General education is the component of the undergraduate curriculum devoted to those areas of knowledge, methods of inquiry, and ideas that the University and scholarly community believe are common to well-educated persons. General education provides a foundation for future learning.
The generally well-educated student will demonstrate:
Communication is the art of expressing and exchanging meaning among people. At the University, meaning or knowledge is developed as teachers and students share insights, exchange ideas, and debate positions. Reading, speaking, research, and writing all play important roles in this construction and extension of knowledge.
The writing course sequence enables students to use language actively in diverse ways and settings to gain and share knowledge about their experiences and concepts. They also reflect on that language use by examining their processes of writing and reading in order to understand both the texts they create and the texts they encounter.
Courses in the writing sequence will teach students to:
The oral communication course develops students' awareness of the communication process; focuses on the skills of invention, organization, and expression; promotes understanding of, and adaptation to, a variety of communication contexts; and emphasizes critical skills in listening, reading, thinking, and speaking.
The communication course will teach students to:
Competency in baccalaureate level mathematics enables students to successfully engage in the mathematical thinking encountered in undergraduate studies and in daily living. Central to this competency is the ability to solve problems, to use mathematical modeling, and to evaluate mathematical calculations and reasoning. Students are expected to express and interpret mathematical information in written and oral forms and to use technology (calculators, computers, etc.) appropriately.
Mathematics competency courses will teach students to:
Studying the natural sciences and mathematics enables students to understand the physical and natural world and the scientific and mathematical concepts, theories, and principles that explain that world. That is, students broaden and deepen their understanding of the diversity and interrelatedness of human knowledge in the sciences and mathematics and are better able to explain the similarities and differences that exist among the sciences. By studying the methods of inquiry practiced by scientists in the search for answers to yesterday's and today's issues and problems, they experience both the power and limitations of this knowledge while growing in their appreciation of the scientific perspective and its impact on their lives and society.
General education courses in the natural sciences and mathematics will allow students to:
In their social science coursework, students explore aspects of their own cultures and beliefs and the cultures and beliefs of others within a context of empirical research findings and theoretical speculation.
They examine anthropological, economic, geographical, political, psychological, and/or sociological aspects of individuals and groups in various cultures and the social problems that these individuals and groups attempt to overcome.
They apply a variety of methodologies (e.g., laboratory experiments, case studies, naturalistic observations) to studies of individual and group behavior.
General education courses in the social sciences will allow students to:
In studying the humanities and fine arts, students learn to explore issues fundamental to human identity, as these are expressed in the artistic, cultural, and intellectual traditions of the world's civilizations. Courses in the humanities and fine arts reveal ways to give meaning to human experience through the study of fine arts, philosophical thought, literature and film, interpretations of history, rituals and belief systems of religion, communication, and foreign languages. After studying the humanities and fine arts, students will have the tools and knowledge to respond more knowledgeably and actively to those humanistic and artistic works and traditions created by people of various societies and times.
General education courses in the humanities and fine arts will allow students to:
Through multicultural and cross-cultural study, students will develop an understanding of diversity in the United States and of the larger world as a complex network of interdependent societies, cultures, histories, and world views. The courses offered challenge narrow conceptions of Self and Other by fostering in students an appreciation for cultural diversity, as well as the critical ability to discern the impact of large-scale cultural and historical forces on their lives. Students may choose among courses focusing on contemporary national and world politics (which could include such issues as conflict and cooperation, economy, the environment, and so on); the comparative study of cultures, societies, politics, and/or belief systems within and beyond the United States; and the dilemmas of the global majority—the three-quarters of the world's population who live where they may have to strive for national identity as well as economic and political development.
All courses in this area, whether focused on the United States or the world, encourage a better understanding of the dimensions of experience and belief that distinguish cultures and societies from one another as well as the commonalities that knit together all people. Understanding various dimensions of human experience helps break down barriers among groups and stimulates dialogue about solutions to many complex social problems. Through multicultural and cross-cultural studies students will recognize the historical, political, and cultural forces that foster inequality and injustice, while becoming aware of strategies of change that improve the quality of life for all people. The courses, therefore, stress the necessity of enhancing international and multicultural understanding and communication.
General education courses in multicultural studies will allow students to:
In studying human well-being, students will come to understand and develop healthy lifestyles and practices. The educational experiences in this area will enable students to examine issues and form reasoned conclusions about factors affecting personal wellness.
General education courses in human well-being will allow students to: