General Criteria for Lower Division G.E. Courses

Definition:Regardless of academic major, all students who complete the General Education program at CSUSM will share a common intellectual experience in which the integration of knowledge is demonstrated both through the development of individual skills and through the study of ideas, issues and facts.
Authority:
Scope:This policy applies to all students who complete the GE program at CSUSM.
Responsible Division:Academic Affairs
Approval Date:04/13/1994
Implementation Date:04/13/1994
Originally Implemented:04/13/1994
Related Documents and Forms:Document 1


Procedure

General Criteria for Lower Division General Education Courses

Regardless of academic major, all students who complete the General Education program at CSUSM will share a common intellectual experience in which the integration of knowledge is demonstrated both through the development of individual skills and through the study of ideas, issues and facts. CSUSM´s General Education program is guided by the University´s Mission Statement and it seeks to anticipate the forms of understanding and the types of wisdom necessary both for individuals to situate themselves in their past and present and to create and transform their futures.

Area Requirements All courses certified for GE must meet the goals, objectives and requirements specified for all courses below as well as the criteria specific to a division or skills area.

  1. Goals
    The primary purpose of General Education courses will be to explore, to understand, and to respond to:
    • skill development,
    • technological and ecological continuity and change,
    • global issues and perspectives,
    • multiculturalism, gender construction and difference, and human diversity, and
    • ethical and moral questions affecting the present and shaping the future.
  2. Objectives
    Within this framework, the objectives of the CSUSM General Education program are:
    • To develop analytical skills and reasoning powers;
    • To develop and increase the ability to communicate ideas and to locate and share information;
    • To develop abilities to address complex issues and problems using disciplined analytic skills and creative techniques.
    • To develop a coherent and broad?based understanding of the fundamental principles governing the natural world;
    • To create, to use and to understand modem technology, and to adapt to the pace of technological change;
    • To apply scientific principles and modern technology to problems in every day life.
    • To understand and to experience the different forms of creativity as they exist and have existed across cultures in varying genres and media;
    • To promote global citizenship through knowledge of the forces which shape and have shaped the individual and modem society;
    • To recognize and to explore the linkages among nations and among peoples of diverse cultures and cultural backgrounds and to understand differences between cultures while recognizing the common bonds that unite humanity;
    • To acknowledge the interdisciplinary and interdependent nature of successful dispute resolution associated with the complex problems confronting both our increasingly diverse society and the global community.
    • To understand ethical responsibility and accountability in regards to individual and collective action;
    • To explore questions of justice and human rights as fundamental issues that link individuals to others in our society and across cultures.

    General Education provides students the opportunity to meet these objectives by allowing them to explore and to develop their skills and knowledge within a community that respects and encourages the variety of viewpoints available in society. Intellectual discourse and activity require that ideas be challenged with vigor and intensity, but intellectual communities are both respectful of and civil towards the individuals expressing those ideas.
  3. Course Requirements
    All courses certified for General Education must meet the following requirements:
    Writing.
    • Lower Division General Education courses shall participate in the All-University Writing requirement. A minimum of 2500 words of writing shall be required in each course.
    • Writing assignments, style and formats shall be appropriate to the discipline of the course.
    • Evaluation of written work in all courses shall include assessment of writing proficiency.
    Perspectives. All courses and course proposals shall demonstrate to the extent possible:
    • their integration of analyses rooted in questions of race, class and gender.
    • their inclusion and acknowledgment of comprehensive materials regarding cultural difference among peoples and across nations.
    • their attention to the ethical and moral questions raised by the material in the course.
  4. Evaluation and Assessment
    All courses certified for General Education shall be evaluated periodically to determine if they satisfy all applicable General Education criteria.
    • New courses shall be reviewed after the second semester in which they are taught .
    • All courses shall be reviewed every three years.
    • Procedures for course review shall be established by the General Education Committee
    • Proposals for General Education courses shall address the question of assessment and shall identify the means by which faculty will assess student learning.
    • Faculty are responsible for assessing student learning in their courses and should be able to demonstrate, by methods appropriate to their discipline, to what degree students have achieved the goals of the course.
    • Faculty should assess student learning in all sections each semester the course is offered. Assessment data shall be used to improve student learning and to improve teaching. In addition, assessment data will be used to revise General Education courses. Use of assessment data in faculty personnel actions or evaluations shall be at the discretion of the individual faculty members teaching General Education courses.
AREA A

ORAL COMMUNICATION COURSE CRITERIA
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION COURSE CRITERIA
CRITICAL THINKING COURSE CRITERIA

ORAL COMMUNICATION
Area Requirements All courses certified for Oral Communication must meet all of the following criteria in addition to the criteria specified for all General Education courses (pages 1-3). Courses in Oral Communication should consciously aim to convey to students the goals and guidelines articulated in CSUSM´s Mission Statement.

  1. Goals and Objectives
    • Students will have an understanding of the psychological bases and the social significance of communication, with special emphasis on the roles of public communication in a free society.
    • Students will develop proficiency in composing and delivering extemporaneous public presentations on socially significant and intellectually challenging topics.
    • Students will develop proficiency in critical and analytical listening.
    • Each student will develop a sense of her or his own voice, which means speaking with confidence in public forums in ways that reflect her or his unique perspective and identity.
    • Students will understand and appreciate a range of public speaking styles and forms of eloquence representative of diverse cultural gender, and ethnic groups.
    • Each student will develop a sense of the ethical responsibilities of the public speaker and will learn to respect the freedom of expression of all members of the community.
  2. Course Requirements
    Major speech assignments. Each course shall require students to present at least three major speech assignments. These presentations, delivered before a full classroom audience, shall be individually graded and, taken together, should account for at least 50 percent of the course grade. They shall require the student to address an intellectually challenging topic of broad social relevance, linked to the division or College offering the course, and to develop an original presentation of sufficient length to demonstrate the major skills of the course. The assignments shall require the student to undertake substantial research from a variety of sources and to synthesize the evidence to support or explicate the points of her or his presentation. These speeches shall be presented in the extemporaneous mode, allowing for adaptation to audience response. Whenever possible, the student should have the opportunity to develop further and clarify her or his ideas through a question and answer exchange with audience members. Each student shall receive feedback on these assignments addressing a full range of rhetorical criteria such as content, organization, language, and delivery.

    Additional speaking assignments. Each course shall include additional oral assignments and exercises designed to enable students to master the skills required for the major assignments and/or to develop skills in additional forms of public speaking. Each student will have at least one opportunity to revise and improve a speech following formative feedback from the instructor and peers. Each student will have some collaborative experience in the social construction of oral messages. This may take the form of working with a peer support group, preparing a group presentation, engaging in debate, or participating in a structured individual conference with the instructor.

    Written assignments. Each of the three major speech assignments shall require full sentence outlines or argumentative briefs containing sufficient detail to show the relationships among the points and sub?points of the presentation and the evidence used to support those points. Additional written assignments should include appropriate papers, bibliographies, exercises, written speech analyses and/or written peer critiques.

    Examinations. Each course shall include readings and lecture/discussions to introduce students to the study of communication as the process of human symbolic interaction focusing on the communicative process from the rhetorical perspective: analysis, reasoning and advocacy; organization; the discovery, critical evaluation and reporting of information. To demonstrate mastery of this conceptual material, each course shall include at least 100 minutes of written examinations.

    Class size. The appropriate class size is 17 to 20 students. In no case, however, shall enrollments exceed 25. For sections that are specifically designed for limited English speaking students, the enrollment limit shall be 20.

    Special or supplementary assistance. Some students may require special assistance, or more assistance, in meeting course goals than the regular course can provide. In such cases, faculty are urged to refer the student to the appropriate program for special or supplementary assistance. Subject to adequate university funding, enrollment in a program designed to provide special or supplementary assistance may be required when the need for such assistance is demonstrated through an assessment procedure that has been approved by the General Education Committee

    Technology and Information Literacy. Courses approved for Oral Communication shall include an assessable Information Literacy component that will require students to develop an understanding of core information sources and develop research skills to support assignments for the course. An assessable Computer Literacy component shall also be included in the course.
  3. Evaluation and Assessment
    Assignments- Student progress will also be evaluated throughout the semester by grades and comments on student essays.
    Guidelines- Any department offering a course to meet the requirement shall for each such course write detailed course guidelines in accordance with the criteria above. These guidelines shall be submitted to the Academic disciplines offering the course and distributed each semester to all faculty members teaching that course.
    Assessment- Courses proposed for Oral Communication shall address the question of assessment and shall identify the means by which faculty will assess student learning.
  4. Faculty Qualifications
    Faculty should have graduate?level training or college?level teaching experience in an oral communication discipline (e.g., rhetorical or communication theory applied to face?to?face communication). Courses will be assigned a librarian as a resource person to facilitate the information literacy and library use components.

WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
Area Requirements All courses certified for Written Communication must meet all of the following criteria in addition to the criteria specified for all General Education courses (pages 1-3). Courses in Written Communication should consciously aim to convey to students the goals and guidelines articulated in CSUSM´s Mission Statement.

  1. Goals
    A passing grade signifies that the student is a capable college-level writer and reader of English. The goals of the course are to develop:
    • A writing style, clear and correct, able to give form and coherence to complex ideas and feelings;
    • Students´ understanding of the writing process and the goals, dynamics, and genres of written communication, with special attention to the nature of writing at the university;
    • Students will understand and appreciate a range of writing styles and forms of eloquence.
    • Students´ rhetorical sophistication;
    • College level reading abilities; and
    • Students´ analytical and imaginative faculties.
  2. Objectives
    Students shall achieve the ability to write complete writings which demonstrate minimum proficiency in all of the following:
    • Clear and effective communication of meaning. Writings will have a readily identifiable focus and will be effectively tailored to a particular audience and purpose; argumentative writings will state their thesis clearly and show an awareness, implied or stated, of some opposing point of view.
    • The ability to perform effectively the essential steps of the research and the writing process (pre?writing, organizing, composing, revising, and editing).
    • The ability to explain, analyze, develop, and criticize ideas effectively.
    • Effective use within their own writings of research and of supporting material drawn from reading or other sources.
    • Effective organization within the paragraph and the written word;
    • Accuracy, variety, and clarity of sentences.
    • Appropriate diction.
    • Competent handling of conventional mechanics (e.g. punctuation, spelling, reference, agreement).
  3. Course Requirements
    Writing- Writing assignments shall give students repeated practice in pre?writing, organizing, writing, revising, and editing. The number of writing assignments and their careful sequencing are as important as the total number of words written. Eight to ten essays totaling a minimum of 8000 words are required. This minimum requirement excludes journal writing, quizzes, or other informal or brief assignments. Although the majority of papers will be written out of class, at least three essays shall be written in class. Students shall receive frequent evaluations from the instruction.

    Reading- Reading for the course will be extensive and intensive and will be linked to the division or College offering the course. It shall include useful models of writing for academic, general, and special audiences.

    Final exam- A common essay final shall count 20 percent toward the course grade. A single university-wide final will be developed each semester.

    Tutoring- At the discretion of the university or the instructor, students may be required to attend tutoring sessions as a corequisite to completing the course.

    Class size- Classes shall be limited to 22 students. It is not acceptable to teach larger classes and use readers or teaching assistants for paper grading or discussion sections.

    Grading- A/B/C/No Credit.

    Technology and Information Literacy- Courses approved for Written Communication shall include as assessable Information Literacy component that will require students to develop an understanding of core information sources and develop research skills to support assignments for the course. An assessable Computer Literacy component shall also be included in the course.

    Prerequisites- Passage of the English Proficiency Test (EPT); or passage of an approved substitute course for the EPT.
  4. Evaluation and Assessment
    Student learning shall be measured by the common final exam, performance on the Writing Skills Test, and by direct student surveys.
    Common final exam- Students shall be tested by means of a final essay examination, to count 20 percent toward the course grade. A single examination will be developed by a committee established by a Committee to include representatives of all departments offering courses fulfilling this requirement. All faculty members teaching individual sections will grade the examinations under controlled conditions.
    Assignments- Student progress will also be evaluated throughout the semester by grades and comments on student essays.
    Guidelines- Any department offering a course to meet the requirement shall for each such course write detailed course guidelines in accordance with the criteria above. These guidelines shall be submitted to the Academic disciplines offering the course and distributed each semester to all faculty members teaching that course.
  5. Faculty Qualifications
    Minimum faculty qualifications shall include the following or their equivalent:
    • Substantial experience teaching writing at the baccalaureate level,
    • Advanced training in written communication; and
    • For foreign student sections, substantial formal training and experience in teaching English composition to speakers of other languages.
    • Teaching associates shall be allowed to teach the course only after training and under the close supervision of a composition expert.
    Courses will be assigned a librarian as a resource person to facilitate the information literacy and library use components.

CRITICAL THINKING

Area Requirements All courses certified for Critical Thinking must meet all of the following criteria in addition to the criteria specified for all General Education courses (pages 1-3). Courses in Critical Thinking should consciously aim to convey to students the goals and guidelines articulated in CSUSM´s Mission Statement.

  1. Goals
    Critical thinking courses should help students learn logic and reasoning, understand sound argument, and appreciate the value of applying these skills. The course should teach students how language is related to logic, how to analyze the validity of a statement or argument, and how valid arguments can be constructed. Students should develop the critical habits of being open-minded and impartial, suspending judgment or taking a stance when warranted, questioning their own views, and using their critical thinking skills. Students should recognize that real world problems are complex and not solved with one simple answer. As critical thinkers, they should be able to transfer what they learn to new situations, whether in other courses or in their everyday lives.
  2. Objectives
    Instruction in critical thinking should promote basic knowledge of logic and reasoning. Though individual instructors and departments may choose to weigh some of the topics more than others, students completing the course successfully will be able to:
    • Understand logic and its relation to language;
    • Understand the importance of assumptions in reasoning and argument, including a comprehension of the ways in which differing cultures and social groups may reason from differing assumptions, and identify the assumptions, both stated and unstated, both one´s own and others; or oro
    • Effectively argue a point of view by clarifying the issues, focusing on the pertinent issues, and staying relevant to the topic;
    • Judge sources, their reliability and credibility;
    • Distinguish matters of fact from issues of judgment or opinion;
    • Identify and avoid common logical and rhetorical fallacies in the construction of arguments.
  3. Course Requirements
    Content. Particular course descriptions used in different disciplines and the approaches of individual instructors may vary; however, the courses must satisfy the list of objectives. Critical thinking may be taught in the context of a subject area, by including specific attention to general principles of critical thinking and applying them to examples and exercises in the subject area. All critical thinking courses will be open to all students regardless of their majors; therefore, the basic reasoning skills listed in the above objectives must be explicitly covered.
    The course proposals shall demonstrate the planned uses of computer technology and the application of information literacy to the course materials. Assignments and/or examinations will be given which require that the students use the library and computers as a tool to learn critical thinking skills. This course is subject to review and certification by the statewide Critical Thinking Council. Students will be encouraged to satisfy oral and written communication requirements prior to taking a critical thinking course.
  4. Evaluation and Assessment
    All Critical Thinking courses shall include a clear means of assessing student leaming. Instructors shall be responsible for evaluating student learning in their courses. Methods employed (e.g., examinations, research papers, demonstration of specified skills, pre and post tests, group projects, taped student presentations, questionnaires) should provide faculty with an indication of teaching and learning proficiency.
  5. Faculty Qualifications
    All Critical Thinking courses should be taught by faculty with advanced training in logic and critical thinking, and demonstrated experience or potential in teaching critical thinking at a basic level.

    Courses will be assigned a librarian as a resource person to facilitate the information literacy and library use components.
AREA B
MATHEMATICS/ QUANTITATIVE REASONING CORE COURSE CRITERIA
PHYSICAL UNIVERSE AND ITS LIFE FORMS CORE COURSE CRITERIA
MATHEMATICS/QUANTITATIVE REASONING CORE COURSE

Area Requirements All courses certified for Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning must meet the goals, objectives and requirements specified below as well as the criteria specified for all General Education courses (pages 1-3). Courses in Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning should consciously aim to convey to students the goals and guidelines articulated in CSUSM´s Mission Statement.

  1. Course Requirements
    All courses offered in General Education Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning must have a prerequisite of at least intermediate algebra and must use a level of mathematics beyond that of intermediate algebra. Even if a course has intermediate algebra as a prerequisite, it will not satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement unless it also meets each of the following three conditions:
    • It must focus on the use of mathematical language and formal reasoning in a variety of diverse disciplines, using a broad range of examples.
    • It must provide some historical perspective on the role which this approach has played in the development of human knowledge and of our understanding of the world.
    • It must demonstrate a variety of methods, such as the use of abstract symbols, of numeric techniques, of logical reasoning, of geometry, etc.
    A statistics component may be included which must:
    • Develop the students´ ability to comprehend the power and broad utility of the fundamental mathematical models presented, rather than merely teaching rote statistical skills; and
    • Must indicate applications to several areas.

    A computer science component may be included which must:
    • Teach a computer language that is suitable for use in diverse areas;
    • Teach this language in such a way that the student is led to a fundamental understanding of the nature of problem solving by combining data structures with algorithms; and
    • Provide fundamental skills in the use of computers for the application of university level quantitative methods to the solution of problems in many diverse areas.
  2. Evaluation and Assessment
    All Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning General Education core courses shall include a clear means of assessing student learning. Instructors shall be responsible for evaluating student learning in their courses. Methods employed (e.g., examinations, pre and post tests, demonstration of specified skills, questionnaires) should provide faculty with an indication of teaching and learning proficiency. Student learning should be assessed in all sections of Mathematics/ Quantitative Reasoning cores each semester the course is offered.
    • Proposals for Mathematics /Quantitative Reasoning courses shall address the question of assessment and shall identify the means by which faculty will assess student learning.
    • Faculty are responsible for assessing student learning in their courses and should be able to demonstrate, by methods appropriate to their discipline, to what degree students have achieved the goals of the course.
    • Faculty should assess student learning in all sections each semester the course is offered.
    • Assessment data shall be used to improve student learning and to improve teaching. In addition, assessment data will be used to revise General Education courses. Use of assessment data in faculty personnel actions or evaluations shall be at the discretion of the individual faculty members teaching General Education courses.
    Faculty Qualifications
    All Mathematics /Quantitative Reasoning General Education core courses shall be taught, whenever possible, by ladder-rank faculty holding terminal degrees appropriate to the discipline. Courses will be assigned a librarian as a resource person to facilitate the information literacy and library use components.

PHYSICAL UNIVERSE AND ITS LIFE FORMS CORE COURSE

Science General Education core courses should enable students to achieve science literacy. An understanding of scientific knowledge and methods and the ability to incorporate these concepts into workplace and everyday life experiences are important quantitative and qualitative skills that should be mastered by all students during a university education.

Area Requirements: All courses certified for Science General Education core courses shall meet all of the following criteria, in addition to the criteria specified for all General Education courses (pages 1-3). Courses in Science should consciously aim to convey to students the goals and guidelines articulated in CSUSM´s Mission Statement.

  1. Goals and Objectives
    The goals of the Science General Education core program are to:
    • provide a coherent and broad-based coverage of the fundamental principles governing the physical worlds,
    • train students to use experimentation, logical reasoning and mathematics to extend these principles to new situations and applications,
    • demonstrate to students that the applications of these principles can lead to lifelong learning in science and to productive and informed life choices,
    • demonstrate to students the ways in which science influences and is influenced by societies in both the past and the present, and
    • empower students to communicate effectively to others about scientific principles and their application to real-world problems.
  2. Course Requirements
    Content. The Science General Education core program consists of a minimum of six semester units. Option one (designed for non?science majors, but open to all students) consists of an integrated, multidisciplinary, six-unit course in the Physical and Life Sciences. Option two (designed for science majors, but open to all students) consists of a designated Physical Science course and a designated Life Science course. In both options, at least one class must have a laboratory experience. The primary focus of courses in both options shall be concepts found in traditional life science and physical science disciplines, such as:
    • Structure of matter
    • Interactions of matter and energy
    • Laws of thermodynamics
    • Observation, classification, measurement, and the scientific method.
    • Processes of the physical universe.
    • Levels of organization of living systems, from atom to planet
    • Structures and functions of living organisms
    • Principles of genetics
    • Patterns and theories of evolution
    • Interactions of organisms with each other and their environment

    Science General Education core courses shall consider global, multicultural and gender issues in the sciences as appropriate.
    Basic Skills. All Science core courses shall:
    • include use of computer technology and the application of information literacy to the course material,
    • require a writing style and use of language that is appropriate for the sciences,
    • include an evaluation of written work which assesses both content and writing proficiency, include a component which requires students to communicate ideas orally,
    • require students to develop an understanding of the core information sources and the literature of the science disciplines, and
    • require students to think critically so that they are able to distinguish scientific arguments from pseudo?scientific myths or opinions.
  3. Evaluation and Assessment
    All Science General Education core courses shall include a clear means of assessing student learning. Instructors shall be responsible for evaluating student learning in their courses. Methods employed (e.g., examinations, research papers, laboratory reports, pre and post tests, demonstration of specified skills, group projects, taped student presentations, questionnaires) should provide faculty with an indication of teaching and learning proficiency. Student learning should be assessed in all sections of Science cores each semester the course is offered.
  4. Faculty Qualifications
    All Science General Education core courses shall be taught, whenever possible, by ladder-rank faculty holding terminal degrees appropriate to the discipline.
    Courses will be assigned a librarian as a resource person to facilitate the information literacy and library use components.

AREA C
HUMANITIES CORE COURSE CRITERIA

HUMANITIES CORE COURSE
Area Requirements All Humanities core courses shall meet the criteria specified for all General Education courses (pages 1-3). Courses in Humanities should consciously aim to convey to students the goals and guidelines articulated in CSUSM´s Mission Statement.

  1. Goals and Objectives A humanities curriculum should cultivate both the cognitive and the affective aspects of the human mind. Likewise, a humanities curriculum should expect students both to analyze and to create: therefore, within this curriculum, students will develop habits of analytical rigor, but they will also be expected to explore their own creativity in an active fashion. The humanities should demonstrate and develop the interrelationship of the intellect and the emotions, of mind and heart, and should explore the aesthetic, metaphysical and ethical linkages, as well as differences, among individuals and among cultures. In particular, humanities core courses should enable students to:
    • integrate their knowledge and make connections across disciplines
    • perceive, understand and value the ideas, works of arts, the philosophy and the approaches to spirituality that represent the broad spectrum of men and women across the ages and in diverse cultures
    • explore the meaning of community from a personal and a global perspective
    • nurture personal freedom, expression and responsibility
    • grow towards an understanding of global justice
    • develop the foundation for making wise personal choices and for transforming one´s world
  2. Course Requirements
    Content. In addition, the subject matter of all humanities core courses should:
    • require students to examine significant works of the human intellect and imagination. Courses shall expose students to primary texts as readers, viewers, listeners, participants and creators;
    • ask students to examine the relationship of the intellect and the imagination to scientific concepts help students to recognize aesthetic qualities
    • explore the philosophical, intellectual and spiritual bases of religious expression through time and in various world cultures
    • require that students understand the diverse historical and cultural contexts in which the human intellect and the imagination have expressed themselves
    • help students actively explore their own imagination and intellect
    • make students aware of and develop understanding of the accomplishments of and/or issues related to women and diverse cultural groups
    Basic Skills. All humanities core courses shall:
    • require a writing style and use of language that is discipline?appropriate;
    • include an evaluation of written work which assesses both content and writing proficiency;
    • require students to develop an understanding of the core information sources and literature of the disciplines that constitute the humanities;
    • require students to think critically as they learn, experience and assess the meaning and value of the course materials.
    All humanities core course proposals shall demonstrate the planned uses of computer technology and the application of information literacy to the course material.
  3. Evaluation and Assessment
    All humanities core course proposals shall include a clear plan of assessing student learning. Methods of classroom assessment vary and those employed should be discipline?appropriate. Instructors shall be responsible for evaluating student learning in their courses. Methods employed should provide faculty with an indication of teaching effectiveness and learning proficiency. Student learning should be assessed in all sections of humanities cores each semester the course is offered.
  4. Faculty Qualifications
    All humanities core courses should be taught, wherever possible, by ladder-rank faculty holding terminal degrees appropriate to the discipline.
    Courses will be assigned a librarian as a resource person to facilitate the information literacy and library use components.

AREA D
SOCIAL SCIENCES CORE COURSE CRITERIA


SOCIAL SCIENCES CORE COURSE
Area Requirements All Social Sciences core courses shall meet the criteria for all General Education courses (pages 1-3). Courses in Social Sciences should consciously aim to convey to students the goals and guidelines articulated in CSUSM´s Mission Statement and should enable students to:

  •  
    • integrate their knowledge and make connections across disciplines;
    • make connections between their general education and their major discipline within historical, social, and ethical perspectives;
    • empathize with people who have traditions other than their own;
    • comprehend the imperative of community; and
    • confront the ethical and moral imperatives of their lives.
  1. Goals and Objectives
    A social sciences curriculum should enhance student awareness of and comprehension of how the human experience is influenced by such variables as value systems, economic structures, political institutions, social groups and natural environments. The social sciences should impart a sense of confidence about our capacity to study and to understand the patterns of behavior in a rigorous manner. Hence courses in the social sciences cores should:
    • explore the dynamics of ethnic, cultural, gender, regional, national, transnational and global identities as well as the interactions among them;
    • place contemporary developments in historical context to develop
      a sensitivity to the balance between continuity and change,
      an awareness that today´s differences among cultures and ethnic groups stem from the unique convergence of the variables noted above in those regions where each evolved, and
      an ability to evaluate information and comprehend the diverse perspectives that underlie debates on important contemporary issues;
    • impart basic social sciences capabilities appropriate to the course, including the ability to:
    • identify multiple perspectives,
    • assess problems using systematic and rigorous methods - both qualitative and quantitative - and to advance feasible solutions based on that assessment,
    • pursue systematic inquiry using a variety of methods, select the appropriate method to analyze a problem, and report results effectively, and
    • apply the skills learned in the classroom to real world situations outside the classroom.
  2. Course Requirements
    Content. In addition the subject matter of all social sciences courses should be examined and
    analyzed in the context of:
    • disciplinary perspectives-employing both prevailing and alternative theories and methods from one or more disciplines;
    • history-wherein the processes and developments that produce both continuity and change should be considered along with the impact of social and physical variables on the shape of peoples and issues;
    • spatial setting-focusing on spatial distribution and its relationship to wider human systems and/or natural environments;
    • race, class, and gender andlor global awareness-exploring the similarities, differences, linkages and interactions between multiple cultural groups and institutions;
    • social milieu-identifying the background to and the contemporary controversies and debates of a problem so as to work toward dispute or problem resolution.
    Basic Skills. All social sciences core courses shall:
    • require a writing style and use of language that is discipline-appropriate;
    • include an evaluation of written work which assesses both content and writing proficiency;
    • include a component on literature review understanding - require students to develop an understanding of the core information sources and literature of the disciplines.
    • include a component which requires students to communicate ideas orally; and
    • require students to think critically as they learn and assess the meaning and value of the course
    materials.

    All social sciences core course proposals shall demonstrate the planned uses of computer technology and the application of information literacy to the course material.
  3. Evaluation and Assessment

    All social sciences core course proposals shall include a clear plan of assessing student learning. Methods of classroom assessment vary and those employed should be discipline-appropriate. Instructors shall be responsible for evaluating student learning in their courses. Methods employed-examinations, portfolios of student assignments, research papers, pre and post tests, taped student presentations or performances, demonstration of specified skills, group projects, questionnaires, and so forth-should provide faculty with an indication of teaching and learning proficiency. Student learning should be assessed in all sections of social sciences cores each semester the course is offered.
  4. Faculty Qualifications
    All social sciences core courses should be taught, whenever possible, by ladder-rank faculty holding terminal degrees appropriate to the discipline.

    Courses will be assigned a librarian as a resource person to facilitate the information literacy and library use components. Library faculty shall form part of the instructional team.

AREA E
LIFELONG UNDERSTANDING AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT COURSE CRITERIA

LIFELONG UNDERSTANDING AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT COURSE

Area Requirements All courses certified for Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development must
meet all the goals, objectives and requirements specified below as well as the criteria specified for all General Education courses (pages 1-3). Courses in Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development should consciously aim to convey to students the goals and guidelines articulated in CSUSM´s Mission Statement.

  1. Goals
    To equip students for lifelong understanding, learning, and development of themselves as integrated physiological, social and psychological entities.
  2. Objectives
    After completing the course, students shall be able to recognize:
    • physiological influences on individual well-being
    • psychological influences on individual well-being
    • social/cultural influences on individual well-being
    • process of human development across the life span.

      In addition students will possess knowledge of the processes that comprise successful lifelong learning and understanding.
  3. Course Requirements
    • courses will focus on the interdependence of the physiological, social/ cultural, and psychological factors which contribute to the process of human development and determine the limitations, potential and options of the individual across the life span.
    • courses shall give significant attention or be significantly related to issues or aspects of life, behavior, information and knowledge.
    • courses will focus on the processes necessary for turning information into knowledge. Specifically, students will be able to identify access points, apply the appropriate access tool, formulate a search strategy, evaluate retrieved information as to its usefulness and be able to recognize alternatives in the absence of recorded information sources. Special attention shall be paid to the Internet as an access tool.
    • courses will require a series of assignments which will assist the student in understanding information resources supportive of the course content. Examples of such assignments include: an annotated bibliography, a statistical interpretation, an abstract, a summary, a short opinion paper and a research paper.
  4. Evaluation and Assessment
    Course proposals shall include a clear plan for assessing student learning. Methods of classroom
    assessment vary and those employed should be discipline-appropriate. Instructors shall be
    responsible for evaluating student learning in their courses. Methods employed should provide
    faculty with an indication of teaching and learning proficiency.
  5. Faculty Qualifications
    Should be taught, whenever possible, by faculty holding terminal degrees appropriate to the discipline. Library faculty shall form part of the instructional team.