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Core Curriculum (General Education) for Georgia Tech
General Education Mission Statement
General Education (Core Curriculum) at the Georgia Institute of Technology is essential to the development of our extraordinary students beyond the deeply rigorous technical and applied education they receive.
General Education at Georgia Tech is designed to produce students who are:
Georgia Tech General Education is also designed to produce students who are able to:
Additionally, it strives to:
General Education at Georgia Tech seeks to develop students who have an appreciation for technology, society, and their interaction and to produce students who will utilize these talents to substantially impact the future as leaders and lifelong learners.
The following learning outcomes were approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee at Georgia Tech and by the USG Council on General Education in April 2011.
Learning Goal A1 – Communication
Student will demonstrate proficiency in the process of articulating and organizing rhetorical arguments in written, oral, visual, and nonverbal modes, using concrete support and conventional language. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet Core Area A1 - Communication.
Learning Goal A2: Quantitative
Student will demonstrate the ability to apply basic elements of differential and integral calculus to solve relevant problems. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet Core Area A2 - Quantitative.
Learning Goal B: Institutional Options
Student will be able to develop algorithms and implement them using an appropriate computer language and will understand algorithmic complexity and reasonable versus unreasonable algorithms. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet Core Area B – Institutional Options.
Learning Goal C: - Humanities, Fine Arts, and Ethics
Student will be able to describe relationships among languages, philosophies, cultures, literature, ethics, or the arts. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet Core Area C.
Learning Goal D: Natural Sciences, Math, and Technology
Student will be able to demonstrate the ability to obtain, analyze, interpret, and criticize qualitative observations and quantitative measurements to explain natural phenomena and to test hypotheses. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet the Core Area D – Natural Sciences, Math, and Technology.
Learning Goal E: Social Sciences
Student will demonstrate the ability to describe the social, political, and economic forces that influence social behavior. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet Core Area E.
Learning Goal F: Lower-Division Major Requirements
It is expected that there will be 18 hours of lower division requirements in each major.
Constitution and History Requirements
The Georgia law as amended March 4, 1953, requires that before receiving an undergraduate degree all students pass an examination or a comparable course in United States and Georgia history/constitution. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet the Constitution and History Requirements.
All undergraduate students attending Georgia Tech must satisfactorily complete a wellness requirement (HPS 1040 or equivalent).
Learning Goal I: US Perspectives
Student will be able to describe the role of diverse interests and groups in shaping the history, politics, society, or institutions of the United States. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet the US Perspectives Overlay area.
Learning Goal II: Global Perspectives
Student will demonstrate the ability to describe the social, political, and economic forces that influence the global system. See the Catalog for a list of courses that meet the Global Perspectives Overlay area.
Learning Goal III: Critical Thinking
Student will be able to judge factual claims and theories on the basis of evidence.
Critical Thinking Plan
We define critical thinking as systematically analyzing and questioning information in a manner that identifies and evaluates problems, processes, values, assumptions, and arguments in order to reach understanding, determine solutions, and initiate actions.
Virtually all courses at Georgia Tech integrate critical thinking into the curriculum. Administrators and instructors use a number of methods to assess critical thinking competencies in individual courses. The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking identifies seven universal intellectual standards for critical thinking “whenever one is interested in checking the quality of reasoning about a problem, issue, or situation”: (1) Clarity, (2) Accuracy, (3) Precision, (4) Relevance, (5) Depth, (6) Breadth, and (7) Logic (Foundation for Critical Thinking. A Model for the National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking: www.criticalthinking.org/assessment/a-model-nal-assessment-hot.cfm).
All students at Georgia Tech complete English 1101 and two lab science courses to satisfy Core Areas A-E. The curricula of our English 1101 and lab sciences courses ensure that students will be able to judge factual claims and theories on the basis of evidence.
English. The programmatic outcomes include critical thinking as a major category. Students in English 1101 plan, create, and present written, oral, and visual artifacts that include arguments with a logical central claim supported by verifiable evidence. This student work is analyzed and assessed by course instructors using a programmatic communication rubric that includes a category for “Stance and Support.” At the end of the semester, students collect their work into individual portfolios that demonstrate critical thinking in their artifacts as well as in their reflections about their processes.
Lab Science. All students at Georgia Tech are required to take at least two laboratory science course. The very nature of laboratory science courses requires that students think critically about the observable behavior of natural phenomenon. The required laboratory experiments require that the students first determine an expected behavior of some system, based on theoretical and mathematical analysis of known behaviors. They then design an experimental approach where they can observe whether the system does in fact respond as expected under a known set of conditions. When differences between theory and experimental results are observed, which is in fact often the case, students must think about sources of error. These can be either due to flaws in the theoretical analysis, an incorrect experimental approach, errors in the actual execution of the experiment, or errors in the measurements of the phenomenon. All of these require significant thought and analysis on the part of the student.
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