What is General Education?

Through general education, AWC encourages faculty and students to pursue wholeness in learning by providing a curriculum that focuses intensely on values and meaning, knowledge and understanding, imagination and creativity, reasoning and judgment, consciousness, and existence. General education enables students to see that education integrates and unifies knowledge, and allows them to become aware of ambiguity and appreciative of cultural diversity while encouraging comprehensive literacy, including an understanding of symbol systems that educated people in contemporary society must possess.

Why General Education?

The accumulation of knowledge, together with independent thinking, can pro¬duce comprehensive understanding and reasoned values. Differences in values can be viewed as constructive elements in learning when students attempt to perceive the problem from the perspective of those who disagree. The purpose is to give every student pursuing an undergraduate degree the basic skills and the familiarity with various branches of knowledge which are associated with college and university education and are useful in advanced study within the university and in life beyond the university. The ultimate goal of general education is to enable students to continue to participate with active, discerning commitment in the political, ethical, and aesthetic life of the community.

How do we measure General Education?

General education is designed for all undergraduate students to examine the links between various disciplines and the relationships among areas of knowledge.  By completing the general education curricula students will discover the power and limitations of the historical foundations of thinking and understanding. In the general education curricula, critical inquiry prepares students to explore and critique their thoughts about these models through comparison with alternative models from other thinkers and cultures.

Critical Inquiry involves the development of sustained and increasingly complex levels of questioning that lead to the gathering, interpretation, and evaluation of evidence within and among disciplinary communities. A responsive general education program requires thoughtful and precise writing, critical reading, quantitative thinking, scientific inquiry, digital literacy, civic discourse and the development of the processes of analysis and synthesis which underlie reasoning.