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Mission and Goals
The committee developed a mission statement consistent with four points of the UW-Parkside's Mission Statement that are relevant.
- Offer high-quality academic programs rooted in the tradition of a liberal education in the arts, sciences and professions, responsive to the occupational, civic and cultural needs of the region, and actively seek their continual improvement.
- Foster a teaching and learning community that provides opportunities for collaborative faculty, student, and staff interaction in support of excellence.
- Prepare students to be successful in their professional, civic, and personal lives.
- Provide programs that meet the intellectual and cultural needs of people throughout their lives.
Reflecting these points, the purpose of a general education in the liberal arts at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills so that the students will become successful in their professions and careers. To achieve that end, the general education program is dedicated to fostering a liberal education in the arts, humanities, natural, social, and behavioral sciences responsive to the occupational, civic and cultural needs of its diverse student population. The general education program will create a learning community that provides opportunities for excellence, for utilizing technology creatively and effectively, and for providing programs that meet the intellectual and cultural needs of people throughout their lives.
The following goals statement for General Education at UW-Parkside takes effect Fall 2005:
The purpose of a general education in the liberal arts at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is twofold. First, students will have acquired a knowledge and skill set that is used across all academic disciplines. Second, it will make students aware that knowledge is diverse, and it will make them conversant with the principles and methodologies of disciplines across the spectrum of knowledge. Therefore, all University of Wisconsin-Parkside graduates must have
- achieved competency in the following areas:
- A: Communication
- Literacy - reading for understanding and writing for effective communication
- Oral communication - listening, speaking and presenting effectively
- Information technology competence - using modern information technology to retrieve and transmit information
- Creative expression - communicating through artistic statement
- B: Reasoned Judgment
- Critical thinking - applying logic and reasoning to problem solving
- Ethical thinking - recognizing and analyzing ethical issues and actions
- Scientific thinking - understanding and applying the scientific method
- Analytical skills - understanding how to produce and interpret quantitative and qualitative information
- Aesthetic skills - critiquing and appreciating the fine arts (literary, visual, and performing)
- C: Social and Personal Responsibility
- Individual accountability - understanding what a responsible choice is and that one's present education and life-long learning is a personal responsibility
- Social Equality - understanding and questioning the social, political, economic and historical conditions that construct diversity and inequality
- Civic engagement - learning to use knowledge and skills to contribute to the community
- Global perspective - acquiring the knowledge and skills that provide an understanding of international/global issues and processes
- Teamwork - working effectively with others for a common goal
These competencies cannot be "taught" in a handful of required courses, nor should students view these competencies as disconnected from their major. These abilities are gained and maintained with practice across the array of academic disciplines. Toward this end, it is expected that in each BOK class students will practice and refine a subset of these foundational competencies.
- demonstrated competency in each of three broad areas: Humanities and the Arts, Social and Behavioral Science, and Natural Science
- Keep the three distribution areas: Humanities and the Arts, Social and Behavioral Science, Natural Science.
- Students are required to take 12 credit hours from each distribution area from at least three different departments/programs in each distribution area.
- Each department/program offers its courses in one of the distribution areas unless otherwise approved.
- No more than five BOK offerings per department/program, which should include courses needed for Teacher Education certification, Nursing, and Diversity unless otherwise approved
- All General Education courses will address at least one competency from each of the three competency areas (Communication, Reasoned Judgment, and Social and Personal Responsibility), in all sections of that course.
- Each BOK course should be offered at least once a year; each department/program should offer one BOK course in evening or weekend format at least every third semester.
- Departments/Programs will work with the General Education Committee and Academic Achievement Assessment Committee to identify assessable outcomes for the competencies their courses are intended to achieve; in turn, the General Education and Assessment committees will give department and programs regular feedback on their offerings in aggregated form.
- The General Education Committee, Academic Achievement Assessment Committee, the Institute for Community Based Learning and the Teaching Center will assist departments/programs in developing new courses or redesigning existing courses to meet general education and department/program goals better.