Recognizing that our students will specialize in a variety of specific majors, the HSHP General Education program ensures that all students will achieve a common set of learning objectives.  These common objectives are based on the mission statements of the college and school, and reflect the Ithaca Attributes established by the IC Core Experience Task Force (2005).  During the development of the program, we recognized that the departments had incorporated the majority of these objectives through normal curricular processes in their respective majors.  As a result, the HSHP General Education Program represents a distillation of existing objectives to a common 'general education' language.  The distributions of the common objectives (literacy areas and concentrations) in the curriculum for all HSHP majors have been mapped and are updated annually [1]. Those general education concepts not directly related to specific course(s) are evaluated through portfolio assessment.

Mission Statement

The HSHP General Education Program fosters literacy in the liberal arts and sciences; enabling future professionals to be active participants in the diverse society they serve.

The program will help students develop literacy in communication, decision making, individual and community, local and global issues, and axiological appreciation.

Communication Literacy

  • Oral Communication
    Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively through speaking, with or without the aid of technology, for general or professional audiences.
  • Written Communication
    Students will demonstrate the ability to write effectively for general or professional audiences.

Decision Making Literacy

  • Critical Reasoning
    Students will demonstrate the ability to reason critically through oral or written artifacts.
  • Analytical Reasoning
    Students will demonstrate the ability to reason analytically, including the use of mathematical tools, through oral or written artifacts.

Literacy in Individual and Community Wellness

  • Individual Wellness
    Students will demonstrate an appreciation of health and well being from a personal, occupational or community perspective.
  • Community Engagement
    Students will demonstrate an appreciation for engagement with others from a personal, occupational, or community perspective.

Literacy in Local (Personal) and Global (Societal) Issues

  • Social Sciences
    Students will demonstrate the ability to describe and discuss local and global issues in the modern world from social, psychological, or anthropological viewpoints.
  • Cultural and Historical
    Students will demonstrate the ability to describe and discuss situations and events from multiple cultural and historical perspectives.

Axiological Appreciation Literacy

  • Ethical
    Students will examine their own core values and beliefs by providing examples of ethical choices.
  • Aesthetic
    Students will examine their emotional response after experiencing events such as museums, art exhibits, concerts, theater, cultural speaker or athletic events relative to their core values through documented reflections.
  • Political
    Students will examine political viewpoints (self and others) relative to their core values through documented reflections.





[1] The curricular maps of the five literacy and their 11 areas of concentrations include; (a) when the objectives were introduced, (b) reinforced and; (c) where students demonstrated the skills or ability. This ensures that students will earn the equivalent of a minimum of 30 credits of general education as required by the Middle States Commission (see Standard 12 below).

Standard 12: Fundamental Elements of General Education

An accredited institution offering undergraduate degrees and some graduate institutions are expected to possess or demonstrate the following attributes or activities:

  • program of general education of sufficient scope to enhance students’ intellectual growth, and equivalent to at least 15 semester hours for associate degree programs and 30 semester hours for baccalaureate programs; (An institution also may demonstrate how an alternative approach fulfills the intent of this fundamental element.)
  • a program of general education where the skills and abilities developed in general education are applied in the major or concentration;
  • consistent with institutional mission, a program of general education that incorporates study of values, ethics, and diverse perspectives;
  • institutional requirements assuring that, upon degree completion, students are proficient in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, and technological competency appropriate to the discipline;
  • general education requirements clearly and accurately described in official publications of the institution; and
  • assessment of general education outcomes within the institution’s overall plan for assessing student learning, and evidence that such assessment results are utilized for curricular improvement.

From: Characteristics of EXCELLENCE in Higher Education, Requirements of Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation (Online Version - Revised March 2009)

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