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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.

 




General Education Foundation Courses

A. Oral Communication:

Student Learning Outcome: Students should be able to deliver messages appropriate to their audience, purpose, and context.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Perform verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors that illustrate the competency of an effective communicator.
  2. Support and organize their ideas in a coherent manner.

Required: 1 Course
G-CM130 Interpersonal Communication
G-CM140 Public Speaking
G-CM218 Business and Professional Communication

B. Written Communication & Information Literacy

Student Learning Outcome for Written Communication: Students should be able to write with skill and clarity.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Produce writing that shows an awareness of audience.
  2. Demonstrate effective participation in the writing process.
  3. Coherently organize their writing.
  4. Produce writing that shows careful attention to craft.

Student Learning Outcome for Information Literacy: Students should be able to demonstrate ethical and efficient use of information.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Show that they can find appropriate sources.
  2. Show that they can evaluate the reliability of sources.
  3. Use information from sources appropriately in their work.

Required: 4 Courses
G-EN110 College Composition I
G-EN111 College Composition II
Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts are required to take Spanish and one Language Intensive (LI) course in their major department.  Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science are required to take 2 Language Intensive courses with at least one LI course in the student’s major department.

Language Intensive – Oral and Written Communication

Student Learning Outcome for Oral Communication: Students should be able to clearly voice a coherent message.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Show that they can speak clearly and audibly.
  2. Support their ideas with appropriate research.

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.

Student Learning Outcome for Written Communication: Students should be able to write with skill and clarity.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Produce writing that shows an awareness of audience.
  2. Demonstrate effective participation in the writing process.
  3. Coherently organize their writing.
  4. Produce writing that shows careful attention to craft.

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).

Courses designated as Language Intensive:

G-AR310 Art History I
G-AR311 Art History II
BA 324 Organizational Behavior
BA 339 Human Resource Management
BA 475 Business Strategy & Policy
BI 391 Evolution
CI 455 Teaching Learning Process
G-CM130 Interpersonal Communication
G-CM218 Business & Professional Communication
G-CM221 Intercultural Communication
CM 475 Senior Seminar in Communications
G-EE210 Children’s Literature
EE 303 Reading/Language Arts I
G-EN210L Masterpieces of World Literature (4 hours)
G-EN220L Contemporary World Literature (4 hours)
G-EN255L American Literature II (4 hours)
G-EN270L Fiction (4 hours)
EN 313 Expository Writing
EN 475B  Senior Seminar
G-EN370L Poetry (4 hours)
G-HI333 Technology & Society
HI 475  Senior Theses
IT 475 Senior Projects in Information Tech.
G-MA290 History of Mathematics
MA 475 Senior Project in Mathematics
ML 385 Advanced Level Composition and Conversation
NS 300 Research Methods
NS 475 Senior Research
G-PA265 Script Analysis
G-PA385  Performing Arts History & Literature I
G-PA390  Performing Arts History & Literature II
PA 475 Senior Projects in Performing Arts
PE 380 History & Philosophy of Health, PE, Sport
PE 445  Readings and Research for Health Science
G-PR104L Ethics (4 hours)
G-PR106L Spiritual Pathways
G-PS215  Global Peace Studies
PS 475  Senior Thesis
PY 450 History and Systems of Psychology
PY 475 Senior Thesis
SO 475 Senior Thesis
G-TE 333 Technology & Society
TE 475 Senior Project

C. Mathematics

Student Learning Outcome: Students should be able to use mathematical concepts.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding by performing accurate computations.
  2. Apply algorithms to solve problems.

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

D. Religion/Beliefs/Values

Student Learning Outcome: Students should be able to answer fundamental religious or philosophical questions.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Develop answers relative to alternative religious/philosophical perspectives.
  2. Explain their position on religious or philosophical issues.

Required: 3-4 hours chosen from the following:
G-PR101   Hebrew Bible: God and People in Ancient Israel
G-PR102    Jesus: New Testament Foundations
*G-PR104  Ethics (LI if taken as G-PR104L for 4 hours)
G-PR106    Spiritual Pathways: Transformation, Compassion, and Vocation (LI if taken as G-PR106L for four hours)
G-PR107    Critical Thinking
G-PR201     Introduction to Philosophy
G-PR202     Christian Traditions
G-PR203    Science and Religion
G-PR204    Peacemaking: Religious Perspectives
G-PR206    Religion and Environmental Stewardship
G-PR306    World Religions
*G-PR391  Evolution
G-PA125     Film and Culture

E. Wholeness/Health/Fitness

Student Learning Outcome: Students should be able to identify optional behaviors that promote lifelong personal health.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Develop a personal strategy for health and fitness emphasizing the physical domain.
  2. Illustrate the relationship between personal behaviors and lifelong health and wellness.

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

F. Global/Intercultural Experience

Student Learning Outcome: Students should be able to understand they live in a world of diverse cultures.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Identify social, cultural, religious, or linguistic differences.
  2. Explain how values and contributions of diverse societies affect individual experiences.

Required: 3 hours+ chosen from the following:
G-CI251     Introduction to Education Practicum
G-CI333     Intercultural Education Seminar
*G-CM221 Intercultural Communication
*G-EN210 Masterpieces of World Literature (LI if taken as G-EN210L for four hours)
*G-EN220 Contemporary World Literature (LI if taken as G-EN220L for four hours)
G-HI210    Topics in World History
*G-HI333   Technology and Society
*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-PR306     World Religions
G-PS130     Principles of Geography
*G-PS215 Global Peace Studies
G-SO202   Minorities in the U.S.
*G-TE333 Technology and Society

+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-ID101 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-ID201 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.



General Education Distribution Courses

Humanities:

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

Student Learning Outcome for Fine Arts: Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the process by which art is created.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Experience art through theory or practice.
  2. Demonstrate skill and control of the elements appropriate to the medium chosen.

G-AR101     Drawing I
G-AR102     Painting I
G-AR131     Ceramics I
G-AR220    Graphic Design for Non-Art Majors
*G-AR310   Art History I
*G-AR311   Art History II
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

Student Learning Outcome for Literature: Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the functions and purposes of literature.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of literary terms and genre.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to think analytically about texts.
  3. Articulate ways in which literature is shaped by culture.

*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

Natural Sciences:

Student Learning Outcome: Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of how the natural sciences construct knowledge of the world.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Summarize the current consensus of the scientific community with regards to the structure and function of some aspect of the physical or biological world.
  2. Illustrate their knowledge of the changing nature of the consensus of the scientific community with regards to the structure and function of some aspect of the physical or biological world, by outlining the historical changes in that consensus.
  3. Report on their experiences with those methods and processes of the natural sciences which they conducted in the laboratory.

Required: 7 hours, one lab, one course from life and one course from physical 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
G-NS141     Environmental Science

Physical Sciences
G-CH101    Principles of Chemistry
G-CH106    Environmental Chemistry
G-CH111     College Chemistry I
G-NS100  Science & Society
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

Student Learning Outcome for Behavioral Sciences: Students should be able to illustrate the relationship between the self and the social world.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Describe the ways in which social world shapes the self.
  2. Describe the ways in which the self alters the social world.

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

Student Learning Outcome for Social Institutions: Students should be able to understand the basic concepts of social institutions.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Identify a social institution at work in human affairs.
  2. Explain how social institutions influence peoples’ lives.

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

Student Learning Outcome for History: Students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the historical method.

Performance Indicators – Students should be able to:

  1. Compose a historical question.
  2. Apply that question to historical evidence to interpret the past.

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