General Education Subject Area Objectives

The general education subject area objectives describe the context within which the student learning outcomes are achieved.

Biological Sciences (B)

Biological science courses provide instruction in the basic concepts, theories and terms of the scientific method in the context of the life sciences.  Courses focus on major scientific developments and their impacts on society, science and the environment, and the relevant processes that govern biological systems.  Students will formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of living things, apply logical reasoning skills through scientific criticism and argument, and apply techniques of discovery and critical thinking to evaluate outcomes of experiments.

Composition (C)

Composition courses provide instruction in the methods and conventions of standard written English (i.e. grammar, punctuation, usage) and the techniques that produce effective texts.  Composition courses are writing intensive, require multiple drafts submitted to the instructor for feedback prior to final submission, and fulfill 6,000 of the university’s 24,000-word writing requirement.  Course content must include multiple forms of effective writing, different writing styles, approaches and formats, and methods to adapt writing to different audiences, purposes and contexts.  Students are expected learn to organize complex arguments in writing using thesis statements, claims and evidence, and to analyze writing for errors in logic.

Diversity (D) – this designation is always in conjunction with another program area

In Diversity courses, students examine the historical processes and contemporary experiences characterizing social and cultural differences within the United States. Students engage with diversity as a dynamic concept related to human differences and their intersections, such as (but not limited to) race, gender identity, class, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, and (dis)abilities.  Students critically analyze and evaluate how social inequities are constructed and affect the opportunities and constraints across the US population.  Students analyze and reflect on the ways in which cultures and beliefs mediate their own and other people’s understandings of themselves and an increasingly diverse U.S. society.

Humanities (H)

Humanities courses provide instruction in the history, key themes, principles, terminology, and theory or methodologies used within a humanities discipline or the humanities in general. Students will learn to identify and to analyze the key elements, biases and influences that shape thought. These courses emphasize clear and effective analysis and approach issues and problems from multiple perspectives.

International (N) - this designation is always in conjunction with another program area

International courses promote the development of students’ global and intercultural awareness. Students examine the cultural, economic, geographic, historical, political, and/or social experiences and processes that characterize the contemporary world, and thereby comprehend the trends, challenges, and opportunities that affect communities around the world. Students analyze and reflect on the ways in which cultural, economic, political, and/or social systems and beliefs mediate their own and other people’s understanding of an increasingly connected world.

Mathematics (M)

Courses in mathematics provide instruction in computational strategies in fundamental mathematics including at least one of the following: solving equations and inequalities, logic, statistics, algebra, trigonometry, inductive and deductive reasoning.  These courses include reasoning in abstract mathematical systems, formulating mathematical models and arguments, using mathematical models to solve problems and applying mathematical concepts effectively to real-world situations.

Physical Sciences (P)

Physical science courses provide instruction in the basic concepts, theories and terms of the scientific method in the context of the physical sciences.  Courses focus on major scientific developments and their impacts on society, science and the environment, and the relevant processes that govern physical systems.  Students will formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes, apply logical reasoning skills through scientific criticism and argument, and apply techniques of discovery and critical thinking to evaluate outcomes of experiments.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (S)

Social and behavioral science courses provide instruction in the history, key themes, principles, terminology, and underlying theory or methodologies used in the social and behavioral sciences.  Students will learn to identify, describe and explain social institutions, structures or processes.  These courses emphasize the effective application of accepted problem-solving techniques.  Students will apply formal and informal qualitative or quantitative analysis to examine the processes and means by which individuals make personal and group decisions, as well as the evaluation of opinions, outcomes or human behavior.  Students are expected to assess and analyze ethical perspectives in individual and societal decisions.