General Education Program

The General Education Program (GEP) at FSU supports the university’s mission to prepare future leaders to meet the challenges of a complex and changing global society by promoting the knowledge and skills you will need to be successful. The GEP complements your academic major by developing core skills and competencies that employers across all sectors routinely identify as critical for all new hires regardless of discipline and job function.

General Education Learning Goals

General Education courses at Frostburg State University promote student learning outcomes across four broad learning goals in support of the FSU Undergraduate Institutional Learning Goals.

  • Core Skills
    You will become proficient in reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills necessary for effective communication. You also will develop quantitative literacy, technology literacy, and information literacy. You will
    • demonstrate foundational skills in the comprehension and interpretation of information in written and oral forms;
    • communicate information and ideas effectively;
    • understand and apply mathematical reasoning to solve quantitative problems and to evaluate quantitative information and arguments;
    • use technological resources as appropriate to access and communicate relevant information.
  • Liberal Knowledge and Skills of Inquiry, Critical Thinking, and Synthesis
    You will develop the foundational skills necessary to acquire knowledge in the humanities, the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the arts, which collectively embody the human cultural heritage. You will be introduced to critical thinking. You will
    • demonstrate foundational abilities to apply different methods of inquiry from various perspectives and disciplines to gather information;
    • comprehend and use various fundamental research methods to evaluate information critically;
    • use problem-defining and problem-solving skills by synthesizing core concepts within and across disciplines;
    • demonstrate sustained intellectual curiosity through exploration of emerging issues.
  • Values and Social Responsibility
    You will develop the foundational skills necessary to critically explore, evaluate, and define your values and become responsible citizens in a complex and changing society. You will
    • demonstrate respect and tolerance for other cultures and societies;
    • make personal judgments based on ethical considerations and societal values;
    • exhibit civic responsibility and leadership;
    • understand the purpose and value of community service in advancing society.
  • Appreciation of Cultural Identities
    You will gain insight into the ways cultural identities and experiences shape individual perspectives of the world and influence interactions with people from different backgrounds. You will
    • demonstrate the fundamental knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for communicating and cooperating effectively with people of diverse backgrounds;
    • demonstrate an awareness of the cultural and social exercise of power;
    • recognize and appreciate arguments supporting perspectives different from your own.

General Education Requirements

To complete the General Education Program at FSU, you must complete a minimum of 40 credits across 13 courses in two broad categories. Consult the Undergraduate Catalog to learn about the specific courses that meet each of these requirements.

  • Core Skills
    You must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours of coursework or credit by exam as follows.
    1. Introductory Composition (3 hours)
    2. Advanced Writing (3 hours)
    3. Mathematics (3-4 hours)
  • Modes of Inquiry
    You must complete a minimum of 31 credit hours through the following Modes of Inquiry. You may not count more than one course or option where there are alternatives listed (as designated by OR) to meet Modes of Inquiry requirements in Groups A, B, C, D, and E. A particular course may be counted to meet only one General Education requirement.
    1. The Fine and Performing Arts – At least one course from the following (3 hours each)
      • Art
      • Dance
      • Music
      • Theatre
    2. The Humanities – At least two courses from the following (3 hours each)
      • History
      • Languages
      • Literature
      • Philosophy
    3. The Natural Sciences – At least two courses from the following (3-4 hours each)
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • Geography
      • Physical Science
      • Interdisciplinary
    4. The Social Sciences – At least two courses from the following (3 hours each)
      • Economics
      • Geography
      • Political Science
      • Psychology
      • Sociology
    5. The FSU Colloquia – Two courses (3-4 hours each)
      • First-Year FSU Colloquium
      • Advanced FSU Colloquium or one additional Modes of Inquiry course from groups A-D.
    6. Identity and Difference – One course from the approved list (3 hours each). You must meet all prerequisites listed for the course you select. 

Assessing the General Education Program

FSU is committed to continuous improvement of the GEP through the process of assessment. Currently FSU assesses the GEP through six learning objectives that map back to the four GEP Learning Goals:

      1. Written Communication – Core Skills
      2. Oral Communication – Core Skills
      3. Quantitative Reasoning – Core Skills
      4. Critical Thinking - Liberal knowledge and skills of inquiry, critical thinking, and synthesis
      5. Values and Social Responsibility
      6. Appreciation of Cultural Identities

In each assessment cycle, each objective is adopted by an academic department or program to be assessed based on a faculty-designed rubric. Assessment results and reports are available on the General Education Program Review Canvas Course.

Re-envisioning the General Education Program

Based on assessment and national best practices for General Education and in alignment with FSU’s Strategic Plan, the GEP at FSU is being re-envisioned to provide a high-quality educational experience for today’s students focused on FSU’s mission and core values. This effort is being coordinated by the General Education Program Review Committee, a faculty-led committee with broad representation from all three colleges, the library, the student government association, and student support offices. We have completed two major milestones and are in the process of finalizing new learning goals and outcomes to inform the curricular design phase.

      1. Gathering and Sharing Information (Complete)
      2. Articulating Mission, Vision, and Values (Complete)
      3. Identifying Learning Goals and Outcomes (Complete)
      4. Designing a Curriculum (2022)

More information on our progress is available on the General Education Program Review Canvas Course.