Jul 21, 2024  
Mansfield University 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
Mansfield University 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

GENERAL EDUCATION 2010 catalog or earlier

For students in a program with a 2010 or earlier catalog year


The objective of the general education component of an undergraduate degree is to provide students with a foundation for lifelong learning and to enable them to function as responsible citizens in a rapidly changing world, consistent with the traditions of a liberal education.

General Education is designed, therefore, to enable students to continue to learn independently of formal classroom instruction. It extends throughout the undergraduate experience and into campus and community life. General Education encourages students to develop their abilities to observe, analyze and resolve problems, essential skills in a pluralistic and global environment. Finally, General Education makes students aware of the concept of ethical and moral responsibility to self and society.

General Education complements major course work and assists students in taking their proper place in society by helping them comprehend humankind; its cultures and history, the philosophies by which it lives, the means  by which it communicates, and the arts and sciences which better its existence.

General Education Program Outcomes

General Education courses represent multiple disciplines and meet the general education requirements. Specifically, general education is designed to develop student competency across the core and general education blocks in the following:

  • Thinking skills including critical thinking, problem solving, and analysis
  • Communication
  • An introduction to the principles, substance, and methodology of humanities, language and literature, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences, in addition to their majors. 


Thinking Skills

Thinking skills including different types of processing information. Common examples are critical thinking, problem solving, and analysis. This following section defines three types of thinking and offers examples.

Critical Thinking

Students think rationally and critically about those matters that educated people debate. Student recognize and avoid common mistakes in reasoning, identify personal assumptions, challenge assumptions, gather and evaluate evidence from a variety of sources, distinguish different kinds of reasoning, analyze and synthesize and integrate informaiton to draw conclusions. Critical thinking is a broad type of reasoning that involved applying learning in situations and problems.

Problem Solving

A step-by-step process of defining the problem, searching for information, generating possible solutions, testing hypotheses using appropriate methodology, identifying and evaluating constraints, formulating implementation plans, and establishing success criteria. The goal of problem solving is to find and implement a solution.

Analytical Thinking

The process of breaking down complex informaiton or ideas into simpler parts to understand how the parts relate or are organized. Analytical thinking involves identifying the underlying structure of complex informaiton or ideas. Tasks at the analysis level require the learner to take the material apart and examine the pieces to identify logical errors (point out a contradiction or an erroneous inference), draw relationships between ideas, and/or compare and contrasts. Verbs that describe learning outcomes include:
Deduce          break down          relate
Outline           infer                    diagram
Illustrate        subdivide             point to (out)


  • Understands and makes him/herself understood
  • Conveys information clearly and concisely
  • Communicates effectively for a variety of purposes
  • Expresses his/her needs, desires, and opinions
  • Accesses tools, information, and strategies from a variety of resources
  • Communicates effectively with diverse audiences

Principles, Substance, and Methodologies

Each of the disciplinary clusters represented in the distribution requirements below will develop student competency as described in the description for each Group Requirement.

Program Overview

There are two types of courses in General Education: Core and Group Distribution Requirements.

Core Courses (16 credits)

The Core Courses are designed to contribute to students’ knowledge of the human experience in a variety of ways. Having completed the Core Courses, a student will be able to comprehend the breadth and depth of ideas related to human activity of both mind and body.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Students will demonstrate:
  • Knowledge of at least one of the varying forms of artistic expression
  • Enhanced oral communication skills
  • Enhanced written communication skills
  • Knowledge of behaviors that promote personal well-being.

Group Distribution Requirements

General Education distribution requirements are satisfied through completion of courses in the Liberal Arts and Sciences disciplines. Students must satisfy the minimum requirements in each of the six following groups:

Group 1. Humanities (6 credits)

Students completing courses in the humanities acquire an understanding of the historical and philosophical traditions that shape the world. Courses examine historical and philosophical issues critically and comparatively through reading and discussing fundamental texts from the world’s traditions.


Group 2. English and Modern Languages (6 credits)

Foreign Languages

Students completing foreign language courses will have an appropriate level of skill in speaking, reading, writing, and listening to the target language. 
Students who opt to fulfill their language and literature requirement with 6 credits of a foreign language are required to take two consecutive courses, of the same language (note:  the second course must be at a higher level).  Students who have previously studied a language are strongly encouraged to begin with the second or the third semester of the language, not with the first, but should consult with the foreign language faculty for placement.


Students completing literature courses will have a knowledge of literary texts–their genres, literary devices, historical and cultural background, significance for readers today – and the analytical tools needed to work with these texts.


          Any course in the Foreign Languages.

Group 3. Mathematics (3 credits)

Students completing MA-prefix courses develop an ability to understand and to utilize numerical data and mathematical methods for analysis and problem solving.

All MA Prefix courses except:

Group 4. Natural Sciences (6 credits)

Students completing courses in the natural sciences experience scientific experimentation through laboratory exercises, focus on the nature of scientific reasoning, discovery, and invention through the systematic exploration of basic concepts. Students will complete at least one laboratory course. 

Some courses have associated lab and / or recitation components.  All components of such a lab course must be taken together.  If a student fails one component of a course, all components of the course must be retaken to get credit for the course.


Group 5. Social Sciences (9 credits)

Students completing courses in the social sciences examine the structure and organizing principles of human societies, including their psychological and cultural dimensions, as well as their economic, social, and political foundations.


Group 6. General Education Elective (9 credits)

Any courses, regardless of level (1000-4000), from the same disciplines approved for Distribution Group Requirements (Groups 1 through 5) may be used as a General Education Elective. Any Art History (ARH) or Art (ART), Communications (COM), Music (MU), or Theatre (THT) course may also be used as a general education elective. Introductory courses in certain professional departments are approved as acceptable General Education Electives. If this area is then selected as a major, the course must be replaced with another General Education or Professional course. One Professional Course may be selected from the following approved courses: (A Professional Course is not required to complete this group).

Global Awareness (G)

Global awareness opens doors into varied cultures and furthers an understanding of our  complex world. It considers the perspectives of peoples from cultures and circumstances other than one’s own, and the major challenges facing humankind requiring global cooperation, while also recognizing the phenomena that engender continued conflict and competition in an increasingly interdependent world.

All students will complete three designated Global Awareness (G) courses.

Transfer students have the following exceptions:

Students who transfer in 31-60 credits musts complete two “G” courses (any level).
Students who transfer in 61 or more credits must complete one “G” course. 

Associate Degree candidates must complete one “G” course.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Student will:

  • Identify major global issues.
  • Examine global issues from multiple perspectives.
  • Examine the concepts of power, gender, race and class intra- and inter-culturally.
  • Compare and contrast their own beliefs and attitudes with those of other national, cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and religious groups.

Courses: List Subject to Change

All foreign language courses are Global 
  • ANH 2255

Information Literacy (I)

Information Literacy is a fundamental component of the educational process in which a student learns how to think actively and critically about information. Courses designated as Information Literacy (I), require students to become skilled users of information sources in many locations and formats, thereby increasing their responsibility for their own learning.

All students will complete three designated Information Literacy (I) courses.  At least two “I” courses must be at the Upper Division level.

Transfer students have the following exceptions:

Students who transfer in 31-60 credits musts complete two “I” courses (one Upper Division and one Lower Division).
Students who transfer in 61 or more credits must complete one Upper Division “I” course.

Associate Degree candidates must complete one “I” course.
Applied Associate Degree candidates must complete one “I” course.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Students will:

  • Recognize the significance of information in solving everyday problems.
  • Identify a wide variety of information resources (both format and source).
  • Identify needed information to solve a given problem or understand an issue.
  • Recognize distortion, and other misuses of information.
  • Gather, synthesize, analyze, interpret, and evaluate information.
  • Use information effectively to address a given problem or issue.
  • Present information issues and solutions to others.

Courses: List subject to change

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

The Writing Across the Curriculum program helps you become a competent writer through assignments in designated writing courses which require different conventions of purpose and audience, different formats and styles, and different kinds of writing for various disciplines. These writing courses are drawn from all areas of the curriculum and involve students in regular, frequent writing. Writing Across the Curriculum requirements are satisfied by completing ENG 1112W, ENG 3313W, and three writing designated (W) courses, at least one of which must be an upper-level course.

Transfer students must complete ENG 1112W and ENG 3313W or transfer equivalent writing courses from another institution. Students who transfer in 1-30 credits must complete the normal three additional “W” courses. Students who transfer in 31-60 credits must complete two additional “W” courses (at least one must be at 3000 level or above). Students who transfer in over 60 credits must complete one additional “W” course at the 3000 level or above.

Two writing across the curriculum courses are required in addition to ENG 1112W for Associate Degree Programs.

Associate Degree Students and General Education

Core as Follows:

Associate degree-seeking students must complete 11 credits within the:

  • Fine arts course

  • One credit of Wellness


Our associate degree programs are designed to provide the foundational coursework for students wishing to complete a bachelor’s degree program.

Additional Requirements

All associate degree students must complete the required courses in at least three of the five distribution group areas.

Students seeking the AA degree must earn at least 20 credits within the distribution group areas. Students seeking the AS or AAS degree must earn at least 14 credits within the distribution group areas.