General Education is the study of humans in their global setting. The general education curriculum, therefore, acts as the heart of a university education by developing the capacities that typify the educated person and providing a basis for life-long learning and intellectual, ethical, and aesthetic fulfillment. General education examines the world around us and fosters an understanding of our interactions with the world and our place in the universe. General education celebrates the creative capacities of humankind and helps to preserve and transmit to future generations the values, knowledge, wisdom, and sense of history that are our common heritage.
Goals of General Education
General Education plays a pivotal role at Pittsburg State University. As a key component of undergraduate education, it furthers the University’s mission of “providing programs and services that create opportunities for students to develop intellectually, ethically, aesthetically, emotionally, socially and physically.”
The overall purpose of the General Education program is to provide an environment in which students can acquire the basic knowledge and skills common to educated people in our global society. To do this, the program provides instruction in certain basic disciplines ranging from the arts to science and technology. But it does more. It stimulates critical thinking and encourages decision-making free from prejudice or insularity. It develops the ability to communicate effectively via a variety of means. The program promotes ethical and aesthetic growth. It cultivates an appreciation of different cultures and the rights of others. In short, the foundation provided by General Education helps Pittsburg State University graduates lead satisfying lives and function responsibly in a complex and ever-changing world. And above all, the program provides a basis for future growth.
The General Education program accomplishes its task through a set of courses that meets the following goals and objectives.
Goal #1: Students should be able to communicate effectively.
1. Apply the principles of effective oral communication either in-group or individual presentations.
2. Apply the principles of effective writing and other forms of communication.
3. Demonstrate the ability to formulate and solve problems using the tools of mathematics.
Goal #2: Students should be able to think critically.
1. Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information in problem solving.
2. Articulate a problem and develop a logical and reasonable response to it using appropriate sources.
3. Apply generalizations, principles, theories, or rules to the real world.
4. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and synthesize information.
Goal #3: Students should be able to function responsibly in the world in which they live.
Part I: Sciences
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles, facts, and theories of the biological and physical sciences.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic methods of inquiry, analysis and description in the biological and physical sciences.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of how the natural sciences contribute to the general welfare of civilization.
Part II: Social Studies
1. Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary social issues.
2. Evaluate the impact of scientific, technological, economic, and intellectual change on social and political institutions.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural diversity within the United States and in the world at large.
Part III: Political Studies
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic governmental institutions of the United States.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles underlying democracy.
3. Demonstrate an awareness of the impact of public policy on people’s lives.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the global context in which the political system of the United States operates.
Part IV: Producing and Consuming
1. Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental philosophies, principles, and theories that govern the world of producing and consuming.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of how the world of producing and consuming impacts the individual, society, institutional structures, the economy, and the world.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of how the practices and outcomes of producing and consuming apply to our daily decision-making and to the solution of societal problems.
Part V: Aesthetic Studies
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the creative process, both practical and theoretical, and its relationship to an audience or viewers.
2. Demonstrate the ability to make informed critical responses when exposed to artistic endeavors.
3. Understand the relationship between the arts and society in a multicultural environment.
Part VI: Cultural Studies
1. Demonstrate the ability to recognize the value of diverse cultural, national, and ethnic backgrounds.
2. Demonstrate an awareness of the rights of individuals and groups from diverse cultural, national, and ethnic backgrounds.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships of gender, race, and class within and across cultures.
Part VII: Health and Well-being
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between lifestyle and functional health.
2. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate concepts of the human body, mind, and emotions that lead to a well-adjusted individual.
Part VIII: Human Heritage
1. Demonstrate an appreciation for the range and diversity of humankind’s wisdom, values, ideas, beliefs, and reasoning.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of human behavior, the human condition, and human institutions in the context of historical, literary, or philosophical inquiry.
3. Demonstrate recognition of the inter-relatedness of the past, present, and future.