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.
General Education Goal
The goal of general education in an associate program is to 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 two major components each comprised of three elements. Intellectual and Practical Skills elements are Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, and Information Fluency. General Knowledge elements are Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences, and the Behavioral and Social Sciences. The six elements of the general education program map into a set of academic disciplines and recommended lower division courses.
The general education program involves nine courses and 29 credit hours. Students demonstrate competency in the six 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 that are shown on the course syllabus, which is shared with students when they enroll 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 from the approved list of courses. 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 21 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 six elements with the approved courses are outlined below. An additional three elements that are not listed separately 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.