General Education Program
The General Education (GE) Program at Pitt-Johnstown is divided into two categories: Foundational and Worlds of Knowledge. Foundational courses are required of all Pitt-Johnstown students. This requirement ensures that students complete foundational courses in written communication, oral communication, and quantitative reasoning.
- A Foundation in Written Communication: Foundational courses in writing provide students with the basic skills and knowledge necessary for clear and effective written communication for a variety of audiences. A satisfactory level of competency would be demonstrated by the successful completion of ENGCMP 0005 - Composition 1 and ENGCMP 0006 - Composition 2.
- A Foundation in Oral Communication: A foundational course in speaking provides students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to express themselves orally through clarity of expression, research-based content, clear organization, appropriateness of style, and effective persuasion. A satisfactory level of competence would be demonstrated by the successful completion of COMMRC 0052: Public Speaking.
- A Foundation in Quantitative Reasoning: Foundational courses in QR provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to investigate problems using the power and rigor of mathematics and other forms of quantitative analysis. A satisfactory level of competence is demonstrated by the successful completion of one of the following: MATH 0002 College Algebra (or any sequential course beyond MATH 0002), MATH 0080 Fundamentals of Modern Math, MATH 0071 Structure of the Real Number System, MATH 0212 Introduction to Biostatistics, MATH 0401 Discrete Mathematical Structures, STAT 1020 Social Statistics, STAT 1040 Statistics for Business and Economics, COMMRC 0700 Communication Research Methods, CS 0015 Introduction to Computer Programming, EDPSY 1121 Measurements/Statistics for Educators, GEOG 1440 Introduction to GIS, GEOL 0024 Meteorology, NUR 0088 Introduction to Basic Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice, PHIL 0501 Introduction to Logic, PHIL 1501 Introduction to Symbolic Logic, and PSY 0270 Introduction to Statistics (Appendix A). All the above courses require the prerequisite of MATH 0001 Algebra 1. This prerequisite can be met by an appropriate score on the Math Placement Exam.
Worlds of Knowledge
In addition to foundational courses, the GE Program contains coursework that recognizes the complexity and interrelatedness of knowledge and extends student understanding beyond disciplinary boundaries. This coursework offers the benefit of interdisciplinary perspective grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. Rather than structuring the areas of knowledge by academic discipline or subject, our GE coursework is categorized by Worlds of Knowledge. These Worlds represent exposure to a breadth of disciplinary knowledge as described in the learning outcomes for each World. The Worlds are:
- The World of Aesthetic & Creative Expression
- The World of Global History and Culture
- The World of Societies and Civics
- The World of Science and Nature
The GE program requires students to take a total of ten courses (30 credits) from the Worlds of Knowledge. Specifically, students are required to take two courses (6 credits) within each World of Knowledge across eight different departments to ensure students acquire a breadth of study across disciplines. Students are then permitted to take the final two courses (6 credits) from any of the four Worlds of Knowledge and from any department. Students are not permitted to take courses in their own department in order to fulfill the Worlds of Knowledge requirements (e.g,, Communication students are not permitted to use COMMRC courses, and Biology students are not permitted to use BIOL courses). Students can, however, take coursework from other departments that would count toward requirements for the major (e.g. a BIOL student can take a PSY course as a selection from the “World of Society and Civics”).
Descriptions and learning outcomes are provided for each World of Knowledge below. Course lists for each World can be found on the Registrar’s website and on students’ Academic Requirements report.
The World of Aesthetic and Creative Expression
Students with an education grounded in the liberal arts should be able to understand, interpret, enjoy, and create forms of human expression. Humans express themselves creatively through such mediums as song, acting, dance, writing or performing music, visual arts either real or virtual, poetry, and fiction and non-fiction writing. These represent the most fundamental ways in which human beings have related to one another and have related themselves to the world throughout time and thus are an integral part of liberal arts education.
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of human expression, or
- Analyze aesthetic creative work, or
- Create work in visual, musical, digital written, or performed mediums
The World of Global History and Culture
In the 21st century, humans communicate and interact with each other much more easily and quickly across the globe in commerce, politics, and cultural activities, as developments on one continent may shape opportunities and challenges on another. Students should demonstrate an ability to analyze critically the ways in which their lives are connected to the lives of others around the world. Students should increase their understanding of differences among peoples, the interrelationships of the differences, and analyze the effects of these differences.
Students will be able to:
- Comprehend and speak within the basic structure of a foreign language, or
- Demonstrate knowledge of cultures and social systems across the globe, or
- Analyze the differences and/or interconnectedness between peoples and cultures
The World of Society and Civics
Humans behave and interact in complex and consequential ways. Their ability to govern effectively themselves through political and civil institutions requires knowledge of history, political structures, and democratic principles; a commitment to civility, mutual respect, and civic responsibility; and skills in critical inquiry, reasoning, deliberating, collaboration, and civic problem-solving. The motives and consequences of human behavior and interaction are explained from biological, psychological, political, economic, social, cultural, and philosophical perspectives, among others. Students must examine human behavior through theories that address individual and collective behaviors.
Students will be able to:
- Explain individual or collective human behavior from economic, political, psychological, sociological or other socially important perspectives, or
- Demonstrate knowledge of the diverse ways that humans define and enforce boundaries and rules on their behavior and interactions, or
- Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of civic engagement and the organizations of civic institutions.
The World of Science and Nature
In a society where arguments and claims often rely on scientific and statistical studies, a fundamental understanding of the natural world and the scientific method along with their contributions to and impact on society is essential. Students should be able to evaluate scientific arguments using evidence-based reasoning.
Students will be able to:
- Apply scientific method to test hypotheses, or
- Analyze the structure and/or function of natural phenomena, or
- Use quantitative methods as a tool to better understand the natural world