Jul 21, 2024  
Mansfield University 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
Mansfield University 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

GENERAL EDUCATION 2011 catalog or later

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For students in a program with a 2011 or later catalog year

General Education Mission Statement

The general education program promotes character, scholarship, culture, and service through broad-based study in the liberal arts disciplines. Attributes we seek to foster include an inquiring mind, effective communication,  use of varied means of seeking truth and acquiring knowledge, a sense of global connectedness, understanding and evaluation of multiple perspectives, ethical reasoning, the exercise of civic responsibility, and the lifelong pursuit of personal growth.

Why You Should Care About General Education 

When you embrace the general education program as something of value rather than merely a set of courses that you need to complete, you gain the knowledge and skills, and begin to develop dispositions that are the hallmarks of a college-educated person. You also begin to view the world and live your life differently because a general education program, well-constructed and conscientiously pursued, challenges you.

You learn to reason more clearly and communicate more effectively. You learn from the ideas of great thinkers over the centuries, the cumulative and constantly changing knowledge of human experience. You learn to evaluate multiple perspectives on difficult issues. You increase your awareness of cultural diversity and the global complexities and inter-connectedness of the modern world. You gain greater appreciation for the fine arts and beauty in its many forms. You learn to seek and find truth and to question conventional thinking. You become skilled at problem-solving. You gain a better scientific understanding of the natural world. And you begin to better understand yourself – your beliefs, your motivations, your relationships, your actions, your passions, and your humanity.

The breadth of study in the general education program supports and complements the in-depth study in your major program, and as such extends throughout your undergraduate experience.  The general education program teaches you some of the varied ways of thinking, knowing, and seeing that are employed in a wide range of liberal arts disciplines.  It imparts a sense that we are all connected to others in important ways and that our personal freedoms, talents, and advantages carry with them important responsibilities.  Most of all, we hope that the general education program instills in you a love of lifelong learning and inspires you to do important things with your life that help make the world a better place.

Goals of General Education

The general education program at Mansfield University embraces our position as a public university guided by the liberal arts tradition.  General education courses throughout their Mansfield University career challenge students to seek an understanding of the world through an exploration of intellectual frameworks including the natural and social sciences, the humanities, the arts, languages, and mathematics. Students grow in knowledge, skills, and dispositions through broad-based study in the liberal arts disciplines.

As a result of their engagement with the general education program, we want Mansfield University students to

Acquire Knowledge of

  • western culture and its relationship to non-western cultures
  • the foundations and characteristics of educated discourse
  • the unity and diversity of humanity
  • fine arts and aesthetics
  • the intricate complexities of life on the planet
  • scientific information as it is applied to personal and social decisions
  • the approaches of the liberal arts disciplines

Exhibit skills in

  • critical and analytical thinking
  • effective written and oral communication
  • the use of more than one language
  • inquiry and research, including:
    • posing thoughtful questions
    • gathering relevant information
    • evaluating multiple viewpoints
    • constructing cogent arguments
    • weighing evidence
  • quantitative reasoning
  • problem-solving

Develop dispositions to

  • form a coherent, independent philosophy of life
  • make socially responsible and personally fulfilling life choices
  • live sustainably 
  • value knowledge and continuing growth
  • form opinions and modify positions based on evidence
  • reason ethically and act with integrity
  • promote social justice and peace


The general education program promotes connections, challenges students to think differently, encourages lifelong learning and personal growth, prepares students for leadership in a rapidly changing world, and inspires students to live engaged lives.


General Education Outline

A. Foundations of Knowledge (12 credits)

B. Approaches to Knowledge (18-20 credits)

• Humanities (6, Courses must have a different prefix)

Outdoor Recreation Leadership

• Natural and Physical Sciences (3-4, Must have a laboratory component)

• Social and Behavioral Sciences (6, Courses must have a different prefix)

C. Unity and Diversity of Humanity (12 credits)

• Global Perspectives (6)

Option 1: Language other than English (6, Must be two consecutive courses of the same language)

Option 2: Western and Non-Western Global Cultures (6, Courses must have a different prefix)

Watershed Management

• Themes (6 from at least two strands)

• Strand 1: Ethics and Civic Responsibility (3)

• Strand 2: Environmental, Economic, Social, and Personal Sustainability (1-3)

• Strand 3: Arts & the Human Experience (1-3)

D. Capstone Project (this is accomplished within the major and may take any appropriate form, e.g., portfolio, research paper, performance, etc.)


General Education courses are not simply to be started and completed in the first few semesters of a student’s university career: general education should be wound throughout a student’s time at Mansfield. This is why a minimum of 9 credit hours in General Education must be completed at the 3000-4000 level.  At Mansfield University, the First Year Seminar marks the beginning of a student’s general education experience, and the Senior Capstone Project marks the completion of the experience.  

The General Education Curriculum is designed to give a student breadth in content and ample opportunities to develop fundamental skills. This is why a particular course can appear only once in the General Education Program. The same prefix may not be used for more than 6 credits to fulfill general education requirements across the Knowledge and Unity and Diversity of Humanity areas.

Students need to complete courses in at least two of the three strands:  Ethics & Civil Responsibility; Environmental, Economic, Social, and Personal Sustainability; and Arts & the Human Experience.

General Education seeks to foster an inquiring mind, the ability to communicate effectively, the use of varied means of seeking truth and acquiring knowledge, a sense of global connectedness, the ability to evalutate multiple perspectives, the use of ethical reasoning, the exercise of civic responsibility, and the lifelong pursuit of personal growth.

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