By completing these GE requirements, students gain the power to understand and use numerical and graphical information, think critically and come to conclusions through rational processes, and express those thoughts with a confident voice and effective use of the written word.
Expectations for Learning in Oral Communication (A1) Courses
Courses cultivate an understanding of the social, psychological, political and practical significance of communication, with special emphasis on the roles of public communication in a free society. Students will give oral presentations and be encouraged to develop their sense of voice, which means speaking with confidence in public forums in ways that reflect their unique perspective and identity. Students will learn and appreciate a range of public speaking styles and forms of eloquence, while respecting the freedom of expression of all members of the community.
Students shall be able to:
- Identify and assess socially significant and intellectual topics, then compose and deliver extemporaneous oral presentations on these topics;
- Engage in critical and analytical listening;
- Analyze audiences, adapt oral presentations to audiences and use that information to accomplish the purpose of the speech; and
- Assume the ethical responsibilities of the public speaker, including basic understanding of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the access and use of information.
Expectations for Learning in Written Communication (A2) Courses
Courses should cultivate an understanding of the writing process and the goals, dynamics, and genres of written communication, with special attention to the nature of writing at the university. Students will develop college–‐level reading abilities, rhetorical sophistication, and writing styles that give form and coherence to complex ideas and feelings.
Students shall write complete essays that demonstrate the ability to:
- Demonstrate the ability to read actively and rhetorically
- Demonstrate the ability to perform the essential steps in the writing process (prewriting, organizing, composing, revising, and editing) and demonstrate an awareness of said performance
- Articulate an awareness of and write according to the rhetorical features of texts, such as purpose, audience, context, and rhetorical appeals
- Demonstrate the ability to integrate their ideas and those of others by explaining, analyzing, developing, and criticizing ideas effectively in several genres
- Demonstrate college–‐level language use, clarity, and grammatical proficiency in writing
Expectations for Learning in Critical Thinking (A3) Courses
In Critical Thinking courses, students will understand logic and its relationship to language: courses include a series of integrated reading, writing, oral, and research assignments that engage students in complex issues requiring critical thinking and effective argumentation. Students will develop language that distinguishes fact and judgment; articulates elementary inductive and deductive processes; parses fact, assumption and conclusion; integrates rebuttal and qualification as appropriate. Students will develop the ability to analyze, criticize, and advocate complex ideas, reason inductively and deductively, research and rebut information and arguments, and reach well–‐supported factual conclusions and judgments.
Students should be able to:
- Locate and evaluate sources, through library research, and integrate research through appropriate citation and quotation.
- Present effective arguments that use a full range of legitimate rhetorical and logical strategies to articulate and explain their positions on complex issues in dialogue with other points of view.
- Effectively locate, interpret, evaluate, and synthesize evidence in a comprehensive way in support of one’s ideas.
- Identify and critically evaluate the assumptions in and the context of an argument.
- Effectively distinguish and convey inductive and deductive patterns as appropriate, sequencing arguments and evidence logically to draw valid conclusions and articulate related outcomes (implications and consequences).
Expectations for Learning in Mathematical Concepts (B4) Courses
The major goal is to enable the student to use numerical and graphical data in personal and professional judgments and in coping with public issues.
The mathematical concepts course should prepare the student to:
- Use mathematical methods to solve quantitative problems, including those presented in verbal form;
- Use mathematics to solve real-life problems; and
- Arrive at conclusions based on numerical and graphical data.