for what we are trying to help our students become – educated citizens? Educated persons? Lifelong learners? Something else? [Spring 2004]

    • Is SJSU's GE program sufficient to help our students to become educated persons? Are improvements needed? If yes, what? If no, why? [Summer/Fall 2004]

    • What is the role of departments and colleges in helping their majors to become educated citizens/persons? [Fall 2004]

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