Mission Statement
Bucknell University Catalog, 2005-06, p. 1

.....Bucknell expects its students to be concerned with two closely related types of development: that of the productive citizen and that of the person working toward intellectual maturity and self-awareness. Bucknell's education program stresses the perpetration of all of its students for the exercise of high responsibility in all phases of society. The undergraduate experience serves as a catalyst for the student's intellectual development and as a means of fostering the growth of each individual's capacity for self-awareness and sustained commitment to learning.

Because our society presents continuing challenges to values, students are encouraged to cultivate respect for other individuals and cultures, enhancing in the course of this pursuit their own moral sensitivity, personal creativity, and emotional stability. At the same time, Bucknell's residential character provides a matrix within which institutional programs and practices that exemplify compassion, civility, and a sense of justice from an aspect of the educational experience.


1. To provide a broad curriculum which includes the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and professional studies in engineering, education, and management.

2. To recruit a diverse student body of controlled size composed of talented men and women

3. To educate students for the exercise of high responsibility in all phases of society.

4. To develop in students the qualities of self-awareness, personal creativity, and a lifelong interest in learning

5. To develop in students broad analytical and transferable habits of thought.

6. To develop new experiences that will enable students to grow in moral sensitivity and in respect for other persons.

7. To engage in institutional programs and practices that exemplify compassion, civility, and a sense of justice.

Foundation Seminar
Bucknell University Catalog, 2005-06, p. 107

Each first-year student will enroll in a small seminar of about 15 students, usually in the fall semester. Foundations Seminars are offered by many different faculty and focus on a wide vary of subjects. Whatever the topics, they are designed to cultivate the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary for students to benefit maximally from a Bucknell education and to negotiate the complexities of the modern world. The seminars will stress the following: active, independent learning; collaborative learning; development of students' capacity for analysis, reflection judgment, and creativity; multiple perspectives, and development of skills students need in order to engage in intellectual endeavors at Bucknell and beyond. These courses will address foundational skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and also develop students' ability to use the library effectively and to use computers (e.g. word processing, simulations, use of a database, or analysis of data).

Foundation Seminar Learning Objectives

1) Fostering the intellectual development of first-year students through reading, speaking, listening, and writing.

Intellectual development implies improving students' ability to analyze, evaluate, and interpret materials they encounter (texts, performances, works of art, the phenomena of society and nature), to synthesize and communicate the results of their studies, and to create works of their own demonstrating the acquisition of new knowledge or application of their learning. This process increases the first-year student's capacity for critical (or higher-order) thinking complemented by the creative dimensions of imagination and insight. Through exposure to different perspectives in the Foundation courses, whether complementary or conflicting, students realize the limitations of a single viewpoint as they understand the nature and uses of evidence and practice well-reasoned and persuasive argumentation.

2) Promoting active learning and responsibility, thereby motivating students to become accountable for their own learning.

Students should come to value and to emulate the characteristics of an engaged learner by taking responsibility for their own learning and understanding how specific activities are related to the learning goals of a course. They will learn to evaluate their own learning, and if necessary, will seek assistance in order to achieve educational objectives. The students will also begin to understand that learning is a social act that requires collaboration, intentional participation, self-awareness, and self-motivation.