Jan 22, 2021  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Program 2011-2012


The general education program offers undergraduate students a liberal arts education in order to cultivate thoughtful and responsible persons and citizens, to prepare them for the world of work and to teach them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. In order to accomplish those broad goals, the general education program seeks to promote effective reasoning, broad and deep learning, and the inclination to inquire.

Effective Reasoning
A comprehensive liberal education helps students to develop their abilities to recognize and to think clearly about important issues and questions. The ability to think clearly involves fluency in reading, writing and oral communication, as well as mastery of the basic principles of logical, mathematical and scientific reasoning.

Broad and Deep Learning
A liberally educated person should possess a rich and broad fund of meaningful knowledge as well as the ability to compare and integrate new or different areas of knowledge in fruitful ways. To that end, the general education curriculum imparts a broad understanding of the various liberal arts and sciences and the ways that those arts and sciences evolve. In much the same way, the curriculum aims to foster an appreciation of diversity as a rich source of new ideas and opportunities for learning. Through such studies, students may comprehend the interconnectedness of knowledge and the importance of integrating knowledge gained from disparate parts of the curriculum.

The Inclination to Inquire
An education in the liberal arts fosters a student’s commitment to seek out and acquire important knowledge and skills, both for their intrinsic value and for the good they contribute to our common and individual lives. For this reason, a disposition to ask incisive and insightful questions is perhaps the surest sign of a liberally educated mind.

The general education requirement offers a basic knowledge of mathematics and the natural sciences, including laboratory experience, intermediate knowledge of at least one foreign language, the study of the humanities, the political, philosophical and cultural history of world civilizations, and the foundations and principles of American society.

This mission statement reflects the standards promulgated by the American Academy for Liberal Education and CWU’s Mission Statement.

General Education Program Goals

  1. Students will become thoughtful and responsible members of society and stewards of the Earth.
  2. Students will respect diversity of background, experience and belief, and will value the different perspectives that this diversity brings.
  3. Students will achieve fluency in reading, writing, oral communication and information technology.
  4. Students will master the basic principles of logical, mathematical and scientific reasoning.
  5. Students will develop an appreciation of the breadth and depth of scientific and humanistic knowledge.
  6. Students will develop a sense of the interconnectedness of knowledge.
  7. Students will integrate knowledge from diverse fields of study in order to solve real-world problems.
  8. Students will become aware of the manifold ways that knowledge evolves.
  9. Students will develop a disposition to ask incisive and insightful questions.

Assessment of the General Education Program

  1. Students will be surveyed as to how well they think their courses addressed the mission of the general education program.
  2. Instructors will be surveyed as to how well they think the course addressed the mission of the general education.
  3. Student achievement in general education classes will be evaluated regularly by means of examinations.

    All courses taken to satisfy general education requirements must be taken for a letter grade.


All students must satisfy the following requirements in basic academic and intellectual skills:

a. Only required of students who enter Central with fewer than 45 credits.

b. A grade of C- or better is required in ENG 101 before ENG 102 may be taken.

e. one year

One year of college or university study of a single foreign language or two years of high school study of a single foreign language. Courses used to satisfy this foreign language basic skills requirements may not be used to satisfy the Philosophies and Cultures of the World breadth requirement;

f. select one from the following:

All students

All students must have met these basic education requirements by the end of the quarter in which they complete 75 credits. (This does not include the foreign language basic skills requirement, which may require more time to complete.) Students who do not meet this standard will have a hold placed on further course registration. To remove the hold, the student must meet with an advisor and submit a program of study to plan successful completion of this requirement. The student’s progress will then be monitored by an assigned academic advisor.


Four (4) of the courses taken to fulfill the breadth requirement must have the W designation in the list below. These are courses which include at least seven pages of assigned writing that is assessed for content and mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation, and organization).

William O. Douglas Honors
Students in the William O. Douglas Honors program should check with their advisor regarding the General Education requirements.



Students must take at least one course from each of the three groups. No more than one class from a single department may be counted toward this requirement.

Literature and the Humanities

A grade of C- or better is required in ENG 101 before taking any of the courses in this category.

The Aesthetic Experience

Philosophies and Cultures of the World

Foreign Languages 251, 252, or 253. Second year foreign language (same as studied in high school) (5)
Foreign Languages 151, 152 or 153 or CHIN 141, 142, or 143. First year foreign language (different than the one used to meet basic skills requirement) (5)


Students must take at least one course from each of the three groups. No more than one class from a single department may be counted toward this requirement.

Perspectives on the Cultures and Experiences of the United States

An introduction to the institutions, cultures, and traditions of the United States intended to encourage a critical and analytical understanding of how the past affects the present and the future. An introduction to the complexities of social, economic, and political processes, issues, and events in the United States intended to provide a context for informed decision-making and citizenship.

Perspectives on World Cultures

An introduction to institutions, cultures, and traditions of nations, groups, and societies outside the United States intended to encourage an understanding and appreciation of the dimensions of human diversity as well as similarities. An introduction to contemporary international and transnational issues intended to provide a broader perspective of the individual’s relationship to other cultures and to common human concerns.

Foundations of Human Adaptions and Behavior

An introduction to and analysis of the fundamental principles underlying human interaction intended to foster a better understanding of the human condition. An introduction to the fundamental patterns and understandings of human interaction with natural and man-made environments intended to help students make informed judgments concerning broad environmental issues.


The natural sciences provide basic methods for rigorously describing and comprehending the natural world. Inquiry-driven laboratory and field observations are an essential mode of teaching, learning, and practicing natural science. Students must take at least one course from each of the three groups. No more than one class from a single department may be counted toward this requirement. It may be advantageous for students to take courses from groups in the order they appear below.

Fundamental Disciplines of Physical and Biological Sciences

An introduction to those sciences that study the fundamentals of physical and life systems.

Patterns and Connections in the Natural World

Those sciences that use a knowledge of basic scientific disciplines to examine large and complex physical and life systems.

Applications of Natural Science

These courses explicitly treat social, economic, technological, ethical or other implications of natural phenomena, of human influence on natural systems, or of responsive scientific inquiry.

NOTE: *Only open to freshman students enrolled in STEP program, and all three courses must be completed with passing grade to receive credit for Application of Natural Science breadth.