General Education Program (Fall '98 - Spring '06)

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Fall 1998 to Spring 2006

THE GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM — A REACH TOWARD EXCELLENCE

Rationale

The General Education Program at Delaware State University is predicated on the University's definition of the educated person. Delaware State University, through its general education curriculum and its specialized major curricula, provides a set of academic experiences designed to produce within students the knowledge, skills and attitudes that empower them to solve problems, clarify values, secure and sustain meaningful professions and careers, and embrace learning as a life-long process. Thus, Delaware State University aims to graduate an educated person possessing the following characteristics:

A.        Fundamental skills in communication, computation, and critical thinking necessary for life-long learning;

B.         A sense of self-dignity and self-worth;

C.        An ever-expanding capacity for appreciating, understanding, and sympathizing with the human condition in all its variations of cultural, social, racial, ethnic, moral, and physical diversity;

D.        Knowledge and skills necessary for meaningful and productive living; and

E.         A desire to know more about one's environment.

The General Education Program is the University's commitment to providing breadth and depth to students' academic, cultural, social, moral, ethical, and physical development during their undergraduate experience.

The General Education Program recognizes that teaching and learning embrace several bodies of knowledge, skills, and sensibilities that combine to form the whole student. Therefore, at Delaware State the goals of the General Education Program are divided into those areas of study that best describe the experiences that all students are required to complete in order to complement those experiences that the specialized curriculum in each major program of study provides. Areas of study in the General Education Program at Delaware State University are the following:

Core Courses — those courses that all students must study because they are fundamental to all learning and basic to the mission of the University.

Foundation Courses for Life-Long Learning — those categories of courses from which students may choose a designated number of credit hours that provide breadth and the well-roundedness of a liberal education in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and social sciences.

Senior Capstone Experience — a course such as senior seminar, internship, or student teaching-with-seminar--any course that serves as the final course in which a student demonstrates competence in the body of knowledge and skills inherent in a major. It is also the course in which the student shows an understanding of the breadth of knowledge and skills that a mastery of general education provides. It enables students to make "real world" connections to their discipline and to other disciplines as well. The Senior Capstone Experience brings general education and major programs of study together providing an opportunity for students to demonstrate their becoming "the educated person."        

Goals

The following goals of general education speak to breadth, integration, and scaffolding of knowledge, skills, and sensibilities that are inherent in the mission of the University. The goals of general education are the following:

  1. General education should focus on the essential attitudes and behaviors that promote reflection and encourage life-long learning, wellness, and engagement with ideas, issues, and new experiences.
  2. General education should foster the development of critical thinking; curiosity about the social and natural worlds in which we live; appreciation for the complexities of knowledge and tolerance for ambiguity; and a capacity for attaining perspective on one's own life through self-examination and the study of others.
  3. General education should engage students in activities that strengthen their ability to read, write, speak, listen, and think effectively.
  4. General education should provide students with opportunities to examine and reflect upon moral and ethical problems and issues.
  5. General education should enable students to use technology in order to access and manipulate information competently.
  6. General education should enable students to understand and appreciate the ways social and cultural differences and similarities structure human experiences and knowledge--in the arts, the humanities, mathematics, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. As an important aspect of general education, students should understand multicultural dimensions of the world in which we live, especially the experiences of people of African descent.
  7. General education should emphasize study in breadth and encourage students to explore the ways disciplined inquiry in the major can shed light on broader issues in their own lives and to render service to humanity.

Integrated Strands

If graduates from Delaware State University's undergraduate programs are to become effective communicators, critical thinkers, and problem-solvers in the world's pluralistic and global societies, then some critical concepts or "strands" should infuse the general education program and major curricula. These integrated strands should be linked with research and professional development that lead to the most effective instructional strategies, course activities, and assessments of student learning and program effectiveness.

The strands that are integrated throughout general education courses and major curricula, and which produce the desirable learning outcomes in students are the following: (1) Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Across-the-Curriculum (RWSL); (2) Computer and Information Technologies; (3) Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving; (4) Multiculturalism; and (5) Globalization.

Reading, writing, speaking, listening across-the-curriculum

College graduates should be able to communicate effectively. Students should be able to do the following: comprehend, analyze, and evaluate various texts; write coherent essays; write and speak effectively and correctly; listen actively to what teachers and peers are saying; and write the standard form of the English language that is relatively free from grammatical, mechanical, and usage errors. Communicating effectively is not the exclusive domain of the English department. It is the responsibility of all teachers to inculcate effective communication skills throughout the curriculum.  

Computer and information technologies

To the greatest extent possible and wherever practical, computer and information technologies should be integrated into general education courses and generally throughout the curriculum. Research shows that students who do their papers on the word processor generally perform better than students who do not. College graduates should be able to do the following: (a) use word processing; (b) access and manipulate spreadsheets and databases; (c) use printed and computerized resources to locate information; and (d) use and prepare multimedia applications. Students who enter Delaware State University unfamiliar with using the computer should enroll in computer literacy courses such as Survey of Computer Science (35-107) and Basic Computer Applications (44-100).

Critical thinking/problem-solving

College graduates should be able to move beyond the mere conveying or restating of other's facts and ideas. Students should be able to do the following: (a) reflect upon, question, analyze, and evaluate information; (b) assess bias, narrowness and contradictions; (c) formulate hypotheses and alternatives; (d) evaluate an argument in terms of reasoning and applicability; (e) determine how new data may lead to confirmation or questioning of conclusions; (f) make inferences, comparisons, formulate frameworks or categories, classify data, and translate information from one medium to another; and (g) analyze and evaluate their own arguments and those of others in order to confirm or deny the accuracy, validity, and reliability of their own reasoning and of the various sources of information they hear or read. 

Students should also be able to conduct disciplined inquiry and be able to do the following: (a) determine the nature of a problem; (b) analyze the problem and determine possible solutions; (c) assess the advantages and disadvantages of each possible solution; (d) determine the most effective and efficient of the optional solutions; and (e) execute the solution. Being able to think critically and solve problems is one of the hallmarks of becoming an educated person.

Multiculturalism

College graduates must understand how to develop and manage human relationships by being able to identify and adapt to the needs, values, expectations, and sensibilities of others. Students must be able to do the following: (a) understand and consider diverse points of view; (b) determine what is appropriate in a given situation given the norms of groups and cultures which provide guidance for acceptable language and behavior; (c) be open-minded about and inclusive of other cultures; and (d) understand different points of view based on gender, ethnicity, race, or national origin.

Globalization

College graduates should understand that their world is no longer circumscribed by the boundaries of nations and continents. The world is a global community and students should understand and appreciate the pluralism of this global community. Students should be able to do the following: (a) learn at least one language other than English; (b) understand some of the mores and customs of at least one culture other than their own; and (c) appreciate the beauty and dignity of at least one language and culture other than their own.

The integrated strands of general education-- multiculturalism, critical thinking, reading, writing, speaking, listening, technology, and global view--should infuse as many other courses as possible. These strands connect general education courses to each other and to the majors.

GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES

CORE COURSES

Required of All Students

xx-191 University Seminar I

xx-192 University Seminar II

01-101 English Composition I

01-102 English Composition II

16-100 Lifetime Fitness and Wellness

01-200 Speech 

Global Societies (Students must have junior status)

FOUNDATION COURSES

Arts and Humanities---------------------------------3 Hours

            05-101 Introduction to Art 

            06-101 Introduction to Music

06-100 Introduction to African-American Music

01-113 Introduction to Theatre

03-201 Introduction to Philosophy

03-202 Ethics

03-105 Contemporary Moral Issues

History/Social Science------------------------------6 Hours

Three hours must be in one of the following American history courses:

34-201 American Civilization

34-202 American Civilization

34-203  African American Experience

34-204 African American Experience

The other three hours may come from one of the other courses listed above or from one of the ones listed below:

40-201 Principles of Macroeconomics

34-101 World Civilization 

34-102 World Civilization

33-103 Introduction to Political Science

36-201 Introduction to General Psychology

Introduction to Sociology

Foreign Languages-----------------------6 Hours In the Same Language

French Language and Culture,

Spanish Language and Culture,

German Language and Culture,

Kiswahili Language and Culture, or

Japanese Language and Culture

Literature------------------------------------------6 Hours

01-201 and 202   World Literature I and II

01-205 and 206   African-American Literature I and II

Students may take 01-201 and 01-206 or 01-205and 01-202, but not 01-201and 01-205.

Mathematics-----------------------------------------6 Hours

25-101* and 102 Survey of Mathematics

25-121* College Algebra 121

             and either

25-122 Trigonometry or

25-125 Finite Math or Statistics

* Students may substitute the combination 25-110 Algebra A and

25-111 Algebra B for 25-121 College Algebra in the General Education Program. Students may receive General Education credit for at most one of the following:

25 - 101 Survey of Mathematics I

25 - 121 College Algebra

The combination 25 – 110 Algebra A and 25-111 Algebra B

In order to meet individual student needs, other combinations of 100 and 200 level courses may be approved by the student's major department in consultation with the Department of Mathematics.

Natural Sciences------------------------------------6 Hours

Any two courses selected from the following:

Introduction to Biology**

23-110 Essential Topics in Biology**

24-100 Introductory Chemistry

23-105 Basic Ecology

22-101 Descriptive Astronomy

27-101 Geology ***

27-201 Physical Science Survey***

27-207 Earth/Space Science***

23-101 General Biology**

23-102 General Biology                     

24-101 Gen. & Elem. Analytical Chemistry

24-102 Gen. & Elem. Analytical Chemistry

26-121 Concepts of Physics

26-122 Concepts of Physics

Prerequisites and co-requisites must be satisfied when selecting courses, especially the second course in a sequence.

**        General Education credit will given for at most one of the following:

23 - 100 Introduction to Biology

23 - 101 General Biology

23 - 110 Essential Topics in Biology

*** General Education credit will be given for at most one of the following:

27- 201 Physical Science Survey

27- 101 Geology

27- 207 Earth/Space Science

                        Higher level physics survey courses (111-112 or 201- 202) may be substituted when a mathematical approach is more appropriate.

                  The catalog description for each major must be consulted for more specific requirements within the foundation courses.

 English Composition I and II, six hours of mathematics, University Seminar, and Fitness and Wellness should be completed within the students' first 30 hours of courses.

 

UNIVERSITY SEMINAR: XX*-191, XX*-192                                            1:2:0, 1:1:0

University Seminar is a two semester, general education course sequence designed to provide students with the essentials for a smooth transition to college life and academic success. Academic skills will be developed. These skills include critical reading, thinking, listening, writing, speaking, and using the library, the internet and word processing. Values clarification, coping with peer pressures and the impact of a healthy lifestyle will be addressed. Opportunities will be provided for self evaluation and growth in basic learning strategies as well as personal and career goals. Knowing the history of the University, feeling connected to the institution, and sharing a common educational experience with other freshmen are important goals of this course.

Students entering Delaware State University with sixty (60) credit hours or an associate degree do not have to take University Seminar. Some Departments may advise these students to take the course since they need the content of the departmental component of University Seminar.

* XX is the primary number of the department in which the student is majoring. Undecided majors will take 02-191 and 02-192

GLOBAL SOCIETIES 31-395                                                                                    3:3:0

This course is designed to develop persons with educated and informed perspectives on the world for the twenty-first century. These are individuals who know their world, and who can understand facets of globalism which transcend time, space and place.

Factors to be considered include global geography, global themes of the past, the global marketplace, and global political, social and cultural developments. This will enable students to appreciate the past, comprehend the present, and be effective and knowledgeable global citizens for the future.

Students must have a minimum of 60 credit hours to register for Global Societies.

SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE----3 HOURS (Minimum)

The senior capstone experience is a course in a major program designed to integrate general education and the major course of study. It enables the student to demonstrate the following: 1) a competence in the major and 2) an understanding of the breadth of knowledge, skills, and sensibilities that general education provides. The course may be planned and/or implemented in an interdisciplinary manner.