pragmaticstudies-deanslist 500x330The University of St. Thomas now offers a new Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science (BAAS) in Social Innovation and Human Service for graduates of the Associates of Applied Science in Pragmatic Studies program

Specifically created for students with learning differences, the BAAS program will provide much needed opportunities for non-traditional college students to have a meaningful and purposeful college experience that results in a bachelor's degree.

Graduates will be able to pursue jobs in the community service fields of HR, customer service, urban planning, working with nonprofits—anything that deals with community endeavors and social enrichment.

Program Objectives

BAAS campus photo 500x330The BAAS in Social Innovation and Human Service program will provide students with a broad, world view of societal challenges and different perspectives on how to approach them. It will also provide an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum to ensure students develop empathy for communities impacted by social problems and the understanding in how civic engagement can assist in solving complex issues.

Students will spend 12-15 hours per week in the classroom with a cohort of 12-15 students, which will allow for more personalized instruction.  As part of this 54-credit hour program, students will earn an 18-credit hour minor in a subject or field already offered to UST students.  Courses in the major will be taught in a compressed-track format of seven weeks each, and courses in the minor field will be taught as customarily at UST, with support from the BAAS program and the Office of Disability Services.

Graduates of BAAS in Social Innovation and Human Service program will possess a deep understanding of humanitarian issues and social justice, and will also demonstrate that learning differences are no longer a hindrance to success.

Universal Design For Learning (UDL)

 500X330_Pragmatic_UDLUniversal Design for Learning (UDL) is an instructional methodology that rests on three student-centered principles: engagement of the learner, representation of the material, and action/ expression to demonstrate understanding. Engagement requires educators to motivate learners to persist in the learning process. Student interest and proclivity must be taken into account when designing learning materials, and at times it is most appropriate to encourage the learner to assist in that instructional design. Representation is focused on how that information is then presented to the learner so that maximum learning and knowledge acquisition can take place. 

This means material will be taught by multiple means to facilitate all types of learners.  For example, some students may learn best by having material read to them aloud and other students may learn best through kinesthetic means where they actually interact with the course itself. Finally, students demonstrate their understanding and mastery of the course material through different expressions of that knowledge. Some students may present projects, others may present Story Boards, and others may use technology to create an audio-visual representation of the material. Using UDL will facilitate learning for all students in the most inclusive form possible; any and all options are integrated into the courses themselves using UDL principles to support all students.