Over-arching Learning Goals for General Education courses

 Students should prepare for 21st century challenges by gaining the following foundations and skills for lifelong learning:

  1. Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural Worlds, through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts, focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring. 
  2. Intellectual and practical skills, that should be practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance, that include:
    • Inquiry and analysis
    • Critical and creative thinking
    • Written and oral communication
    • Quantitative literacy
    • Information literacy
    • Problem solving
  3. Civic engagement and ethics, that should be anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges, and include:
    • Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
    • Intercultural knowledge and competence
    • Ethical reasoning and action
    • Academic integrity and social responsibility

(Adapted from the Association of American Colleges and Universities’s project on Liberal Education and America’s Promise, “Essential Learning Outcomes,” http://www.aacu.org/leap/documents/EssentialOutcomes_Chart.pdf)

These overarching learning goals provide the context for 3 kinds of general education courses:

  • Foundations
  • Themes and Approaches
  • Cross-cutting Categories
Foundation Code Credits
Critical Writing, Reading and Communication CRC 6
Themes and Categories Code Credits
Heritages and Civilizations HAC 3
Art, Aesthetics and Theories of Interpretation AAI 3
Global Communities GCM 3
United States in the World USW 3
Ethics and Values EAV 3
Logical and Quantitative Reasoning LQR 3
Physical and Life Sciences PLS 6
Cross-Cutting Categories Code Credits
Diversity DIV 3
Engaged Civic Learning ECL 3
Experiential Learning XPL 3
Writing also a cross-cutting category Code Credits
Writing* WRI 3

*may be combined with other courses.