- General Education
- Overview of Gen Ed
- Goals of Gen Ed
- Autumn Term
- Human Experience
- College Program Series
- Quest for Meaning
- Perspective Courses
- Writing Portfolio
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General Education Requirements
The general education curriculum at Eckerd College begins with a student's first course, usually an Autumn Term project or Life, Learning, and Vocation; in addition to a focus on a particular subject, these initial courses introduce you to the expectations of college-level academic work and to the educational support services available to them at the College. The two-semester, interdisciplinary freshman sequence, Human Experience, focuses on influential texts from western and non-western traditions and is designed in part to enhance students' cultural literacy. The emphasis is on enduring classics and widely influential materials that have contributed to their respective cultures. Because Eckerd College has a strong commitment to the liberal arts and sciences curriculum as the source of the College's learning community, every full-time member of the faculty teaches the course on a rotating basis, not only to provide students with a model of the educated mind at work, but also as a way of renewing his or her own liberal education. Thus, students observe Eckerd faculty modeling the kind of rigorous, open-minded, liberally educated approach to learning that we intend students to develop for themselves.
The Academic Area component requires you to take at least one approved course in each of the four classic liberal arts academic areas: arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. The foreign language component requires first-year students to complete the equivalent of at least two semesters of a foreign language. Each student must successfully complete at least one college-level quantitative course. Our Environmental and Global Perspectives requirements ask you to address two of the pressing issues that face our world: environmental problems and the interaction among different cultures and beliefs in our increasingly global society.
The required senior general education course, Quest for Meaning (QFM), is an interdisciplinary capstone to the general education curriculum. The structure of this course echoes the structure of the general education curriculum in order to help you answer for yourself the question of how one creates a meaningful life. In QFM, students explore issues of meaning, purpose, and value through the perspectives of different academic disciplines and various religious and ethical traditions. This course will ask you to consider your civic obligation to address issues having to do with the environment and with the conflicts among differing cultural, ethnic, and religious perspectives. As part of this course, you will also complete a service learning component, which will take you out into the local community and encourage you to consider the ways in which service to others contributes to an individual's creation of a meaningful life.
Finally, there are several general education requirements that students must satisfy outside of the context of a single, particular course. Students must demonstrate writing competency by submitting a portfolio of four papers that is evaluated by an interdisciplinary faculty committee. Many students enroll in composition courses in order to develop the writing skills they will need to satisfy this requirement, but students can also develop written communication skills through writing assignments in courses throughout the major and the general education program. Oral communication skills are developed throughout the general education program and in the majors. Each student must demonstrate first-year proficiency in oral communication as one of the requirements for Human Experience and senior-level proficiency as one of the requirements for a specially designated oral communication course in the major or concentration. Students receive instruction in technological and information literacy in Human Experience and must demonstrate proficiency. To satisfy the College Program Series requirement, students attend at least four events each semester of the freshman and sophomore year from a selection of intellectual and/or cultural events specifically designated as College Program Series events.
The general education curriculum is central to the College's intellectual life and involves all students and all faculty in the on-going conversations about ideas and values that lie at the heart of a liberal arts and sciences education. The list below summarizes the requirements of the general education program at Eckerd.
- An Autumn Term course, Winter Term course, or Life, Learning, and Vocation
- Human Experience (2 semesters, freshman year)
- Quantitative Methods (one course from among specified, college-level courses in mathematics, computer science, formal logic or statistics)
- Foreign Language (1 year of language at the college level)
- Arts Academic Area (one course from among specified courses in Communication, Creative Writing, Interdisciplinary Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Theater)
- Humanities Academic Area (one course from among specified courses in American Studies, Foreign Language, History, Humanities, Philosophy, Literature, Religious Studies, Classics, Rhetoric, Women's and Gender Studies)
- Natural Sciences Academic Area (one course from among specified courses in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Marine Science, Mathematics, Physics)
- Social Sciences Academic Area (one course from among specified courses in Anthropology, Economics, Human Development, International Business, International Relations, Management Political Science, Psychology, Sociology)
- Environmental Perspective (one course from among specified courses addressing issues in the environmental realm)
- Global Perspective (one course from among specified courses addressing issues of the world's diversity)
- Quest for Meaning (1 semester, senior year)
- Writing Competency (as demonstrated by a portfolio of writing)
- Oral Communication Proficiency (in Human Experience and in the student's major)
- Technological and Information Literacy (in Human Experience)
- College Program Series (attendance at 16 intellectual and/or cultural events specifically designated as College Program Series events)