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Catalog

General Education and Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

Philosophy

The primary function of education is to transmit from each generation to the next the knowledge and skills requisite to enlarge the comprehension of our place in the universe. General Education gives breadth to the college experience, enhances the ability to learn and develops critical thinking skills.

American River College is committed to the principle of providing general education which includes: Humanities, Languages and Rationality, Living Skills, Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Ethnic/Multicultural Studies. All of these are basic and necessary to participate in and contribute to a balanced life in a democratic society that is diverse in its social, cultural and educational backgrounds.

Description of General Education Areas and Alignment with Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

Humanities (3 units minimum)

Courses in the humanities are those which study the cultural activities and artistic expressions of human beings. To satisfy the general education requirement in the humanities, a course should help the student develop an awareness of the ways in which people throughout the ages and in different cultures have responded to themselves and the world around them in artistic and cultural creation and help the student develop an aesthetic understanding and an ability to make value judgments. This category includes introductory or integrative courses in the arts, foreign languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and related disciplines.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes Aligned with Humanities

  • Demonstrate skills and behaviors which contribute to inclusive and respectful communication of diverse ideas and beliefs.
  • Critically evaluate information to develop informed perspectives on a variety of issues, problems, and challenges.
  • Contribute to society using personal knowledge, resources, and skills.
  • For students earning degrees, demonstrate an understanding of basic content and methodology for the major areas of knowledge: arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Languages and Rationality (6 units: 3 units each from (a) and (b))

Courses in language and rationality are those which use and examine principles and guidelines of clear and logical thinking and communication. Courses in this category should build upon rather than remediate verbal and quantitative skills.

  1. English Composition: Courses fulfilling the written composition requirement should include both expository and argumentative writing.
  2. Communication and Analytical Thinking: Courses fulfilling the communication and analytical thinking requirement include oral and written communication, mathematics, logic, statistics, computer language and programming, and related disciplines.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes Aligned with Languages and Rationality

English Composition Component
  • Utilize a variety of methods to communicate effectively.
  • Use various technologies to collect information and solve problems.
  • Critically evaluate information to develop informed perspectives on a variety of issues, problems, and challenges.
Communication and Analytical Thinking Component
  • Use various technologies to collect information and solve problems.
  • Critically evaluate information to develop informed perspectives on a variety of issues, problems, and challenges.
  • For students earning degrees, demonstrate an understanding of basic content and methodology for the major areas of knowledge: arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Living Skills (3 units minimum)

One physical education activity course (with ADAPT, DANCE, FITNS, PACT, SPORT, or TMACT designators) must be taken in this area and a minimum of 2 units from the other courses included in this category. Adapted physical education courses are available for students with documented physical disabilities. These Adapted courses will fulfill the graduation requirement.

Courses in this area may be selected from a number of different disciplines that help students to acquire skills and knowledge to understand themselves as whole persons (integral to their environment). This category includes the study of courses that develop and maintain personal, social, physical and emotional well-being. It is the intent that this area includes such courses as health education, human sexuality, marriage and family, nutrition, and personal adjustment.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes Aligned with Living Skills

  • Demonstrate personal and professional readiness for career and/or academic advancement.
  • Demonstrate skills and behaviors which contribute to inclusive and respectful communication of diverse ideas and beliefs.
  • Utilize a variety of methods to communicate effectively.
  • Work cooperatively and effectively with others.
  • Use various technologies to collect information and solve problems.
  • Critically evaluate information to develop informed perspectives on a variety of issues, problems, and challenges.

Natural Sciences (3 units minimum)

Courses in the natural sciences are those which examine the physical universe, its life forms and its natural phenomena. To satisfy the general education requirement in natural sciences, a course should help the student develop an appreciation and understanding of the scientific method, and encourage an understanding of the relationships between science and other human activities. This category includes introductory or integrative courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, general physical science, geology, physical geography, physical anthropology, physics and other scientific disciplines.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes Aligned with Natural Sciences

  • Use various technologies to collect information and solve problems.
  • Critically evaluate information to develop informed perspectives on a variety of issues, problems, and challenges.
  • For students earning degrees, demonstrate an understanding of basic content and methodology for the major areas of knowledge: arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 units minimum)

Courses in the social and behavioral sciences are those which focus on people as members of society.
To satisfy the general education requirement in social and behavioral sciences, a course should help the student develop an awareness of the method of inquiry used by the social and behavioral sciences. It should stimulate critical thinking about the ways people act and have acted in response to their societies and should promote appreciation of how societies and social subgroups operate. This category includes introductory or integrative survey courses in anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology and related disciplines, exclusive of those which fulfill the American Institutions requirement.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes Aligned with Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Demonstrate skills and behaviors which contribute to inclusive and respectful communication of diverse ideas and beliefs.
  • Utilize a variety of methods to communicate effectively.
  • Work cooperatively and effectively with others.
  • Use various technologies to collect information and solve problems.
  • Critically evaluate information to develop informed perspectives on a variety of issues, problems, and challenges.
  • For students earning degrees, demonstrate an understanding of basic content and methodology for the major areas of knowledge: arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

American Institutions Requirement (3 units minimum)

Courses in American Institutions are those which focus on the historical development of American institutions and ideals, the operation of representative democratic government under the Constitution of the United States, and the principles of state and local government established under the Constitution of this State. To satisfy the general education requirement in American Institutions, a course should help the student develop an appreciation and understanding of the basic institutions, ideals, knowledge, and skills necessary for intelligent and loyal citizenship. It should stimulate critical thinking, problem solving, and literacy skills in regard to American historical, political, governmental, economic, social, and intellectual issues as they relate to both domestic and foreign affairs. This category includes introductory or integrative survey courses in history and political science which qualify under the guidelines of either "a" or "b" below.

  1. Any course which addresses the historical development of American Institutions and ideals, inclusive of the following:
    • Significant events occurring in the entire area now included in the United States of America, including the relationships of regions within that area and with external regions and powers as appropriate to the understanding of those events within the United States during the period under study.
    • The role of major ethnic and social groups in such events and the contexts in which the events have occurred.
    • The events presented within a framework which illustrates the continuity of the American experience and its derivation from other cultures including consideration of three or more of the following: politics, economics, social movements, and geography.
  2. Any course which addresses the U.S. Constitution, representative democratic government operation, and the process of California State and local government, inclusive of the following:
    • The political philosophies of the framers of the Constitution and the nature and operation of United States political institutions and processes under that Constitution as amended and interpreted.
    • The rights and obligations of citizens in the political system established under the Constitution.
    • The Constitution of the State of California within the framework of evolution of Federal-State relations and the nature and processes of State and local government under that Constitution.
    • Contemporary relationships of State and local government with the Federal government, the resolution of conflicts and the establishment of cooperative processes under the constitutions of both the State and nation, and the political processes involved.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes Aligned with American Institutions

  • Utilize a variety of methods to communicate effectively.
  • Work cooperatively and effectively with others.
  • Use various technologies to collect information and solve problems.
  • Critically evaluate information to develop informed perspectives on a variety of issues, problems, and challenges.
  • Contribute to society using personal knowledge, resources, and skills.
  • For students earning degrees, demonstrate an understanding of basic content and methodology for the major areas of knowledge: arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Ethnic/Multicultural Studies

Ethnic studies will be offered in at least one of the required general education areas.

Students may fulfill the District's Ethnic/Multicultural Studies course requirement through completion of one 3 unit course. Significant and substantial elements of the course must examine multicultural matters as specified by the criteria below.

  • The course examines significant aspects of culture, contributions, and social experiences of under-represented ethnic/racial minority groups in the United States such as: African American, Asian American, Chicano, Latino, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans; Non-western, Non-Eurocentric cultures.
  • The course examines multiple groups, one of which may include European Americans and is comparative in nature.
  • The course should include analysis of ethnicity, ethnocentrism, and/or racism, and how they shape and explain ethnic experience.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes Aligned with Ethnic/Multicultural Studies

  • Demonstrate skills and behaviors which contribute to inclusive and respectful communication of diverse ideas and beliefs.
  • For students earning degrees, demonstrate an understanding of basic content and methodology for the major areas of knowledge: arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.