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College Catalog

General Education Curriculum

To be fulfilled by Incoming First-Year students beginning in the fall of 2018 and incoming Transfer students beginning the fall of 2019.

All students must successfully complete the General Education Curriculum as a requirement for graduation. A new General Education Curriculum (GEC) goes into effect in fall 2018 and will initially apply to incoming first-year students only. Beginning in fall 2019, the new GEC will also apply to incoming transfer students. The GEC is intended to ensure that students will receive breadth, as well as depth, in their education while continuing to allow them considerable latitude in designing their individual programs of study. The GEC also includes requirements for cultural diversity, specific skills (writing, speaking, technology), and experiential learning. The requirements are designed to ensure that all students achieve specific college-wide learning goals.

The GEC consists of six main requirements:
  1. First Year Studies (including the Writing Requirement)

  2. Distribution Requirement

  3. Cultural Diversity Requirement

  4. Skills Requirement

  5. Experiential Learning Requirement

  6. Senior Studies Requirement

Many courses are designed to fulfill more than one requirement. 

1. First Year Studies

The General Education Curriculum begins with the College’s First-Year Studies Program, which was established to create a special, intellectually engaging atmosphere of close interaction between first-year students and their professors. First-Year Studies instructors also serve as the academic advisors for the students in their First-Year Studies (FIYS) course. These courses have as their principal aim the development of basic skills in writing, critical reading, analysis, and oral communication. The FIYS course is required of all students entering the College with fewer than four credits and does not meet any GEC breadth or cultural diversity requirement. Successful completion of writing assignments and sufficient progress as a college writer in FIYS is one way to satisfy the First-Year Writing requirement. However, students who are evaluated to need additional instruction and practice in college writing skills will be required to successfully complete College Writing 100 in the Spring of the first year.

First-Year Writing Requirement

The College supports the transition to the College’s writing intensive curriculum through First Year Studies. Students write frequently in First Year Studies courses and are provided with substantial feedback on their writing to help them progress. At mid-term, the Director of Writing Programs, in collaboration with First Year Studies professors, will recommend students to take College Writing 100 in the spring semester. While most students will make sufficient progress as writers in their First Year Studies courses to satisfy the First-Year Writing requirement, students who need additional instruction and explicit guidance in writing processes and skills will be required to take College Writing 100 to prepare them to meet the expectations of the writing curriculum at the College.

2. Distribution Requirement

Students must complete one course in each of the five areas listed below. Each course must come from a different department or interdisciplinary area (i.e. the requirement must be fulfilled with five courses with five different course prefixes). Courses satisfying this requirement will be tagged with the designation listed below in the course catalog and class schedule. 

Distribution Requirement
Course Tag
Creative and Performing Arts CP           

 

Learning Goals

 

Humanities H
Natural Sciences NS
Quantitative Reasoning QR
Social Sciences SS 

3. Cultural Diversity Requirement

Students must complete one course in each of the two areas listed below. Courses satisfying this requirement will be tagged with the designation listed below in the course catalog and class schedule. 

Cultural Diversity Requirement
Course Tag
US Domestic Pluralism DP          


Learning Goals

Global Pluralism GP

4. Skills Requirement

Students must complete at least one course in each of the three component areas. Courses satisfying this requirement will be tagged with the designation listed below in the course catalog and class schedule.

Skills Requirement
Course Tag
Writing-Intensive W            

 
Learning Goals

Speaking-Intensive S
Technology-Intensive T

5. Experiential Learning Requirement

The goal of this requirement is to ensure that students integrate their traditional classroom learning with experientially-based work. By connecting theory and practice, students develop new skills and extend their knowledge and training to unfamiliar tasks and situations beyond the classroom environment.

The Experiential Learning requirement is fulfilled in two parts: the completion of an appropriate experience or activity and the production of a written reflection.

Experiential Learning Activities (EL)

The following activities can be used to satisfy the experiential learning requirement:

  • Approved off-campus study.
  • For-credit internships.
  • Senior theses.
  • Independent research, summer fellowships, 10-week summer Richter program.
  • Courses designated as satisfying the experiential requirement. Such courses are tagged with the designation (EL) in the course catalog and class schedule.
  • Self-designed proposals. Self-designed proposals require the approval of a supervising faculty member and must be submitted to the Curricular Policies Committee for approval. Experiences considered for this option might include career-related summer jobs; on-campus employment; peer teaching or serving as a lab TA, non-credit research; organization, publicity, and performance of a senior recital.

Written Reflection

In order to satisfy the experiential learning requirement, students must submit a written reflection following the completion of their experiential learning activity. The written reflection should:

  • Evaluate how the experience used classroom skills and added new skills to the student’s competencies, and
  • Articulate how the student will describe to a prospective employer, graduate school, or other audience the ways in which this experience contributed to and enhanced their education.

6. Senior Studies Requirement

A senior studies course, also known as a senior “capstone,” is a culminating experience in the student’s major. The course emphasizes writing and speaking and encourages integration of the methods and content explored in the major. Students must fulfill this requirement, for which courses are specially designated within their major department. Senior theses, research projects, and creative projects may also be used to fulfill the senior studies requirement if so designated in the major requirements or with permission of the department chairperson. Students who have more than one major must satisfy the senior studies requirement in each of their majors.