The mission of the biology department takes its direction from the broader mission of Westminster College. The department’s quest for academic excellence and extensive experiential learning is suffused with a recognition that stewardship of life mandates the maximum possible development of each person’s intellectual capabilities and social responsibilities. In order to help women and men develop the competencies, commitments, and characteristics which distinguish human beings at their best, the biology department realizes its mission in students who:
- acquire knowledge and an appreciation of the natural world;
- cultivate an intellectual curiosity that encourages observation and exploration using multiple perspectives;
- demonstrate competencies to reason logically, evaluate critically, communicate effectively, and imagine creatively;
- develop and demonstrate moral and ethical commitments to society and the natural world;
- commit themselves to lifelong learning and the acquisition of skills for careers and responsible service as world citizens.
The outcomes of the biology department are achieved in students who:
- demonstrate breadth of knowledge about current biological concepts and principles, including recognition of the inter-relatedness of knowledge among the various biological sub-disciplines;
- acquire a foundation of knowledge and skills that prepare them for a wide range of professions;
- utilize observational, investigational, and critical-thinking skills, including the ability to develop new ideas, to design, implement, and evaluate scientific concepts and theories, and to assess, interpret and understand data;
- communicate scientific ideas through written and oral presentation;
- participate effectively in collaborative learning with faculty and students;
- participate in co-curricular educational opportunities that enhance interactions with faculty and other students outside of the classroom;
- demonstrate an understanding of diversity, organization, and functioning of the living world sufficient to ensure informed participation in society and to exhibit a capacity for bioethical decision-making.