General and Liberal Education
The liberal in liberal education does not refer to a political view. According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities website, "Liberal education is a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills and a strong sense of value, ethics and civic engagement. It is characterized by challenging encounters with important issues and more of a way of studying than a specific course or field of study."
Do you ever wonder why you are required to take general education courses toward your degree? General Education courses are the core curriculum of a liberal education. Check out the following link and the reasons behind requiring general education coursework.
Here is a list of general education courses.
...because Mom and Dad said so?
That is a good question that, if you haven't already asked yourself, you should stop to take time to consider.
Findings from Focus Groups with Current College Students and High School Seniors (Milwaukee, Wisconsin-March 2005) from http://www.aacu.org/leap/public_opinion_research.cfm#students.
You need to meet certain general education and degree requirements in order to be eligible to earn a bachelor's degree.
The purposes of General Education (Taken from the University: Who are these people and why are they messing with my mind? Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)
The roots of university curricula go back through the Middle Ages to about 400 A.D. The Roman Empire was coming unglued, and a Roman proconsul named Martianus Capella confronted the problem of how to cope. With central authority becoming fragmented and invaders sweeping in, there was every likelihood that a person might find himself carried off into captivity a thousand miles from home among people who spoke a completely different language. What did you need to know to survive in such a wildly uncertain world? Capella's answer: everything, or at least as close as you could come to it. Capella's answer is not all that bad in today's uncertain world because a lot of the purposes of General Education haven't changed:
You might make a good biologist, or historian, or psychologist, or something else totally outside your present horizon. You might be very good at something you now think you hate. You'll never know unless you get some exposure to the different branches of learning.
Consider these questions:
Review the Courses Appropriate for Freshman document.
Read course descriptions in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Review options on the website for the Academic Department of interest
Take a Risk and try something new. That's part of getting an education.
Part of your job as a student and part of becoming an educated person is to synthesize your learning, that is putting it altogether so that it makes sense. Even though you will be required to meet certain general education, degree and major requirements, your degree, and more importantly your education, will be unique to only you. No two people will have the exact same set of experiences, of courses, of interaction with faculty and of activity outside of the classroom. Some of this has to do with the course selections you make, the degree, major and minor you choose, what experiences you choose and who you choose to meet. All of this has to do with how you draw the connections, write your story and fit the pieces together.
Higher education is expensive. It is a very large investment of time and money. Why have you made this choice?
Your answers may evolve over your college career. Perhaps you initially made this decision as the result of the desire of others for you to attend, maybe you did not know what to do next, maybe you wanted to get a better job, maybe you are preparing for a specific future career or maybe you just do not know right now.
Whatever your current situation, it is important for you to explore and determine why you are spending all of this time and money on yourself and your higher education.
Some things to consider:
by Kunkle-Jones, Ann E — last modified Jul 11, 2012 10:24 AM