General Education Program


Effective with the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year all CUNY colleges offered a new General Education program commonly referred to as Pathways. A small number of courses in the new program are simply revisions of courses in the former program.

A large portion of the new program is congruent with the former General Education program. The philosophy and purpose of general education at Medgar Evers College have not changed. The new program, like the former program, is supported by the philosophy that education has the power to transform positively the lives of individuals. The new program, like the former program, seeks to provide students with the knowledge and skills for lifelong learning, and a personal value system to enable them to contribute positively to their communities and professions.

MEC General Education Program Statement of Purpose

The General Education Program (GEP) of Medgar Evers College (CUNY) provides students with general knowledge and intellectual skills, actively engages them in making connections across disciplines, and prepares them for civic responsibility and

leadership roles in their own communities and in a rapidly changing technological world. Graduates of Medgar Evers College, as a result of completing courses in the General Education Program and their academic majors, will possess the knowledge, skills, and enhanced personal value system that will provide them with a foundation for life-long learning and empower them to promote the quality of their personal lives and contribute to their communities, their professions, the nation, and the world.

MEC General Education Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

The educational goals/competencies of the General Education Program are based on the competencies identified by the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AACU) in their publication, “Liberal Education and America’s Promise” (LEAP), (2005). The LEAP competencies or Essential Learning Outcomes (ELO’s) are an outgrowth of the 2000 AAC&U panel of higher education faculty, administrators, and scholars from across the country who met over a two-year period. The National panel published a report, Greater Expectations: The Commitment to Quality as a Nation Goes to College (2002), which presented recommendations focused on models of learning and innovative practices characterized by high expectations and an engaged, practical liberal education for all students.

The LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes are the learning goals for the Medgar Evers College General Education Program. Graduates of Medgar Evers College will be prepared to meet twenty-first century challenges by gaining knowledge of and demonstrating competence in Liberal Arts and the foundation skills that will enable them to function effectively after they graduate in their chosen fields and professions.

The four GEP learning outcomes areas/goals are:

  1. Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World

  • Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts, focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring

  1. lntellectual and Practical Skills, including:

  • Inquiry and analysis

  • Critical and creative thinking

  • Written and oral communication

  • Quantitative literacy

  • Information literacy

  • Teamwork and problem solving

Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance

  1. Personal and Social Responsibility, including

  • Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global

  • Intercultural knowledge and competence

  • Ethical reasoning and action

  • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning

Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges

  1. Integrative Learning, including

  • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems

The new General Education program consists of three major components: The Required (Fixed) Core (12 credits); the Flexible Core (18 credits); and the Medgar Evers College Option (12 credits). The Required Core and The Flexible Core compose what has been termed the Common Core (30 credits). The framework provided by the Fixed Core, the Flexible Core, and the Medgar Evers College Option has resulted in a reorganization of the former general education curriculum. The total number of credits in the new General Education Program is forty-two (42). All associate degree-seeking students must complete the Common Core and all baccalaureate degree-seeking students must complete the Common Core and the Medgar Evers College Option. The Common Core can actually range from 30 to 34 credits since a student may elect to use four- credit courses in mathematics, in the life and physical sciences, and in the area of the scientific world to fulfill requirements. Such courses are herein referred to as STEM variants. Students who transfer to Medgar Evers must meet the new requirements and at a minimum number of College Option Courses will be required to complete a portion of the College Option.

The Required Fixed Core

The Required Core is comprised of four courses (12 credits) that provide the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable a student to pursue successfully his/her higher education goals. These courses offer students a foundation in critical thinking, effective writing, quantitative reasoning, research, ethics and ethical behavior, and scientific principles governing natural phenomena. The particular requirements in The Fixed Core are as shown:

•        English Composition (two courses, six credits)

•        Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning (one course, three credits)

•        Life and Physical Sciences (one course, three credits)

 

The Flexible Core

The Flexible Core consists of six courses (18 credits) in the arts and sciences that broaden the perspectives of students, while strengthening their knowledge about world cultures and global issues, diversity in the growth of America, development of social institutions, and the roles of creative work and of science and technology in advancing society. A student must take six courses in

The Flexible Core with at least one course in each of the five general knowledge areas listed. World Cultures and Global Issues

•        U. S. Experience in its Diversity

•        Creative Expression

•        Individual and Society

•        Scientific World

 

The Medgar Evers College Option - Baccalaureate Degree-Seeking Students Only

The Medgar Evers College Option (for baccalaureate degree-seeking students, only) involves four courses (12 credits) from two clusters of the former General Education program.

The Option requirements are as listed: One course from the Socio- Cultural Cluster and three courses from the Integrative Knowledge.

 

The Medgar Evers College Option is a set of courses that complements and supplements the Required Core and the Flexible Core. Associate degree-seeking students are not required to take the College Option. [Associate degree-seeking students take only the Common Core of 30 to 34 credits to meet the new General Education requirements.] The Medgar Option courses have been chosen because they have the potential to enrich both the student’s experience at the College and in the future as a lifelong learner. The Option requires that a student take from 6 to 12 credits, depending on the status of the student at the time of entry.

 

A student who enters the College in the fall of 2013 as a baccalaureate degree seeking student must take all 12 credits in the College Option. A course taken to meet the requirement in one part of the program cannot be used to meet the requirement in another part of the program. For example, a course taken and passed to fulfill a requirement in The Flexible Core cannot be used to satisfy

a requirement in the Medgar Evers College Option. In selecting courses to satisfy the new general education requirements all students should consult their respective academic advisors.

Stem Variants

In attempting to meet the general education requirements in Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning, in the Life and Physical Sciences, and in the area of the Scientific World, students may elect to take a more demanding course in each category. Such a decision might be based on the major program of study and/or the interest of the student. For example, baccalaureate degree-seeking students with majors in Biology, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Mathematics, and Nursing have the option of fulfilling the Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning requirement by taking

a mathematics course that also fulfills a major requirement. These students can also fulfill the Life and Physical Sciences and the Scientific World requirements by taking science courses that also meet major degree requirements. Courses that can be used this way are referred to as STEM Variants. A STEM variant is available for business majors in mathematics.

 

Sharing Courses Policy

Students may choose Common Core courses that also meet their degree program requirements. In many situations, colleges might advise or encourage them to do so. Students who select a course that fulfills both Common Core and degree program requirements cannot be assigned additional degree program requirements as a result.