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General Education is that common core of learning experience of value to each person regardless of occupation or profession. The General Education core curriculum is designed to ensure that graduates develop basic skills and knowledge that are essential to living productive and satisfying lives, being able to compete in a global economic society, and to become lifelong learners. The courses that are included in the General Education core curriculum will contribute to the acquisition of these skills, perspectives, and to a basic core of knowledge. Learning outcomes have been written so that the College can assess the effectiveness of this program.
General Education Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the General Education requirements for their major will:
• Demonstrate the ability to think critically, which includes collecting facts and making decisions based on them, comprehending and analyzing texts, and solving problems using methods of critical and scientific inquiry;
Critical thinking embraces methods for applying both qualitative and quantitative skills analytically and creatively to subject matter in order to evaluate arguments and to construct alternative strategies. Problem solving and applying the scientific method are some of the applications of critical thinking, used to address an identified task.
• Communicate effectively using standard written English;
Competence in writing is the ability to produce clear, correct, and coherent prose adapted to purpose, occasion, and audience. Although correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation are essential in any composition, they do not automatically ensure that the composition itself makes sense or that the writer has much of anything to say. Students need to be familiar with the writing process, including how to discover a topic, how to develop and to organize it, and how to phrase it effectively for their audience. These abilities can be acquired only through practice and reflection.
• Communicate competently in an oral and non-verbal fashion and employ critical listening skills;
Competence in speaking is the ability to communicate in clear, coherent, and persuasive language appropriate to purpose, occasion, and audience. Achieving this competency includes developing control of the language through experience in making presentations to small and large groups as well as through the media, acquiring poise, and using appropriate nonverbal behaviors. Critical listening means the ability to analyze and to interpret various forms of spoken communication.
• Organize, analyze, and make information useful by employing mathematics;
Employing mathematics means the ability to correctly use mathematical models, acquire information, and solve problems in a logical fashion. Students should be able to communicate from mathematics to English, and vice versa, in real life problem solving situations.
• Relate the general concepts of science to the world and demonstrate an understanding of the impact of these processes and concepts on their lives;
Competence in the sciences helps the student to develop an appreciation of the scope and limitations of scientific capability to contribute to the quality of society. The sciences emphasize knowledge of methods of scientific inquiry and mastery of basic scientific principles and concepts, in particular those that relate to matter and energy in living and non-living systems.
• Use computer technology to access, retrieve, process and communicate information;
Students will achieve this learning outcome by using computer-based technology in communicating, solving problems, and acquiring information. Computer competence enables students to understand the limits, problems, and possibilities associated with the use of technology, provides students with the tools necessary to evaluate and learn new computer-based technologies as they become available.
• Apply global perspectives and ideas through an interdisciplinary approach;
Students will achieve this learning outcome by taking courses in the social sciences. The social sciences enable students to understand the contributing influences of psychological, political, social, and/or economic events. The social sciences are concerned with describing and interpreting the processes that comprise these events.
• Examine and identify cultural, ethnic, and gender diversity;
Contemporary “culture” involves the complex interplay of many different cultures that exist side by side in various states of harmony and conflict. At the same time, the recognition that gender, class, and religious differences cut across all distinctions of race and ethnicity offers an even richer variety of perspectives from which to view one’s self. Awareness of cultural diversity and its multiple sources can illuminate the collective past, present, and future and can help to foster greater mutual understanding and respect.
The objective of the cultural diversity learning outcome is to promote awareness of and appreciation for cultural diversity. This is accomplished through the study of the cultural, social, or scientific contributions of various cultural groups, examination of their experiences and/or exploration of successful or unsuccessful interactions between and among cultural groups.
• Appraise the quality, value, and significance of cultural artifacts in their historical context;
Cultural artifacts are the products of humanity’s deliberation about reality, meaning, knowledge, and values. The fine arts and humanities enable students to broaden and deepen their consideration of basic human values and their interpretation of the experiences of human beings. The fine arts and humanities are concerned with questions of human existence and the universality of human life, questions of meaning and the nature of thinking and knowing, and questions of moral, aesthetic, and other human values. These questions are explored in both the present and the past and make use of the fine arts, philosophy, foreign languages, communications studies, and literature.
• Apply core values in making ethical, personal, social, and professional decisions.
“Core values” refer to the college’s institutional values, which include:
valuing life-long learning as the opportunity for growth in mental power and personal enrichment;
valuing lifelong learning as the opportunity to develop skills which will improve the student’s position in the workforce, particularly skills that enhance communication, skills in computer and other technologies that produce efficient work products, and skills necessary to problem solve; and
valuing lifelong learning as a path to becoming a community-centered citizen who not only improves his/her position in the workforce, but who contributes to his/her community’s and state’s economic, social, and cultural growth.
“Ethical decisions” are those which practice civility, empathy, honesty, and personal responsibility in decision-making. “Personal decisions” are those which have to do with forming an individual’s identity and goals. “Social decisions” are those which require interaction with others. “Professional decisions” are those which affect an individual’s interaction with the workplace.