Philosophy of General Education
General Education at St. Norbert College is an integral and important part of your collegiate experience. The General Education Program seeks to provide all students with a certain core of skills, knowledge, and experience that will enable them to function effectively in a complex and rapidly changing world. Furthermore, it is a program which provides a systematic pattern for growth and learning, with shared learning experiences designed to establish a common liberal arts foundation from which students can build an academic program to help them achieve their goals as well as the educational ideals of the College.
Goals of General Education
The General Education Program.
1. helps students become more aware of the Judeo-Christian heritage, especially as developed in the Catholic Christian tradition, by encouraging them to recognize the differences and similarities between their own and other Christian and non-Christian religions, and challenges them to identify their own moral and religious convictions. It enables them to recognize the moral issues involved in making human choices. This should help prepare them to exercise their duties as citizens through responsible participation in the social, political, and economic processes of daily life.
2. fosters development of essential skills. These skills - the ability to analyze, quantify, interpret, synthesize, and communicate - are of vital importance in that they provide students with the basis and motivation for continued self-education.
3. helps students appreciate the importance of method in intellectual pursuits by having them experience the various learning methods used in studying the subject matter of the Humanities, Fine Arts, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. Through this emphasis upon the processes by which learning is accomplished, the General Education Program prepares students to deal with the proliferation of knowledge in a world of rapid change and enables them to continue to enrich their life through self-education.
4. helps students develop an understanding of human nature, human relationships and the natural world. Students must develop the capacity to understand and enjoy uniquely human creative expression and become aware of the need for compassion in dealing with others. Students must be aware of our interaction with the environment and of our responsibilities toward it.
5. seeks to help students achieve an awareness of the continuity and diversity of human experience. In the words of John Henry Newman: "The truly great intellect is one which takes a connected view of the old and the new, past and present, far and near, and which has an insight into the influence of all those on one another without which there is no whole, no center." Students must understand that we share the world with people who have unique heritages of their own and that our own heritage is not the only one.
6. helps students integrate knowledge from a variety of sources and to appreciate the relationship between ideas and experiences.
Courses in the General Education Program fulfill specific criteria which are based on the Philosophy Statement. Your General Education courses serve the purpose of a broad liberal arts education rather than the specialized needs of your major. Whether an approved General Education course also satisfies a major requirement will be decided by faculty within a major program.
Criteria for General Education Courses
Because General Education courses are aimed at a broad liberal arts education rather than at specialization, these courses normally will not have other courses as prerequisites and also must fulfill the following criteria:
Values: General Education courses examine and critically reflect upon value statements and consider the implications of those values.
Methods: General Education courses teach the major methodologies employed in the content area and help you apply those methodologies where appropriate.
Essential Skills: The abilities to analyze, quantify, interpret, synthesize, and communicate are of vital importance in that they provide you with the basis and motivation for continued self-education. Among the methods which may be used to encourage the development of your abilities are oral presentations (e.g., reports, panel discussions, debates), and written assignments completed outside the classroom (e.g., a research paper, several short essays, laboratory reports, journals).
Writing Intensive: The courses in the lower biennium give systematic attention to writing. All General Education courses include a writing component and oral exercises are also encouraged.
Continuity and Comparison: The General Education Program contributes to your understanding of Western Tradition. We exist in the present as heirs and products of our past, and what we do now will affect the future. Therefore, the comparative study of Western Tradition and the traditions of others is of critical importance. Also, The General Education Program presents the diversity of human life and thought, and stresses critical comparison and intelligent qualitative judgments.
Distribution Areas and Requirements
The General Education Program is divided into two levels: a lower biennium (freshman/sophomore level courses) and an upper biennium (junior/senior level courses). There are nine areas of study in the lower biennium and four areas of study in the upper biennium. Below is a description of each area and a listing of the approved courses from among which you may choose a course. Ideally, you will enroll in two General Education courses during each semester of your freshman and sophomore years and one course during each semester of your junior and senior years. Students are allowed to double count between major requirements and the lower biennium but are restricted in the upper biennium. (See Upper Biennium section for details.)
Lower Biennium (Freshman/Sophomore Level)
Essential Skills Requirements GS 8 Quantitative Skills and GS 9 Writing
1. A student who does not satisfy GS 9 Writing during the first (freshman) year of study will not be allowed to enroll in the third semester. 2. A student who does not satisfy GS 8 Quantitative Skills by the end of the fourth semester will not be allowed to enroll in the fifth semester. 3. The General Education and Honors Committee closely monitors fulfillment of these Essential Skills Requirements (GS 8 and GS 9) as noted above. The College offers courses in both areas during the Summer Session for the benefit of the exceptional student who does not fulfill these course requirements in stipulated time periods.
During your freshman and sophomore years you must successfully complete one course from each of the following distribution areas:
Area 1 Lower: Religious Studies
Courses help you develop a deeper understanding of the Catholic Christian heritage and other religious traditions to help you clarify your values in the context of the Christian tradition.
RELS 106 Introduction to the Bible
RELS 114 Introduction to Theology
Area 2: Philosophy of Human Nature
This course provides an introduction to the study of human nature by treating topics in the context of perennial philosophical issues.
PHIL 120 Philosophy of Human Nature
Area 3: Human Relationships
Courses introduce you to the methodology and content of the social and behavioral sciences to help you understand some of the essential effects of human interactions.
ENVP 100 Introduction to Environmental Issues and Policy
GEOG 140 World Regional Geography
GEOG 225 (or PHLP 225) Social Geography
INTL 150 (or PHLP 150) Introduction to International Studies
PSYC 100 General Psychology
SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 111 Cultural Anthropology
SSCI 220 Lifespan Human Development
Area 4: Natural Science
Courses develop an understanding and appreciation of the order, dynamics, and essence of the physical world and incorporate the investigational methodology of the Natural Sciences.
BIOL 100 Human Biology
BIOL 120 General Biology 1
BIOL 180 Biological Diversity
CHEM 100 Applications of Chemistry
CHEM 105 General Chemistry 1
GEOG 120 Physical Geography
GEOL 105 Geology
GEOL 107 Environmental Geology
GEOL 115 General Oceanography
GEOL 120 Geology of Wisconsin
NSCI 104 Great People of Science
PHYS 101 Concepts of Physics
PHYS 111 Fundamentals of Physics 1
PHYS 121 General Physics
PHYS 141 Astronomy
Area 5: Creative Expression
Courses help you develop an understanding of and appreciation for the creative process through a study of at least one of the visual arts, music, or literature.
ART 110 History of Painting
ART 115 History of Modern Painting
ART 120 Modern Sculpture and Architecture
ART 205 The Photographic Aesthetic
ENGL 150 Introduction to Literature
ENGL 203 Science Fiction and Fantasy
ENGL 212 The Modern British Novel
ENGL 221 The American Short Story
HUMA 100 Introduction to Humanities through the Fine Arts
HUMA 262 War and Peace in the American Literary Tradition
MUSI 150 Survey of World Musics
MUSI 176 Music Appreciation
Area 6: United States Heritage
Courses help you achieve a deeper understanding of the heritage of the United States through a study of its institutional and cultural traditions.
AMER / HUMA 261 Introduction to American Studies
HIST 116 History of the United States
HUMA 240 Great American Novels
HUMA 262 War and Peace in the American Literary Tradition
POLI 130 United States Politics and Government
RELS 221 Religion in America
SOCI 235 Work in America
SOCI 265 American Culture
Area 7: Foreign Heritages
Courses help you achieve a deeper understanding of the world's diverse heritages and peoples through a study of their languages, history, and/or culture.
Language Requirement and GS 7 Foreign Heritages
1. A student may satisfy the GS 7 Foreign Heritages by successfully completing language through 102 (or a more advanced course if that is the level indicated by the student's placement exam). Languages include French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish.
2. Credit by examination (CLEP) DOES NOT satisfy the GS 7 Foreign Heritages requirement.
3. International students who wish to graduate from St. Norbert College are required to take a course in Area 7 other than a course in their native language.
Other courses which satisfy Area 7 are listed below.
(Any Foreign Language studied through the 102 level or one course beyond 102).
HIST 112 History of Western Civilization 1: Ancient and Medieval Europe
HIST 113 History of Western Civilization 2: Early Modern and Modern Europe
HIST 118 Survey of African History
HIST 120 Survey of Middle Eastern History
HIST 122 (or PHLP 122 ) Modern Eastern Asia
HIST 130 History of Latin America
HUMA 205 German Literature and German Destiny
HUMA 222 Continental Novel
HUMA 280 Japanese Culture and Society
PHLP 100 Philippine Culture and Society
POLI 260 Current Russian Politics
WOLT 207 Contemporary Latin American Literature and Culture
WOLT 208 Spanish Life and Culture
WOLT 210 Soviet Dissident Literature
Area 8: Quantitative Skills
You must complete your GS 8 Quantitative Skills requirement by the end of your fourth semester or you will not be allowed to enroll in fifth semester courses.
Courses help you develop computational, problem solving, and logical skills through the study of pure and applied mathematics, computer science and/or statistical methods.
MATH 108 Functions and Finite Mathematics (by permission only)
MATH 114 Algebra and Finite Mathematics
MATH 115 Pre-Calculus Mathematics
MATH 124 A Survey of Calculus
MATH 131 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1
MATH 132 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
SSCI 224 Basic Statistics
Area 9: Writing
Each semester particular courses in Areas 1-7 carry a Writing Intensive designation in the Timetable. One of the major objectives of courses carrying a Writing Intensive designation in the Lower Biennium is to attempt to improve your writing and reading skills. A substantial amount of writing is required in these courses. Attention is given to the development of your writing in terms of the principles of composition such as unity, coherence, logical development, clarity, and precision. Your writing must conform to the conventions of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage. During your first year, you must successfully complete at least one course having a Writing Intensive designation. For students in the Honors Program, GS9 is fulfilled upon successful completion of your second Honors course. Enrollment in your third semester courses is contingent upon satisfying GS 9 Writing during your first year at St. Norbert College.
Upper Biennium (Junior/Senior Level)
Students must select four courses: one from each of the Areas 1, 10, 11, and 12.
In order to promote a broad, liberal education, the College has established the following restrictions in course selection:
Exceptions to the above rules are as follows:
Students are allowed to double count requirements between a minor and the upper biennium.
Transferring in Upper Biennium Courses
Upper biennium requirements may not be satisfied by courses transferred from two year colleges. Only course work taken at four-year institutions and designated junior-senior level will be considered for upper biennium General Education credit in Areas 1, 10, and 11. The Senior Colloquium, Area 12, must be taken at St. Norbert College. Contact the Registrar's Office for information on obtaining prior approval for transfer credit.
Area 1 Upper: Religious Studies
Courses are designed to help you become more aware of the Judeo-Christian heritage, especially as developed in the Catholic Christian tradition, recognize the diversity and similarities between your own and other Christian and non-Christian religions, and identify your own moral and religious convictions.
RELS 310 Marriage and Family as a Vocation
RELS 312 Mission and Identity of the Church
RELS 314 God, Gods, and the Bible
RELS / WMGS 318 Feminist Theology
RELS 320 The Christian Tradition
RELS 322 Religious Heritage of the Hebrew Bible
RELS / WMGS 324 Women in the Bible
RELS 325 Providence, Suffering and Freedom
RELS 326 Ancient Wisdom and the Modern Search for Meaning
RELS 331 Judaism and Christianity: The Holocaust
RELS 333 Christian Ethics: Theology and Society
RELS 350 Christianity and Cultural Diversity
RELS 355 Theology of Spirituality
RELS 360 The Essentials of Catholic Thought
Area 10: Western Tradition
Courses focus on Western Culture in one or more of its various aspects. They expose you to the sources and development of the ideas and values that pervade our society, and also help you understand the influence of the past on the present. The reading of great works in Western Culture is recommended.
ART 365 Christian Symbolism in Art
COMM 336 Theatre History
ECON 300 History of Economic Thought (may be used by Bus. Admim. majors if not used as an Adv. Business elective).
ENGL 314 Modern Drama
ENGL 321 Dante: The Divine Comedy
ENGL 322 Medieval Literature
ENGL 385 Concepts of Heroism in Western Culture
HIST 345 Slavery in Africa and the Americas
HIST 350 Modern European History
HUMA 337 Norbertine Origins (not open to History and Religious Studies majors)
MUSI 315 Opera
MUSI 317 Evolution of Jazz
PHIL / AMER 305 American Philosophy
PHIL 310 Existentialism
PHIL 315 Ethics
PHIL 330 The Enlightenment
PHIL / CLAS 334 Tragedy and Philosophy
POLI 310 Western Ideologies
SOCI 351 Classical Sociological Theory
WOLT 320 Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction
WOLT 325 Classical Mythology
WOLT 352 French Civilization and Literature (not open to French majors)
Area 11: Global Society
Courses emphasize the contemporary relationships among countries and peoples, in particular by considering the relations between the developing and the more developed world or by dealing with issues or themes of international significance from several cultural perspectives.
BIOL 353 Biotechnology in a Global Society
COMM 330 Intercultural Communication
COMM 343 (or PHLP 343) International Mass Communications
CSCI 310 Computing in a Global Society (not open to CSCI majors)
ECON 357 Economics of Globalization (not open to Economics, Business Administration majors)
EDUC 340 Education and World Development
ENGL 356 The Post Colonial Novel
ENVS 300 Environmental Science
GEOG 363 Global Urbanization
GEOL 301 Evolution of the Earth
GEOL 307 World Resources
HIST 314 Diplomatic History of the United States
HIST 316 The Americas
HIST 368 Asian-American Relations
IDIS 363 Poverty and Social Justice
NSCI 333 Issues in World Technology (not open to Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geology, Physics, and Natural Science majors).
NSCI 348 Bioterrorism (open to all majors including all Natural Science area majors.)
PHIL 325 Ethics: International Issues
POLI 362 (or PHLP 362) North-South Relations in the Contemporary World
PSYC 311 Personal Development: A Multicultural Perspective
RELS 340 World Religions
SSCI 301 Environmental Studies (not open to Biol., Env. Science, Env. Policy majors).
WOLT 330 Contemporary French and Francophone Women Writers (not open to French majors)
Area 12: Senior Colloquium (GENS 400)
This thematic, interdisciplinary course serves as a capstone for the General Education Program. It has an integrative focus and may be team taught. During your senior year you must complete one of the approved courses to meet graduation requirements.
GENS 403 Ideal Societies
GENS 405 Myth, Values, and Modern Society
GENS 406 Religion and Politics
GENS 407 Science, Literature and Culture
GENS 408 Social Inequalities: Race and Minority Relations
GENS 410 The Southern Experience
GENS 411 Vietnam War and the American Imagination
GENS 413 Living as a Community: Buddhist and Christian Paradigms
GENS 414 Nationalism: "Imagined Communities"
GENS 418 International Inequalities
GENS 419 The Distant Mirror
GENS 420 The End of the World
GENS 421 Race & Minority Relations
Writing in the General Education Program
GENERAL WRITING POLICY
Writing is integral to the liberal arts curriculum at St. Norbert College. To write is to think, to learn, to discover, to create, to express. To write is to participate in the world--locally and globally.
St. Norbert College's writing-across-the-curriculum program is grounded in the following beliefs:
Writing facilitates effective learning.
Writing is a complex process involving creating, shaping, drafting, revising, and editing.
Writing encompasses a variety of written forms and an awareness of diverse audiences.
Writing is most effectively taught in content-specific courses.
Since writing is essential to learning in the classroom and to communicating in the world at large, students need to master their writing skills and take responsibility for their written work. Students have an obligation to their academic community to perform their best on all written assignments. Consequently, every written assignment a student submits to an instructor must be guided by the following principles:
Respect for the subject
Students should engage the course material on an intellectual level, demonstrating a respect for the integrity of subject material. Thus written work must reflect that respect for the subject by displaying that the writer has honestly and sensitively explored the subject and presented it in an intelligent and well organized form. Such respect also means that students will be careful not to plagiarize.
Respect for the reader
Students should demonstrate that they respect the values and concerns of their readers. Thus written work should address the needs of its audience, which include an intelligent, coherent, and grammatically correct presentation of information; a use of unbiased language to avoid sexist or other pejorative rhetoric; and an awareness and tolerance of alternative viewpoints.
Respect for language
Students should join the discourse community of the course and present written work that reflects an understanding of and respect for the conventions of that community. Thus written work should use the proper language (or terminology) of the course, the proper format, and the proper documentation style.
Respect for other students
Students should respect their peers as writers. Thus students have an obligation to turn in their assignments on time (since instructors often respond to essays only after all are submitted), to keep library sources available to classmates, to respond constructively to other students' written drafts when working collaboratively, and to turn in only original written work.
Respect for self
Students should take pride in and ownership of their writing. They will assume personal responsibility for all elements of their written work by recognizing that their writing is a reflection of themselves.
In order to address the above concerns, it becomes imperative that students devote energy to all stages of the writing process--planning, shaping, writing, revising, editing, and proofreading. The final written product is the natural reflection of the writing process and must follow standard writing conventions:
Higher order concerns: logical organization which reflects a clear focus and solid content as defined by the assignment; coherent, unified, and detailed paragraphs which support overall focus; appeal to specific audience;
Lower order concerns: grammar, mechanics, punctuation, and usage; varied sentence structure; deliberate diction; graceful and effective transitions; other elements of style.
Students who need further help refining their writing have an obligation to see their instructor for help, use the college writing guide--currently The Holt Handbook (latest edition)--and use the various support services at St. Norbert, especially The Writing Center, a free tutoring service available to all St. Norbert students.
Instructors have the right and the obligation not to accept written work that fails to meet adequately the above college writing conventions. Note: The above writing conventions apply to formal, revised writing, not necessarily to informal, writing-to-learn exercises (including journal writing).
Note on Plagiarism: All students must abide by the Academic Honor Code, which defines the obligations students and instructors have toward the academic community. Students are also responsible for understanding the parameters of the writing criteria defined by each course and instructor.
LOWER BIENNIUM COURSES
All general education courses in the lower biennium will have a writing dimension, which includes writing-to-learn exercises, essay exams, and a formal out-of-class writing assignment. These writing requirements must be described in the course syllabus.
Courses should promote the concept of writing-to-learn and focus on the writing process as a means to understanding course content. Possible writing-to-learn exercises include:
Every exam should have at least one essay question that requires students to write a paragraph or more explaining concepts, making connections, synthesizing material, arguing a thesis, etc. Though instructors are urged to incorporate an essay component on every exam, they may modify this component to meet particular exam needs.
Formal Out-of-Class Writing Assignment
Every course should require students to write a minimum of two typed pages of formal writing that demonstrates their general writing ability: thesis development, organization, paragraphing, grammar, mechanics, etc. Instructors should guide students through the writing process, providing feedback as students work toward the finished product. Possible activities include collecting thesis statements, requiring formal or informal outlines, using peer review, requiring students to work with tutors in The Writing Center, using Writing Assistants in the classroom, providing feedback on drafts, conducting peer review workshops in class, conferencing with students about their writing, implementing a revision policy for essays. Possible writing assignments include:
Students will be expected to use the college writing guide--currently The Holt Handbook (latest edition)--as the writing guide for lower biennium courses.
LOWER BIENNIUM WRITING-INTENSIVE COURSES
Students will be expected to use the college writing guide--currently The Holt Handbook (latest edition)--as the writing guide for the college, and they will be urged to use The Writing Center tutoring services and the Writing Assistants (if part of the class).
UPPER BIENNIUM COURSES
All upper biennium general education courses will require students to compose a minimum of 2000 words of polished writing for the semester. These requirements must be described in the course syllabus. Instructors will
provide guidance throughout the course by following these guidelines:
Assignments All lower biennium writing courses will require students to compose a minimum of 3000 words of polished writing for the semester. Instructors will provide systematic attention to the writing process by guiding students through the various stages of the process. Suggestions for integrating the writing process into courses include: requiring students to submit thesis statements, outlines, and other planning documents for review; providing written feedback on student drafts; conducting peer review in the classroom; using Writing Assistants in the classroom.
In addition, students should be guided in their writing by the following:
one essay should be a documented research essay. Instructors should provide students with detailed written assignments defining due dates, audience for essay, format of essay, evaluation criteria, and other concerns.
demand increasingly complex rhetorical skills. Recommendation: sequence assignments to move from the personal (expressive writing close to the self), to the informational (writing concentrating on the subject or message), to the persuasive (writing emphasizing audience).
to incorporate secondary sources from the library (which may include journal and magazine articles, newspaper articles, book chapters, and government documents) in a documented essay using the appropriate documentation style for the course (as determined by the instructor).
materials. Instructors should concentrate in class on the higher order concerns about writing--content, organization, audience, research, etc.--and address lower order concerns--grammar and mechanics, for example--individually with students as these problems pertain to specific writing assignments. Instructors should refer students with basic writing problems to The Writing Center.
instructor. Recommendation: to insure that students put effort in all stages of the draft, instructors should hold students accountable for the initial draft by requiring peer review, Writing Center review, use of Writing Assistant draft response, or by incorporating the performance of the first draft into final grade for the assignment. Only those students who have a quality draft should be allowed to revise.
Students will be expected to use the college writing guide--currently The Holt Handbook (latest edition)--as the writing guide for upper biennium courses, particularly the sections "Writing with Sources" and "Writing in the Disciplines."
WRITING SUPPORT SERVICES
St. Norbert College offers writing support services for students and instructors.
The Writing Center
The Writing Center, located in the Todd Wehr Library, is a tutorial writing center available to all St. Norbert College students at no charge. Student peer tutors, trained in the techniques of one-to-one tutoring of the writing process, can help students at every level of the writing process: finding ideas, developing ideas and thesis statements, organizing, revising, and editing. Tutors can also work with students systematically on personal writing needs: paragraphing, sentence structure, style, grammar, mechanics, and usage.
Writing Assistant Program
Writing Assistants are trained tutors in The Writing Center who work closely with writing intensive instructors in the classroom as writing consultants. Writing Assistants are available to conduct peer review and other workshops in the classroom, respond to student drafts, meet with writing groups to discuss writing concerns, and work one-to-one with students in The Writing Center.
The Writing Program Director will conduct workshops each semester concerning writing across the curriculum. These workshops will be designed for lower and upper biennium courses and for discipline-specific courses that focus on writing.
Students with Disabilities and General Education Requirements
Please refer to the on-line policy statement for a complete description of accommodations, substitutions, and procedures for students with disabilities.
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