Degree Requirements

The College is dedicated to providing all graduates of its associate’s degree programs a quality educational experience. To ensure that students have educational experiences considered essential regardless of program, all degree students must complete the College’s general education requirements.

The general education requirements are nested under seven core competencies that the institution considers essential to being an educated person in the 21st century: Critical Thinking; Effective Communication; Information Literacy; Quantitative Reasoning; Responsible Citizenship; Scientific Reasoning; and Technological Competence. Upon completing a cumulative learning experience at the College, each student is expected to demonstrate competence in all of the institutional core competencies.

General Education Requirements

In order to provide students with a foundation for lifelong learning, the College requires students to complete courses in the following four general education areas:

  1. Major Areas of Learning
    • ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 or ENGL 112
      Note: Engl 112 does not meet the Information Literacy requirement and students will still need to take Engl 102 to fulfill that general education requirement.
    • 3 credit hours in Humanities ( ENGL 101, ENGL 102, ENGL 108 and ENGL 112 may not be used to fulfill this requirement)
    • 3 credit hours in Mathematics (at FNMT 118 or above)
    • 3 credit hours in Natural Sciences
    • 3 credit hours in Social Sciences
  2. Major Academic Approaches
  3. Information Literacy
    The current requirement is met by ENGL 102.
  4. Technological Competency
    The current requirement is met by CIS 103 or other coursework as indicated on the program page.

The requirements listed above apply to all students who began their studies in the Fall 2009 semester or later. Students who began their studies prior to September 2009 should refer to a catalog for the year that they entered the College, or should consult an academic advisor or counselor. Students who changed their curriculum on or after September 2009 are required to follow the new general education requirements regardless of when they entered the College. For more information regarding general education requirements, please contact Academic Advising at 215-751-8777 or email Academic Advising.

Completing Requirements

A single course may be used to fulfill multiple General Education Requirements. For example: Courses used to fulfill requirements in major areas of learning (ENGL 101ENGL 102 or ENGL 112, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Science and Social Sciences) may be used to fulfill requirements in major academic approaches. A course may not be used to fulfill more than one requirement in major areas of learning. A course may fulfill more than one requirement in major academic approaches.

Definitions for Major Areas of Learning

Humanities: A course that fulfills the Humanities requirement is a college-level course that emphasizes analysis and exchange of ideas related to human experience, using analytical, critical, or speculative methods. The methods in Humanities differ from the creative expression of the arts or the empirical approaches of the sciences. Click here for a list of courses that fulfill the Humanities requirement.

Mathematics: A course that fulfills the Mathematics requirement is designed to promote a solid foundation for the interpretation and understanding of the world through numbers or other measures, using deductive logic, with a synthetic or analytic approach. Courses that focus on the analysis of and drawing of inductive inferences from quantitative data can satisfy this requirement, provided they have a sufficiently prominent deductive component. Math courses at the level of 118 and above fulfill the Mathematics requirement.

Natural Science: A course that fulfills the Natural Science requirement is a college-level course, designed to use the scientific method to understand and describe the natural world. Natural sciences include biology, chemistry, earth science, physics and multi-disciplinary courses such as Science, Technology and Society. Click here for a list of courses that fulfill the Natural Science requirement.

Social Sciences: A course that fulfills the Social Sciences requirement is a college-level course that focuses on the study of human behavior and/or the relationships of people within societies. Click here for a list of courses that fulfill the Social Sciences requirement.

Definitions for Major Academic Approaches

American/Global Diversity:

An American/Global Diversity Studies course is a college-level course designed to focus on either the comparative study of race/ethnicity, gender and gender relations, class, and/or religion in the United States (American Diversity), the study of a country, culture, civilization, or region outside the United States or a comparative analysis of countries, systems, or cultures outside the United States, or the study of a language other than English (Global Diversity). These courses prepare students to function effectively in a democratic society by helping them to understand the complexities and differences among the people of the United States or the complexities and differences between the cultures, languages and history of the United States and other regions of the world. Students in Liberal Arts - general and social/behavioral science options should select courses from the liberal arts course selection guide. Click here for a chart that shows courses that fulfill the American/Global Diversity requirement.

Interpretive Studies:

An Interpretive Studies course is a college-level course designed to focus on the study, analysis, and interpretation of “primary sources,” defined as those written documents, material artifacts, visual works, and musical works closest to the subject under investigation or created in the historical period or culture under study. In addition, relevant case studies and field research contained within a syllabus would be considered an interpretive endeavor. Click here for a chart that shows courses that fulfill the Interpretive Studies requirement.

Writing Intensive:

A Writing Intensive course is a college-level course designed to integrate the teaching of writing with the teaching of specific subject matter. Writing Intensive courses are offered across the curriculum and may overlap with other degree requirements. A Writing Intensive course should include the practice of general forms of academic or creative writing or the introduction of specific forms of academic writing common to the discipline or set of disciplines pertaining to the course. The course should approach writing as a process of planning, drafting, revising and editing. Click here for a chart that shows courses that fulfill the Writing Intensive requirement.

Definitions of Information Literacy and Technological Competency

Information Literacy: Information Literacy is defined as the ability to determine the extent of a need for information, access it effectively and efficiently, evaluate it critically, incorporate the information into a knowledge base, accomplish a specific purpose with it, and access and use this information ethically and legally. Information literacy includes proficiency in acquisition (finding, assessing, and utilizing repositories of information, both traditional and electronic) and integration (critically evaluating, digesting and synthesizing information from disparate sources).

Technological Competency:

Students identify, create, and manipulate technological tools and digital content. Students operate computers, peripherals, electronic devices, learning management systems, and other technology as related to their program of study. Students use electronic spreadsheets and/or database management systems to organize, analyze, and/or retrieve data. Students use word processing and slide presentation software to design clear academic and professional documents that integrate design concepts, elements, applications, and objects. Students use computer technology to collaborate and network. Students identify and respond appropriately to ethical and legal issues related to privacy and security in information technology and the handling of data.

Courses that Fulfill Specific Requirements for Major Areas of Learning

Below are lists of courses that fulfill specific requirements for Major Areas of Learning. In no case may a course with a number below 100 be used to fulfill a general education requirement.

Humanities Requirement

  • Architecture, Design & Construction 176
  • Art 101, 103, 104, 120, 205
  • English 100 and 200 levels, other than 101, 102, 108, 112, 122, 124
  • World Languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Music 103, 105, 106, 120, 121
  • Philosophy
  • Photography 111, 113
  • Religious Studies

Natural Science Requirement

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Physics
  • Applied Science and Engineering Technology
  • Science, Technology and Society

Social Sciences Requirement

  • Architecture, Design & Construction 176
  • Anthropology
  • Earth Science
  • Economics
  • Education 214
  • Gender Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Justice 171
  • Philosophy 151
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies 101, 151, 170, 175
  • Sociology

Courses that Fulfill Specific Requirements for Major Academic Approaches

These charts show courses which fulfill requirements for Major Academic Approaches: American/Global Diversity, Interpretive Studies and Writing Intensive.

The Link between General Education and Core Competencies

The College’s general education requirements are nested under core competencies identified to assist students in developing the attitudes, knowledge and behaviors expected through its general education requirements. Students who complete the general education requirements develop the following core competencies:

  • Critical Thinking: Students will actively reflect on, reason about, and form independent judgments on a variety of ideas and information, and use these skills to guide their beliefs and actions.
  • Effective Communication: Students will be able to make a written, oral or visual presentation that demonstrates comprehension of any source of information and that addresses the assigned topic, expresses a thesis, develops a sustained focus on the central idea, organizes supportive ideas around the thesis, and uses correct diction, syntax, usage, grammar and mechanics.
  • Information Literacy: Students will be able to retrieve, organize, analyze and evaluate information using both technological and traditional means.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Students will demonstrate the ability to understand and communicate mathematical principles and to follow an extended line of formal reasoning.
  • Responsible Citizenship: Students will demonstrate an awareness of the responsibilities of informed citizenship in a diverse and pluralistic society. Students will demonstrate self-management in the requirements that come with one’s role as a student in the classroom and at the college; demonstrate integrity in one’s role as a student relative to other students, faculty, staff and administrators; and demonstrate effort to understand the perspective of others and to respond to others with well-founded thoughts.
  • Scientific Reasoning: Students will demonstrate an understanding of scientific principles and apply them to theoretical and practical issues, and interpret measurable and/or observable information through inference and analogy to develop hypotheses and draw conclusions.
  • Technological Competency: Students will demonstrate the ability to use computers and related technology in school, at work, and at home. (See above)