General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements

 

All Honors Program candidates complete the Honors Program curriculum listed within the Program of Study section, rather than the General Education Requirements described below.

Bachelor of Music candidates follow the General Education Requirements outlined under “Major and Minor Requirements: Department of Music” within the Program of Study section.

All other candidates for either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees must satisfy the University’s General Education Requirements. This curriculum is designed to provide students with the abilities and broad liberal arts background necessary for living lives of purpose with distinction. A course may be counted to meet a general education requirement if and only if that course is designated to fulfill that requirement in the semester that the course is taken.

A single course may be counted in up to three different abilities categories. When a course fulfills an Abilities Requirement, but is also listed within the Breadth of Academic Experience (Fine Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, or Social Sciences), Global Cultural Perspectives, and/or Personal Health and Wellness requirements, this course may also be used to fulfill a requirement in one or more of these categories.

I. Abilities Requirements: Students take courses addressing five abilities related to thinking and communication. The number of courses required differs according to the ability.

Critical Thinking Ability: Students should be able to demonstrate good critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is embedded into the courses that fulfill Abilities Requirements; however, there are no specific course requirements within this ability category.

Definition: Critical thinking is defined by Robert Ennis as “reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do.” Critical thinking skills include clearly stating a reasonable position on a topic; developing and supporting that position fully and consistently with sufficient well-chosen reasons, examples, data and/or details; and when appropriate providing pertinent documentation of any sources referenced. The critical thinker can interpret, analyze, evaluate, and make a decision regarding the statements of others. 

Oral Communication Ability: All students must pass COM 100 or the equivalent. (In addition, see major related requirements for the Junior Level Discipline-Specific Communication course and Senior Capstone Experience.)

Learning Outcomes: In completing the Oral Communication Ability requirements, students will exhibit competence in rhetorical awareness; utilize critical thinking to present a clear purpose/thesis supported by appropriate examples/evidence; use appropriate vocal variety, pronunciation/grammar/articulation, non-verbal behaviors, and (when applicable) visual aids; and cite sources according to disciplinary practice.

Quantitative Literacy Ability: All students must pass one Quantitative Literacy Ability course. Quantitative Literacy Ability courses provide students with the capability to critique or construct arguments that involve mathematical and statistical ideas specific to the discipline. Quantitative literacy courses will include assignments that focus on computational algebra skills (such as relationships, formulas, functions and diagrams) and/or probability and statistics skills (such as standard deviation and basic principles of probability).

Learning outcomes: Quantitative literacy includes two levels of quantitative skills. Pre-College Skills include competency in basic arithmetic, basic algebra, and descriptive geometry. The overall learning outcome at the College Skills level is that students should demonstrate the ability to critique or construct arguments that involve mathematical and statistical ideas. Quantitative Literacy Ability courses are designated with a (Q) symbol on semester course listings.

Reading Ability: All students must pass six Reading Ability courses and must be taken in residence. Reading Ability courses will expose students to a variety of genres and reading materials (articles, newspapers, texts, essays, etc.) specific to the discipline and at a difficulty level appropriate to the course level. Reading courses will include assignments that are often made in concert with writing, oral language, and/or critical thinking skills.

Learning Outcomes: Students will, through reading a variety of reading sources, demonstrate the ability to comprehend the historical positioning of the author and the reader in relation to the context of the work; analyze the purpose of that reading material in the context of the course; evaluate the work through discipline-specific criteria; and apply the information gained from one context to another context.

The number of Reading Ability courses required of transfer students is dependent upon the number of semester hours they transfer into Heidelberg. Reading Ability courses are designated with an (R) symbol on semester course listings.

Writing Ability: All students must pass five Writing Ability courses; must be taken in residence and Writing 101 or the equivalent. (In addition, see major related requirements for the Junior Level Discipline-Specific Communication course and Senior Capstone Experience.) Writing 101 is the required portion of the Heidelberg first-year writing program. In order to effectively serve Heidelberg’s student body, the first-year writing program features a two-tiered structure. The primary course, the completion of which satisfies the University’s writing proficiency requirement, is Writing 101. For students who—through a process of directed self-placement—view themselves as not adequately prepared for Writing 101, a preliminary course, Writing 100, will serve as preparation for Writing 101. Writing Ability courses are courses that emphasize writing. Writing courses include at least one assignment that requires students to find and utilize appropriate and credible sources in support of a valid and defendable thesis. Writing courses will include assignments that are often made in concert with reading, oral language, and critical thinking skills.

Learning Outcomes: Students should produce quality prose writing in English and should demonstrate the ability to incorporate others’ ideas—from written and other sources—into their own discourse.

The number of Writing Abilities courses required of transfer students is dependent upon the number of semester hours they transfer into Heidelberg. Transfer students without the equivalent of Writing 101 on their transcripts must take that course as one of their required Writing Ability courses. Writing Ability courses are designated with a (W) symbol on semester course listings.

 

II. Breadth of Academic Experience Requirement: All students must pass two courses from two different prefixes in each of four disciplinary areas. The four disciplinary areas are listed and defined below: 

Fine Arts

Learning Outcomes: Students should demonstrate an understanding of the aesthetic value of the Fine Arts through one or more of the following areas: critical analysis of the artistic experience; active participation in the creative process; reflection on the relationship between the Fine Arts and our global culture. Fine Arts courses are designated with a (F) symbol on semester course listings.

 

Humanities

Learning Outcomes: Through writing and speaking, students will demonstrate an understanding of the Humanities through one or more of the following areas: recognize and reflect upon universal cultural themes; critique ideas and theories using textual evidence to support claims; connect artifacts to their varied cultural contexts and meanings. Humanities courses are designated with a (H) symbol on semester course listings.

 

Natural Sciences

Learning Outcomes: Students should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the Natural Sciences through one or more of the following areas: an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry, and methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, and evaluation of evidence; an understanding of the application of scientific concepts, models, evidence and data in the natural sciences and perform basic applications; they can analyze and evaluate scientific information and are prepared to make informed decisions on contemporary issues involving scientific information acquired in the course. One course must have a laboratory component; a laboratory alone cannot fulfill the course requirement. Each course offering a lab include (L) behind the course number. Natural Science courses are designated with a (N) symbol on semester course listings.

 

Social Sciences

Learning Outcomes: Students should demonstrate an understanding of variables that affect social structures and phenomena through one or more of the following areas: describe how individuals and groups are influenced by social, cultural, or political institutions; demonstrate an understanding of methods used in the social sciences and the ethical issues related to those methods; apply knowledge from at least one social science discipline to a contemporary social phenomena to assess its causes, consequences and ethical implications; analyze a social phenomenon using an appropriate method, including the formulation and testing of a hypothesis through data collection the analysis of relevant data as well as and a review of relevant literature. Social Science courses are designated with a (S) symbol on semester course listings.

 

III. Global/Cultural Perspectives Requirement

Learning Outcomes: Students will gain exposure of and demonstrate an understanding of various cultural experiences associated with living in a diverse world through one or more of the following areas: use appropriate language or terminology to describe cultural practices; articulate multiple perspectives in regard to various cultural practices; identify similarity and different cultural values, political structure, social networks, economics or religious/spiritual issues.

All Students must successfully complete one global/cultural experience and one foreign language experience. Global/Cultural Perspectives: courses are designated with a (G) symbol on semester course listings.

 

IV. Personal Health and Wellness Requirement

Learning Outcomes: Students should have a thorough understanding of how to positively contribute to their own health and wellness through one of the following areas: students will assess their current state of health and wellness via completion of quantitative learning tools; student will demonstrate knowledge of current scientific data regarding cost and benefits of health choices; students will develop strategies to maintain lifelong physical, mental and social wellness. Personal Health and Wellness courses are designated with a (P) symbol on semester course listings.

 

Special Exemptions

While the University is committed to the General Education requirements as the foundation of a broad liberal arts education, it is also recognized that in a few extraordinary situations (for example, a student with two majors with foreign study and/or internship requirements) a student may have difficulty scheduling the completion of the General Education requirements. In such cases, a student may petition the Office of Academic Affairs for Special Exemptions from not more than two courses in the General Education requirements. Petitioning students must have a minimum 3.00 grade point average and have completed not more than 60 semester hours of university credit. All exemptions will be reviewed on an individual basis and do not reduce the 120 hours required for graduation.