General Education Philosophy
The faculty affirms that humankind is best served by a society that is equitable and just. Society moves towards this ideal when its members are ethical in their actions and open-minded in their consideration of alternative social values, individual beliefs, and the pursuit of knowledge through humanistic and scientific study. To instill this ideal, the faculty affirms that students will develop an appreciation of cultural diversity and an awareness of the effects of world civilizations.
General Education Goal
The goal of general education in a baccalaureate program is provide an academic foundation to support the study of a major field, help students develop an awareness and understanding of the achievements of civilizations, an ability to integrate ethical decision-making into professional, social, and environmental contexts, and a reasoned appreciation of points of view originating in value-belief systems other than their own. Toward this end, students will demonstrate competency in each component of the general education program.
General Education Program
The general education program is organized into three major components: Intellectual and Practical Skills, General Knowledge, and Personal and Social Responsibility. Intellectual and Practical Skills is comprised of three elements: Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, and Information Fluency. The elements that make up the General Knowledge component are Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences, and the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Two elements comprise Personal and Social Responsibility: Responsible Citizenship and Global Awareness. The eight elements of the general education program map into a set of academic disciplines and recommended lower division courses.
The general education program involves twelve or thirteen courses and 38 to 42 credit hours. Students demonstrate competency in the eight elements that comprise the general education program by passing at the appropriate level select courses in the program, and by maintaining in accord with specified guidelines a general education portfolio. Each course in the program has a set of student learning outcomes provided on the course syllabus, and shared with students when enrolled in the particular course. The general education portfolio addresses a set of student learning outcomes which are generally broader than those presented in the syllabi of courses. The portfolio contains material which verifies that specific student learning outcomes have been met.
To fulfill the general education requirements, UMFK students should select courses from the approved list. For transfer students, transcript analysis will be conducted to determine if courses taken prior to admission to UMFK are congruent with the courses of the general education program. The determination will be made at the time of transfer-credit evaluation in consultation with discipline faculty. Students who transfer to UMFK after having satisfactorily completed 30 or more credit hours in general education at an accredited college/university which satisfy UMFK general education program requirements are exempt from the portfolio requirement. Students who transfer to UMFK with an Associates of Arts or Sciences degree are exempt from the portfolio requirement; however, they are not exempt for the general education course requirements. Students who transfer to UMFK with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution are exempt from completing the general education requirements.
The organization of the general education program and the particular aims of its eight elements and courses are outlined below. An additional three elements permeate the entire program. These are critical thinking, creativity, and ethics. These elements undergird the entire program and engage the student in all courses and in the portfolio requirements.