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General Education Learning Outcomes

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General education encompasses the breadth of knowledge involving the major intellectual and aesthetic skills and achievements of humanity. This must include understanding and appreciation of the pluralistic nature of knowledge epitomized by the natural sciences, quantitative skills, social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and arts. To achieve and share such an understanding and appreciation, skills in self-expression, quantitative analysis, information literacy, and collaborative interaction are necessary. General education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. General education, in essence, aims to cultivate a knowledgeable, informed, literate human being.

Penn State General Education Learning Outcomes

An effective general education program enables students to:

(1) Acquire knowledge through critical information gathering - including reading, listening, computer-assisted searching, and scientific experimentation and observation.

(2) Analyze and evaluate where appropriate in a quantitative manner, the acquired knowledge.

(3) Integrate knowledge from a variety of sources and fields.

(4) Make critical judgments in a logical and rational manner.

(5) Develop the skills to maintain health, and understand the factors that impinge upon it.

(6) Communicate effectively, both in writing and orally, and using the accepted methods for presentation, organization and debate particular to their disciplines.

(7) Proceed independently and in collaboration with others in seeking and sharing knowledge.

(8) Gain understanding of international interdependence and cultural diversity, and develop consideration for values, lifestyles, and traditions that may differ from their own.

(9) Comprehend the role of aesthetic and creative activities expressing both imagination and experience.

Approved by The Pennsylvania State University Faculty Senate, December 1997.

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