General Education Program Guiding Philosophy
The General Education program prepares you for success at CWU and as a citizen in our dynamic, diverse, and global society. The program fosters integrated learning, enhancing your ability to make connections across courses and disciplines and to apply a breadth of knowledge to real-world problems. It will help you develop skills in critical thinking, clear communication, creative leadership, ethical decision-making, and complex problem solving. Combined with your major, the General Education program will cultivate curiosity, empower personal development, strengthen understanding of and respect for diverse perspectives, and build a foundation for life-long learning.
General Education Program-Level Goals
Explore: You will explore a breadth of knowledge, methods of inquiry and reasoning, and fundamental questions. That process will cultivate curiosity, facilitate the understanding of diverse perspectives, empower personal development and growth, and build a foundation for life-long learning.
Engage: As you engage with new knowledge, people, and perspectives, you will assume responsibility for your learning. In the process, you will develop enhanced communication-written and spoken-and critical thinking skills grounded in logic, reason, analysis, and synthesis. Combining these skills will enable you to employ multiple approaches to complex and real-world problems. As an engaged citizen, you will bring intellectual creativity and curiosity into your personal, civic, and professional life.
Connect: You will discover how disciplines, societal challenges, and cultures are interconnected. This process links coursework and community, local and global issues, past and present. Your ability to integrate learning will lead to new ways of thinking, analyzing, and interacting with our dynamic and diverse world.
Create: Your knowledge and skills will empower you to ask innovative questions and envision unique projects. This process of creative engagement will enable inquisitiveness and original thinking. It will provide you with agility for success in your career and life.
Empathize: Your General Education will facilitate open-mindedness and enable you to better understand and imagine others’ experiences. As you become more knowledgeable and curious about the world, you will develop respect for diverse points of view, engage in ethical decision-making, and demand and demonstrate compassionate leadership.
I. Engage: First-Year Experience Credits: 13-14
Students are required to take one course in each row (First-Year Experience, Academic Writing I and Quantitative Reasoning, approximately 13-14 credits) during their first year.
First-Year Experience Credits: (4)
The first-year experience will help students transition to college by introducing them to a scholarly approach to problem solving and methods of inquiry. Small classes will emphasize mentorship and focus on special topics developed by faculty. These courses will incorporate writing, critical thinking, oral communication, and information literacy.
Students will register for a section of this course under a specific department prefix ABC 184. Each section will be a different topic. These courses may not be repeated for credit.
Academic Writing, I: Critical Reading and Responding Credits: (5)
Academic Writing I prepares students with the skills necessary for critical reading and academic writing, including summarizing, reading sources critically and responding to them, synthesizing multiple perspectives, and using academic writing conventions, including grammar and mechanics.
Quantitative Reasoning Credits: (4-5)
Courses in this category focus on quantitative reasoning and its application. Students will explore various quantitative and statistical processes in order to evaluate and interpret data. Students will develop the ability to identify, analyze, and apply different principles and empirical methods to concrete problems.
II. Explore and Connect Credits: 32-40
These courses can be taken any year.
Students must take one (1) course in each of the eight (8) Knowledge Areas. A student may take courses from the same department in no more than two (2) knowledge areas. The eight (8) knowledge areas are: K1-Academic Writing II; K2-Community, Culture, and Citizenship; K3-Creative Expression; K4-Global Dynamics; K5-Humanities; K6-Individual and Society; K7-Physical and Natural World; and K8-Science and Technology.
From the courses taken in the knowledge areas, students are required to take at least three (3) courses from the same pathway (choose one (1) of the six (6) pathways). Students can choose to take five (5) or more of their courses in the same pathway to earn a certificate. In order to fulfill the Pathway part of the General Education requirement, no more than two (2) courses from a single department may be counted toward this requirement. The six (6) pathways are: P1-Civic and Community Engagement; P2-Health and Well-Being; P3-Perspectives on Current Issues; P4-Social Justice; P5-Sustainability; P6-Ways of Knowing.
Knowledge Areas (8 courses, 8 knowledge areas)
All students must take one course in each of the areas of knowledge. A student may take courses from the same department in no more than 2 knowledge areas.
K1 - Academic Writing, II: Critical Reading and Responding
The Academic Writing II courses prepare students with skills in research-based academic argument through assignments involving evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of multiple sources. Individual sections will be linked to specific pathway topics.
K1P1 - Civic and Community Engagement
K1P2 - Health and Well-Being
K1P3 - Perspectives on Current Issues
K2 - Community, Culture, and Citizenship
The community, culture, and citizenship perspective engages students with historic and contemporary political, ethical, cultural, socioeconomic, and other emerging issues affecting society. By grappling with the intersection of social concerns, students will learn how societies are created and how to contribute to them as effective citizens.
K2P1 - Civic and Community Engagement
K2P2 - Health and Well-Being
K2P3 - Perspectives on Current Issues
K3 - Creative Expression
The creative expression perspective allows students to explore aesthetic expression and artistic perspectives on common themes in the literary and fine arts.
K3P1 - Civic and Community Engagement
K3P2 - Health and Well-Being
K3P3 - Perspectives on Current Issues
K4 - Global Dynamics
The global dynamics perspective focuses on how individuals, groups, communities, and nations function in a global society. Students will gain a cultural awareness and sensitivity that prepares them for citizenship in a diverse, global society by developing an understanding of how culture shapes human experience, an appreciation for diverse worldviews, and an awareness of the complexity of the interactions among local, regional, national, and global systems.
K4P1 - Civic and Community Engagement
K4P2 - Health and Well-Being
K4P3 - Perspectives on Current Issues
K5 - Humanities
The humanities perspective focuses on helping students interpret their world, culture, and perspectives through the study of philosophical, literary, and historical forms.
K5P1 - Civic and Community Engagement
K5P2 - Health and Well-Being
K5P3 - Perspectives on Current Issues
K6 - Individual and Society
The individual and society perspective focuses on the relationship between people and their socialization. Students will be exposed to connections between behaviors, perspectives, psychology, and influences affecting everyday life.
K6P1 - Civic and Community Engagement
K6P2 - Health and Well-Being
K6P3 - Perspectives on Current Issues
K7 - Physical and Natural World
This Physical and Natural World perspective introduces the core practice of science: generating testable explanations. Students will be introduced to fundamental scientific concepts and will engage in scientific practices.
K7P1 - Civic and Community Engagement
K7P2 - Health and Well-Being
K7P3 - Perspectives on Current Issues
K8 - Science and Technology
The science and technology perspective focuses on scientific inquiry, intersections with technology, mathematical applications, and connections to the world around us.
K8P1 - Civic and Community Engagement
K8P2 - Health and Well-Being
K8P3 - Perspectives on Current Issues
III. Connect, Create, and Empathize: Culminating Experience Credits: 1-12
Students will be required to complete one (1) of the culminating experience options during their junior or senior year. Culminating experiences may be part of students’ major requirements.
Opportunities may include a department approved capstone course or a General Education capstone course.