The General Education Requirements (GERs) serve as the core of the undergraduate curriculum. The program consists of a sequence of required courses in communications, the humanities, fine arts, the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, the behavioral and social sciences, health and human performance. The program is designed to help students begin their transformation from college students to life-long learners, critical thinkers, and well-prepared citizens of the world who critically interrogate the world around them thru the application of best practices informed by: Oral and Written Communication, Analytical Reasoning, Information Literacy, Social Awareness, Responsive Citizenship, and Reflective Practice. In addition, the general education core curriculum is foundational to the mastery of courses related to each discipline and offers support for the institution's commitment to preparing its graduates for: immediate entry into dynamic career and employment opportunities, graduate and professional schools, and specialized employment opportunities.
Freshman Seminar (FRSEM 101), a course developed as a major part of the University's retention efforts, helps students to become assimilated into the university community and to take full advantage of their educational opportunities. As a university requirement and not a GER course, Freshman Seminar is required of all entering freshmen, of readmitted students who left as a result of academic difficulty, and transfer students with fewer than 25 credits.
Technology Fluency Requirement
In accordance with the Board of Regents mandate, all graduates of the University System of Maryland must be technologically fluent. Students are required to take a technology course (MISY 150 or its departmentally approved equivalent. This course is designed to equip them with the necessary skills to manage personal computing devices, and to navigate software programs and campus systems.
Objectives of the General Education Requirements:
The objectives of the General Education Requirements may be divided into three categories: fundamental skills, knowledge base, and attitude and values.
GER Program Objectives
The General Education Program is designed to open the pathway to degree completion. The General Education Program (GER 40 OPTIONS) helps students to develop the following skills necessary for advanced study and life-long learning:
Communications: The ability to speak, read, to write, and think analytically, critically, and creatively in a wide variety of areas as well as in formal and informal situations.
Quantification: The ability to perform mathematical computations, to reason quantitatively, and to apply basic mathematical processes to daily work and everyday living; the ability to use a computer and a wide variety of software thru which information is acquired and processed.
Health Science and Physical Education: The ability to use the principles and practices underlying optimal health and physical fitness to demonstrate a degree of skill in recreational activities that support varied facets of human performance. Knowledge Base: The General Education Requirements (GERs) should help the student to acquire a significant introductory body of knowledge about both the western and non-western traditions broad enough to ensure an educational balance among the major areas of knowledge: the arts, the humanities, mathematics, the natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences. The GERs should help the student to develop an aesthetic understanding and an appreciation of creative works in the fine arts, music, theatre, and dance. The GERs should help the student to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary for interpreting the human condition and the values inherent in the human condition.
Through the study of languages, literature, and history, the student is expected to develop insights into and a critical evaluation of life in its everyday details as well as in its historical and universal dimensions. The GERs should help the student to acquire knowledge and understand of the nature of science and sensitivity to the ecological balance of nature and humankind's role in maintaining that balance.
The GERs should help the student to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to use, control, and to make sound decisions about technology.
The GERs should help the student to understand the psychological and social determinants of human behavior through the scientific study of the behavioral and social sciences.
Attitudes and Values
The GERs should encourage the students to develop the following attitudes and values:
- An open, critical approach to study, to professional involvement, and to the society and world in which we live;
- A sense of civic responsibility;
- A sensitivity to and an appreciation for:
- The significance and relevance of the aesthetic imperative and for the various means of its expression;
- The complex nature of history and the values of history for contemporary problem solving;
- The psychological and social factors in human development;
- The roles of science and technology in human development;
- The importance of optimal health and satisfying recreational activities;
- The significance of philosophy, religion, and social mores related to ethical issues and their expression in human values; and
- The significance and relevance of a multi-dimensional education and its continuation in life-long learning.
Student Learning Outcomes
Coppin students' experiences and instruction over the next three to five years will be anchored within an academic framework of six universal Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
Oral and Written Communication, Analytical Reasoning, Information Literacy, Social & Self Awareness, Reflective Practice, and Responsive Citizenship in addition to departmental and college institutional outcomes aligned with degree program objectives, i.e., Quantitative Literacy and Critical Thinking. These Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) represent the university's commitment to provide students with academic experiences that support their ability to write clear expository and persuasive prose; to use valid research-based arguments as support for their written or oral positions; to express their ideas in language that is both appropriate to the topic and for the target audience, and to write and speak proficiently for those various audiences. Moreover, students will be trained to apply applications of classical and/or current theories and principles from specific content areas; to use critical judgments from a combination of evidences and assumptions to reach viable conclusions; and to collect, analyze, and interpret data via computational literacy and scientific reasoning.
Oral and Written Communication and Analytical Reasoning also provide impetus for the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) initiative as an appropriate and timely response to the import and functionality of media as a mainstay of human experience. Though inclusive by nature Writing Across the Curriculum is purposed to recognize that while students' 21st century modes of communication are filtered thru dynamic facets such as Facebook, My Space, blogs, email and among other modes of communication the ability to convey a clear idea and to signal that the clear idea has been received and understood is irrevocably foundational to building lives and relationships. Indeed, it is thru the ability to communicate and to respond to clear ideas that students will continue to find their 'voice' as significant communicators as undergraduates who have been transformed into life-long learners who learn to maintain their standing among local, national, and international communities.
The remaining Student Learning Outcomes: Informational Literacy, Social Awareness, Reflective Practice, and Responsive Citizenship are strategically infused in General Education Requirements and figure prominently across the spectrum of this core curriculum. Students will become proficient in the use of technology and its appropriate applicability and will learn, for example, to use multiple information sources such as online databases, videotapes, government documents, and journals in conducting research and/or in problem solving (e.g., electronic and print periodicals, chapters in books, government documents, archival material, and microfilm) thru Informational Literacy. At the same time, students will learn thru Social Awareness: the importance of understanding self and to embrace their responsibilities as engaged citizens and informed leaders in service within the community; the importance of becoming aware of and understanding economic, political, and organizational systems, and the importance of gaining an appreciation of diverse cultural heritages and global societies. These Student Learning Outcomes, Information Literacy and Social Awareness along with Reflective Practice and Responsive Citizenship further characterize the collective learning experiences found in the General Education Requirements.
Reflective Practice and Responsive Citizenship complete the Student Learning Outcomes. Reflective Practice, on the one hand, ensures that students' learning experiences will be enhanced by the university instituting practices and systems that offer students varied opportunities to assume personal responsibility for their intellectual growth. Reflective practice, moreover, is intended to help students confidently and consciously engage in continuous personal and academic development, to learn to use professional organizations that sustain and support the development recognized in their field of endeavor; and to develop professional competence through continuous learning experiences. Similarly, Responsive Citizenship prepares students to participate with broader communities - beginning with the international student body, faculty and staff of Coppin State University, to understand their commitments to political and civic engagement; and to appreciate the critical importance of emergent environmental issues and initiatives.
In sum, Student Learning Outcomes at the department, college, and institution levels are intended to support, to inform, to provoke, to shape, and to model for students the dynamics of the eternal bond which exists between the right to an education and the responsibility to educate.