Nature and Role of General Education at The College of New
education at The College of New Jersey includes intensive
instruction in a major program of study and extensive grounding
in general education. The major enables students to become
familiar with the content and methods of a particular discipline
and thus to prepare for related careers, graduate studies,
or professional schools. General education promotes learning
that is of value to students, whatever careers or advanced
degrees they may choose to pursue.
of New Jerseys general education program is based on
the premise that the real measure of success in general education
is not what courses students take, but what they learn and
retain. To this end, The College has developed a comprehensive
set of learning goals and outcomes. Although students may
vary considerably in areas of strength and degrees of proficiency,
The College expects all of its graduates to achieve at least
basic knowledge and proficiency in each of the following 12
develop the ability to read and listen critically, and to
write and speak clearly and effectively in standard English.
develop quantitative skills and an understanding of important
concepts and methods of mathematics.
develop the ability to collect, analyze, and interpret information
and to communicate the results to others.
develop critical reasoning skills in the use of analogy,
deduction, and induction.
develop the ability to solve widely varied problems.
develop the ability to make informed judgments concerning
develop an understanding of concepts and methods in the
develop an understanding of important concepts and methods
of the sciences.
develop an understanding of the nature and role of technology
and its impact on the environment and society through the
study of the development and application of tools, machines,
and knowledge for the achievement of practical purposes.
develop an understanding of the aesthetic and intellectual
experience in literature and the arts.
develop historical consciousness through an understanding
of the history of world civilizations, the beliefs and ideals
of world cultures, and the evolution of a global civilization.
develop an understanding of diverse cultures.
A thirteenth goal is required only of degree candidates
in the Schools of Art, Media, and Music; Culture and Society;
develop the ability to comprehend, speak, read, and write
a language other than English.
The courses and requirements in The Colleges general
education program are the principal means of enabling students
to achieve these goals. The three parts of this programIntellectual
Skills, the Interdisciplinary Core, and Perspectives on the
Worldare designed to help provide the following benefits.
Skills help provide the tools that students need
to make the transition from high school to college and from
college to lifelong learning. In order to do college-level
work, all students need reasonable proficiency in writing,
speaking, critical thinking, and mathematics. Degree candidates
in the Schools of Art, Media, and Music; Culture and Society;
and Science are also asked to achieve skills sufficient to
enable them to comprehend, speak, read, and write a language
other than English. By the time students graduate, they should
be able to use these skills in the practice of their majors,
for their own enrichment, and as means of advancement in their
Interdisciplinary Core The title and theme of the
core, Understanding Humanity, was chosen because
of its breadth, challenge, and importance. Like the Psalmist
who asked of God, What is man that thou are mindful
of him? We still puzzle today over our place in the
scheme of things. Should we regard ourselves as the
measure of all things, as a little lower than
the angels, or as leaky sacks of amino acids?
What are we to make of our kinship with other animals? How
can we achieve greater appreciation of both the diversity
and common threads of human experience?
the design of the core takes account of recent debates over
the canon (the classics), it is not addressed to those debates.
The topics and readings in each core course are selected to
meet the shared educational needs of the community of learners
at The College of New Jersey. We need to be familiar with
works and ideas that shaped the complex union of native and
immigrant peoples that is this country. As citizens of an
increasingly interdependent world, we need knowledge and appreciation
of other cultures and civilizations. As human beings, we need
a critical understanding of gender issues. All this should
be understood through the study of what is timely as well
as what is timeless.
on the World courses provide students with opportunities
to expand their knowledge by deepening their acquaintance
with the principles and practices of key intellectual and
and Social Scientific Perspectives. Since its emergence
in the 17th century as a distinct way of investigating the
world, scientific method has provided a powerful means for
explaining and sometimes predicting natural and social phenomena.
Courses approved for this requirement are designed to introduce
students to the methods and contents of sciences that study
nature, society, and the individual.
and Artistic Perspectives. Humanistic and artistic perspectives
are as old as the human species and are integral parts of
human history. As ways of investigating the world, the arts
and humanities stress meanings and values rather than quantifiable
data and predictive theories. To increase appreciation of
these disciplines, students are asked to supplement the
broad learning gained in the Interdisciplinary Core by taking
approved courses in greater depth in each of the areas listed
the most important features of education at The College of
New Jersey is the understanding and appreciation of diversity.
This emphasis, which is reflected in the Interdisciplinary
Core, is reinforced in general educations diversity
distribution, the requirement that at least one course a student
selects from Perspectives on the World focus on a non-Western,
Native-American, or Third-World culture, one course focus
on some aspect of Western cultures, and one course focus on
the effectiveness of the general education program, The College
of New Jersey must assess the success of its students in achieving
the programs learning goals and outcomes. This requires
student cooperation. By accepting admission to The College
of New Jersey, a student agrees to help strengthen the quality
of his or her education by participating in assessment activities
such as written tests, focus groups, and portfolio reviews.