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Fundamental Literacies

Kailey CamposPictured | Kailey Campos | Elementary Education, English as a New Language | South Bend, Indiana (hometown)

Fundamental Literacies (13-19 cr.)

The development of certain fundamental skills is necessary for success in academic pursuits and also for success and fulfillment in life beyond the university. Fundamental literacies courses provide introductory training in essential academic skills that students are expected to develop more fully through repeated practice in a wide variety of courses throughout their academic careers.

Students must complete one course from each of the following seven areas, as designated in the Schedule of Classes.


The campuswide general-education curriculum requires students to demonstrate competence in written composition skills, including development of the ability to analyze written texts from a variety of disciplines and to construct clear and convincing written arguments. A grade of C or higher is required to fulfill the writing requirement.

Such a course should enable students to:

  1. Develop a thesis that establishes a position in relation to sources,goes beyond common knowledge, can be debated,and provides control, direction, and purpose to the paper.
  2. Incorporate concrete examples in most body paragraphs to develop the thesis.
  3. Incorporate an organizational structure that presents paragraphs in a meaningful progression.
  4. Demonstrate control over grammar errors while maintaining the sentence-level flexibility to clearly articulate ideas.
  5. Demonstrate sustained engagement with evidence (i.e. quotations) using appropriate citation form.
  6. Engage in writing as a social process that includes multiple drafts, collaboration and reflection.

  • ENG-W 131 Reading, Writing, and Inquiry I
  • ENG-W 140 Elementary Composition-Honors

Critical Thinking

The campuswide general education curriculum requires students to demonstrate competence in reasoning skills, including the ability to analyze, construct, and develop cogent arguments, and to articulate reasoned judgments.

Such a course should enable students to:

  1. Identify reasons that support a claim
  2. onstruct arguments for and against a claim
  3. Use widely accepted standards for evaluating the quality of evidence and reasoning

  • CSCI-C 250 Discrete Structures
  • ENG-W 270 Argumentative Writing (education students only)
  • HPSC-X 200 Scientific Reasoning
  • HSC-H 492 Research in Health Sciences
  • PHIL-P 101 Philosophy in the Public Sphere
  • PHIL-P 102 Critical Thinking and Applied Ethics
  • PHIL-P 105 Critical Thinking
  • PHIL-P 110 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL-P 250 Introductory Symbolic Logic
  • POLS-Y 201 Controversies in United States Politics
  • PSY-P 205 Understanding Research in Psychology
  • PSY-P 211 Methods of Experimental Psychology
  • SOC-S 204 The Sociological Imagination
  • SPCH-S 228 Argumentation and Debate

Oral Communication

The campuswide general education curriculum requires students to develop skill both in formal oral presentations and in the ability to recognize conventions of oral communication and the ways in which oral communication is enhanced and expanded by nonverbal means.

Such a course should enable students to:

  1. Create messages appropriate for the intended audience(s)
  2. Use appropriate supporting materials to communicate credibility and explain complex concepts to audiences.
  3. Organize messages to support a purpose, following an organizational pattern
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of ethics and authenticity in communication with others

  • SPCH-S 121 Public Speaking

Visual Literacy

Visual literacy is about the interpretation of visual media, its role in society, and how visual images can be used to convey messagesand meaning. Visual literacy courses are primarily about analyzing or producing visual media and their roles in the presentation of ideas and/or concepts. Courses in visual literacy will include cultural, historical, and social contexts as they relate to visual artifacts. The course should promote an understanding of visual media as a means of understanding the world. For these reasons, students are required as part of their General Education to complete a course in Visual Literacy.

Such a course should enable students to:

  1. Critically analyze or produce visual media and their roles in the presentation of ideas and/or concepts (such as photographs, sculpture, video, film, new media, presentations, or papers).
  2. Identify cultural, historical, and social contexts pertinent to the visual artifact.Identify appropriate visual literacy vocabulary/terminology as it relates to course media

  • BIOL-L 403 Biology Seminar
  • CHEM-C 301 Chemistry Seminar
  • CJUS-P 424 Crime Mapping and Geographic Information Systems
  • CMLT-C 190 An Introduction to Film
  • CMLT-C 293 History of the Motion Picture I
  • CMLT-C 297 Film Genres
  • CMLT-C 310 Literature and Film
    VT: Film Adaptations of Literature
  • EDUC-W 310 Integrating Computers in K-12 Classrooms
  • ENG-W 315 Writing for the Web
  • ENG-W 367 Writing for Multiple Media
  • FINA-A 109 Ways of Seeing: Visual Literacy
  • FINA-S 291 Fundamentals of Photography
  • INFO-I 310 Multimedia Arts and Technology
  • JOUR-J 210 Visual Communication
  • NURS-S 485 Professional Growth and Empowerment
  • THTR-T 228 Design for the Theatre
  • THTR-T 434 Historic Costumes for the Stage

Quantitative Reasoning

The campuswide general-education curriculum requires students to demonstrate competence in mathematical reasoning,either by scoring a 76 or higher on the ALEKS math placement exam, or by successful completion of an approved course.

Such a course should enable students to:

  1. Explain information presented in mathematical forms (e.g. equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words)
  2. Convert relevant information into various mathematical forms (e.g. equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words).
  3. Perform mathematical calculations.
  4. Communicate quantitative evidence in support of an argument for various purposes and audiences (including general audiences).

  • CJUS-K 300 Techniques of Data Analysis
  • HSC-H 322 Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • MATH-K 300 Statistical Techniques for Health Professions
  • MATH-K 310 Statistical Techniques
  • MATH-M 108 Quantitative Reasoning
  • MATH-M 111 Mathematics in the World
  • MATH-M 115 Precalculus and Trigonometry (5 cr.)
  • MATH-M 118 Finite Mathematics
  • MATH-M 119 Brief Survey of Calculus 1
  • MATH-M 208 Technical Calculus I
  • MATH-M 209 Technical Calculus II
  • MATH-M 215 Calculus I (5 cr.)
  • MATH-M 216 Calculus II (5 cr.)
  • NURS-H 355  Data Analysis and Research
  • PSY-P 354 Statistical Analysis in Psychology
  • SOC-S 351 Social Statistics
  • SWK-S 372 Statistical Reasoning in Social Work

The following two-course sequence:

  • MATH-M 125 Precalculus Mathematics; and
  • MATH-M 126 Trigonometric Functions (2 cr.)

Information Literacy

The campuswide general education curriculum requires students to demonstrate competence in modern information gathering and evaluation.

  • COAS-Q 110 Introduction to Information Literacy (1 cr.)

Computer Literacy

Courses that fulfill the General Education Computer Literacy requirement focus primarily on aspects of technology. Technology is ubiquitous and integrated into every discipline and career. Using technology is a life skill that is critical to navigate increasingly technological lives and careers. For these reasons, students are required as part of their General Education to complete a course in Computer Literacy.

Such a course should enable students to:

  1. Using computational thinking, create basic steps for solving problems
  2. Identify basic computational tools (e.g. hardware, software) in various domains
  3. Use productivity software for data analysis, presentation, and reporting
  4. Identify examples of interactions among technology, humans, and society

  • BUS-K 201 The Computer in Business
  • CSCI-A 106 Introduction to Computing
  • CSCI-A 107 Advanced Microcomputing (4 cr.)
  • CSCI-A 201 Introduction to Programming (4 cr.)
  • CSCI-C 101 Computer Programming I (4 cr.)
  • CSCI-C 201 Computer Programming II (4 cr.)
  • EDUC-W 200 Using Computers in Education
  • FINA-P 273 Computer Art and Design I
  • INFO-I 101 Introduction to Informatics (4 cr.)
  • INFO-I 210 Information Infrastructure I (4 cr.)
  • INFO-I 211 Information Infrastructure II (4 cr.)
  • MUS-T 120 Computer Skills for Musicians

Academic Bulletins

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2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.