The Philosophy of General Education
Undergraduate education offers not only specialized knowledge and professional skills, but also the multiple views and general intellectual abilities developed by the study of liberal arts and sciences. General Education is the component of the undergraduate curriculum devoted to exposing students to multiple areas of knowledge, methods of inquiry, and ideas that the University and scholarly community believe are common to well-educated persons. Ideally, General Education empowers individuals, liberates the mind from ignorance, and cultivates social responsibility. General Education forms the basis for developing important intellectual capacities and skills. It also provides a strong foundation for future learning, both within a college major and for the rest of one’s life.
Some people believe that General Education simply means courses to “get out of the way”. We could not disagree more. Instead, general education forms the foundation for a life-time of learning and is a critical component of liberal education. According to the American Association of Colleges and Universities (2002) liberal education is “a philosophy of education that empowers individuals, liberates the mind from ignorance, and cultivates social responsibility,” and General Education is “the part of a liberal education shared by all students. It provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines and forms the basis for developing important intellectual and civic capacities.”
General Education Mission
The General Education program at Dixie State University develops citizen-scholars as it:
- Fosters the development of knowledge across a broad range of liberal arts and sciences disciplines.
- Provides students with the intellectual tools required to think critically and communicate effectively.
- Equips students with the information literacy and quantitative reasoning skills that facilitate success in college and in life.
- Challenges students to explore and appreciate diversity in a globalized world.
- Encourages students to evaluate the responsibilities of citizenship.
- Prepares students for life-long learning.
General Education Learning Goals
- Broad Knowledge of the Liberal Arts & Sciences
Students will examine the world and its people from various points of view. They will learn about ideas and beliefs that have guided human beings and shaped civilization for thousands of years. Students will:
- Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the human past, including the historical development of human knowledge in global contexts.
- Compare and contrast differing philosophical and cultural perspectives.
- Describe and analyze core concepts and theories within the natural sciences and apply the methods of the natural sciences in order to formulate answers to important questions.
- Describe and analyze core concepts and theories within the arts and humanities and apply the techniques of the arts and humanities in order to formulate answers to important questions.
- Describe and analyze core concepts and theories within the social and behavioral sciences and apply the methods of the social and behavioral sciences in order to formulate answers to important questions.
- Critical Thinking
Students will gain the ability to use knowledge, claims of evidence, and content to reason ethically and reach conclusions, as well as to innovate in imaginative ways. These steps are equally applicable to different kinds of problems such as scientific theory development and testing, ethical problem solving, and innovation. Students will:
- Define, analyze, and formulate solutions to problems by synthesizing core concepts within and across disciplines.
- Assess the accuracy and validity of findings and conclusions.
- Comprehend and examine how one thinks, reasons, and makes value judgments.
- Demonstrate sustained intellectual curiosity through exploration of emerging issues.
- Effective Communication
Students will learn to communicate effectively. Communication is a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. Human communication facilitates insight, collaboration, the exchange of ideas, and the progress of culture. Students will:
- Comprehend and manage basic communicative technologies, tools, and strategies in order to express ideas and facts in written, oral, quantitative, and visual formats.
- Comprehend, interpret, analyze, and synthesize the written, oral, quantitative, and visual communication of others.
- Information Literacy Skills
Students will develop their information literacy skills, including an understanding of the nature, organization, and methods of access and evaluation of both electronic and traditional resources. Students will:
- Identify the nature, extent, and sources of information needed in order to access information effectively and efficiently.
- Critically evaluate information and information sources.
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
- Identify and analyze the economic, social, legal, and ethical issues surrounding the access and use of information.
- Identify and use the following as appropriate: content-specific tools, software, and simulations for research, information analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making in content learning.
- Quantitative Reasoning
Students will analyze and communicate appropriately with mathematical and symbolic concepts. They will critically evaluate the quantitative and symbolic information used to represent and draw inference regarding problems. Students will:
- Gain the ability to visualize abstractions and apply them to a problem.
- Model physical and natural phenomena and asses the validity of a model, make predictions from the model, and draw conclusions based on that model.
- Understand numbers, analyze uncertainty, comprehend the properties of shapes, and investigate how things change over time.
- Identify and apply quantitative principles and methods in the solution of problems and draw and evaluate conclusions in order to check the logic and validity of statements and models.
- Diversity and Globalization
Students will study groups, cultures, and societies as they interact and challenge each other. They will be encouraged to reflect critically and consciously in order to gain insight into how cultural identities and experiences shape individual perspectives of the world and influence interaction with people from different backgrounds. Students will:
- Identify cultural differences and examine how these difference influence cross-cultural understanding and conflict.
- Recognize and evaluate the implications of various social structures and the ways people are grouped by such characteristics as status, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.
- Identify and analyze sources of cultural bias and prejudice and develop ways to reduce these and other forms of biases and prejudices.
- Describe and analyze the concepts of globalization and transnationalism in order to evaluate the interdependent nature of the world in which we live.
- Responsibilities of Citizenship
Students will critically explore, evaluate, and reflect upon their own lives, careers, and interests in relation to the political process and the general welfare of society as a whole. Students will:
- Describe and analyze democratic political ideals and the various understandings of rights and obligations that citizens may be said to have in their own communities.
- Describe and analyze one’s own and others’ perceptions regarding responsibility for society’s moral / ethical well-being.
General Education Requirements
All DSU General Education requirements must be fulfilled by students earning a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Associate of Arts, or Associate of Science degree. A previously earned degree may fulfill those requirements, but according to Utah Board of Regents policy, courses must be equivalent to DSU’s minimum General Education standards in English, Mathematics, and American Institutions. For a complete list of courses that complete these requirements please refer to the GE Checklist in this catalog.
Computer Literacy is not a General Education requirement.
Computer Literacy is an institutional requirement for all degrees requiring full General Education unless the student has previously completed a BS, BA, AS, AA, or AAS from a regionally accredited institution.
Students are required to fulfill the following General Education core areas:
- English (writing/composition) - 2 classes
- Information Literacy
- American Institutions
Depth & Breadth:
Students are required to fulfill General Education Breadth & Depth areas:
- Life Sciences
- Physical Sciences
- Laboratory Sciences
- Fine Arts
- Social & Behavioral Sciences
Global & Cultural Perspectives (GLOCUP):
Student must complete two Global & Cultural Perspectives courses with different prefixes.
Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree must fulfill the BA foreign language requirement.
Students Seeking an Associate of Arts degree must fulfill the AA foreign language requirement.
General Education Foreign Language Requirement
(for Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts only)
Foreign Language Placement
- Students may not enroll in a language course if that language was the primary language of instruction for the student at the high school level (as determined by the chair of the Humanities Department).
- Placement in all foreign language classes is at the discretion of the Department Chair. Students whose abilities and experience in a language are above the course level may be placed in a higher level class and may earn “vertical credit” for lower level courses).
Vertical Credit: Once a student completes a 1020, 2010, 2020, or 3060 foreign language class with a grade of C or higher, s/he may request credit for language classes in the same language below that level. Posting fee required.
FLATS: Based on score of BYU Foreign Language Assessment Test (available at DSU). Maximum 12 credits, cannot duplicate already earned credit, posting fee required,
Nonnative Speaker: For the purposes of earning credit in DSU foreign language classes and/or fulfilling any DSU foreign language requirement, a native speaker’s primary language of instruction at the high school level (as determined by the chair of the Humanities Department) is his/her native language.
ESL Test Scores: Test scores required for unconditional DSU admission in 2013-2014: TOEFL 61 iBT, 173 CBT, or 500 PBT; or 70 Michigan; or equivalent USU-IELI test score.
Once a student completes a DSU 1020, 2010, 2020, or 3060 foreign language class with a grade of C or higher, s/he may request credit for language classes in the same language below that level. Posting fee required.
- Receiving a grade of C or higher in a foreign language 1020 course enables a student to request “vertical credit” for the 1010 course in the same language (4 additional credits graded “P”).
- Receiving a grade of C or higher in a foreign language 2010 course enables a student to request “vertical credit” for the 1010 and 1020 courses in the same language (8 additional credits graded “P”)
- Receiving a grade of C or higher in a foreign language 2020 course enables a student to request “vertical credit” for the 1010, 1020, and 2010 courses in the same language (12 additional credits graded “P”).
- Receiving a grade of B or higher in ESL 2750 enables a student to request “vertical credit” for ESL 1550 (4 additional credits graded “P”).
- Receiving a grade of B or higher in ESL 2760 enables a student to request “vertical credit” for ESL 1560 (4 additional credits graded “P”).
- Receiving a grade of C or higher in a foreign language 3060 course enables a student to request “vertical credit” for the 1010, 1020, 2010, and 2020 courses in the same language (16 additional credits graded “P”) unless the 3060 course is the same language as the primary language of secondary instruction
Procedure for Vertical Credit
- Vertical Credit Request form is completed and signed by the instructor who taught the advanced class and the department chair.
- Form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office and the posting fee is assessed on the student’s account.
- The posting fee must be paid at the cashier’s office and the receipt submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
- After the above steps are completed foreign language credit \ graded “P” will be awarded for the preparatory foreign language course(s).
Some programs have restrictions on which languages can be used to fulfill the Bachelor of Arts foreign language requirement. Check the Degree Worksheet for specific programs to verify which languages are accepted. In 2013-2014, progams in the Fine Arts Division (Art, Music, and Theatre) do not accept ASL.
|Bachelor of Arts: Foreign Language Requirement||3-16|
|Complete one of the following:|
- Complete 16 credits in a single foreign language, through earned credit (grade C or higher), credit by examination, or vertical credit from the courses listed on the GE Foreign Language Requirement page 1
- Complete a 2020 or higher foreign language course listed below (grade C or higher)
- Complete a 3060 foreign language course listed below (grade C or higher)
- Receive 16 transfer credits for GEFL 1000 (8) and GEFL 2000 (8) in a single foreign language (grade C or higher)
|Complete a 1020 course listed below in a second foreign language (grade C or higher) AND one of the following:|
|1. In a language not taught at DSU, receive 12 FLATS exam credits for FLAT 1000 (8) and FLAT 2000 (4)|
|2. In a language not taught at DSU, receive 12 transfer credits articulated as GEFL 1000 (8) and GEFL 2000 (4) (all grade C or higher) in a language not currently taught at DSU|
|Available only to students who are nonnative English speakers, complete one of the following:|
- Complete 16 credits of ESL courses listed below (grade B or higher)
- Submit one of the following test scores required for unconditional DSU admission: TOEFL (61 iBT, 173 CBT, or 500 PBT); or Michigan (70); or USU-IELE equivalent score. Other tests may be accepted for admission to DSU but will not fulfill this requirement. Official scores must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
Foreign Language Requirement for Associate of Arts Degree
|Associate of Arts: Foreign Language Requirement||3-8|
|Complete one of the following:|
- Complete 8 credits numbered 1000 or above in a single foreign language, through earned credit (grade C or higher), credit by examination, or vertical credit from the courses listed on the GE Foreign Language Requirement page 1
- Complete a 1020 or higher foreign language course listed below (grade C or higher)
- Receive 8 FLATS exam credits for FLAT 1000
- Receive 8 transfer credits GEFL 1000 (grade C or higher) in a language not currently taught at DSU
|Available only to students who are nonnative English speakers, complete one of the following:|
- Complete 8 credits of ESL courses listed below (grade B or higher)
- Submit one of the following test scores required for undonditional DSU admission: TOEFL (61 iBT, 173 CBT, or 500 PBT); or Michigan (70); or USU-IELE equivalent score. Other tests may be accepted for admission to DSU but will not fulfill this requirement. Official scores must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
|General Education Foreign Language Classes|
|ASL 1010||Beginning American Sign Language I||4|
|ASL 1020||Beginning American Sign Language II||4|
|ASL 2010||Intermediate American Sign Language I||4|
|ASL 2020||Intermediate American Sign Language II||4|
|CHIN 1010||Beginning Mandarin Chinese I||4|
|CHIN 1020||Beginning Mandarin Chinese II||4|
|CHIN 2010||Intermediate Mandarin Chinese I||4|
|CHIN 2020||Intermediate Mandarin Chinese II||4|
|ESL 1550||Interm Academic Writing||4|
|ESL 1560||Intermediate English Grammar||4|
|ESL 2750||Advanced Academic Writing||4|
|ESL 2760||Adv English Grammar||4|
|FLAT 1000 ([Language] (FLATS) (1010, 1020)) 1||4-8|
|FLAT 2000 ([Language] (FLATS) (2010)) 1||4|
|FREN 1010||Beginning French I||4|
|FREN 1020||Beginning French II||4|
|FREN 2010||Intermediate French I||4|
|FREN 2020||Intermediate French II||4|
|GEFL 1000 ([Language] (1010, 1020)) 1||4-8|
|GEFL 2000 ([Language] (2010, 2020)) 1||4-8|
|GERM 1010||Beginning German I||4|
|GERM 1020||Beginning German II||4|
|GERM 2010||Intermediate German I||4|
|GERM 2020||Intermediate German II||4|
|JAPN 1010||Beginning Japanese I||4|
|JAPN 1020||Beginning Japanese II||4|
|JAPN 2010||Intermediate Japanese I||4|
|JAPN 2020||Intermediate Japanese II||4|
|SPAN 1010||Beginning Spanish I||4|
|SPAN 1020||Beginning Spanish II||4|
|SPAN 2010||Intermediate Spanish I||4|
|SPAN 2020||Intermediate Spanish II||4|
|SPAN 3060||Advanced Grammar, Culture and Composition I||3|
Dixie State University is a member of the Interstate Passport Network, which provides a framework for block transfer of lower-division general education based on learning outcomes in nine areas:
- Foundational Skills: oral communication, written communication, quantitative literacy
- Knowledge of Concepts: natural sciences, human cultures, creative expression, human society and the individual
- Crosscutting Skills: critical thinking and teamwork/value systems.
Each Network member institution has its own Passport Block—a menu of lower-division general education courses and learning experiences by which a student can earn the Passport. Students who complete our institution’s Passport Block with a minimum grade of “C” or its equivalent in each course or learning experience will be awarded the Passport by our institution. Those students who later transfer with a Passport to another Network-member institution will have their learning recognized; they will not have to repeat or take additional courses to satisfy lower-division general education requirements in the Passport’s nine areas.
For students the Passport offers:
- An early milestone on the way to a credential.
- Advance knowledge that lower-division general education learning in the Passport’s nine areas will be recognized upon transfer to another Network member institution.
- The potential for faster time to degree, lower cost, less debt, and lower foregone earnings from unduplicated learning.
- A streamlined transfer process and a greater likelihood of successful transfer and completion.
For more information about the Interstate Passport, including a list of Network member institutions, see www.wiche.edu/passport.