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General Education

The General Education Program: Purpose, Criteria, Goals, Outcomes, and Core Courses

The purpose of the General Education Program at Longwood is the development of disciplined, informed, and creative minds. General Education is the foundation upon which all other learning is built and is therefore the central component of a Longwood education.

General Education Course Criteria

All core courses are specifically designed to satisfy the following nine criteria. Together, these criteria define what a General Education course is at Longwood University.

Courses satisfying all goals except Goals 12 and 15 will:

  •  teach a disciplinary mode of inquiry (e.g., literary analysis, statistical analysis, historical interpretation, philosophical reasoning, aesthetic judgment, the scientific method) and provide students with practice in applying their disciplinary mode of inquiry, critical thinking, or problem solving strategies.
  • provide examples of how disciplinary knowledge changes through creative applications of the chosen mode of inquiry.
  • consider questions of ethical values.
  • explore past, current, and future implications (e.g., social, political, economic, psychological or philosophical) of disciplinary knowledge.
  • encourage consideration of course content from diverse perspectives.
  • provide opportunities for students to increase information literacy through contemporary techniques of gathering, manipulating, and analyzing information and data.
  • require at least one substantive written paper, oral report, or course journal and also require students to articulate information or ideas in their own words on tests and exams.
  • foster awareness of the common elements among disciplines and the interconnectedness of disciplines.
  • provide a rationale as to why knowledge of this discipline is important to the development of an educated citizen.

General Education Goals, Outcomes, and Core Courses

The General Education Program comprises fifteen goals, most of which are addressed by a variety of core courses from which students may choose. A total of 41 hours of core courses is required.

Major programs may not require or specify courses to be used to satisfy general education goals, with the following exceptions:

  • A major program may designate which Goal 12 course its students must take.
  • A major program may designate which Goal 13 course its students must take.
  • A major program may include the course that its students take to satisfy Goal 13 as a requirement of the major.
  • Students who complete a required experience as part of their major course of study are exempted from Goal 15.

The Dean may authorize an exemption for any goal when a student, due to major requirements, must take at least two courses listed for that goal. NOTE: Goals 12, 13, 14, and 15 comprise requirements that are not fulfilled through articulation agreements.

In addition to addressing the general education criteria, all courses listed under each goal have also been designed to help students achieve the specific outcomes required for that goal.

Complete course descriptions can be found in the Academic Programs section of this Catalog. Normally, a General Education course should be offered at least once per year.

Lower-Division General Education Goals, Outcomes, and Courses

GOAL 1. The development of citizen leaders for the common good by promoting critical thinking and analysis in all aspects of the students' lives and by developing the knowledge and skills that lead to college success (one credit).

Note: Students who enter Longwood University with 25 credits or more are exempted from this goal.

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand the mission of Longwood College and how it applies to the college experience
  • Understand the application of critical thinking skills to multiple situations
  • Develop the knowledge and skills that lead to college success

LSEM 100 Longwood Seminar/1 Credit

GOAL 2. The ability to write and speak logically, clearly, precisely, and the ability, through accurate reading and listening, to acquire, organize, present, and document information and ideas (three credits).

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand and adapt to rhetorical and contextual differences in tasks involving writing, reading, speaking, and listening
  • Engage in academic inquiry using and evaluating a variety of sources, incorporating and documenting source material appropriately, and avoiding plagiarism
  • Develop flexible processes for engaging in academic writing
  • Develop knowledge of conventions for different kinds of texts and demonstrate substantial control of the conventions of Edited American English
  • Reflect on and make judgments about their own texts and writing processes

ENGL 150 Writing and Research/3 credits

GOAL 3. An understanding of our cultural heritage as revealed in literature, its movements and traditions, through reading, understanding, analyzing, and writing about the major works that have shaped our thinking and provide a record of human experience (three credits). NOTE: ENGL 150 is a prerequisite for these courses

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand major movements, themes, and values in one or more cultures as revealed in literature
  • Analyze literary texts as reflections of cultural movements, themes, and values
  • Develop and defend interpretations of literary texts through written discourse

ENGL 201 World Literature/3 credits
ENGL 202 British Literature/3 credits
ENGL 203 American Literature/3 credits
SPAN 341 Survey of Spanish Literature I/ 3 credits
SPAN 352 Survey of Spanish American Literature II/ 3 credits
FREN 341 Survey of French Literature I/ 3 credits
FREN 342 Survey of French Literature II/ 3 credits
GERM 341 Survey of German Literature I/ 3 credits
GERM 342 Survey of German Literature II/ 3 credits

GOAL 4. An understanding of our cultural heritage as expressed in artistic achievements and an understanding of the contribution of the creative process to the life of the individual and to society (three credits).

Outcomes: Students will

  • Recognize and discuss major achievements in the arts
  • Use appropriate vocabulary to describe and discuss artistic expression
  • Understand appropriate technology and techniques for the production of artistic achievements
  • Explain the cultural and historical contexts of artistic achievements
  • Recognize and discuss ethical issues associated with the content, exhibition, or performance of artistic works

ART 121 Environmental Design Issues/3 credits
ART 125 Introduction to Studio Art /3 credits
ART 160 Introduction to the Visual Arts/3 credits
MUSC 221 History of Jazz / 3 credits
MUSC 222 History of Rock/3 credits
MUSC 224 Music Appreciation / 3 credits
THEA 101 Introduction to the Theatre/3 credits
MUSC 102,103,104 Instrumental Ensemble/ 1 credit each
All 3 semesters in appropriate sequence (consecutive semesters preferable) are required in order to satisfy General Education Goal 4.
MUSC  105,106,107 Choral Ensemble/ 1 credit each
All 3 semesters in appropriate sequence (consecutive semesters preferable)are required in order to satisfy General Education Goal 4.

GOAL 5. An understanding of mathematical thought and the ability to conceptualize and apply mathematical logic to problem solving; (three credits at a commonly agreed upon skills level comparable to college algebra). NOTE: Students who complete Calculus (MATH 261 or 267) are exempted from this goal..

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand how mathematical and/or statistical models can be used to study real-world situations
  • Understand the limitations of and assumptions behind typical mathematical models
  • Use mathematical and statistical analysis to interpret such models by testing hypotheses, making predictions, drawing conclusions, checking results for plausibility, and finding optimal results
  • Understand when technology might be helpful in mathematical or statistical analysis and apply technology when appropriate

MATH 121 Functions and Graphs/3 credits
MATH 131 Mathematical Thinking/3 credits
MATH 171 Statistical Decision Making/3 credits
MATH 164 Precalculus/3 credits

GOAL 6. The application of the methods of science to the acquisition of knowledge, and an appreciation of the major contributions of science to our cultural heritage and to the solution of contemporary problems (four credits).

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand the major methods of natural science inquiry
  • Recognize and explain major contributions of science to our cultural heritage
  • Understand how natural science has been used to address significant contemporary issues

BIOL 101 Biological Concepts and Applications/4 credits
CHEM 101 General Chemistry/4 credits
EASC 210 Physical Geology/4 credits
PHYS 101 General Physics/4 credits
GNED 162 Introduction to Environmental Science/4 credits
GNED 261 Exploring Science in Our World/4 credits

GOAL 7. The exploration of the foundations and history of western civilization in order to use the past as a model for understanding the present. (three credits)

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand the historical development of western civilization
  • Relate the development of Western civilization to that of other regions of the world
  • Discuss how historical cultural developments influence the present day

HIST 100 Foundations of Western Civilization/3 credits
HIST 110 Modern Western Civilization/3 credits

GOAL 8. An understanding of the forces shaping contemporary society as revealed in the social sciences (three credits).

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand the major methods of social science inquiry
  • Recognize and explain major contributions of social science to our cultural heritage
  • Understand how social science has been used to address significant contemporary issues

ANTH 106/WGST 106 Introduction to Women's Studies/3 credits
ECON 111 Economic Issues for the 21st Century/3 credits
HIST 221 United States History Colonial Times to 1877/3 credits
HIST 222 United States History 1877 to Modern Times/3 credits
POSC 150 American Government and Politics/3 credits
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology/3 credits
SOCL 101 Principles of Sociology/3 credits
SOCL 102 Contemporary Social Problems/3 credits
GEOG 201 Introduction to Geography/3 credits
HONS 250* The Changing Social Landscape/3 credits
*GPA of at least 3.25 required for enrollment in HONS 250

GOAL 9. An understanding of the diversity of other cultures and societies (three credits). NOTE: Students who complete an approved international experience are exempted from this goal.

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand the culture, society, and history of groups outside of the Western European tradition
  • Employ an appropriate vocabulary and rational argument to discuss complex issues involving race, nationality, gender, ethnicity, class, or sexual orientation
  • Understand the concept of ethnocentrism
  • Differentiate between personal discomfort and intellectual disagreement in situations where cultures may conflict
  • Distinguish between facts and cultural assumptions relating to issues of diversity

ANTH 101 Introduction to Anthropology/3 credits
HIST 200 History of China/3 credits
HIST 202 History of Islamic Civilizations/3 credits
HIST 210 World History/3 credits
POSC 245 Gender and Politics/3 credits
POSC 255 Introduction to Comparative Politics/3 credits
RELI 242 World Religions/3 credits
SPAN 331 Latin American Civilization and Culture/3 credits
MUSC 225 Introduction to World Music/3 credits
GEOG 220 Geography of South America / 3 credits

GOAL 10. The ability to communicate and function in a globally interdependent world as developed through foreign language study (three credits). NOTE: Students who complete a foreign language course at the 202 level or above as part of the Additional Degree Requirements are exempted from this goal. Students who are not native speakers of English may be exempted from Goal 10 provided that they have received their high school diploma, or its equivalent, from a school in their native land where the language of instruction was other than English. Additionally, students may demonstrate proficiency in any of the following ways:

  • With a score of 50 (French), 50 (German), 53 (Spanish) on the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) test, a student would be awarded 4 credits for 102.
  • With a score of 62 (French), 63 (German), 66 (Spanish) on the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) test, a student would be awarded 3 credits for 202.
  • With a score of 3 on the Advanced Placement (AP) Test to receive credit for 201, or earn a score of 4 or 5 to earn credit for 201 and 202.
  • Completion of the necessary course at a community college.
  • Completion of the necessary course as an appropriate dual-enrollment course in high school.
  • Completion of an appropriate course through a study abroad program.

Outcomes: Students will

  • Demonstrate the ability to understand, interpret, and produce both oral and written communication in a foreign language.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of relationships among the products, perspectives, and practices of the culture(s) studied
  • Develop insight into the nature of language and culture

Courses at Longwood which meet this goal:

SPAN 201 Intermediate Spanish I/3 credits
FREN 201 Intermediate French I/3 credits
GERM 201 Intermediate German I/3 credits

GOAL 11. An understanding of issues dealing with physical and mental well being through physical activity (two credits).

Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand the importance of regular physical activity on wellness throughout one's lifetime
  • Acquire skills that enable participation in lifetime physical activity
  • Understand how individual decision making and behavior impact personal health
  • Recognize the relationships among societal factors and personal health

PHED 101 Fitness Concepts/2 credits
RECR 101* Fitness Concepts/Adaptive Activities/2 credits
*Permission of Instructor and Director of Disability Services Required


Students may choose one of the following eight sections of this 2 credit course: Aerobic Exercise, Yoga, Cycling, Multiple Activities, Swimming, Water Aerobics, Strength Training, or Restricted Activities.

Note: PHED 101 and RECR 101 may be taken only once for credit toward the degree.

Upper-Division General Education Goals, Outcomes, and Courses

NOTE: Goals 12, 13, 14, and 15 comprise upper-division requirements that are not fulfilled through articulation agreements.

GOAL 12. The development, through upper-level study in the humanities or the social sciences, of specialized knowledge and skills relevant to the student's broad course of study (three credits). Degree programs may indicate specific requirements for satisfying this Goal.

Humanities Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand connections between a specific area of the humanities and their own courses of study
  • Consider how specialized knowledge and skills from a specific area of the humanities are relevant to a broad course of study

Social Sciences Outcomes: Students will

  • Understand connections between a specific area of the social sciences and their own courses of study
  • Consider how specialized knowledge and skills from a specific area of the social sciences are relevant to a broad course of study

GOAL 13. The ability to make informed, ethical choices and decisions and to weigh the consequences of those choices (three credits). This must be a junior- or senior- level course; degree programs may indicate specific requirements for satisfying this Goal.

Outcomes: Students will

  • Identify the ethical issues implicit in personal behavior and in the operation of political, social, and economic institutions.
  • Understand various approaches to making informed and principled choices
  • Consider how these approaches might be applied to conflicts in their personal and public lives
  • Understand the impact of individual and collective choices in society

CSDS 396 Ethics for Communication Disorders Professionals/3 credits
CMSC/MATH 350 Ethical Issues in Mathematics and Computer Science/3 credits
MANG 474 Business Ethics/3 credits
PHIL 308 Introduction to Ethics/3 credits
PHIL 315 Biomedical Ethics/3 credits
PHIL 316 Environmental Ethics/3 credits
POSC 331 Ancient/Medieval Political Philosophy/3 credits
POSC 332 Modern Political Philosophy/3 credits
PHED 398 Ethics in Sports and Physical Education/3 credits

GOAL 14. The ability to synthesize and critically analyze through written discourse and a common educational experience information pertaining to issues of citizen leadership (three credits).

The Goal is satisfied through an interdisciplinary advanced writing seminar under the ENGL prefix taken after the student has achieved Junior level status or obtained the permission of the Chair of the General Education Committee.

Outcomes: Students will

  • Engage in the process of citizen leadership by investigating multiple perspectives on an important public issue
  • Understand the nature of public discourse/debate as determined by purpose, audience, and context
  • Choose appropriate formats in writing for a variety of purposes
  • Analyze the effectiveness of their own texts and processes for specific rhetorical situations
  • Understand how the knowledge, skills, and values learned in general education are interwoven and interrelated, and how they can contribute to the process of citizen leadership

ENGL 400 Active Citizenship: An Advanced Writing Seminar/3 credits
GNED 495 Special Topics: General Education/3 credits

GOAL 15. The application of knowledge and skills developed in the student's course of study through completion of an internship, guided field experience, or directed research (one credit).

Outcomes: Students will:

  • Identify specific objectives to be achieved through the completion of the internship, field experience, or research project
  • Evaluate their own progress toward those objectives

NOTE: Students who complete a required experience as part of their major course of study are exempted from this goal.