As the General Education Subcommittee begins academic year 2002-2003, I believe it is overdue to revise the catalog preamble to the General Education Section. Rather than criticizing the current preamble, I will propose the following substitute.
The General Education Program is a common requirement which the UAA Faculty prescribes as a broadening educational experience for every degree-seeking student. There are three areas of courses for basic skills enhancement, four areas categorized by course content and academic discipline, and a capstone area including courses involving interrelationships and synergy of these disciplines and skills.
Skills courses in Written Communication and Oral Communication develop the critical reading, thinking, and communication faculties (writing, speaking, and listening) necessary for personal and professional success. Courses in Quantitative Skills foster the analytical and mathematical abilities necessary for success in undergraduate study and professional life. Students may select approved courses in these categories which may also be appropriate to their intended major fields.
Required content areas are Fine Arts, General Humanities, Natural Science, and Social Science. Courses in the Fine Arts examine the historical, aesthetic, critical, and creative aspects of art. General Humanities courses consider the cultural, historical, literary, aesthetic, ethical, and spiritual traditions shaping the contemporary world. Courses in Natural Science present theoretical and descriptive approaches to understanding the natural and physical worlds. Courses in the Social Sciences explore insights about individuals, groups, and cultures derived from empirical methodologies.
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In a productive life characterized by personal growth, it is necessary to combine and integrate lessons learned from diverse experiences. As a capstone of the General Education Program, courses have been provided by the faculties of UAA's Schools and Colleges which allow the student to synthesize academic achievement in the Program. Courses in this category may alot focus as needed to practice, study, and critical evaluation, but are assumed to include in their goals a fostering of the educated individual's awareness of the commitment made to service, personally, locally, and/or globally.