General Education Courses

Definitions for General Education Courses

General Education Course - any course approved to fulfill credit towards state and college requirements for general education and graduation with any of the following degrees: Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), Associate in General Studies (A.G.S.), or Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S). General education courses typically are non-developmental and non-professional in orientation, and are offered as electives or required courses from within broader subject areas.

The essential objective of general education is to educate the individual student to be a rational and humane person. General education courses are subdivided into two “zones”, Foundation Courses and Introductory Courses, and eight “sectors”: Written and Oral Communication, Mathematical Reasoning, Technological Skills, Global Issues and Diversity, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics and Pure Science, and Personal Well-Being. The minimum distribution of credits and general education courses vary by degree.

Types of general education courses are further defined as:

  • Foundation Courses – a degree-specific general education course that fulfills course or credit requirements in written and oral communications, mathematical reasoning, technological skills and global issues and diversity.
  • Introductory Courses – a degree-specific general education courses that fulfills course or credit requirements in arts and humanities, social sciences, mathematics and pure science, and personal well-being.
  • Studio Course – Any course in the Fine Arts (Humanities) that instructs students on the techniques used in artistic expression and significantly involves students (individually or as a group) in the production of tangible, physical artistic products.
  • Performance Course – Any course in the Fine Arts (Humanities) that instructs students on the techniques used in artistic expression and significantly involves students (individually or as a group) in ephemeral activities that relate to public entertainment and/or personal enrichment.

General Education Course Requirements by Degree

Click on the links below to open course requirements by degree.

Associate of Arts (A.A.)
Associate of Science (A.S.)
Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.)
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

Fundamental Outcomes

Barton has five fundamental outcomes that direct not only general education courses but the College’s entire curriculum. The outcomes are appropriate to the Mission and Board ENDS, educational offerings, certificates, and degrees of the College. They serve to demonstrate how students meet those ENDs and articulate the competencies expected of students who complete a Barton certificate or degree.

The fundamental outcomes relate the relevance of a given subject to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values which enable them to be productive in work, family, and community. These outcomes and their assessment are reviewed biannually by the Outcomes Assessment Committee and annually by Barton’s Board of Trustees.

The five fundamental outcomes are as follows:

Critical Thinking – Study a given subject critically, including processes to analyze and synthesize important parts of the subject, ask appropriate and useful questions about the study of this subject, and solve problems within the subject area.

Life-Long Learning – Relate the relevance of a given subject to the individual student’s life, to develop habits that encourage life-long, responsible and independent learning, and to apply appropriate and useful knowledge of the values, conventions, and institutions within an academic discipline.

Historical Perspective – Describe how history works, including how historical perspective can strengthen understanding of a given academic subject, and how the history of human endeavor has helped develop that subject.

Technological Perspective – Explain how technologies affect important parts of human life and how information technologies shape the study of a given subject.

Cultural Perspective – Explain how culture develops through various aspects of human endeavor, how culture develops understanding of a given subject, and how a given subject develops within different cultures.

These outcomes are designed to ensure that all certificate and degree-seeking students learn the same general competencies even when they take different general education courses. This emphasis on critical thinking, life-long learning, and the formulation of essential perspectives forms not only the foundation of the General Education curriculum but also the course level outcomes and competencies.

General Education Outcomes

Zone 1: Foundation Courses

Sector A: Written and Oral Communication

  1. Effectively communicate in writing and speaking with clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness.
  2. Present and support ideas in an organized manner consistent with the intended audience and purpose in both speaking and writing.
  3. Locate and evaluate source information and incorporate it into their work in an ethical and legal fashion.
  4. Identify communication techniques for effective elicitation of information including listening, speaking, writing and body-language.

Sector B: Mathematical Reasoning

  1. Use empirical methods to determine and express relationships between properties or concepts.
  2. Solve problems by applying appropriate strategies and logical reasoning.

Sector C: Technological Skills

  1. Demonstrate technical knowledge and skills used in a digital-age work and learning environment in an ethical manner.
  2. Practice communication, problem solving and decision-making using appropriate technology.

Sector D: Global Issues and Diversity

  1. Analyze issues such as globalization, sustainability, multiculturalism, and prejudice (equality/inequality) within a society or culture.
  2. Explain how the diverse range of human differences influences the historical and current formation of artistic, economic, social, scientific, cultural or political institutions.

Zone 2: Introductory Courses

Sector A: Arts and Humanities

  1. Effectively communicate in writing and speaking with clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness.
  2. Analyze and interpret artistic performances and works of art utilizing the historical and cultural context.
  3. Reflect on and explain the meanings of artistic works and performances.
  4. Demonstrate historical literacy and articulate a view of history as a series of historiographical discussions.
  5. Analyze and interpret the causes, course and consequences of major events in history.
  6. Describe and evaluate the cultural perspectives within the human condition.
  7. Develop appreciation for other cultures through language and other forms of expression.
  8. Analyze and interpret literary texts, including their meanings, utilizing the historical and cultural context.

Sector B: Social Sciences

  1. Develop an understanding of the relation of self to world through investigations of social, cultural, economic, and political institutions in shaping human thought, value, and behavior.
  2. Identify various social factors that influence behavior at multiple levels of human interaction.
  3. Apply systematic and scientific strategies to examine current social issues and problems.
  4. Analyze how people’s experiences and perspectives are shaped by social change or human behavior.

Sector C: Mathematics and Pure Science

  1. Use empirical methods to determine and express relationships between properties or concepts.
  2. Solve problems by applying appropriate strategies and logical reasoning.
  3. Using scientific facts and ideas, examine and predict multiple outcomes for various encounters.
  4. Explain major concepts related to living systems and the physical universe.

Sector D: Personal Well-Being

  1. Participate in activities that enhance social inclusion, self-expression, personal and professional development.
  2. Develop habits which promote individual health and well-being (physical, mental and emotional).

General Education Course List

You can search for courses approved to fulfill general education requirements for the four associate degrees at Barton Community College.