Appalachian’s General Education Program offers a rigorous liberal education that includes 44 semester hours of courses from across the university, plus two courses in the major program that address the General Education goals of critical and creative thinking; effective communication; making local-to-global connections; and understanding responsibilities of community membership.
Our General Education curriculum aligns with the University’s Strategic Plan directive to create a transformational educational experience by: facilitating interdisciplinary and integrative approaches to teaching and learning; enhancing academic quality and improving student retention and success; and engaging students in diverse experiences to increase their intercultural competence and cultivate engaged global citizenship.
Appalachian’s General Education curriculum also aligns with national best practices that empower students, regardless of their chosen major, with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a strong sense of values, ethics, and civic engagement for responsible global citizenship. We respond to the demands of the 21st century for broadly educated, informed, and engaged citizens. We prepare college graduates with higher levels of learning and knowledge as well as strong intellectual and practical skills to navigate this more demanding environment successfully and responsibly.
To empower students with the habits of mind essential for making positive contributions as engaged citizens in an interconnected world.
Why a Liberal Education?
A college education does more than train you for a career. It helps you develop intellectual skills that will enhance your professional, civic, and personal life for years to come. You will learn how to analyze the world around you from different perspectives, how to communicate your ideas and understand the ideas of others, how to solve problems, and how to apply your knowledge to real-world projects. In two recent surveys by Hart Research Associates and Northeastern University, up to 93% of employers surveyed indicated that, when they are looking for employees, they value these skills even more than skills specific to their field.
This approach to learning is called liberal education. In this usage, the word liberal refers to the ancient Roman word meaning "free, unrestricted." A liberal education is designed to introduce you to new ways of understanding and interacting with your world so you can develop broader knowledge and a more nimble mind. To read a student perspective on the value of liberal education, read Student Body President Dylan Russell's 2013 address to the faculty.
Your liberal education at Appalachian begins with the General Education Program. About one-third of the courses you will take during your college years will be General Education courses from across the university. In them, you will encounter new perspectives on important subjects and explore connections between different areas of study. The General Education Program includes 44 semester hours of courses, plus two courses in the major program that address the General Education goals. To learn more about the curriculum, click on the graphic to the right.