The University’s General Education requirements are listed below. Students also have the option of joining the General Education Summit Program as an alternative way to fulfill 6 of their 9 units of Upper-Division General Education requirements (Area F General Education requirements). Students in the Summit Program select a cluster of 2 courses in one of several combinations. See the General Education Summit Program section for more information.
The curriculum of general education is central to the mission of CSU Stanislaus and to the explicit commitment to a quality liberal arts education. Subject and/or unit requirements may be fulfilled according to the University’s credit-by-examination policies.
The purpose of general education is to provide a common educational experience for students, regardless of major field of study. The faculty are committed to ensuring that the general education program cultivates knowledge, skills, and values that are characteristic of a learned person.
The general education program is organized into five subject areas of communication skills, natural sciences and mathematics, humanities, social sciences, and individual resources for modern living. The general education program also includes required courses in history and government. The multicultural education requirement offers students course work which addresses multicultural, ethnic studies, gender, or non-western cultures issues.
The academic goals of the University specify that the University will guide students to attain mastery in the search for knowledge and to become critical thinkers who have attained effective levels of expressive and scientific literacy. Those who graduate will be versatile in their approach to problems and refined in their ability to frame and test intellectual arguments and hypotheses. They will have knowledge of the arts, history, and cultural identities of past and current societies. They will understand the value of being caring and humane citizens engaged by the challenges facing their evolving communities.
The University provides curricular and co-curricular activities to enhance global thinking and environmental awareness, and to cultivate respect for cultural diversity, both within and beyond the boundaries of its educational community.
The University collaborates with partners in its surrounding communities to provide “service learning” opportunities for enhancing the educational experiences and civic awareness of our students. (See Service Learning in the Student Affairs section of this catalog.)
Mission Statement of the General Education Program
General education is fundamental to a university education. General education develops foundational communicative, quantitative and critical thinking skills. It promotes an understanding of history and culture, fosters appreciation for the arts and humanities, and encourages a broad knowledge of social issues and scientific inquiry. Attaining a general education means that students understand that all learning is connected and enriches all aspects of life: personal, civic, and professional.
Goals and Outcomes of the General Education Program
The general education program is designed to ensure the following goals and outcomes:
Goal 1: Develop the intellectual skills and competencies necessary to participate effectively in society and the world.
Students attaining the first learning goal will be able to:
- Demonstrate effective oral communication.
- Demonstrate effective written communication.
- Demonstrate the ability to think critically and creatively.
- Apply quantitative reasoning concepts and skills to solve problems.
- Find, understand, examine critically, and use information from various sources.
- Comprehend and use appropriate technological resources effectively.
Goal 2: Develop broad knowledge of biological and physical sciences, humanities and creative arts, and social sciences.
Students attaining the second learning goal will be able to:
- Explain and apply basic scientific methods.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the living and non-living physical world.
- Recognize the structures and institutions that frame human interactions.
- Express appreciation of cultural, intellectual, and artistic ideas and works.
- Demonstrate effective creative expression and understanding through artistic means.
- Identify life-skills and behaviors needed to flourish as a mature person.
Goal 3: Develop abilities to integrate knowledge, make informed ethical decisions, and accept civic responsibility.
Students attaining the third learning goal will be able to:
- Integrate and combine knowledge and abilities developed in several fields to analyze and critically evaluate specific problems, issues, or topics.
- Illustrate the ability to self-reflect and assess relevant ethical values.
- Identify and analyze problems within local, regional, national, and/or global contexts.
- Demonstrate enhanced awareness of multicultural, community, and/or technological perspectives.
GE courses will address two to four of the most essential learning outcomes.
Credit Policy for General Education
The Schedule of Classes Informational Guide and the catalog designate the current courses offered at CSU Stanislaus which are applicable to General Education requirements. Only courses so designated are approved for credit applicable to General Education. All enrolled undergraduates should, therefore, refer to the current General Education Curriculum which lists acceptable General Education courses.
Breadth Requirements for General Education
The University’s General Education requirements are prescribed by the California Code of Regulations. They consist of a minimum of 51 semester units as described below, including at least 9 upper-division units. At least 9 of these 51 semester units shall be earned at the University. However, credit earned in fulfillment of the upper-division writing competency graduation requirement is not applicable to this 51-unit General Education program. The University accepts certification of General Education- Breadth requirements by a California Community College or a CSU campus, according to CSU regulations. Upon request, the University will report completion of these requirements to another CSU campus.
CSU General Education-Breadth Requirements are designed so that, taken with the major depth program and electives presented by each baccalaureate candidate, they will assure that graduates have made noteworthy progress toward becoming truly educated persons.