General Education Requirements

Undergraduate Programs

The following general education principles guide the achievement of excellence in undergraduate education at IU Northwest. They describe university level capabilities, knowledge across disciplines, awareness of diversity and ethics that we believe every graduate of an IU Northwest baccalaureate degree program should attain. These principles embrace learning experiences that prepare students for lifelong learning, ethical practices, successful careers, and effective citizenship. The courses required to fulfill the General Education Program will vary depending upon the specific major that the student chooses. Each academic division has incorporated specific general education courses into the degree requirements to insure that the following five principles and their learning outcomes are achieved.

Principle 1 Foundations for Effective Learning and Communication

Fluency in reading, writing, and oral communication; mastery of the basic principles of logical, mathematical, and scientific reasoning; and literacy in information resources and learning technologies.

Reading and Writing - Students will:

  • Read actively and critically, analyzing and evaluating a writer's ideas and assumptions, use of illustrations, examples and evidence, and the effectiveness of the structure and style of challenging written texts.
  • Analyze and evaluate the relationship between a writer's central purpose in a text and the rhetorical means-ethical, emotional, and logical-used to advance that purpose.
  • Use the writing process as a tool of inquiry to discover, explore, test, and develop ideas.
  • Draft and revise written texts that provide readers with effectively organized and clearly integrated support-in the form of illustrations and examples, relevant and sufficient data, and other pertinent sources of information and ideas-of a well-formulated thesis.
  • Incorporate the words and ideas of others correctly and effectively, as support of the text's thesis.
  • Edit written texts for clarity and appropriateness of style, precision of language, and correctness in grammar and punctuation, and adhere to the expectations of an appropriate documentation style.

Oral Communication - Students will:

  • Demonstrate a clearly defined purpose through an effective delivery of oral presentations that manifest logical organization,  proper grammar, appropriate word choices, and coherent sentence structure.
  • Present a central idea, clearly reasoned arguments, and an audience-centered perspective that takes account of communicative differences across cultures.
  • Engage in ethical practices that include citation of credible sources.
  • Demonstrate effective use of media and technologies that enhance the presentation.

Logical Reasoning outcomes appear among outcomes in domains 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Mathematical Reasoning - Students will:

  • Use mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables to draw inferences.
  • Represent mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically, and verbally.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively use arithmetic, algebraic, geometric, logical and/or statistical methods to model and solve real world problems.

Scientific Reasoning - Students will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and explain how scientific theories are formulated, tested, and validated.
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply scientific methods which include defining parameters of problem, seeking relevant information, subjecting proposed solutions to rigorous testing, and drawing conclusions based on the process.

Information Literacy - Students will:

  • Determine the nature and extent of the information and the information sources needed.
  • Access the information efficiently from a diverse set of information sources.
  • Evaluate the information sources critically and incorporate selected information into papers and projects.
  • Utilize information sources ethically and effectively document and communicate acquired information to accomplish a specific purpose.

Learning Technologies Literacy - Students will:

  • Use appropriate technologies as a tool to solve problems and to accomplish given tasks.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use and learn new technologies.
  • Use computer and other technologies effectively and appropriately to communicate information in a variety of formats.
  • Use appropriate technology resources to identify and evaluate information, create and transfer knowledge.
Principle 2 Breadth of Learning

Mastery of the core concepts, principles, and methods in arts and humanities, cultural and historical studies, the social and behavioral sciences, and the mathematical, physical, and life sciences.

Arts and Humanities - Students will:

  • Articulate how intellectual traditions from diverse parts of the world shape present cultures.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a broad range of significant literary, philosophical, historical, linguistic, or religious works and approaches.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the fine, performing or creative arts contribute to many aspects of human experience.

Cultural and Historical Studies - Students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge about diverse cultures and societies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the experiences and worldviews of groups defined by ethnicity, race, social class, language, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disabilities.
  • Analyze the interconnectedness of global and local concerns or explain how political or historical processes shape civilizations.

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Students will:

  • Explain the methods of inquiry used by social or behavioral scientists.
  • Explain behavior using social or behavioral science theories and concepts.
  • Explain the factors that influence how different societies organize themselves or how individual differences influence various spheres of human activity.

Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences - Students will:

  • Use mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables to draw inferences.
  • Represent mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically, and verbally.
  • Use arithmetic, algebraic, geometric, logical, and/or statistical methods to model real world problems.
  • Recognize and understand how scientific theories are formulated, tested, and validated.
  • Approach problems using scientific methods, which include: defining parameters of problem, seeking relevant information, subjecting proposed solutions to rigorous testing, and drawing conclusions based on the process.
Principle 3 Critical Thinking, Integration, and Application of Knowledge

Logical analysis and synthesis of information and ideas from multiple perspectives; critical acquisition, integration, and application of knowledge in students' intellectual, personal, professional, and community lives.

Students will:

  • Raise vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely
  • Gather and assess relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively
  • Come to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards
  • Think open-mindedly about alternative systems of thought or beliefs, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
  • Communicate effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems

IU Northwest students should be able to apply these skills within their disciplines.

Principle 4 Diversity

Valuing the diversity of human experience, as exemplified in race, ethnicity, social class, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disabilities; understanding how these categories are often used to create injustice; recognizing our common human heritage and the interconnectedness of communities in the region, the nation, and the world.

Students will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of cultural diversity in a variety of contexts.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the relationships between social structures, social justice, and human rights.
  • Demonstrate understanding of racial minority experiences and diverse worldviews and the manner in which they shape U.S. culture and the world.
Principle 5 Ethics and Citizenship

The application of the principles of ethics and governance to the larger society, one's immediate community, and to individual conduct on campus and in society.

Students will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to reason ethically and apply ethical principles when making decisions.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the responsibilities and roles of being a citizen and strategies for being involved in a democratic society.

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