The General Education curriculum educates students in the knowledge and skills appropriate to a student in the 21st century. It is designed around outcomes and organized so that students can incorporate foundational seminars and upper-level courses into their general education. Arrangement by outcome vs. discipline allows for flexibility and cross-disciplinary learning. A grade of C or higher is required within all core courses within each goal, the Foundations Seminar (COLL 133 ) and the Freshman Writing Seminar (ENGL 133W ).
General Education requirements consist of:
Foundational Courses (6 sem. hrs):
COLL 133 - General Education Foundations Seminar 3 hours
ENGL 133W - First-Year Writing Seminar 3 hours
Core Courses (27 sem. hrs):
Select one core course from each of the nine goals. A list of general education courses for each goal can be found here .
Elective Courses (9 sem. hrs):
Select three courses with differing subject areas from three unique goals. A list of general education courses for each goal can be found here .
In addition to ENGL 133W , students must complete two other writing-intensive courses, of which one must be from within the General Education goals. Choose courses designated with an alpha character of “W” after each course number.
Students will critically explore and define ethical values as they relate to the individual and the contemporary world.
- Describe multiple, relevant ethical perspectives/concepts, and identify one’s own beliefs and values in relation to those frameworks.
- Apply multiple, relevant ethical perspectives/concepts to a social or political problem, and evaluate the consequences of those applications.
Students will acquire foundational knowledge about political institutions and processes in the U.S. as well as their historical development. Students will understand the expectations of responsible citizenship for local and national contexts. Students will also understand the importance of personal and social well-being and engaged citizenship in a complex and changing world.
- Identify key U.S. civic institutions and their historical development.
- Describe structural and institutional factors which affect civic life.
- Acquire knowledge from one’s own academic studies and explain its connection to civic life, politics, and government in contemporary and historical contexts.
- Participate in activities of personal and public concern that are beneficial to the individual, as well as the individual’s local, national, or global communities.
Creative Thinking and Experience
Students will use the creative process to form thoughts and actions that enable discussion of existing knowledge and interpretation of experiences from perspectives other than their own.
- Demonstrate creative practices and techniques.
- Describe knowledge of the processes used in completion of creative works.
- Express meaning and intent of creative works.
Students will acquire foundational knowledge about societies outside of the U.S. Students will learn to critically analyze complex global systems in their historical and contemporary contexts. They will critically understand cross-cultural practices and world-views and address global challenges through individual and collective action.
- Demonstrate competency in describing the diversity of cultural practices, perspectives, and viewpoints of other peoples of the world.
- Identify one’s own cultural identity, norms, and biases in order to address social issues both historically and within contemporary contexts.
Students will comprehend environmental challenges facing the U.S. and other societies. Students will develop a greater understanding of the implications of their own actions for environmental sustainability.
- Identify environmental challenges facing the U.S. and other societies.
- Explain key relationships between human and natural processes and the implications of those relationships for the earth’s sustainability through the study of empirical evidence.
- Explain, develop, or engage in sustainability solutions at the campus or community-level.
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental questions regarding reality, inquiry and knowledge, and the nature of human existence as well as the most plausible and compelling attempts to answer those questions by drawing upon diverse traditional and contemporary sources. They will appreciate and engage with the unifying attempts across epochs and cultures to locate and create meaning.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental questions of reality, inquiry, knowledge, and the nature of human existence.
- Utilize diverse traditional and contemporary sources to answer questions of reality, inquiry, knowledge, and the nature of human existence
- Demonstrate an appreciation for the unifying attempts across epochs and cultures to make human life meaningful.
Students will communicate effectively through understanding multiple contexts, purposes, and audiences. They will communicate competently within the conventions of different academic fields. They will research for quality evidence and use it effectively in their work. They will communicate with integrity, clarity, and fluency.
- Demonstrate foundational skills in written and oral communication.
- Recognize and employ effective communication techniques to account for diverse contexts, purposes, audiences, and academic fields.
- Identify and employ different forms of writing and speaking, including but not limited to argumentative, informative, professional, or creative modes.
- Demonstrate effective techniques for locating, evaluating, selecting, and citing appropriate sources, information, and evidence.
- Practice active listening and respectful responding.
- Demonstrate skill in revising written and oral communication.
Reasoning in Natural Science
Students will understand concepts related to natural science, including interpreting and drawing inferences from scientific results and models. They will generate, evaluate and interpret different types of data, and will use this knowledge to solve problems empirically in a variety of contexts.
- Explain the basic facts, principles, theories, and history of modern science.
- Describe the basic methods of experimental design and the scientific method.
- Draw appropriate conclusions based on the analysis of different types of data and information, while recognizing the limits of this analysis.
Students will be able to apply mathematical skills when solving real world problems. They will be able to create mathematical models for a variety of contexts based on data or other information and use them to make conclusions. They will summarize and analyze different types of data in order to answer questions and make predictions.
- Explain information presented in mathematical forms such as equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, formulas, and words.
- Convert data and relevant information into various mathematical forms such as equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, formulas, and words.
- Make predications and draw appropriate conclusions based on the analysis of data or mathematical models and be able to explain the limitations of this analysis.
General education at Columbia College includes a writing-intensive component that students must fulfill in order to satisfy the overall general education curriculum. Courses designated writing-intensive require a significant amount of formal, graded writing integrated throughout the course material. All students, with the exception of those receiving a General Education Waiver, will complete the following sequence of writing-intensive courses:
- ENGL 133W First-Year Writing Seminar
- Two additional writing-intensive courses (designated with the alpha character “W” directly after the course number) One course must be a designated general education course.
More information regarding a course’s writing-intensive expectations can be found in the course syllabi.