08 General Education

//08 General Education

Purpose Statement

At the root of a liberal arts education is a group of courses that are usually referenced as general education requirements. To define this group of courses at McPherson College the faculty first identified qualities that would demonstrate the “ideal McPherson College graduate.” McPherson College’s general education program provides an opportunity for the development of a life-long learner who…

  • Speaks and writes clearly and effectively;
  • Acquires and evaluates information;
  • Understands and is able to use mathematical properties, processes, and symbols;
  • Understands religion and spiritual traditions as a quest for human identity and has examined his/her own beliefs;
  • Understands the concept of holistic health and is conscious of his/her physical, emotional and spiritual well-being;
  • Understands the cultural diversity of our global community;
  • Assesses value conflicts in issues and makes informed ethical decisions;
  • Understands the role of service and peace-making in the historical context of McPherson College and the Church of the Brethren;
  • Integrates knowledge and experience with exploration and choice of career;
  • Appreciates the arts and literature and is able to make informed aesthetic responses;
  • Understands his/her relationship to the physical and biological world and the methods of science;
  • Understands the economics, social, and historical contexts of society;
  • Thinks critically and creatively;
  • Demonstrates the appropriate use of technology within his/her academic discipline.

To this end, all students at McPherson College are expected to complete a common set of general education requirements, defined in terms of foundations, seminars, and distribution courses. Students must complete all the general education requirements as outlined below in order to graduate.


2015|08 General Education, Catalog 15-16|

Foundation Courses

A. Oral Communication: Students will (1) demonstrate effective oral presentation skills, (2) adapt messages to specific audiences, (3) practice effective listening, (4) organize messages in a coherent and meaningful way, and (5) determine appropriate channels for message delivery.

Required: 1 Course
G-CM 130 Interpersonal Communication
G-CM140 Public Speaking
G-CM218 Business and Professional Communication

B. Written Communication & Information Literacy: Students will (1) write with skill and express complex ideas with clarity and (2) demonstrate that they understand and can use techniques of locating, retrieving, and evaluating information.

Required: 4 Courses
G-EN 110 College Rhetoric I
G-EN 111 College Rhetoric II
2 Language Intensive (LI) courses with at least one LI course in the student’s major department.

Speaking Component

(1) Informal oral communication exercises should be used frequently in the LI classroom. Most often, these will consist of required participation in small group and class discussions. LI instructors can make even routine student participation in class discussions and activities into helpful oral communication exercises simply by (a) raising students’ consciousness about the variety of signals they send when they speak informally in class, and (b) helping students eliminate their careless habits in speech and delivery.

(2) At least one formal oral presentation should be included in the LI course. The presentation, probably brief, may be delivered to part or all of the class, or some other audience. It may derive from a formal writing assignment, recast for oral delivery.

Writing Component

(1)Informal writing assignments should be frequent, perhaps one per class session, but certainly one per week. Most informal writing activities are in the “writing to learn” mode; that is, they are intended to push students to read, think about, and interpret course material more carefully and deeply than they otherwise might do. From a handful of basic, informal writing models, such as journals and microthemes, LI instructors can improvise an almost endless array of specific informal writing activities.

(2) Formal writing assignments should be substantial (but the meaning of “substantial” depends upon the course and the exact nature of the assignment.) There should be at least one formal, polished piece of writing. Whenever possible, LI instructors should give formal assignments in stages, conference with students over drafts, and allow ample time for revision(s).

G-AR310    Art History I
G-AR311    Art History II
BA339        Human Resource Management
BA475        Business Strategy & Policy
BI391         Evolution
CI455         Teaching Learning Process
G-CM130    Interpersonal Communication
G-CM218    Business & Professional Communication
G-CM221    Intercultural Communication
CM475        Senior Seminar in Communications
G-EE210    Children’s Literature
EE303        Reading/Language Arts I
G-EN210L   World Literature I (4 hours)
G-EN220L   World Literature II (4 hours)
EN250L       American Literature I (4 hours)
G-EN255L   American Literature II (4 hours)
G-EN270L   Fiction (4 hours)
EN313        Expository Writing
G-EN370L   Poetry (4 hours)
HI475        Senior Theses
IT475         Senior Projects in Information Tech.
G-MA290    History of Mathematics
MA475        Senior Project in Mathematics
G-ML209    Spanish II
G-NS100L   Science and Society (4 hours)
NS300        Research Methods
NS475        Senior Research
G-PA385    Performing Arts History & Literature I
G-PA390    Performing Arts History & Literature II
PA475        Senior Projects in Performing Arts
PE380        History & Philosophy of Health, PE, Sport
G-PR102    Intro. to New Testament
G-PR104    Ethics (4 hours)
G-PS215    Global Peace Studies
PY450        History and Systems of Psychology
PY/SO475  Senior Thesis
G-TE333    Technology & Society
TE475        Senior Project

C. Mathematics: Students will demonstrate that they understand and can use mathematical properties, processes, and symbols.

Required: 3-4 hours chosen from the following:
G-MA105   College Algebra
G-MA111   Calculus I
G-MA201   Survey of Mathematics
G-MA220/G-BA220 Business Applied Statistics
G-MA221   Elementary Applied Statistics
G-MA153   Principles of Geometry

D. Religion/Beliefs/Values: Students will (1) demonstrate that they have examined their personal philosophy of life and can articulate their position on religious or philosophical issues; and (2) demonstrate an understanding of how values are formed, transmitted, and revised.

Required: 3-4 hours chosen from the following:
G-PR101     Introduction to Hebrew Bible
*G-PR102 Introduction to New Testament
*G-PR104 Ethics
G-PR201     Introduction to Philosophy
G-PR202     History of Christianity
G-PR203: Science and Religion
*G-PR391 Evolution
G-PR401     World Religions
G-PA125     Film and Culture

E. Wholeness/Health/Fitness: Students will (1) develop a personal strategy for life-long health and fitness, with an emphasis on the physical domain; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the reciprocal nature of the cognitive, affective, and physical domains; and (3) demonstrate an understanding of the principles of wellness, both interventive and preventive.

Required: 2 hours chosen from the following:
G-PE150     Concepts in Holistic Health
G-PE170     Personal & Community Health

F. Global/Intercultural Experience: Students will (1) demonstrate a broad cultural view of humankind; and (2) show that they understand the interconnected global environment.

Required: 3 hours+ chosen from the following:
G-CI251     Introduction to Education Practicum
G-CI333     Intercultural Education Seminar
*G-CM221 Intercultural Communication
*G-EN210 World Literature I
*G-EN220 World Literature II
G-ET201: Entrepreneurship on the Horizon
G-HI210     International Travel Study in World History
G-MA290   History of Mathematics
G-ML108   Spanish Level I
G-ML109   Spanish Level II
G-ML208   Spanish Level III
G-ML209   Spanish Level IV
G-ML350   Junior Year Abroad
G-PS130     Principles of Geography
*G-PS215 Global Peace Studies
G-SO202   Minorities in the U.S.
*G-TE333 Technology in Society
G-PR401     World Religions

+Students completing a Bachelor of Arts degree must take G-ML108 Level I Spanish for three hours as well as three additional hours in the Global/Intercultural Experience Foundation. These students will be required to take only one Language Intensive (LI) course.

College Seminars

In the seminar series, students will demonstrate (1) that they have explored traditional Church of the Brethren values; (2) that they understand service- learning and can complete a service project; (3) that they can make informed ethical decisions in personal and professional situations; and (4) that they have investigated career options in the fields of study. In addition, the various seminars address the following goals.

  1. G-ID 101 Academic Community Essentials (ACE) Seminar: Students will show that they have learned about college life, create a degree plan, and practice good study skills, critical thinking, and conflict resolution.
  2. G-ID 201 Sophomore Seminar: Students will complete a service project, develop a career plan, and show that they have explored internship options.
  3. Junior Seminar: Working closely with faculty in their fields, students will show that they have explored professional and service options and have fulfilled other objectives as determined by department faculty.
  4. Senior Capstone Experience: Students will complete a senior project, as designed by department faculty.
2015|08 General Education, Catalog 15-16|

Distribution Courses


Required: 6 hours, with a course of at least two hours from each category: the arts and literature

The Arts: Students will show that they have a critical knowledge of creativity in the Fine Arts.

G-AR101     Drawing I
G-AR102     Painting I
G-AR220    Graphic Design for Non-Art Majors
*G-AR310   Art History I
*G-AR311   Art History II
G-AR131     Ceramics I
G-AR350    Sculpture
G-PA110     Intro. Performing Arts
G-PA120     Music Appreciation
G-PA140     College Band
G-PA142     College Choir
G-PA160     Performing for the Stage
G-PA170     Stagecrafts

Literature: Students will demonstrate that they have learned how literature artfully structures people’s experiences, values, and cultures.

*G-EE210   Children’s Literature
*G-EN210   World Literature I
*G-EN220   World Literature II
G-EN235     Selected Topics in Literature
*G-EN255   American Literature II
*G-EN270   Fiction
*G-EN370   Poetry
G-PA265     Script Analysis
*G-PA385   Performing Arts Literature & History I
*G-PA390   Performing Arts Literature & History II

Science and Technology:

Required: 7 hours, one lab, one course from life and one course from physical sciences

Life Sciences and Physical Sciences: Students will demonstrate (1) that they have developed an understanding of contemporary scientific thought regarding the structure and function of the physical and biological world; (2) that they know about historical changes in the scientific understanding of the world and (3) that they understand and have experienced some of the methods and processes of the natural sciences.

Life Sciences
G-BI101     Principles of Biology
G-BI106     Environmental Biology
G-BI111      College Biology I
G-BI201     Biodiversity
G-BI210     Nutrition
*G-NS100  Science & Society(4 hours)
G-NS141     Environmental Science

Physical Sciences
G-CH101    Principles of Chemistry
G-CH106    Environmental Chemistry
G-CH111     College Chemistry I
*G-NS100  Science & Society (4 hours)
G-NS141     Environmental Science
G-NS245    Climatology
G-PC251     Geology
G-PC275     Astronomy
G-PH215    General Physics I

Social Sciences:

Required: 9 hours, one each from behavioral sciences, social institutions, and history

Behavioral Sciences: Students will demonstrate that they understand how to appreciate themselves and others as psychological and sociological beings. Specifically, students will show that they comprehend how they are both participants in and products of interactions at the level of the individual, the group, and the society.

G-CM120   Introduction to Human Communication
G-PY101     Introduction to Psychology
G-SO101     Introduction to Sociology
G-SO246    Marriage and Family

Social Institutions: Students will demonstrate an understanding of how various social, economic, and political systems originate and evolve to shape our lives and an understanding of how individuals and groups interact within these systems.

G-BA101      Introduction to Business
G-BA230     Personal Finance
G-CI150       Introduction to Education
G-EC416      Ecological Economics
G-ET201      Entrepreneurship on the Horizon
G-PS/HI101 Historical Introduction to Politics
G-PS102       U.S. Government
G-PS125        International Relations
G-SO246      Marriage and Family

History: Students will demonstrate scholarship in the study of history, historical and political awareness, and critical and analytical skills in at least one area of world civilization.

G-HI/PS101  Historical Introduction to Politics
G-HI110         World Civilization to 1500
G-HI120        World Civilization since 1500
G-HI130        Introductory Methods for Historical Analysis
G-HI201        American History to 1865
G-HI202        American History since 1865
G-HI220        Twentieth Century Europe
G-HI217        Latin American History
G-HI236        Topics in Social History

2015|08 General Education, Catalog 15-16|