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 from an accredited college/university and have satisfactorily completed 30 or more credit hours in general education may be able to satisfy the general education portfolio requirement. The 30 or more transferable credits must meet the UMFK general education program course requirements, the Intellectual and Practical Skills element and the General Knowledge element, to be 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.
Link to General Portofolio Review Transfer Guide
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.
General Knowledge (19 or 22 Credits)
The liberal arts and sciences have been part of a university education since the original European universities of 1,000 years
ago. All students will explore the scope and range of human achievement in the arts and sciences.
Arts and Humanities (four or five courses, 12 or 15 credits):
The student will develop the ability to analyze and empathize with the human condition from a variety of perspectives-cultural,
philosophical, mythological, creative, and historical.
Visual & Performing Arts or Philosophy: Choose one course (3 credits)
Literature: Choose one course (3 credits)
History: Choose one course (3 credits)
Foreign Language: (3 or 6 credits)
The student will develop a minimum level of proficiency in a non-English language. A student who attended secondary school in a language other than English satisfies the foreign language requirements by successful completion of ENG 101 *.
*Students must complete the course prerequisites - see course descriptions.
Note: Students proficient in languages other than those referenced here may also satisfy the Foreign Language requirement by earning 6 credit hours through standardized testing. Contact UMFK’s Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator.
Natural Sciences* (one course, 4 credits)
The student will be exposed to scientific inquiry and the laws and principles that have been established in humanity’s effort to
understand the natural universe through the study of the biological or physical sciences.
* Nursing and biomedical concentration students must take A&P I & II to satisfy GE requirement
* A student graduating from UMFK with an AS in Forestry and continue on for a bachelor’s degree at UMFK will have satisfied the Natural Science General Education Requirement by completion of the AS in Forestry degree.
Behavioral-Social Sciences (one course, 3 credits)
The student will be able to describe the social and behavioral phenomena of human relationship to others, their communities,
their social institutions.
Personal and Social Responsibility
During their matriculation students are expected to develop and grow as responsible citizens, and to acquire knowledge of and respect for the diversity of all life. Responsible citizenship involves a commitment to lifelong learning, democratic ideals as embodied in the United States Constitution, a healthy community, sustainability, and environmental stewardship. In this component of the general education program the student will address a project in responsible citizenship OR engage in an analysis of an issue of global significance.
Responsible Citizenship (0 credits)
The student will participate in a project/activity
involving the enhancement of education,
economic opportunity, social services, the
democratic process (locally, state, or nationally)
or environmental preservation.
Global Awareness (0 credits)
The student will analyze from a foreign country
or countries a diversity issue, the economic
exploitation of an identifiable group, or a
military conflict that the UN has failed to
resolve. The situation addressed must be
Total General Education Core Credits: 38 to 42 credits
Under guidance with the academic advisor, students may satisfy this project through coursework.