General Education Requirements
Minot State University General Education
General Education at Minot State University is designed to ensure students learn a common set of academic skills and capacities, display personal and social responsibility, and understand interconnecting perspectives shaping domestic and global issues. The overarching goal is to impart and develop skills that allow graduates to flourish and make life-long contributions to their professional, civic, and social world regardless of discipline, major, or career path. Three broad developmental categories, each with specific objectives, constitute general education at MSU. To ensure that all aspects are included in the undergraduate experience, students must take courses or engage in experiences from each area. The objectives for these broad areas are:
Critical Capacities and Skills (CCS) requires a student to demonstrate the capacity to think critically, write, collaborate, communicate, solve problems, and to deploy skills related to information and quantitative literacy.
- CCS1 Problem Solving
- CCS2 Information Literacy
- CCS3 Critical Reading
- CCS4 Quantitative Literacy
- CCS5 Oral/Written Communications
- CCS6 Collaboration
Personal and Social Responsibility (PSR) requires a student to develop an understanding and commitment to individual well-being and to civic life and community needs.
Interconnecting Perspectives (IP) requires a student to study, reflect, and apply the understanding of diverse global and domestic perspectives both in the classroom and in a global setting.
All baccalaureate degree students must complete MSU's General Education Requirements (GER). Courses taken to complete GER may also be used to complete the requirements of majors, minors, or concentrations.
Students fulfill developmental content requirements by taking courses approved for each of the specific CCS, PSR, and IP areas (11 total). Students fulfill many of these requirements using courses traditionally taken in the first or second year, but because both lower and upper division courses are included, in practice, meeting all of these requirements can be spread across the entire undergraduate career and can include courses in a student's major. The learning outcomes of each of the 11 developmental areas are assessed using rubrics adapted from AAC&U’s LEAP rubrics. (See more about assessment below.)
Students must also take required core and foundational courses in academic areas distributed across oral and written communication (9 cr.), mathematics (4 cr.), the arts and humanities (6 cr.), the physical and natural world (8 cr.), history (3 cr.), the social sciences (6 cr.), and a first-year seminar (2-3 cr.). These core and foundational courses satisfy learning outcomes within CCS, PSR, IP developmental content requirements. As such, the broad umbrella of developmental content also covers MSU’s foundational courses and core requirements. In addition to ensuring a well-rounded foundation in disciplinary content for every graduate, foundational content also facilitates transfer within the North Dakota University System (NDUS) by meeting the state’s GERTA (General Education Requirement Transfer Agreement) requirements.
The MSU Academic Assessment Committee created an assessment system designed to collect data to evaluate the extent to which students acquire the skills, capacities, experiences, and perspectives specified in each major CCS, PSR, and IP area. To do this, departments of participating courses identified an assignment or piece of evidence in the course that can be evaluated using a rubric designed for a specific developmental sub-area and its learning outcomes. For example, a literature course that satisfies CCS3 (Critical Reading) might identify a particular writing assignment as the appropriate point of evaluation. The instructor applies the rubric, adapted from AAC&U’s LEAP rubrics, to each paper and submits the results to a master database. Over time, the assessment committee will collect substantial amounts of data indicating student performance on the learning outcomes of each of the 11 areas, allowing regular cycles of analysis, campus discussion, and improvement. This system is designed to let MSU faculty see broad trends in the effectiveness of our general education model and to adjust for improvement.
If a student transfers to MSU and is considered complete in his/her general education requirements under one of MSU’s agreements, the student will be considered to have met the requirements for the developmental content, foundational content, and required core.
Students transferring to Minot State University who have earned 24 or more credits toward graduation, excluding credits earned through dual credit prior to graduating from high school and credits earned through examination, are not required to take UNIV 110 First Year Seminar but need to complete any required courses not yet completed in all sections of Minot State University General Education requirements.