General Education Requirements
General Education Distribution Requirements
Certain core subjects and competencies are integral to student success both within the chosen field of study and in fulfilling a responsible role as an educated member of society, regardless of the program or major, the student is pursuing. Rhodes State College balances its technical curricula with General Education and Basic Related courses. To that end, each program and/or degree has established its own particular set of General Education and Basic Related coursework designed to enhance student performance and to ensure a breadth of knowledge. All students earning an associate degree from Rhodes State College must also fulfill a common core of General Education distribution requirements. These distribution requirements mandate that all graduates will complete English Composition and program designated coursework in Mathematics and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Depending upon the student’s major, an additional distribution as identified in either Humanities or Life and Physical Sciences will be required. (See specific program curriculum and/or admission requirements for details.)
The following list enumerates college-designated General Education courses and their discipline groupings. Please consult your advisor for possible additions to this list.
|COM 1110 ||English Composition||3|
|COM 1140||Technical Writing||3|
|COM 1200||Writing in the Sciences||3|
|COM 1980||Research and Writing||1|
|COM 2213||Verbal Judo||3|
|COM 2400||Composition and Literature||3|
|COM 3110||Advanced Composition||3|
|Humanities (Humanities, Literature and Ethics)|
|COM 1801||Creative Writing: Fiction||3|
|COM 2110||Public Speaking||3|
|HST 1011||Western Civilization I||3|
|HST 1012||Western Civilization II||3|
|HST 1610 ||American History to 1877||3|
|HST 1620||American History Since 1877||3|
|HST 2300||Technology and Civilization||3|
|HST 2510||History of Latin America||3|
|LIT 1450||Introduction to Film||3|
|LIT 2210||Introduction to Literature||3|
|LIT 2215||Native American Literature||3|
|LIT 2250||The American Short Story||3|
|LIT 2260||Fantasy Literature||3|
|LIT 2227||Literature of Graphic Novels||3|
|LIT 2301||British Literature I||3|
|LIT 2305||Introduction to Shakespeare||3|
|LIT 2310||Literature and the Holocaust||3|
|LIT 2450||Themes in Literature and Film||3|
|MUS 1010||Music Appreciation I||3|
|PHL 1011||Introduction to Philosophy||3|
|THR 1010||Introduction to Theatre||3|
|MTH 1151||Quantitative Reasoning||3|
|MTH 1190||Finite Mathematics/Business||3|
|MTH 1210||Mathematics I||3|
|MTH 1370||College Algebra||4|
|MTH 1711||Calculus I||5|
|MTH 1721||Calculus II||5|
|MTH 2660||Calculus III||4|
|MTH 2670||Differential Equations||4|
|MTH 2680||Elementary Linear Algebra||4|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Geography and Political Science)|
|PSY 1010 ||General Psychology||3|
|PSY 1730||Abnormal Psychology||3|
|PSY 2150||Lifespan Psychology||3|
|PSY 2200||Social Psychology||3|
|PSY 2301||Educational Psychology||3|
|ECN 1410||Macro Economics||3|
|ECN 1430||Micro Economics||3|
|SOC 1010 ||Sociology||3|
|SOC 1200||Death and Dying||3|
|SOC 1210||Family Sociology||3|
|SOC 1320||American Cultural Diversity||3|
|SOC 2300||Social Problems||3|
|POL 1010||Introduction to Political Science||3|
|ANT 2411||Cultural Anthropology||3|
|Life and Physical Sciences (Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology)|
|BIO 1090||Concepts in Biology||4|
|BIO 1110||Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|BIO 1120||Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|BIO 2121||Introduction to Human Genetics||4|
|CHM 1110||Introductory General Chemistry||4|
|CHM 1120||Introductory Organic and Biochemistry||4|
|GLG 1000||Physical Geology||4|
|GLG 1004||Historical Geology||4|
|PHY 1120||Physics I||4|
|PHY 1130||Physics II||4|
Basic related courses are non-technical; however, they are foundational for a specific major and basic to the technical field and closely related to the technical specialty. For example, COM 1170 Police Communications.
Technical courses are identified as those that teach technical skills, technical proficiency, and the knowledge required for career competency. Generally, technical courses at Rhodes State are taught by technical faculty members and carry a technical prefix. For example, an IT faculty member teaching CPT 1120 Introduction to VB Programming.
Institutional Academic Assessment
(General Education: Core Skills and Abilities)
Rhodes State College fosters the professional and intellectual growth of students and faculty by offering contemporary curricula that are taught by a qualified faculty comprised of lifelong learners who provide a supportive environment intended to develop critical thinking, an appreciation of global diversity, and the capacity for life-long learning. Rhodes State College has implemented an assessment process for measuring student academic achievement; this assessment process is used to identify opportunities for:
- improving teaching and learning
- aiding student retention
- verifying the job preparedness of graduates
It is our belief that we add value and enhance the personal growth of our students, which is essential to changing lives, building futures, and improving communities through education. Therefore, Rhodes State College has chosen five General Education core skills and abilities to be assessed at the course, program and academic institutional level. The General Education core skills and abilities are:
- Global and Diversity Awareness
- Critical Thinking
- Information Literacy
- Computation Skills
The College expects students to demonstrate growth in these five areas and will document the extent of that growth. Our ability to affect growth is realized only through a systematic and on-going process of collecting, sharing, and interpreting data in a cooperative effort. The following are the General Education student learning outcomes:
Core Skills and Abilities
Graduates’ written documents reflect their ability to think critically about a topic; to organize and develop ideas effectively; to present those ideas in an appropriate, mechanically correct, professional style; and to follow a standardized documentation format (when specified by the assignment).
Graduates can understand and interpret data, analyze and synthesize information, and draw unbiased, logical conclusions after fairly considering all-important aspects of a situation.
Global and Diversity Awareness
Graduates of Rhodes State College will demonstrate:
- Appreciation for others as measured through effective interpersonal and collaborative skills with individuals and groups.
- Awareness of the interdependence and interactive effects of such factors as culture, history, sexual orientation, psychological functioning, education, economics, environment, geography, language, politics, age, gender, ethnic heritage, physical challenges, social class, social skills and religion.
Graduates will “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” They will also demonstrate the ability to extract appropriate information from hard-copy and electronic media, to manipulate current software and hardware to access and communicate information appropriately and to have a basic understanding of copyright rules and the ethics of extracting, sharing and citing source information. (Association of College Research Libraries, 2006)
Graduates of Rhodes State College will demonstrate computational skills in the context of solving real-world problems by following some or all of these competencies:
- Read and understand the situation to determine a solution strategy.
- Set up the problem with the pertinent information.
- Solve the problem with the given data using appropriate technology, such as calculators or computers, as needed.
- Check the computational results for accuracy and reasonableness.
- Communicate or utilize the results.
Assessment of General Education
Rhodes State College has instituted four means to assist with communication and measurement of assessment activities targeting General Education core skills and abilities.
- General Education Assessment
All students are required to demonstrate their abilities in Writing Skills, Critical Thinking, and Mathematics at the end of their academic program. This is accomplished by a required General Education Assessment exam, usually given as part of a capstone course. Scores on this exam, when compared to placement test scores, provide a valuable pre- and post-program snapshot of student growth in these General Education core skills and abilities.
- First-Year Experience Course
New students are required to take the one-credit hour course, SDE 1010 First Year Experience. This is a general college requirement taken as a part of all programs or as a prerequisite to program admission. This course is required for graduation. Delivered in both online and traditional in-class formats, the course contains helpful instruction about study skills, time management, Rhodes State policies and procedures, and assessment protocols. Detailed information about the e-portfolio and capstone course requirements is provided in the assessment discussions. Students will have a clear understanding of assessment activities as they complete the requirements for this course.
All students enrolled in designated courses will submit writing samples to Rhodes State’s electronic portfolio database. Six writing assignments are designated for each academic major in the following courses:
SDE 1010 First Year Experience (Global and Diversity Awareness)
COM 1110 English Composition
a paper written in a course early in the student’s technical program
a paper written in a course late in the student’s technical program
a self-growth essay addressing global and diversity awareness while taking the capstone course experience. The self-growth awareness essay is submitted before the completion of the capstone course and all other portfolio submissions are course assignments. Courses are designated with a pencil symbol.
- Capstone Course
Students petitioning to graduate must successfully pass a capstone course before graduating from Rhodes State College. Completed near the end of the student’s educational program, the course is a culminating experience that works to display an integration of program technical skills with General Education core skills and abilities. Capstone courses have a minimum two credit hour requirement and must contain written, oral, and hands-on components. Individual student completion of the e-portfolio and the General Education Assessment test is completed in the capstone experience. Courses are designated with a graduation cap symbol.
The “open door” policy at Rhodes State College provides access to students with a wide range of academic preparation, but to prevent its becoming a “revolving door,” a comprehensive and effective developmental program is necessary. Developmental Education is intended to bridge the gap between the performance abilities of some entering students and the minimal performance standards generally expected of students pursuing college-level work, and ultimately of college graduates entering the workplace.
Developmental Education encompasses remedial work in areas where the student’s mastery is insufficient, but it is not limited to that role. In addition, Developmental Education also describes course work designed to provide a broadening foundation of knowledge, learning skills and behaviors essential to the successful progression through higher education and into the workforce. This multi-focal basis of Developmental Education requires a college-wide philosophy of Developmental Education and the articulation of its various goals.
- Developmental Education must efficiently, but thoroughly, prepare students for additional college experiences.
- Developmental Education must strive to avoid creating educational dependency, recognizing that the role of education is to enable increased empowerment and independent functioning, a vital characteristic of any professional career path.
- Developmental Education must challenge students, but should simultaneously seek to produce increased self-confidence and improved attitudes towards learning in them.
- Developmental Education must focus selectively on providing those discreet pieces of competence explicitly required for success in future courses, which were not attained in previous educational experiences.
- Developmental Education must facilitate frequent one-to-one interaction between students with varied problems and the course instructor; therefore dictating reasonable class sizes (typically smaller allocations than for corresponding freshman-level courses).
- Developmental Education is not limited to discipline-specific instruction, but should also concern itself with building and enhancing broader core skills and abilities, such as critical thinking and problem solving, which apply in many disciplines and contexts.