Definition of General Education

General Education

The University of South Alabama defines general education as that part of the curriculum shared by all students (AACU 2005, p.25). For USA students this includes:  

  1. Completion of the program requirements for the University’s core curriculum,
  2. Completion of two designated writing intensive courses,
  3. Demonstration of competency in oral communication  by completing program-specific course requirements and
  4. Demonstration of competency in technology by completing program-specific requirements.

Core Curriculum

Alabama General Studies Curriculum (AGSC) includes four areas: 

  • Area I: Written composition
  • Area II: Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Area III: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Area IV: History, Social, & Behavioral Sciences

General Education Student Learning Outcomes

▼   Social Scientific Literacy
  1. Evaluate a social scientific claim using discipline-specific knowledge.
  2. Explain quantitative and qualitative information as it is used in the discipline.
  3. Interpret one or more discipline-specific phenomena from a comparative perspective, contrasting its manifestations in two or more different cultures, places, or times.
▼   Aesthetic and Critical Interpretations
  1. Students will explain the relationship between creative or analytical works and their cultural, social and historical contexts.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of essential genres and forms of creative and analytical works.
  3. Students will be able to state and evaluate arguments, and apply the notion of logical validity.
▼   Historical Interpretations
  1. Read and Evaluate: Demonstrate a capacity to read critically and to evaluate primary and secondary sources concerning historical issues and problems.
  2. General Knowledge: Demonstrate a general knowledge of major social, political, economic, and cultural trends in their historical contexts, including the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class.
  3. Concepts: Apply interpretive concepts such as “context,” “chronology,” and “change and continuity” to analysis of historical events. 
▼   Quantitative Reasoning

The Students will demonstrate proficiency with quantitative reasoning and use of mathematics and statistics.

As defined by The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU), Quantitative Reasoning requires the student to think critically and apply mathematics and statistics to interpret data, draw conclusions, and solve problems within a disciplinary or interdisciplinary context.

Specific learning outcomes based on course content will be mapped to at least one of the following:

  1. Explain information presented in mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words).
  2. Convert relevant information into various mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words).
  3. Solve mathematical problems.
  4. Evaluate and explain the results of quantitative analysis of data. 
  5. Evaluate important assumptions in estimation, modeling, and data analysis.  
  6. Appropriately use quantitative evidence to support an argument. 
▼   Computer Technology
  1. Students will be able to use digital search tools to access needed information.
  2. Students will be able to use appropriate technologies to process information.
  3. Students will be able to use appropriate technologies that enable and foster communications (oral, verbal, visual).
▼   Oral Communication
  1. Students will be able to compose a message and provide ideas and information suitable to the topic, purpose, and audience.
  2. Students will deliver messages with attention to vocal variety, articulation, and nonverbal signals.
▼   Written Communication
  1. Students will apply correct linguistic conventions (including grammar, diction, punctuation, and spelling.
  2. Students will apply appropriate conventions associated with genres of communication.
  3. Students will respond effectively to the rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, argument, and form).
  4. Students will perform research necessary to satisfy information needed.
▼   Scientific Reasoning
  1. Students will be able to differentiate between science and pseudoscience.
  2. Students will be able to apply the scientific method.
  3. Students will be able to explain the relevance of science in their daily lives.
  4. Students will be able to analyze data based on natural phenomena.


Download PDF of all learning outcomes