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General Education Requirements: Goals

The purpose of the General Education Program of IU Northwest is the development of disciplined, informed, and creative minds. The program is defined by the following nine goals. The courses required to fulfill the General Education Program will vary depending upon the specific major that the student chooses. Each academic division has incorporated specific general education courses into the degree requirements to insure that the following nine goals are achieved

Goal 1. Students will write, read, speak, and listen effectively for a variety of purposes, using multiple methods.

They will be able to:
• demonstrate the skills identified as Basic Writing Competencies (see p. 26). In addition, they will be able to use writing as a means of generating, clarifying, and organizing ideas; and apply these skills in discipline-specific writing.

  • comprehend, interpret, respond to, and appreciate ideas presented in written texts and spoken language. They will apply these skills in their disciplines.
  • process, deliver, and interpret verbal and nonverbal, personal, and public messages. They will be able to identify and analyze messages situationally and adapt them to specific audiences and for specific purposes.

Goal 2. Students will think critically.

They will be able to:

  • conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and/ or evaluate information in order to formulate and solve problems.
  • generate information by observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication.
  • explore creative alternatives and transfer information and experience to different settings.

Goal 3. Students will reason quantitatively.

They will be able to:

  • understand probability and evaluate statistical
  • statements from a variety of content areas.
  • read and construct tabular and graphical representations of numerical information.
  • explain and calculate descriptive statistics including measures of central tendency and variability.
  • analyze and solve problems in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
  • identify data and operations needed to solve everyday problems in consumer mathematics.

Goal 4. Students will understand the methods of science.

They will be able to:

  • recognize and understand how scientific theories are formulated, tested, and validated.
  • approach problems using scientific methods, which include (1) defining parameters of a problem, (2) seeking relevant information, (3) subjecting proposed solutions to rigorous testing, and (4) drawing conclusions based on the process.
  • evaluate scientific information and discussions presented in various media.
  • recognize similarities and differences between scientific knowledge, common sense, and other forms of knowledge.

Goal 5. Students will understand the valueof the past and recognize the relationship of the past to the present and to the future.

They will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the major physical, geographic, economic, biological, psychological, political, social, religious, philosophical, ethical, and environmental realities pervading our world and social events. (The extent to which any student surveys knowledge in a variety of fields will differ depending upon the degree or program, but all students will grasp the range of multiple perspectives embodied in these disciplines.)

Goal 6. Students will gather, synthesize, process, disseminate, ethically use, and create information through the use of library resources, computers, telecommunications, and other technologies.

They will be able to:

  • identify information needs, and evaluate and use relevant library and other resources available through print and electronic media.
  • use a variety of software, including discipline- specific software packages.
  • use telecommunications and network technologies to communicate, share, and retrieve information.

Goal 7. Students will recognize the many diversities of human experience, including the variety of cultures within America and across the world, and the many other ways in which communities are made up of diverse individuals.

They will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the way in which respect for diverse peoples and cultures can facilitate human relations and can guide decision and behavior in workplaces and in local, national, and global communities.
  • critically analyze information to identify content that is racially or sexually discriminatory or presents racial, ethnic, or sexual stereotypes.

Goal 8. Students will demonstrate familiarity with and appreciation of the arts, including literature, music, and the fine, applied, and performing arts.

Goal 9. Students will integrate the general education knowledge and skills
described in the preceding paragraphs with discipline-based knowledge and skills.

Basic Writing Competencies, Approved by the Faculty Organization in Fall 1993

Resolved that the faculty adopt this list of writing competencies, and that it be supplied to students at admission and be included in the

Student Handbook: Basic Writing Competencies at IU Northwest.
Student writing at IU Northwest is expected to reflect the following basic competencies:

  • The purpose of the writing should be evident; the directions of the assignment followed appropriately.
  • Topics need to be narrowed to a manageable scope.
  • Ideas should be stated clearly and thoroughly discussed: the reader shouldn't have to infer meanings. Information presented should be accurate and complete.
  • The tone, diction, and structure of the writing should reveal a sense of audience.
  • Material should be organized and presented in a sensible manner.
  • An introduction should lead the reader smoothly into the body of the writing.
  • Adequate transitions should be used to connect ideas as they develop in the writing.
  • Support paragraphs should stay with the main point of the writing and relate clearly to each other.
  • A summary or conclusion will often be necessary to reemphasize the writer's central idea and attitude.

6. A thesis should be present (or clearly implied) which shows the writer's point of view and/or purpose, and all material in the writing must be relevant to that thesis. Various rhetorical strategies should be used to advance that thesis. (Examples of such strategies could include cause and effect, comparison and contrast, definition, process
analysis, persuasion, illustration, classification, description, and narration. Skills such as hypothesis testing and summary recall should be exhibited when appropriate.)

  • Sentences should be fluent and clear on first reading. Their construction should be varied, their form concise.
  • Word choice should be varied and accurate in denotation and connotation. Word choice should reflect awareness of audience and purpose. (For example, use of first person, jargon, or contractions in many instances is allowable, at other times not.)
  • Grammatical and mechanical errors should be avoided. These errors would include
  • Shifts in verb tense, improper verb endings, lack of agreement between subject and verb.
  • Failure of pronouns to agree with their antecedents and unclear pronoun references.
  • Sentence structure errors, which would include fragments, run-ons, and comma splices.
  • Punctuation errors such as incorrect use or omission of commas, apostrophes, quotation marks, and end marks.
  • Capitalization errors.
  • Attention should be paid to misspellings of common words and/or frequent misspellings of difficult words.
  • The writing should be accessible and neat, showing a sense of the importance of presentation.
  • Students must understand that plagiarism includes using another person's words, ideas, or information without proper citation. (See Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, p. 17, Section A, Item 3.) Instructors will supply students with preferred citation formats or direct them to reference works.

These basic competencies do not preclude other criteria depending on the instructor's standards, the circumstances of the writing, or the nature of the assignment.