General education is the foundation of the America educational experience, defining a set of values, skills and ideas that give a sense of coherence and connectedness to the learning process. A General Education program provides a structure in which the accumulation of knowledge and the practice of disciplined, independent thinking combine to provide students with the understanding and tools that are the hallmark of a college education
An effective General Education program requires the exercise of the thoughtful and precise writing, critical reading, quantitative thinking, and processes of analysis and synthesis which underlie valid reasoning. Therefore, students must have a solid foundation in writing, reading, mathematics, and critical thinking. Built upon these foundational skills are the complex and varied topics that make up traditional academic disciplines in any of the traditional knowledge areas – Arts and Humanities, Mathematics, Physical and Biological Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences – all critical to the central dialogues of general education.
General education also contributes to students’ lives outside the educational institutions, and to the communities in which they live. Understanding and appreciating diverse cultures, mastering multiple modes of inquiry and effectively analyzing and communicating information are key skills for an effective and innovative workforce. A General Education program familiarizes students with their place in the context of humanity as a whole, promoting both self-knowledge and an awareness of their relationships to their surrounding communities. General education also grounds students in the ideas, institutions, and practices that are the foundation of a democracy and are essential for the informed exercise of local, national, and global citizenship.
Source: State of Arizona TGECC; Rev. June 17, 1993; Rev. by the GEATF, Nov. 2, 2018