Definitions and Criteria for General Education Courses

CCBC’s General Education Program introduces students to a variety of disciplines that build a common foundation of knowledge that promotes responsibility, critical thinking and lifelong independent learning. General Education courses prepare students to meet the personal, academic and career challenges of today and tomorrow as empowered citizens of a global society.

General Education courses are offered in the following disciplines:
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Arts and Humanities: Communications
  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • English Composition
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Wellness and Health

CCBC's General Education Review Board (GERB) reviews applications for courses seeking designation as general education courses. Approved courses meet the criteria outlined for each discipline.

Arts and Humanities

Criteria for General Education Courses in Arts & Humanities

The arts examine aesthetics and the development of aesthetic form. Courses in this area may include, but are not limited to, fine, performing, and studio art, appreciation of the arts, and history of the arts. All courses, including fine, performing, and studio arts, should explore the relationship between theory and practice. The humanities examine the values and cultural heritage that establish the framework for the inquiry into the meaning of life.

  1. Acquire, analyze and express information about the role of the arts and humanities in human culture clearly and correctly in writing, speaking, and/or signing
  2. Identify, analyze, evaluate and use sources of information, and examine the impact of technology on those disciplines
  3. Demonstrate how members of different cultures and times have used written and verbal communication, fine and performing arts, signs, symbols and/or artifacts to solve problems, to communicate thoughts and values, and to express themselves
  4. Explain the connections between the arts and humanities and other disciplines, identifying the impact upon the development of other disciplines
  5. Analyze how the arts and humanities have helped to shape and reflect the ethics and values of our society
  6. Determine how the arts and humanities help individuals to make informed decisions and to assume responsibility in a diverse society
  7. Articulate appropriate criteria for making aesthetic judgments

Arts and Humanities: Communications

Criteria for General Education Courses in Communications

  1. Design messages suitable in form and delivery for various audiences and purposes
  2. Demonstrate effective listening, verbal, signed and/or nonverbal techniques appropriate to a variety of contexts, including interpersonal, small group, presentational and mass communications;
  3. Analyze the diversity and global variables that influence communication, including ethnic culture, gender and age
  4. Apply technology appropriately in the design and delivery of messages
  5. Demonstrate writing skills using standard college level U.S. English
  6. Research reliable sources and use credible information in support of oral and written claims;
  7. Analyze how self-concept and perception of others are developed and how they affect communication
  8. Apply effective communication techniques, including conflict resolution skills, to relationship development and maintenance
  9. Collaborate effectively to achieve group objectives
  10. Explain the ethical dimensions of communication

Biological and Physical Sciences

Criteria for General Education Courses in Biological and Physical Sciences

The biological and physical sciences examine living systems and the physical universe. Using the scientific method to collect, examine and interpret scientific data, students will enhance their ability to define and solve problems, think critically, make decisions that affect their personal lives and professional careers and become more scientifically literate. 

  1. Apply the fundamental principles, concepts, vocabulary and methods essential for the acquisition of knowledge basic to the science
  2. Apply the scientific method, independently and collaboratively, in order to acquire, analyze and use information for purposes of inquiry, critical thinking and problem-solving
  3. Differentiate between science and non-science
  4. Apply mathematical concepts to derive or explain data
  5. Identify, analyze, evaluate and use sources of scientific information
  6. Discuss the importance of science in the decision-making process for individuals and societies;
  7. Discuss the role of technology in scientific research
  8. Apply appropriate technology in scientific inquiry (lab courses only)

English Composition

Criteria for General Education Courses in English Composition

English composition courses provide students with communication knowledge and skills appropriate to various writing situations, including intellectual inquiry and academic research.

  1. Use a recursive writing process
  2. Create responses to rhetorical situations
  3. Utilize procedural knowledge in various academic, real world and workplace situations
  4. Choose from various writing strategies and techniques, understanding writing as a craft and as a way of thinking
  5. Conduct and document research
  6. Read and analyze sophisticated texts

Information Technology

Criteria for General Education Courses in Information Technology

Information Technology courses provide students with educational environments that are responsive in content, approach and application to the continually changing technical and creative aspects of the creative fields represented.
  1. Define and apply terms and concepts for computer use
  2. Identify and evaluate information retrieved through technology
  3. Analyze data and present information using application software
  4. Compare and contrast the types and functions of hardware, such as mobile technologies, used to store data and retrieve information
  5. Solve problems using computers and other related technologies
  6. Analyze how emerging technologies, such as social media, impact individuals, communities, and global societies;
  7. Discuss ethical, appropriate and responsible uses of technology
  8. Explore the importance of security and privacy as they relate to technology
  9. Collaborate and share information using technology such as blogs, wikis and cloud computing


Criteria for General Education Courses in Mathematics

Mathematics courses apply mathematics to real world experiences; courses provide students with numerical, analytical, statistical, quantitative/spatial reasoning and interpretation, and problem-solving skills.

  1. Analyze, interpret and evaluate quantitative information
  2. Express mathematical information in writing and speaking and/or signing
  3. Identify, interpret and utilize sources of mathematical information
  4. Apply appropriate technology in mathematics
  5. Comprehend the foundations of mathematical concepts and develop formulas
  6. Recognize mathematics in and apply mathematics to other disciplines of learning
  7. Apply mathematics to real world experiences
  8. Deduce the appropriate usage of strategies to acquire mathematical solutions
  9. Decipher and utilize appropriate mathematical terminology

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Criteria for General Education Courses in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The social and behavioral sciences examine the psychology of individuals and the ways in which individuals and other segments of society behave, function and influence one another. They include, but are not limited to, subjects, which focus on history and cultural diversity; on the concepts of groups, works, and political systems; on the applications of qualitative and quantitative data to social issues; and on the interdependence of individuals, society and the physical environment.

Social Sciences
  1. Recognize the components of history and culture that influence the Global Community
  2. Analyze cultural differences and develop an understanding of global cultural diversity
  3. Analyze the impact of art, science and/or technology within a large cultural or historical context
  4. Analyze the relevance of religion, race, class, gender and ethnicity to world issues

Behavioral Sciences
  1. Analyze and apply methods of collecting, analyzing, interpreting and presenting quantitative data
  2. Identify and analyze the role of data in evaluating choices to make decisions
  3. Identify ethical issues relevant to the discipline
  4. Analyze the relevance of religion, race, class, gender and ethnicity to the economic, social and political life of the United States and the world as appropriate to the discipline

Wellness and Health

Criteria for General Education Courses in Wellness and Health

Wellness and Health courses prepare students to demonstrate depth of knowledge in a variety of health topics such as fitness, nutrition, stress management, mental health, drug abuse, heart disease, cancer, sexuality, environment and more.

  1. Recognize and engage in the active integration of knowledge, skills and values that lead to well-being of self, our communities and the global environment we share
  2. Practice and demonstrate, the interrelated dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and financial
  3. Recognize how the dimensions of wellness affect diverse populations;
  4. Utilize technology and apply information literacy strategies to collect, analyze, evaluate and synthesize information related to issues of well-being
  5. Apply cognitive, affective and physical behaviors essential to the development and maintenance of well-being over the course of one’s lifespan
  6. Analyze the impact of, and interactions among, personal lifestyle, community and global engagement on the dimensions of wellness
  7. Assess personal health and well-being in all dimensions of wellness
  8. Utilize knowledge, skills and values to create a plan for lifelong well-being