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General Education Matrix

Skill AreasKnowledge AreasSummaryAssessmentComments form

State-Level Goals:
Skill Areas
Institutional Competencies Course(s) &
Credit Hours
(All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated)
To develop students' effective use of the English language and other symbolic systems essential to their success in school and in the world. Students should be able to read and listen critically and to write and speak with thoughtfulness, clarity, coherence and persuasiveness.
  • Analyze and evaluate their own and others' speaking and writing.
  • Conceive of writing as a recursive process that involves many strategies, including generating material, evaluating sources when used, drafting, revising and editing.
  • Make formal written and oral presentations employing correct diction, syntax, usage, grammar and mechanics.
  • Focus on a purpose (e.g., explaining, problem solving, argument) and vary approaches to writing and speaking based on that purpose.
  • Respond to the needs of different venues and audiences and choose words for appropriateness and effect.
COMM 110
Introduction to Speech

ENGL 112
English Composition II

(ENGL 111 English Composition I is a prerequisite for ENGL 112).

Higher Order Thinking
To develop students' ability to distinguish among opinions, facts and inferences; to identify underlying or implicit assumptions; to make informed judgments; and to solve problems by applying evaluative standards.
  • Recognize the problematic elements of presentations of information and argument and to formulate diagnostic questions for resolving issues and solving problems.
  • Use linguistic, mathematical or other symbolic approaches to describe problems, identify alternative solutions, and make reasoned choices among those solutions.
  • Analyze and synthesize information from a variety of sources and apply the results to resolving complex situations and problems.
  • Defend conclusions using relevant evidence and reasoned argument.
  • Reflect on and evaluate their critical-thinking processes.
All General Education courses synergistically.
Managing Information
To develop students' abilities to locate, organize, store, retrieve, evaluate, synthesize and annotate information from print, electronic and other sources in preparation for solving problems and making informed decisions.
  • Access and/or generate information from a variety of sources, including the most contemporary technological information services.
  • Evaluate information for its currency, usefulness, truthfulness and accuracy.
  • Organize, store and retrieve information efficiently.
  • Reorganize information for an intended purpose, such as research projects.
  • Present information clearly and concisely, using traditional and contemporary technologies.
CISS 170 Introduction to Computer Information Systems is the foundation course.

State-Level Goals:
Knowledge Areas
Institutional Competencies Course(s) & Credit Hours
(All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated)
To develop students' abilities to understand the moral and ethical values of a diverse society and to understand that many courses of action are guided by value judgments about the way things ought to be. Students should be able to make informed decisions through identifying personal values and the values of others and through understanding how such values develop. They should be able to analyze the ethical implications of choices made on the basis of these values.
  • Compare and contrast historical and cultural ethical perspectives and belief systems.
  • Utilize cultural, behavioral and historical knowledge to clarify and articulate a personal value system.
  • Recognize the ramifications of one's value decisions on self and others.
  • Recognize conflicts within and between value systems and recognize and analyze ethical issues as they arise in a variety of contexts.
  • Consider multiple perspectives, recognize biases, deal with ambiguity and take a reasonable position.
PHIL 330 Ethics
or approved departmental ethics course.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
To develop students' understanding of themselves and the world around them through study of content and the processes used by historians and social and behavioral scientists to discover, describe, explain and predict human behavior and social systems. Students must understand the diversities and complexities of the cultural and social world, past and present, and come to an informed sense of self and others.
  • Explain social institutions, structures and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Develop and communicate hypothetical explanations for individual human behavior within the large-scale historical and social context.
  • Draw on history and the social sciences to evaluate contemporary problems.
  • Describe and analytically compare social, cultural and historical settings and processes other than one's own.
  • Articulate the interconnectedness of people and places around the globe.
  • Describe and explain the constitutions of the United States and Missouri.
Social and behavioral sciences distribution (6 hrs. total):

ECON 293
ECON 294
GEOG 101
Introduction to Geography
POSC 111
American National Government
PSYC 101
General Psychology
SOCI 111
General Sociology
SOCI 112
General Anthropology

History distribution (6 hrs. total):

HIST 101
Western Civilization I
HIST 102
Western Civilization II
HlST 121
American History to 1877
HIST 122
American History since 1877

Humanities and Fine Arts
To develop students' understanding of the ways in which humans have addressed their condition through imaginative work in the humanities and fine arts; to deepen their understanding of how that imaginative process is informed and limited by social, cultural, linguistic and historical circumstances; and to appreciate the world of the creative imagination as a form of knowledge.
  • Describe the scope and variety of works in the humanities and fine arts (e.g., fine and performing arts, literature and speculative thought).
  • Explain the historical, cultural and social contexts of the humanities and fine arts.
  • Identify the aesthetic standards used to make critical judgments in various artistic fields.
  • Develop a plausible understanding of the differences and relationships between formal and popular culture
  • Articulate a response based upon aesthetic standards to observance of works in the humanities and fine arts.
Humanities and Arts distribution (6 hrs. total):

ARTS 105 Art Appreciation
ARTS 111 Art and Ideas I
ARTS 112 Art and Ideas II
COMM 203 Understanding Human Communication
ENGL 210 Introduction to Fiction
ENGL 123 Intro, to Mythology and Folklore
ENGL 211 Introduction to Poetry
ENGL 212 Introduction to Drama
ENGL 231 English Literature I
ENGL 232 English Literature II
ENGL 241 American Literature I
ENGL 242 American Literature II
ENGL 263 World Literature I
ENGL 264 World Literature II
MUSI 122 Music Appreciation
PHIL 201 Intro. to Western Philosophy
PHIL 202 Intro. to Eastern Philosophies and Religions
PHIL 210 Logic
RELI 101 Religion and Human Experience
RELl 202 Intro. to Eastern Philosophies and Religions
SPAN 101 Beginning Conversational Spanish I (5 hrs.)
SPAN 102 Beginning Conversational Spanish II (5 hrs.) or other approved foreign language.

To develop students' understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts and their applications. Students should develop a level of quantitative literacy that would enable them to make decisions and solve problems and which could serve as a basis for continued learning. (The mathematics requirements for general education should have the same prerequisite(s) and level of rigor as college algebra.)
  • Describe contributions to society from the discipline of mathematics.
  • Recognize and use connections within mathematics and between mathematics and other disciplines.
  • Read, interpret, analyze and synthesize quantitative data (e.g., graphs, tables, statistics and survey data) and make reasoned estimates.
  • Formulate and use generalizations based upon pattern recognition.
  • Apply and use mathematical models (e.g., algebraic, geometric, statistical) to solve problems.
MATH 150 College Algebra or higher level mathematics course
MATH 170 Finite Mathematics
MATH 180 Precalculus
MATH 201 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I (5 hrs.)
MATH 215 AND MATH 226 Calculus and Analytic Geometry IA and IB (Taken as a pair)
MATH 250 Statistics I
Life and Physical Sciences
To develop students' understanding of the principles and laboratory procedures of life and physical sciences and to cultivate their abilities to apply the empirical methods of scientific inquiry. Students should understand how scientific discovery changes theoretical views of the world, informs our imaginations, and shapes human history. Students should also understand that science is shaped by historical and social contexts.
  • Explain how to use the scientific method and how to develop and test hypotheses in order to draw defensible conclusions.
  • Evaluate scientific evidence and argument.
  • Describe the basic principles of the physical universe.
  • Describe concepts of the nature, organization and evolution of living systems.
  • Explain how human choices affect the earth and living systems.
Science and Mathematics distribution; students may elect to take two science courses or one science and one mathematics course (6 hrs. total):

ASTR 108 Introduction to Astronomy
BIOL 110 Principles of Biology
BIOL 11OL Biology Laboratory (2)
BIOL 115 Intro. to Environmental Science
BIOL 115L Intro. to Environmental Science Laboratory (2)
CHEM 108 Physical Science Survey
CHEM 108L Physical Science Survey Laboratory (2)
CHEM 110 Chemistry I
CHEM 11OL Chemistry I Laboratory (2)
ENVS 115 Intro. to Environmental Science
ENVS 115L Intro. to Environmental Science Laboratory (2)
GEOL 110 Introduction to Geology (5)
PHYS 108 Physical Science Survey
PHYS 108L Physical Science Survey Laboratory (2)
PHYS 111 College Physics I
PHYS 111L Physics I Laboratory (2)

Basic Studies: CISS 170 (3)
COMM 110 (3)
ENGL 111 (3)
MATH 150 (3)
Introductory Studies: Arts & Humanities distribution (6)
Behavior and Social Sciences distribution (6)
History distribution (6)
Science and Mathematics distribution (5+)
Ethics: Approved Ethics course 3
TOTAL Minimum Hours of General Education Courses Required: 38
TOTAL Equivalent Hours When First English Composition Competency Included: 42


Columbia College administers the Academic Profile (AP) (Short Form) during the student's senior year to assess general education learning outcomes. The AP is also administered as a "pre-test" during the first semester of the student's freshman year.

Results are given to the faculty Academic Assessment Committee for analysis and recommendation to the general faculty.

Columbia College seeks comments about its General Education matrix. Please write your comments in the space below. Include your name, title and institution.