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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. Support their ideas with appropriate details and examples.
  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
and:
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 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
CM220 Special Topics in Popular Culture
CM 475A Senior Seminar in Communication Research
CM 475B Senior Project in Communication
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
G-EN370L Poetry (4 hours)
EN 475B  Senior Project in English
G-HI333 Technology & Society
HI 475  Senior Thesis
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-TH265 Topics in Dramatic Literature
G-TH385 Theatre History & Dramatic Literature I
TH 475 Senior Theatre Capstone
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-MA106  Pre-Calculus
G-MA111   Calculus I
G-MA123  Discrete Mathematics
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   Old Testament-Hebrew Bible: God and People in Ancient Israel
G-PR102    Jesus: New Testament Foundations
G-PR104    Ethics
*G-PR104L  Ethics (LI if taken as G-PR104L for 4 hours)
*G-PR106L   Spiritual Pathways: Transformation, Compassion, and Vocation
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-PR302  Religion and Politics
G-PR304  The Church of the Brethren and Beyond: The Christian Church Serves Our World
G-PR306    World Religions

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: 1 course 
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-BA 342IT International Business (Travel required)
G-CI 251
     Introduction to Education Practicum
G-CI 333     Intercultural Education
*G-CM 221 Intercultural Communication
G-EN 210 Masterpieces of World Literature
*G-EN 210L Masterpieces of World Literature (LI if taken as G-EN210L for four hours)
G-EN 220  Contemporary World Literature
*G-EN 220L Contemporary World Literature (LI if taken as G-EN220L for four hours)
*G-HI 333   Technology and Society
*G-MA 290   History of Mathematics
G-ML 108   Spanish Level I
G-ML 109   Spanish Level II
G-ML 208   Spanish Level III
G-ML 209   Spanish Level IV
G-ML 350   Junior Year Abroad
G-MU 210  Introduction to World Music
G-PR 306     World Religions
G-PS 130     Principles of Geography
*G-PS 215 Global Peace Studies
G-SO 202   Minorities in the U.S.
*G-TE 333 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. 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. Demonstrate an understanding of the process by which art is created.
  2. Experience art through theory or practice.
  3. 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-MU 125 Music and Film
G-MU 132     College Choir
G-MU 134     College Band
G-MU 161     Music Appreciation
G-MU 210  Introduction to World Music
G-TH 100 Introduction to Theatre
G-TH 110  The Business of Professional Entertertainment (requires travel)
G-TH 160     Acting I
G-TH 170    Technical Theatre I

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 (3 credits)
G-EN210  Masterpieces of World Literature (3 credits)
*G-EN210L  Masterpieces of World Literature (4 credits)
G-EN220  Contemporary World Literature (3 credits)
*G-EN220L  Contemporary World Literature (4 credits)
G-EN 235     Selected Topics in Literature (3 credits)
G-EN 255   American Literature II (3 credits)
*G-EN 255L   American Literature II (4 credits)
G-EN270   Fiction (3 credits)
*G-EN270L  Fiction (4 credits)
G-EN370   Poetry (3 credits)
*G-EN370L   Poetry (4 credits)
G-TH265     Topics in Dramatic Literature (3 credits)
G-TH385   Theatre History and Dramatic Literature I (3 credits; 4 credits if taken as language intensive)

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-BI111      College Biology I
G-BI201     Biodiversity
G-BI210     Principles of Nutrition
G-NS100  Science & Society
G-NS141     Environmental Science

Physical Sciences
G-CH101    Principles of 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-BA130      Principles of Business Management
G-BA230     Personal Finance
G-CI150       Introduction to Education
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-HI140        American History to 1877
G-HI150        American History since 1877
G-HI 205     Social History of the Automobile
G-HI210        International Travel Study in History
G-HI220        Modern Europe
G-HI235        Topics in World History
G-HI236        Topics in Social History
G-HI237        Topics in Political History
G-HI261        Kansas History