General Education Policy
Mercer County Community College is committed to providing each student with an educational experience that is shaped by the best traditions of higher learning as it addresses the demands of the modern world. For all graduates of degree and credit-bearing certificate programs, this experience includes general education.
The extent to which approved general education courses are required in the various degree and certificate programs is specified in the chart entitled Academic Program Requirements for General Education. These requirements may be met through general education courses specified in the design of the program, or through elective choices (from the approved list) afforded to the student in consultation with his or her advisor. These are the minimum requirements; as appropriate to the program, more general education courses may be required. Exceptions may be approved by the President when these requirements are inconsistent with external requirements for program accreditation or student transfer.
The faculty and administration share responsibility for assessing the General Education Institutional Learning Goals and Objectives. Based on the assessment outcomes, courses, programs and this policy should be modified in response.
Academic Program Requirements for General Education
|General Education Goals
|Goal 1: Communication --
Written and Oral Communication
(must be 6 credits of Composition)
(must be 6 credits of Composition)
(must be 3 credits of Composition)
(must be 3 credits of Composition)
|Goal 2: Mathematics --
Quantitative Knowledge and Skills (3-8 credits)
|Goal 3: Science --
Scientific Knowledge and Reasoning (3-8 credits)
|Goal 4: Technology --
Technological Competency (3-8 credits)
|Goal 5: Social Science -- Society and Human Behavior
|Goal 6: Humanities -- Humanistic Perspective
|Goal 7: History -- Historical Perspective
|Goal 8: Diversity courses --
Diversity and Cultural Awareness
|Unassigned General Education
Note 1 – The 6 credits of Unassigned General Education must not exceed the category limits for the A.A. degree.
Note 2 – The 8 credits of Unassigned General Education must not exceed the category limits for the A.S. degree.
Institutional Learning Goals and Objectives
GOAL 1: Written and Oral Communication in English
Students will communicate effectively in both speech and writing.
1.1. Students will read, write, and/or speak critically in formal American English.
1.2. Students will generate messages suitable to the appropriate setting and purpose.
1.3. Students will analyze and assess nonverbal, cultural, and gender communication in both small group and public communication settings.
GOAL 2: Mathematics
Students will use appropriate mathematical and statistical concepts and operations to interpret data and to solve problems.
2.1. Students will use the precise language of mathematics to develop graphical, numerical, analytical and verbal models describing quantitative relationships that exist in the world.
2.2. Students will investigate and interpret these models using the mathematical skills, tools and reasoning appropriate to each type of model.
2.3. Students will draw logical conclusions by applying a variety of mathematical problem-solving strategies.
GOAL 3: Science
Students will use the scientific method of inquiry, through the acquisition of scientific knowledge.
3.1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the basic facts, principles, theories, and methods of modern science.
3.2. Students will explain how the scientific method is used to obtain new data and advance knowledge.
3.3. Students will evaluate the potential of the natural sciences in human society and everyday life.
GOAL 4: Technology
Students will use computer systems or other appropriate forms of technology to achieve educational and personal goals.
4.1. Students will demonstrate proficiency with technological devices and applications in academic and professional settings.
4.2. Students will analyze the impact of emerging technologies on modern society.
GOAL 5: Social Science
Students will use social science theories and concepts to analyze human behavior and social and political institutions and to act as responsible citizens.
5.1. Students will critically evaluate behavioral or societal issues using theories and concepts from a social science discipline.
5.2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ways social scientists gather and analyze data, integrate knowledge, and draw conclusions.
5.3. Students will analyze influences on human development and behavior in individual and institutional contexts.
GOAL 6: Humanities
Students will analyze works in the fields of art, music, or theater; literature; philosophy and/or religious studies; and/or will gain competence in the use of a foreign language.
6.1. Students will draw upon the visual, literary and performing arts and/or the study of philosophical and religious systems of thought and practice in order to analyze themes and contexts, articulating their connections, meanings, and values.
6.2. Students will use project-based learning to critically analyze a range of historical and contemporary artifacts including performances and visual and literary works.
6.3. Students will demonstrate communicative competence in a language other than their own and an appreciation of that language’s cultural and historical context.
GOAL 7: History
Students will understand historical events and movements in World, Western, non-Western or American societies and assess their subsequent significance.
7.1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the causes of major historical events and analyze the impact of those events on a nation or civilization.
7.2. Students will critically interpret primary and secondary historical documents and critically evaluate the influence of perspective, time, and culture on the writers’ point of view.
7.3. Students will explain major ideas, movements, and technological discoveries, and their impact on the people and society of the United States, the West, and the world.
GOAL 8: Diversity and Global Perspective
Students will understand the importance of a global perspective and culturally diverse peoples.
8.1. Students will recognize how geographical, social, economic, and/or historical conditions shape cultural perspectives.
8.2. Students will examine the behaviors and beliefs of individuals and social groups within a diverse society.
8.3. Students will analyze the impact of globalization on the social, economic, and political structures of various nations and cultures.
GOAL 9: Ethical Reasoning and Action
Students will understand ethical frameworks, issues, and situations.
9.1. Students will identify the strengths, weaknesses, and relevance of different ethical perspectives and their features.
9.2. Students will determine a position on an ethical issue or situation using facts and logical arguments [framed within a common set of terms appropriate to the discipline].
9.3. Students will evaluate the morality and implication of considered action and their possible outcomes.
GOAL 10: Information Literacy
Students will recognize when information is needed and have the knowledge and skills to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information for college-level work.
10.1. Students will identify resources needed and develop appropriate search strategies.
10.2. Students will recognize factors that affect credibility, quality, and relevance of information.
10.3. Students will use information in order to communicate it to the appropriate audience.
10.4. Students will use information ethically regarding privacy, security, and ownership with a focus on preventing plagiarism.
GOAL 11: Critical Thinking
Students will use critical thinking skills to understand, analyze, or apply information or solve problems.
11.1. Students will distinguish among opinions, facts, values, and inferences.
11.2. Students will identify and evaluate diverse perspectives and underlying considerations.
11.3. Students will make informed judgments by focusing on relevant logical and empirical issues.
11.4. Students will assess and solve problems by applying general and discipline-appropriate methods and standards.
Board of Trustees approval: 12/17/98
Revised: 4/27/05, 10/16/08, 7/20/09, 9/19/19