Core Curriculum and how impacted by CSJ:


Required DEI/CSJ in Core Curriculum and General Education 

University administration has much power over “general education” requirements— courses that all students must take along with their majors.  Like most colleges, USD has distribution requirements. The purpose of a general education is to create a well-rounded citizen--knowledgeable about the basics in science, humanities and social science guided by the idea of what an educated person needed to know the basics of our civilization.  Years ago, that would have meant that students had to take twelve courses in natural science and nine in social science, and so on.  

USD has dropped its traditional aspiration of educating well-rounded citizens, and now aims to create “citizens of the world” with “competencies.”  This abets indoctrination toward a social justice activism.  USD’s new curriculum requires “Competencies, Explorations, Foundations, and Integration.”  Competencies, Explorations, and Foundations are taken at the beginning of one’s education, Integration as a capstone near the end.  Students have some choice within each of these areas.  USD has also “flagged” certain classes for diversity, inclusion, and social justice.  Students must take two three-credit courses with such flags, one with flag one and the other with flag two.  Critical Social Justice is present throughout the General Education, but it is mandated under the two-course flag requirement.  


Here is how the General Education works:

Competencies refers to communication and quantitative reasoning requirements.[1]  

Explorations is akin to a liberal arts and humanities course, with an emphasis on “social identity” and “personal expression.”  

Foundations is a big question requirement, divided into four requirements or flags.[2] Students must take 1 course each in “Philosophical Inquiry” and “Ethical Inquiry” and 2 courses each in “Theological and Religious Inquiry” and “Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice.”  Theology and Social Justice have equal time!

The Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice flags have two levels.  Both levels are pure CSJ ideology.  Students are asked “to critically examine and recognize how difference may lead to disparities in life experiences domestically” for the first flag.  For the second the student must apply these dogmas internationally.  The student learning outcomes include the following:  “Critical self-reflection” where students “reflect on and describe how you and others have experienced privilege and oppression”; “analyze how social constructions are produced historically and reproduced in contemporary contexts and various forms of cultural representation”; “describe struggles of marginalized peoples and their allies against forces such as racism, sexism, classism, or heterosexism to attain equitable outcomes”; and “critically examine the intersections of categories such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality” into a “more complex picture of self, another individual or group.” 

CONCLUSION:  USD’S revised core curriculum, undertaken at the behest of Envisioning 2024, was designed to double the presence of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the core curriculum and to drive hiring so that more professors adhere to this ideology. 


[2] All quotations in this paragraph are drawn from the description at