GEN400—Visioning a Future of Justice, Compassion, and Service

Final GEN400 Project Guidelines:

The final project of GEN400 asks you to pull together what you have been learning about the Mercy Core Values and the Visioning of a Future that we have been discussing since our earliest weeks together. This project should be from 5-6 pages (minimum of 1,250 words). It must include the citation of at least seven sources. At least two of these sources should be R/Vs that you encountered in this course: one assigned source from Unit One and one assigned R/V from a student presenter in Unit Two. Besides these two sources from our GEN400 readings, you also must include at least four scholarly research materials — either scholarly journals or academic books — related in some way to these readings or the topics referenced in them. The 7th source is “free choice” … it can be another R/V or an interview with an expert in the field or a website from a credible source or another article, book. The final paper also must integrate some aspect of learning gained through the service learning experience. The final version will be submitted to Safe Assign on Blackboard within its assignment link.

To develop your project, it may help to think about three different parts to the final essay. This outline is a guide throughout the research and writing process, modify, as needed. Be sure to use the scoring rubric as your guide.

Proposed Components of Final Project (feel free to modify to fit your research):

PART ONE:     Introductory Reflection Piece:  Reflection on Mercy Core Values

What is your present understanding of the Mercy Core Values of respect, integrity, justice, compassion, and service? How has your understanding of justice, compassion, and service evolved over the course of the semester?  How do you see these Mercy Core Values connected to living a good life?

What has informed your current perspective on these values? Cite readings and academic research, service learning exploration and experiences, relevant academic discourse in and out of the classroom, and personal reflection on these values as important (or not) to you.

PART TWO: Research – Application of Core Values to a Critical Concern  

Name a current critical concern / problem that you feel is worth your continued involvement or consideration.

Why is this critical concern / problem important to you?

Do you feel alone in your perspective?  Do others see the critical concern / problem as important?

If this problem continues unabated, what are some possible consequences?

Explore the complexities and complications of the critical concern / problem.

Define the concern or problem clearly and succinctly.

What are some general assumptions about this problem? What were your presumptions prior to your investigation of the problem?

What information can you gather about the extent of this problem? (Research data, expert analysis, observations, experiences)

How do you interpret this above information? What is not being said/considered that should be said/considered?

Consider Solutions to the Critical Concern or Problem.

What moral principles do you think address this issue? How could an application of the Mercy Core Values address this issue?

What creative idea and response would most effectively address the issue? Explain

Is there a group working on this issue that you could work with on this topic? In what way? What support would you need to start or continue involvement?

What would be the upside and downside consequences of your response? Explain

PART THREE: Concluding Personal Synthesis – Give a personal touch to your reflection and research.

This personal reflection should be the final two pages of your text.  If you would prefer a different format from a written statement, you can articulate your vision via poetry, artwork, and/or through other creative media presentation. It will be presented to an audience of your peers and professors.

Articulate a personal vision based on your integration of the Mercy Core values of respect, integrity, justice, compassion, and service.

How has your experience of GCU’s Mercy Core Values (either past or present) contributed to the person you are today? What has been your most significant learning experiences in light of these values (whether in the classroom or out of the classroom)?

After graduation, how do you plan to be a person of Mercy in both your professional and personal world? What do you see as your commitment towards the ongoing internalization of these values and their expression in your life? Do you plan any personal commitment, advocacy, or continued service based on the importance of these values to your continued personal and / or spiritual development?

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