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General Education Mission

“A man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.”

(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

 

The mission of general education at Snow College is to stretch students’ minds and enlarge the foundation of their intellectual and practical skills in order to create in them a lifelong love of learning.

The general education curriculum is designed to accomplish several goals: to provide students with a broad exposure to different academic disciplines in order to assist them in selecting their course of study; to introduce a variety of ways of making knowledge so that students understand the complexity of information and knowledge; to facilitate the development of a passion for a specific area of study and a love of learning in general; to provide connections between disciplines by providing interdisciplinary, integrated learning opportunities; to prepare students to participate fully in human culture, ask probing and thoughtful questions, and engage as responsible citizens.

As many of the world's great thinkers have observed before, a general education is more than a bunch of facts and numbers: it is that part of the self that remains when the details have been forgotten. At Snow College, first and foremost, general education is who we are.

Specific courses are selected for inclusion in the general education curriculum only when the GE Committee has evidence that the course advances the GE mission, fulfills General Education learning outcomes, fulfills core or knowledge area outcomes, and articulates a coherent assessment plan. Courses approved for GE credit will participate in the General Education assessment for the knowledge area and report assessment results to the GE committee.

 

Learning Outcomes

A student who graduates from Snow College with an AS or AA degree:

  1. has a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, with particular emphasis on:
    • American institutions;
    • the social and behavioral sciences;
    • the physical and life sciences;
    • the humanities;
    • the fine arts;
    • and personal wellness;
  2. can read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information using a variety of traditional and electronic media;
  3. can speak and write effectively and respectfully as a member of the global community, and work effectively as a member of a team;
  4. can reason quantitatively in a variety of contexts;
  5. can respond with informed sensitivity to an artistic work or experience;
  6. can reason analytically, critically, and creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy;
  7. can address complex problems by integrating the knowledge and methodologies of multiple disciplines.

A student who graduates from Snow College with an AA degree:

8. can speak, read, and write a foreign language with basic proficiency.

 

GE Requirements

The General Education curriculum is made up of courses that formulate a GE core (which is mandated by the state of Utah) and a selection of course options that fall into several knowledge areas:

 

GE Core

Institutions(AI)

Quantitative Literacy(QL)

English (E1 and E2)

Writing skills are foundational for success in higher education, crucial for workforce preparation, and a basis for life as an educated person. Classes that meet E1 and E2 GE requirements should focus on developing effective and efficient writing processes and will not privilege course content over composition instruction and practice. Instructors should provide and arrange for detailed feedback on higher-order concerns on multiple drafts of multiple paper assignments. Students should write 15-20 pages of revised prose for each class (including an 8-12 page research paper for E2). Additionally, they instructors should help students address syntax, usage, and mechanical issues in the context of student writing. Class sizes should be kept low (20-25 students) to ensure that instructors can devote enough attention to student work. Finally, E1 and E2 need to be fulfilled by two courses taken sequentially.

 

Outcomes: General education courses in this area enable students to:

Course 1 (E1)

  • Assess rhetorical situations and plan written responses that account for audience, purpose, context, and genre.

  • Organize effective arguments that engage readers, provide needed background, present compelling evidence, and respond to opposing viewpoints.

  •  Write using an effective process that includes planning, drafting, peer workshopping, and revision. This process should be explicit in class activities and assignment design; revision should improve the overall quality of the document.

  •  Carefully and critically read written arguments, identifying the use of rhetorical techniques by the author.

Course 2 (E2)

  • Assess rhetorical situations and plan written responses that account for audience, purpose, context, and genre.
  • Organize effective arguments that engage readers, provide needed background, present compelling evidence, and respond to opposing viewpoints.
  • Write using an effective process that includes planning, drafting, peer workshopping, and revision. This process should be explicit in class activities and assignment design; revision should improve the overall quality of the document.
  • Carefully and critically read written arguments, identifying the use of rhetorical techniques by the author.
  • Think critically about arguments by exploring multiple perspectives.
  • Find and evaluate credible primary and secondary research and utilize that research appropriately to support an argument/position. In doing so, students will include precise documentation, avoid plagiarism, and integrate source material smoothly.

 

Knowledge Areas

  • Fine Arts
  • Oral Communication
  • Physical Education
  • Humanities
  • Social and Behavioral Science
  • Physical Science
  • Life Science
  • Science Inquiry

 

Fine Arts

Courses to be designated as a Fine Arts (FA) General Education experience are expected to provide students with an understanding of the basic conceptual frameworks, historical and cultural contexts of artistic works, and be instilled with a sensibility of the creative process. Assessment will occur through the student’s ability to critically evaluate creative works using the language and methodology appropriate to the disciplines of dance, music, theater, and/or the visual arts.

Outcomes: General education courses in this area allow students to be able to:

  • Students who complete a course designated to fulfill the Fine Arts (FA) General Education requirement at Snow College should be able to:
  • Articulate the dynamics of the creative process including the development of a lifetime sensibility as it applies to the disciplines of dance, music, theater, or visual arts.
  • Provide an informed synopsis of the performing and/or visual arts in the contexts of culture and history through reading and interpreting pertinent information using a variety of traditional and electronic media.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the conceptual and elemental principles fundamental to the creation of various forms of artistic expression.
  • Exhibit an ability to critically analyze artistic works using appropriate techniques, vocabulary, and methodologies.

 

Oral Communication

The ability to effectively communicate orally is frequently considered a top skill that employers are looking for in prospective employees. The ability to give effective presentations is an essential building block that students need in order to be successful as they continue their education and as they transition into the workforce. In other words, oral communication is a fundamental skill students need so that they have the opportunity to compete in contemporary society or in virtually every field of communication.

The National Communication Association puts forward that oral communication involves organizing thoughts logically, tailoring the message to the audience, speaking for maximum impact, and adapting to listener feedback. It involves expressing and sharing ideas and information as well as influencing others through verbal and nonverbal communication.

Outcomes. Oral communication is a disciplined, self-directed, systematic framework for thinking, speaking, listening, responding, and problem solving appropriate to the communication context. It includes the ability to organize thoughts logically, tailor the message to the audience, speak for maximum impact, and adapt to listener feedback. Oral communication involves expressing emotions, sharing ideas/information as well as influencing others through ethical verbal and nonverbal communication. Students who satisfy this requirement will demonstrate that they are able to do the following:

  • Analyze and critique the oral communication of oneself and others.
  • Develop appropriate rhetorical patterns (i.e. narration, example, process, comparison/contrast, classification, cause/effect, definition, argumentation) to influence attitudes, beliefs and actions, while demonstrating speaking skills from process to product.
  • Communicate orally in ways that are appropriate to the goal, communication channel, context of the communication episode while employing effective use of organizational strategies, communication ethics, verbal and nonverbal language, vocalics, and communication apprehension techniques.
  • Manage and coordinate credible/relevant information gathered from multiple sources for the purposes of problem solving, decision-making, speech building, and supporting an argument.
  • Communicate effectively interpersonally with others in conversation, interview, and group/team contexts.
  • Understand and manage conflict in a variety of communication contexts with an emphasis on team building.
  • Explain the role human communication plays in the development and maintenance of societies including academic, social, and professional endeavors; communicate an understanding of vocabulary, concepts, materials, techniques, and methods of intellectual inquiry in communication.

 

Humanities

The Humanities are a group of academic disciplines that study the many ways by which humans have attempted to understand themselves and their world. At Snow College, the Humanities focus on cultural traditions that are expressed largely through text or which have a strong textual component: languages, literature, and philosophy. The methods by which the Humanities study culture are at once analytical and interpretive, objective and subjective, historical and aesthetic.

Outcomes. General education courses in this area enable students to:

  • Ask and explore a variety of philosophical and theoretical questions about human thought and experience.
  • Understand how knowledge is created through the study of language systems, literature, and/or philosophy.
  • Understand cultural traditions within an historical context and make connections with the present.
  • Critically read and respond to primary texts (original, uninterpreted) from a Humanities’ perspective.
  • Write effectively within the Humanities discipline to analyze and form critical and aesthetic judgments.

 

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students will develop understanding of the world around them through study of content and the processes used by social and behavioral scientists to discover, describe, explain, and/or predict human behavior and social systems. Students must understand the diversities and complexities of the cultural and social world, past and present, from a social scientist’s perspective, and methodologies, and come to an informed sense of self and others.

OUTCOMES: A student who earns General Education in the Social and Behavioral Sciences will be able to:

  • Explain social institutions, structures, and processes across a broad range of historical periods and cultures
from a social and behavioral science perspective.
  • Develop and communicate hypothetical explanations for individual human behavior within the large-scale historical or social context.
  • Draw on the social and behavioral sciences to evaluate contemporary problems using social science research methodology.
  • Describe and analytically compare social, political, economic, cultural, geographical, and historical settings and processes other than one’s own.
  • Explain and use the social-scientific method to test research questions and draw conclusions.
  • Write effectively within the social science discipline, using correct disciplinary guidelines, to analyze, interpret, and communicate about social science phenomena.

 

Natural Science (Life and Physical Science)

For the natural sciences, science is the systematic inquiry into natural phenomena organizing and condensing those observations into testable models and hypotheses, theories or laws. The success and credibility of science is anchored in the willingness of scientists to:

1) expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by other scientists which requires the complete and open exchange of data, procedures, and materials;

2) abandon or modify accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental evidence. Adherence to these principles provides a mechanism for self-correction that is the foundation of the credibility of science (Adapted from a statement by the Panel on Public Affairs of the American Physical Society which was endorsed by the Executive Board of the American Associations of Physics Teachers in 1999).

Broad categories of the Natural Science disciplines include Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, and Biology. At Snow College, the first five are considered physical sciences and biology the life science. While properties of matter and energy in the physical sciences are common to life science, the emergent properties resulting from the complexities of life require additional study to amplify and clarify the scientific mechanisms of nature.

Outcomes. A student who has earned Snow College General Education Life Science Learning Outcomes will be able to:

  • Explore from the perspective of the scientific method most of the following concepts: simple chemistry, cell structure and function , metabolism, binary fission, mitosis, and meiosis, transmission genetics, biological information flow from DNA to RNA to protein (central dogma), evolution, systematics and taxonomy, diversity and ecology.
  • Explain how these concepts relate to the natural world and to the human experience.
  • Acquire knowledge by trained observation and experimentation (lab courses).
  • Find, read, and understand assignments in textbooks, lab manuals, library journals, handouts, etc.
  • Identify something acquired in the course about which he/she has become passionate.
  • Assess the credibility of scientific information

Outcomes. A student who has earned Snow College General Education Physical Science Learning Outcomes will be able to:

  • Apply scientific reasoning in a variety of contexts.
  • Use the concepts of physical science to solve daily problems.
  • Understand how physical scientists think and form judgments about the physical world.
  • Assess the credibility of scientific information.
  • Recognize the manifestations of physical science in phenomena of the everyday world.
  • Acquire the tools necessary for life-long learning in physical science.
  • Identify something acquired in the course about which he/she has become passionate.

 

Science Inquiry

Science Inquiry is designed to give students an additional experience with the scientific method. The category includes courses from Social and Behavioral Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.

Outcomes. General education courses in this area allow students to be able to:

  • Use the scientific method to test research and draw conclusions about the physical world, the natural world, and/or the science of society.
  • Critically read and assess the creditability of scientific texts.
  • Understand how knowledge is created using the scientific method.