Undergraduate General Education Program
Why is there a General Education program?
General education pushes students beyond the limits to their major to explore a broad range of courses. Whereas the major ensures that students are well educated in one specific discipline, the general education program ensures that students become broadly educated citizens--aesthetic discernment, empathy, curiosity, and rational thinking--this broad and varied education provides students a foundation on which to build their intellectual, personal, civic, social, and cultural lives during their undergraduate years and beyond.
What is included in the General Education program?
As a regional, comprehensive, public university, CCSU is proud to offer to our students the study of the liberal arts that has for centuries been the hallmark of excellence in higher education. Students complete their general education by taking courses that provide instruction in both the current state of knowledge in the traditional academic domains--divided into the arts and humanities, the natural sciences including mathematics, and the social and behavioral sciences--as well as the current methodologies for advancing knowledge in these domains.
How does the General education program benefit students?
A college education provides intellectual enrichment that prepares students for both lives and careers that will seldom follow a single consistent trajectory. The flexibility engendered by general education enables students to respond to a rapidly changing world. Multiple surveys of those who employ CCSU graduates indicate that employers value not simply students with specific vocational training, but students with a broad knowledge base who are agile thinkers, effective communicators, and independent learners--a profile long associated with the kind of breadth provided by a general education program.
General Education Objectives
- To develop an appreciation for, and enhance understanding of, the arts and humanities. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: engage in literary, philosophic, and artistic expression, response, analysis, and evaluation.
- To develop global awareness, historical perspective, and appreciation of social and cultural diversity in the world. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: analyze an issue from the perspective of another cultural tradition or historical period; understand and respect cultural differences; read, write, speak, and understand a foreign language at an enhanced level.
- To develop scientific understanding of the natural and social worlds. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: explain how scientists think, work, and evaluate the natural and social world; use techniques such as controlled observation, experiment, mathematical analysis of data, and production and interpretation of graphical and tabular data presentation; and demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of the natural and social world.
- To develop critical thinking and critical reading skills. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: define a problem; assemble evidence to support a conclusion; assess the validity of a sustained argument; and analyze information to uncover underlying meanings, structures, and patterns.
- To strengthen writing and communication skills. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: develop a chosen topic, organize specifics to support a main idea, use proper grammar, address a particular audience, and revise and edit to produce focused and coherent texts.
- To strengthen quantitative skills. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: apply mathematical and statistical techniques as a means of analysis within a variety of disciplines, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of these techniques of analysis.
- To develop information fluency and computer literacy. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: locate, evaluate, and effectively use information from a variety of sources; use computers for research, analysis, and expression; and analyze the effects of information technology on society.
- To foster personal health and fitness through a wellness model. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: develop and/or maintain a level of physical activity and nutrition that meets public health standards; construct and implement a fitness/wellness program to improve quality of life and longevity; apply behavior modification strategies to maintain healthy lifestyle habits and psychological well-being; and build a personal awareness of, and positive attitude towards, healthy living.
- To recognize issues of social equity and social justice in the United States. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: recognize the diverse forms and effects of social and economic inequality; understand bias and discrimination based on individual and group factors such as race, color, religious creed, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, and mental or physical disability.
- To develop and encourage the practice of civic responsibility. Relevant outcomes include the ability to: involve oneself in campus, local, or other communities; take a public stance on a community issue (in either a classroom or public setting); understand and analyze public issues and public affairs from the perspective of the larger community
Note #1: A maximum of 8 credits in the study area portion and a maximum of 8 credits in the skill area portion of the general education program may be fulfilled by major and/or minor courses that are designated as applicable to general education, with no more than 8 credits total from any one field of study.
Note #2: Those students who have been admitted to the CCSU Honors Program will fulfill many of their General Education requirements through the Honors Program curriculum. For further information on the Program, see www.ccsu.edu/honors.
Note #3: When appropriate to subject matter, methodology, and class size, all courses designated for general education, in particular courses in literature, philosophy, the humanities, history, and the social and behavioral sciences, will require writing, including assigned papers and essay examinations.