General Education

General Education refers to a broad body of knowledge and skills common to all educated people, regardless of their profession. A strong general education curriculum includes courses in the arts; the humanities which include literature, history, philosophy and foreign languages; mathematics, natural sciences and the social sciences. In 2009, College of DuPage faculty ratified the following General Education Student Learning Outcomes for students enrolled in all associate degree programs.

General Education Student Learning Outcomes

Each of these eight outcomes can be described by a corresponding list of measurable skills. The outcomes should be considered satisfied when each measurable skill has been demonstrated. 

Critical Thinking

  1. I dentify and challenge assumptions, including one’s own
  2. Develop and present solutions to problems or issues
  3. Evaluate practical and ethical implications
  4. Provide a researched, logically structured argument
  5. Apply scholarly methodology

Information Literacy

  1. Explain the need for information
  2. Develop a plan for finding the needed information
  3. Locate information effectively and efficiently
  4. Evaluate information and its sources critically
  5. Use information effectively, ethically and legally to accomplish a specific purpose

Knowledge Integration

  1. Evaluate contemporary social issues in scientific, historical, ethical or aesthetic terms
  2. Make connections between subject areas
  3. Critically evaluate opinions
  4. Use interdisciplinary thinking in everyday life

Effective Communication

  1. Analyze the context of a speaker’s or writer’s message or argument
  2. Analyze the language of a text as well as visual and nonverbal elements of a presentation
  3. Critically evaluate and discuss ideas in speeches and texts
  4. Formulate coherent, well-supported arguments in speech or writing using appropriate oral and written conventions
  5. Use language and rhetoric appropriate to the setting, purpose and audience

Mathematical Reasoning

  1. Discover the validity or invalidity of mathematical arguments
  2. Employ appropriate strategies to model and find solutions to problems
  3. Interpret mathematical models and identify their limitations
  4. Use appropriate terminology to represent and communicate mathematical information

Scientific Reasoning

  1. Use generally accepted scientific means such as lab or field methods to collect data or conduct controlled experiments
  2. Use generally accepted scientific procedures and tools to analyze data
  3. Make inferences by synthesizing analytical results with fundamental concepts and theoretical perspectives or integrate existing knowledge based on scientific evidence
  4. Use appropriate terminology to clearly communicate solutions to problems

Cultural Comprehension

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of events, values and ideas rooted in human experience
  2. Critically analyze issues from a cultural, historical, artistic or philosophical context
  3. Make informed judgments of works of art

Social Awareness

  1. Apply historical, ethical and scientific reasoning to social concerns
  2. Recognize social responsibilities, ethics and individual rights of others in a global society
  3. Identify causes and variations of social diversity

To meet these aims of general education, some flexibility exists for each student to select courses. The requirements for each associate’s degree determine specific choices in each category. General Education requirements for the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Engineering Science, Associate in Fine Arts, and Associate in Arts in Teaching degrees are in compliance with the Illinois Articulation Initiative standards.