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General Education

Overview & Requirements

General Education at Minot State University is designed to ensure students learn a common set of academic skills and capacities, display personal and social responsibility, and understand interconnecting perspectives shaping domestic and global issues.  The overarching goal is to impart and develop skills that allow graduates to flourish and make life-long contributions to their professional, civic, and social world regardless of discipline, major, or career path.  Three broad developmental categories--critical capacities and skillspersonal and social responsibility, and interconnecting perspectives--each with specific objectives, constitute general education at MSU. To ensure that all aspects are included in the undergraduate experience, students must take courses or engage in experiences from each area.  The objectives for these broad areas are:

Critical Capacities and Skills (CCS) requires a student to demonstrate the capacity to think critically, write, collaborate, communicate, solve problems, and to deploy skills related to information and quantitative literacy.

  1. CCS1 Problem Solving
  2. CCS2 Information Literacy
  3. CCS3 Critical Reading
  4. CCS4 Quantitative Literacy
  5. CCS5 Oral/Written Communications
  6. CCS6 Collaboration

Personal and Social Responsibility (PSR) requires a student to develop an understanding and commitment to individual well-being and to civic life and community needs.

  1. PSR1 Relationships and Value Systems
  2. PSR2 Responding to Community Needs
  3. PSR3 Individual Well-Being

Interconnecting Perspectives (IP) requires a student to study, reflect, and apply the understanding of diverse global and domestic perspectives both in the classroom and in a global setting.

  1. IP1 Knowledge
  2. IP2 Experience

Requirements
Students fulfill developmental content requirements by taking courses approved for each of the specific CCS, PSR, and IP areas (11 total) listed above.  Students fulfill many of these requirements using courses traditionally taken in the first or second year, but because both lower and upper division courses are included, in practice, meeting all of these requirements can be spread across the entire undergraduate career and can include courses in a student's major. The learning outcomes of each of the 11 developmental areas are assessed using rubrics adapted from AAC&U’s LEAP rubrics. (See more about assessment here.)

Students must also take required core and foundational courses in academic areas distributed across oral and written communication (9 cr.), mathematics (4 cr.), the arts and humanities (6 cr.), the physical and natural world (i.e., lab science) (8 cr.), history (3 cr.), the social sciences (6 cr.), and a first-year seminar (2-3 cr.).  These core and foundational courses satisfy learning outcomes within CCS, PSR, IP developmental content requirements.  As such, the broad umbrella of developmental content also covers MSU’s foundational courses and core requirements.  In addition to ensuring a well-rounded foundation in disciplinary content for every graduate, foundational content also facilitates transfer within the North Dakota University System (NDUS) by meeting the state’s GERTA (General Education Requirement Transfer Agreement) requirements.

Foundational Content (FC) includes studies in the arts and humanities (FC1 6 cr.), the physical and natural world (FC2 8 cr.), history (FC3 3 cr.), and the social sciences (FC3 6 cr.).

  1. FC1 Humanities - Students will demonstrate knowledge of human cultures and cultural products—the arts and letters—and of how to study, compare, and critique diverse cultural perspectives and aesthetics. Students will also have the opportunity to produce their own cultural artifacts.
  2. FC2 Lab Science - Students will demonstrate knowledge of the physical and natural world and how to produce and apply that knowledge in a variety of settings.
  3. FC3 History and Social Sciences - Students will demonstrate knowledge of common and diverse historical experiences and of how to apply historical synthesis to inform decisions and understanding of the contemporary world. Courses from the social sciences in particular should emphasize scientific analysis from the everyday world and should analyze data and problems as they relate to the contemporary world. Courses from the social sciences in particular should emphasis analysis from the everyday world and should analyze data and problems as they relate to the contemporary world.

Required Core Oral and Written Communication (ENGL 110, ENGL 120, COMM 110), Mathematics, and UNIV 110

Current General Education Requirements (starting fall 2014) [link to catalog]