General Education is a significant part of nearly every undergraduate student’s course of studies, regardless of the institution or major. The primary purpose of any General Education program is to provide students with essential skills, dispositions, and depth of knowledge across various disciplines. Broadly speaking, a General Education program usually contains courses in the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, the Humanities, and the Arts. Ideally, it should complement and enhance the student’s major program.
According to Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education (2009), a publication of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), one of our accrediting agencies, General Education should be “designed so that students acquire and demonstrate college-level proficiency in general education and essential skills, including at least oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, and technological competency.”
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), our parent organization, further states that, “General education consists of a broad program of study in the liberal arts and sciences,…met through study in the areas of humanities, fine arts, communication, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, and the natural/physical sciences.” (Board of Governors’ Policy 1990-06, page 2)
Here at Kutztown University, in September 2008 a new General Education Task Force embarked on a mission to examine and re-define our General Education program to better align it with state, regional, and national standards. We set an ambitious timeline for ourselves, one in which all incoming freshmen in the fall 2011 semester and beyond would be governed by the new General Education program. We have met that goal by designing an exciting new General Education program, one that is dynamic, coherent, and well-defined, yet flexible enough to meet the needs of our diverse student body and their various majors. The results of our deliberations are contained within this website. For a copy of the Task Force’s final report, click HERE.
The General Education Program at Kutztown University is a program of study that provides students majoring in a diverse array of programs with a common intellectual experience. The General Education program includes a core curriculum, university distribution requirements, college-specific distribution requirements, and thematic courses. Together, these features of the program provide our students with a common intellectual experience, expose them to a diversity of academic disciplines, and lay the foundations for a successful undergraduate educational experience.
The mission of the General Education program is to cultivate intellectual and practical skills, introduce students to the range of intellectual traditions and perspectives expressed in the disciplines represented by our major programs, educate our students in the knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, and encourage the development of personal and social responsibility.
Goal 1: To cultivate intellectual and practical skills that are practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.
1.1. Inquiry and analysis
1.2. Decision making
1.3. Critical and creative thinking
1.4. Written and oral communication
1.5. Quantitative literacy
1.6. Information literacy
1.7. Teamwork and problem solving
Goal 2: To develop an understanding of human cultures and the physical and natural world that is focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.
2.3. Social sciences
Goal 3: To inculcate a sense of personal and social responsibility that is anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real world challenges.
3.1. Local and global civic knowledge and engagement
3.2. Intercultural knowledge and competence
3.3. Ethical reasoning and action
3.4. Personal qualities and attitudes such as passion, curiosity, self-confidence, imagination, cooperation, commitment, and support
for life-long learning
KU Faculty: To download a Reporting Template for each domain, click HERE.