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3045 - General Education Philosophy and Requirements

Basic Policy Statement

General Education is highly valued at Washtenaw Community College because it develops and nurtures certain habits of mind that reach beyond a student's area of academic emphasis and enables the student to meet critically, objectively, and successfully the challenges of education, work, and life. By requiring a strong core of common learning, the College demonstrates its commitment to providing a broad-based education to all degree recipients, which includes useful skills, knowledge, and experiences to support a variety of lifelong endeavors. To this end, it shall be the policy of the College to maintain a substantial program of general education to be included in all degree programs.

The College defines general education as a prescribed curriculum that assures a broad acquaintance with the basic areas of academic study. The general education requirements are designed to provide degree students certain skills and knowledge that include an understanding of and appreciation for the important modes of human thought, communication, and inquiry which are salient characteristics of a WCC associate degree education.

Effective as of Fall 2000, all students who enroll in an associate's degree program will meet general education requirements in the following areas I through VII. Students entering degree programs in Fall 2010 and thereafter also will need to demonstrate computer and information literacy (area VIII below) by completion of course work as a degree graduation requirement.

  1. Composition: Develop, organize, and express thoughts in writing using Standard English
  2. Speech: Speak in an organized and effective manner and listen critically and with comprehension
  3. Mathematics: Understand the applications and perform computations using the concepts of collegiate level mathematics
  4. Natural Science: Understand principles and applications of modern science
  5. Social and Behavioral Science: Understand principles and applications of social and behavioral sciences in exploring the dynamics of human behavior
  6. Arts and Humanities: Understand and apply information related to the nature and variety of the human experience through personal and cultural enrichment
  7. Critical Thinking: Demonstrate skill in analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating
  8. Computer and Information Literacy: Demonstrate the skill to use computer information systems including using application software and to demonstrate the ability to locate, retrieve, and evaluate networked information

Policy Criteria

Area Course Distribution Requirements

Effective as of the academic year beginning in Fall 2010, all degree programs will require the successful completion of courses selected from restricted lists in the following areas. All degree programs will include a minimum of one course, at the basic general education level, in each of the areas as described below. The Associate in Arts (AA) degree and the Associate in Science (AS) degree will require additional courses in some areas. The area distribution requirements for the AA, AS, and AAS (Associate in Science) are as follows:

AA AS AAS
I. Writing 6-7 credits 6-7 credits 3-4 credits
II. Speech 3 credits 3 credits 3 credits
III. Mathematics 3-4 credits 3-4 credits 3-4 credits
IV. Natural Science 4 credits 4 credits 3-4 credits
V. Social & Behavioral Science 6 credits 6 credits 3 credits
VI. Arts and Humanities 6 credits 6 credits 3 credits
VII. Critical Thinking * 0 credits 0 credits 0 credits
VIII. Computer and Information Literacy 3 credits 3 credits 3 credits

*Interdisciplinary Requirement

Critical thinking skills will be taught in all courses included in the other course distribution areas.

Transition for Current Students

Students who enrolled in a program prior to Fall 2010 will have three years to complete their programs using the general education/core requirements of the programs in which they enrolled. Students who change to a different program will have to fulfill the new general education requirements. As of the academic year beginning in Fall 2013, all degree students will be required to meet the new general education requirements to graduate. Academic advisors and counselors will assist students in selecting appropriate courses and making a smooth transition.

Outcomes

Graduates of Washtenaw Community College's associate degree programs will possess the skills and knowledge they need to pursue their chosen careers or educational studies and to be responsible citizens of their communities. Through a general education that includes communication and intellectual inquiry skills as well as a knowledge of and appreciation for scientific, cultural, and artistic learning, degree graduates will be able to enhance their life-long success.

Adopted: October 22, 1991
Revised: May 23, 2000
Administrative Review: May 2002
Revised: April 13, 2010
(3045)

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