Sac State University Policy Manual

General Education

Policy Administrator: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Authority:
Effective Date: July 1, 1987
Updated:
Index Cross-References: Advanced Study; Critical Thinking
Policy File Number: UMG05000

GENERAL EDUCATION

PROGRAM REGULATIONS

1. Breadth: No more than three units credited toward a minor and no upper division course credited toward a major may be used to meet General Education requirements. In addition, students are allowed to use no more than six units from their major field (even if the units are not credited toward major requirements) to meet General Education requirements.

2. Courses to fulfill the state code requirements in United States History, Constitution and American Ideals are included in Category D, The Individual and Society. If code requirements are met by examination, units released are to be filled by taking additional courses in this category. No more than six units in History and no more than six units in Government may be taken to fulfill Category D. At least three units must be taken outside departments in which state code requirements are fulfilled.

3. Transfer students with General Education certification from community colleges are to meet the additional requirements required by Title 5 and by CSUS, including the Advanced Study requirement. Transfer students with only partial certification must take additional courses to fulfill requirements in remaining categories of the CSUS program.

4. Students enrolled in the Liberal Studies major are exempted from General Education requirements, except that they must complete the Advanced Study requirement.

5. At least three of the nine units of upper-division courses that must be taken to complete the 51-unit General Education requirement must be in courses specially designed as Advanced Study. Considerable attention in these courses must be devoted to the development of students' abilities to reason logically and to write clearly and effectively.

Students (a) must have upper-division status (completion of 56 units or more), (b) must have completed the English Composition and the Critical Thinking Category (A-3, 1983/84 to Present GE Pattern) or Reasoning Category (I-B, 1980/81-1982/83 GE Pattern), and (c) must have a passing score on the Writing Proficiency Examination before enrolling in an Advanced Study course. They are not permitted to meet the Advanced Study requirement in their major field. Advanced Study courses must be taken at CSUS.

All Advanced Study courses satisfy the criteria for one of the General Education categories and also the Advanced Study criteria. They are listed in categories B, C, D, and E and are marked in the Schedule of Classes for easy identification by students.


CRITERIA

General Education courses include lower and upper division courses and usually have no prerequisites. They are broad in character and scope in the following ways:

1. They are designed for the general student with no specialized knowledge or methodological preparation.

2. They are designed to convey general knowledge or skills applicable to numerous fields of study rather than more specialized subjects and complex approaches.

3. Upper division courses may be somewhat narrower in scope than lower division courses and they may require more specialized preparation, but they must nevertheless convey knowledge or skills of broad applicability to one or more fields of study.

A. BASIC SUBJECTS (9 units)

A1. Oral Communication (3 units) Overview:

Courses specifically designated to fulfill the oral communication requirement must emphasize the content as well as the form of communication and must include active participation in the human symbolic interaction known as oral communication. Courses should also provide an understanding of the psychological bases and social significance of the communication studied.

Specific criteria are as follows:

1. Analyses of oral communication will focus on the rhetorical perspective, including reasoning and advocacy, organization and accuracy, style and structure of oral expression.

2. Students will receive evaluation and instruction in effective listening techniques as well as the discovery and selection, critical evaluation, and oral reporting of specific content.

3. Assignments must emphasize both theoretical and practical aspects of public speaking or group discussion, involving each student in a minimum of three in-class presentations, totaling 22 minutes or more. Each presentation is to be followed by classroom feedback explaining the speaker's performance in relation to applicable theories of oral communication. Class size in these courses will be limited to thirty. Oral presentation may include public speaking, such as advocacy, information and expressive presentations, or student participation in debate or group discussions. Courses will include instruction and practice in effective listening techniques.

A2. Written Communications (3 units)

Courses in English composition offer instruction in the composition of expository essays. Students are instructed in the fundamentals of usage, sentence structure, and essay structure. These courses develop, by suitable exercises and essay assignments, a general skill, applicable to any subject matter. Students may satisfy the requirements by passing English 1A, or one of the equivalents designated by the English Department and approved by the Arts and Sciences' Curriculum Committee.

A3. Critical Thinking (3 units)

In academic courses, students commonly engage in critical thinking. In courses meeting the criteria for inclusion in the Critical Thinking category, students not only engage in, they shall study about and consciously develop skill in critical thinking. Courses in this category shall be devoted throughout to the pursuit of knowledge through logical analysis and construction of argument. Instruction shall develop an understanding of logical relationships between premises and conclusion, and the ability to recognize the more common formal and informal fallacies. Throughout such courses, attention to logical processes and skills shall exceed attention, if any, to other content. Grading shall reflect this emphasis. The courses shall foster a basic skill, applicable to a variety of academic subjects and to the intelligent fulfillment of such roles as citizen, consumer, leader, and moral agent. Such courses shall develop the following: (1)
skill in evaluating the validity, strength, and relevance of arguments; (2) a sense of logical structure, of both inductive and deductive forms;
(3) an awareness of uses and abuses of argument language, including connotation, ambiguity, and definition; (4) skill at handling a variety of arguments in a variety of contexts; (5) ability to argue fairly and to handle bias, emotion, and propaganda.

B. THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE AND ITS LIFE FORMS (12 UNITS MINIMUM)

Physical Sciences and Life Forms w/ Laboratory Component

B1,2,3. Courses in this category are designed to transmit a knowledge and understanding of natural phenomena. In satisfying this category, each student must take at least one course having a life science designation and one course having a physical science designation. There must be a laboratory component in at least one of the courses taken by each student in satisfying the unit requirement in this area. This laboratory experience should emphasize the learning of laboratory techniques and verification of facts and principles in a discipline of natural science; it should involve at least two hours per week spent in the laboratory.

Courses in this category should:

1. emphasize general principles and concepts having a broad range of application, and not be restricted to specialized topics;

2. develop an understanding of the principles underlying and interrelating natural phenomena, including the foundations of our knowledge of living and non-living systems;

3. introduce students to one or more of the discipline whose primary purpose is to acquire knowledge of the physical universe and its life forms rather than to apply existing knowledge; and

4. develop an appreciation of the methodologies of science, the requisite features of scientific endeavors, and the limitations of scientific inquiry.

B4. Quantitative Reasoning (3 units minimum)

General Education courses in this category provide instruction in basic mathematical or logical concepts and in the comprehension and manipulation of abstract symbols. They should include the development of useful computational skills or some degree of competence in the analysis of arguments. They should also include some consideration of general principles of quantitative reasoning. At least 3 units from the area of Mathematics or the area of Statistics must be taken in this category.  Additional units in this category may be taken in the area of Computer Science. Such courses may be
offered in the following areas:

1. Mathematics: Courses that provide mathematical concepts which have general applicability in solving problems.

2. Statistics: Courses that provide instruction in concepts of descriptive and inferential statistics and have general applicability in testing hypotheses.

3. Computer Science: Courses that provide instruction in solving problems through the use of computer language and operation. These courses must contain a large programming component.

C. THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES (12 UNITS MINIMUM)

C1. World Civilizations (3 units minimum)

Courses in this category shall deal with one or more of the major Western or non-Western civilizations that have had a significant direct influence on the modern world.

They shall have an extensive historical perspective, covering a period of at least 500 years.

Subject matter shall be broad in scope and develop a comprehensive understanding of the distinguishing characteristics of the civilizations studied. Courses shall not be restricted to a single aspect of a civilization's culture.

C2. This category shall be designed to transmit a knowledge and appreciation of the Western and non-Western cultural heritage in the humanities and the arts. Courses shall be broad in scope and seek a comprehensive understanding of the heritage being studied. Courses will cultivate the intellect and imagination through the examination of one or more of the following: ideas, values, foreign languages, and aesthetic forms. These courses shall also meet one or more of the following objectives:

1. Courses in the history or analysis of art will seek to enhance aesthetic appreciation and to give an understanding of the nature of a particular art form, or to study the principles on which aesthetic judgments are made.

2. Studio, performance, and creative writing courses will seek to develop skill and aesthetic sensitivity through active participation in one of the arts.

3. Courses in ideas and values in the humanities will aim to develop the ability to recognize ideas and values of various cultures and traditions as expressed in their literatures, philosophies, and religions.

4. Foreign language courses will offer instruction in linguistic structures and their use in literature; these courses must also contain a cultural component and not be solely skills-acquisition courses.

D. THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY (9 UNITS MINIMUM)

D1. Foundations in Social Science (3-6 units)

Courses in this category should:

1. constitute an introduction to social science. The term "introduction" does not categorically exclude upper-division courses; however, if upper-division courses are accepted in this category, they should require neither prerequisites nor consent of the instructor for enrollment, and be explicitly introductory in their course and catalog description;

2. communicate the unique perspective of one or more particular disciplines in furthering our understanding of a broad range of human behavior;

3. develop an understanding of at least one of the methodologies of the social sciences. Students should become aware of the ways in which source materials are used in the social sciences and the sense in which objective knowledge may or may not be attained in these disciplines; and

4. be broad in that they focus on the larger context of society and/or human behavior rather than on an individual institution, social process, or segment of the population.

D2. Major Social Issues of the Contemporary Era (3 units)

Courses in this category are designed to transmit knowledge and understanding of one or more selected major issues confronting and dividing Americans today. Topics of world-wide concern may be included if their impact on domestic affairs is significant and extensive.

Courses in this category should:

1. impart knowledge of current information and materials as well as research methodology and techniques appropriate for the study of the issue in question; and

2. examine various sides of the issue, study critically the strengths and weaknesses of supporting and refuting arguments, and present scholarly analyses of possible alternative solutions. A basic distinction is drawn between those courses which focus upon "issues" (and therefore are appropriate for this category) and courses which focus upon the "individual" (and therefore are considered more appropriate for the "Understanding Personal Development" category).

Topics around which courses are to be developed and presented are: crime; energy; environment; biomedical issues; poverty; warfare; race; national economic policy; and ethnic, age, and sex discrimination. The selected topics will be reviewed every two years by the General Education Committee to determine their continued relevance to national concerns and priorities. Topics will be added or deleted (as appropriate) to maintain a list that reflects the major issues being debated in American society.

D3. World Civilizations (Cross Cultural) (0-3 units)

1. Courses in this category should expose students to an analysis of political,, social, and economic institutions of societies other than the United States. In the case of western or central Europe, a course should not be limited to a single country.

2. An historical component may or may not be included. The primary emphasis of the course must be on the 20th century,, with significant attention to the post-1945 period, thus emphasizing the "contemporary" nature of this category.

3. Courses should be broad in scope and not limited to one institution or social process.

D4. American Institutions

1. Any course or examination which addresses the historical development of American Institutions and ideals must include all of the subject matter elements identified in the following subparagraphs. Nothing contained herein is intended to prescribe the total content or structure of any course

a. Significant events covering a minimum time span of approximately one hundred years 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.

b. The role of major ethnic and social groups in such events and the contexts in which the events have occurred.

c. 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 or examination which addresses the Constitution of the United States, the operation of representative democratic government under that Constitution, and the process of California State and local government must address all of the subject matter elements identified in the following subparagraph. Nothing contained herein is intended to prescribe the total content or structure of any course.

a. 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.

b. The rights and obligations of citizens in the political system established under the Constitution.

c. The Constitution of the State of California within the framework of evoution of Federal-State relations and the nature and processes of State and local government under that Constitution.

d. 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.

E. UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT3 (3 UNITS)

Courses in this category are designed to enhance the student's understanding of the development of the individual as an integrated physiological, psychological, and social being. Courses must include a study of how internal and external influences interact in human development and behavior within the context of the human life span.

1. Courses enhancing understanding of the self as a physiological, social, and psychological entity:

These courses are designed to promote critical self-understanding, and accordingly will involve consideration of such topics as individual behavior, the relation of the person to the social and natural environment, human sexuality, nutrition, health, stress, family, aging, and death.

2. Courses developing an art or a skill:

These courses are designed to promote the lifelong understanding and development of students as integrated physiological and psychological entities, through the acquisition of a recreational, a vocational, or artistic skill. The course proposal must specify how the activities or performances will contribute to understanding the personal development of an integrated individual.

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3 For engineering students only, this requirement may be met by approved courses in the major.

ADVANCED STUDY CRITERIA

General Education courses in this category build on the basic skills and knowledge acquired by students in their General Education foundation courses. These courses are to expand students' knowledge in the liberal arts by examining complex issues of significance to mankind, and they are to advance students' abilities to reason logically and to write clearly in English prose.

Some Advanced Study courses may explore more specialized topics and may thus require prerequisites, but most are to be courses of a broader nature and generally require no formal preparation.

Students are required to write not less than 5000 words of clear and logical English prose in Advanced Study courses. An important aspect of the task of instructors is working actively with students to sharpen their analytical abilities and to improve their writing styles. Simple narrative and diary-type writing will not fulfill the requirement.

Writing assignments must be spread out over the entire semester. (At least a total of 3000 words of writing assignments must be due before the last two weeks of instruction). Instructors must provide timely responses and evaluations of each writing assignment, and evaluations and comments must not only be about the subject matter content but also be on the writing skills.


1983/84 and Subsequent G.E. Pattern

Program Total: 51 units minimum

A. Basic Subjects (9 units)

A-l Oral Communications (3 units)
A-2 Written Communications (3 units)
A-3 Critical Thinking (3 units)

B. The Physical Universe and Its Life Forms (l2 units minimum)   At least one course with a laboratory component (B3) must be taken in B1 or B2.

B-l Physical Science (3 units minimum)
B-2 Life Forms (3 units minimum)
(B-3 laboratory component with B-l or B-2)
B-4 Quantitative Reasoning (3 units minimum)

C. The Arts and Humanities (l2 units minimum)

C-l World Civilization (3 units minimum)
C-2 Arts, Humanities, and Foreign Languages (9 units minimum)

D. The Individual and Society (l5 units minimum)

D-l Foundations in Social Science (3 units)
D-2 Major Social issues of the Contemporary Era (3 units)
D-3 World Civilization or Foundations in Social Science (3 units)
D-4 American Institutions (6 units) If American Institutions is satisfied by examination,
additional units must be taken in the other subgroups of category D to total 15 units.

E. Understanding Personal Development (3 units)

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Approved by the Academic Senate 3/13/85 (AS 85-15)

CSUS GE PATTERN AND ACCOUNTANCY VARIATION

(5l units minimum)  (48 units minimum)
A. Basic Subjects (9 units) A. Basic Subjects (6)
A1. Oral Communications A1.Oral Communication (3)
A2. English Composition  A2. English Comp (3)
A3. Critical Thinking A3. This requirement is satisfied by a series of courses required in the major.









B. The Physical Universe & B. The Physical Universe &
Life Forms (l2) Life Forms (l2)
(At least one course with a (At least one course with
laboratory component must a laboratory component must
be taken in Bl or B2.) be taken in B1 or B2.)
Bl. Physical Science (3 min) Bl. Physical Sci (3 min)
B2. Life Forms (3 minimum) B2. Life Forms (3min)
B4. Quantitative Reasoning (3) B4. Quantitative Reasoning
(6)

C. The Arts & Humanities (l2) C. The Arts & Humanities (l2)
Cl. World Civilizations (3) Cl. World Civilizations (3)
C2. Arts, Humanities & C2. Arts, Humanities, &
Foreign Language (9) Foreign Language (9)

D. The Individual & Society 

D. The Individual & (15 minimum) Society (l5)

D1. Foundations in Social Dl. Foundations in Social
Science (3) Science (6)
D2. Major Social Issues of D2. Contemporary Social
the Contemporary Era (3) Issues (3)

(Accountancy majors must take Economics lA and lB and 3units of Social Psychology for Accounting Accreditation Program requirement.)

D3. World Civilization
(Cross-Cultural) (0-3)

D4. American Institutions (6) D4. American Institutions (6)

(If American Institutions is satisfied by examination, additional
units must be taken in the other sub-groups of category D to total l5 units.)

E. Understanding Personal E. Understanding Personal
Development (3) Development (3)
(Accountancy majors must take Psychology l45 (Social Psychology) or
Sociology l50 (Social
Psychology).


(Revised March, l985)

CSUS GE PATTERN AND ENGINEERING/COMPUTER SCIENCE VARIATION

General Education Pattern Engineering/Computer Sci

Variation
(51 units minimum) (48 units minimum)

A. Basic Subjects (9 units) A. Basic Subjects (6)
A1. Oral Communications A1. Oral Communications (3)
A2. English Composition A2. English Composition (3)
A3. Critical Thinking A3. This requirement is satisfied
by a series of courses
required in the major.

B. The Physical Universe & B. The Physical Universe
Life Life Forms (l2)
& Life Forms (l5)
(At least one course with a Twelve units of Math
laboratory component must and Physical Science
be taken in B1 or B2.) requiried in the
B1. Physical Science (3 min) Engineering major.
B2. Life Forms (3 min) At least 3 units must
B3. Quantitative Reasoning be in Math (12)
B4. Quantitative Reasoning Life Science (3)
(3 minimum)

C. The Arts & Humanities (l2) C. The Arts & Humanities (l2)
Cl. World Civilizations (3) Cl. World Civilizations (3)
C2. Arts, Humanities & C2. Arts & Humanities (9)
Foreign Language (9) (Foreign Languages
excluded because of
accreditation
requirements)

D. The Individual & Society D. The Individual & Society
(l5 minimum) (12 minimum)
D1. Foundations in Social Dl. Foundations in Social
Science (3) Science (3)
D2. Major Social Issues of D2. Major Social Issues
the Contemporary Era (3) the Contemporary Era (3)
D3. World Civilization D3. World Civ Option (0-3)
(Cross-Cultural) (0-3)
D4. American Institutions (6) D4. American Institutions (6)

(If American Institutions (If the American
is satisfied by examination, Institutions is
additional units must be satisfied by
taken in the other subgroups examination, units
of category D to total 15 must be taken in
units.) Category IV to total
12 units in the
Individual and
Society.

E. Understanding Personal E. Understanding Personal
Development (3) Development (3)
This category may be
met by 3 units of
capstone courses
in the engineering
major and may
be senior level
project and/or
design courses.

(Revised December 16, 1985)