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 Fall 2018 and thereafter, all students who enroll in an associate’s degree program will meet general education requirements as noted in the distribution requirements.

General Education Strand Definition


Develop, organize, and express thoughts in writing using Standard English

2nd Composition

or Communication

Develop, organize, and express thoughts in writing using Standard English
Speak in an organized and effective manner and listen critically and with comprehension


Understand the applications and perform computations using the concepts of collegiate level mathematics

Natural Science

Understand principles and applications of modern science

Social and Behavioral Science

Understand principles and applications of social and behavioral sciences in exploring the dynamics of human behavior

Arts and Humanities

Understand and apply information related to the nature and variety of the human experience through personal and cultural enrichment

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Policy Criteria

Effective as of the academic year beginning in Fall 2018, 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 Associate in General Studies (AGS) may be completed applying either the minimum of one course in each of the areas or following the AA/AS model. The area distribution requirements for the AA, AS, AAS (Associate in Applied Science) and AGS are as follows:

Area Course Distribution Requirements

I. Writing 3-4 credits 3-4 credits 3-4 credits 3-4 credits
II. 2nd Writing or Communication 3-4 credits 3-4 credits 3-4 credits 3 credits
III. Mathematics 3-4 credits 3-4 credits 3-4 credits 3-4 credits
IV. Natural Science 7-8 credits* 7-8 credits* 3-8 credits* 3-4 credits
V. Social & Behavioral Science** 6 credits 6 credits 3-6 credits 3 credits
VI. Arts and Humanities ** 6 credits 6 credits 3-6 credits 3 credits
General Education Elective to reach 30 credits 0 – 2 0 – 2 0 – 2 or N/A N/A
Minimum Credit Hours Required 30 30 18-30 18
* Two courses in Natural Sciences including one with laboratory experience (from two disciplines)
** From two disciplines
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Transition for Current Students

Students who enrolled in a program prior to Fall 2018 will have through summer 2022 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 2022, 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.


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
Revised: September 19, 2017
Revised: March 26, 2019

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