2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog

General Education Requirements, cont'd

Category Descriptions

Global Academic Skills

The ability to read, write, calculate, and assess sources of information are fundamental and necessary human skills.  These skills are prerequisite to effective communication of ideas and the creative solving of qualitative and quantitative problems.  These skills are important for their own sake but mastery of them is also required for a university graduate to be considered an educated person.

  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in written form by writing papers which effectively develop and support theses, tell stories, describe events, or express personal insights or values,
  • Read and evaluate research materials and incorporate them into informative, argumentative, or analytical writing and oral presentation,
  • Read and evaluate problems and quantitatively solve those problems using mathematical reasoning,
  • Demonstrate how mathematical modeling or statistical designs are used to obtain knowledge.

The Natural Sciences

The diversity of species in the biosphere, including humans, interact with their environment, changing it and being changed in the process.  Science is a creative human endeavor devoted to discovering the principles that rule the physical universe.  The natural world is law-driven and science is limited to investigating by asking and answering questions, processes that can be observed and measured to help us understand the laws of nature and the physical universe.

  • Understand the experimental basis of science and how scientists accumulate new knowledge,
  • Appreciate the goals and limitations of science,
  • Develop an understanding of important scientific facts and how those facts help us understand our observations and the laws that govern the natural world,
  • Appreciate the role of science in the development of modern technological civilization.

Social Sciences and History

Humans are social beings.  Through their various relationships they create social life and are, in turn, influenced and transformed by the social life they create and maintain.  Social sciences represent those disciplines that apply scientific methods to study the intricate and complex network of human relationships and the forms of organization designed to enable people to live together in societies.  History is the record of human activity.  History presents us with an overview of this activity with the intent that past accomplishments and failures will serve to inform present issues.

  • Understand the evolution of social institutions and the development and maintenance of individual and social behaviors,
  • Develop perspectives about the nature of psychological and social processes and the structure of society,
  • Identify and comprehend theories of human behavior and of the participation of individuals in psychological and social processes,
  • Practice the basic methodologies involved in the social sciences,
  • Develop a view of current social conditions and events within a chronological and historical context,
  • Understand social, cultural, political and economic changes over time,
  • Comprehend the international ramifications of domestic policies and how these may affect and be experienced by people in other cultures.

Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity presents us with an awareness and understanding of the variety of human experience, especially as manifested among cultures, both present and past.

  • Understand social, cultural, political and economic changes over time,
  • Comprehend the international ramifications of domestic policies and how these may affect and be experienced by people in other cultures,
  • Appreciate and be sensitized to world cultures.

Arts and Humanities

Through the arts and humanities, students will explore and experience the sensory and perceptual capacities and potentialities that are shared by people and that define us as humans.  The expressive arts include visual, performing, and language-based activities in celebration of multiple perspectives.  The humanities address qualitative relationships wherein judgments are made but change with time and circumstances.

  • Develop an appreciation of the varied cultural artifacts of humans throughout history,
  • Foster an understanding of the variety of human expressive experiences in relation to ourselves, other cultures and the physical environment,
  • Utilize the basic methodologies and practices endemic to the various disciplines,
  • Explore human characteristics especially considered desirable through expressive communicative systems about how to live fully.

NEXT: General Education Assessment Objectives

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