Nov 16, 2018  
2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog

General Education


The university regularly reviews and evaluates its general education requirements and this process may result in some changes to the program. Such changes may affect the sequencing and delivery of the program within the current course requirements and will broaden the general education experience. Should these changes occur, they will be announced to the university community in a timely manner and added as a supplement to this catalog.

Education at a college or university has traditionally had two equally important components-depth and breadth. Depth is provided by the academic major which a student chooses and which prepares him or her for a useful vocation; breadth of knowledge is the concern and aim of the general education curriculum. Since men and women first began to discuss the nature and purpose of education, they have seen in it something more than the mere acquisition of specific knowledge or skills, important as these may be. This something they called a liberal or general education and the need for it has been based on the ideal that a breadth of knowledge is necessary for an individual to become an informed and literate member of society.

Shippensburg University subscribes to this ideal. While the selection of an academic major and elective courses allows the student freedom of individual choice, the general education program at Shippensburg is rooted in the assumption each person shares significant relationships with the larger human community and must acknowledge the necessary balance between individual preferences and community needs. At its best, general education can help the student to see the interrelatedness and connectedness of the human experience. This collective experience, the world in which we live, has been formed within the conceptual frameworks which have been worked out by the human race in our common past and are now embodied in our institutions and modes of thought. It is only through a knowledge of these frameworks we can understand each other and make sense of our own experience. Shippensburg University believes a generally educated student is one whose university curriculum has helped him or her to understand and to operate within the main frameworks and patterns of discourse which the human mind has framed for itself.

The study of these frameworks constitutes the general education curriculum at Shippensburg University. Its goal is to help each student to develop, for his or her own sake, the capacity for rational thought, understanding, and participation within our complex, changing and often overwhelming world. The complexity of our society is reflected in the diversity and wide range of experience of the Shippensburg student body and academic community. It must also be reflected in a general education program which allows that complexity and its interconnectedness to be appreciated and understood. Because there are different modes of rational thought and expression, a general education can be best achieved through a variety of intellectual experiences which provide a common agenda for study, investigation, and a common discourse.

Required Skills and Competencies


At Shippensburg, the study and investigation begins with the completion of courses, usually taken during a student's first or second year at the university, in four required basic skills. These skills are fluency in writing, fluency in speaking, competency in mathematics, and cultural awareness through historical perspective. Each is essential to comprehension of a complex and diverse world and, especially, to effective participation in it. Each skill is also linked to the remainder of the general education curriculum and to a student's entire academic experience. For instance, the world history requirement not only provides an awareness current issues and conditions are shaped by their past but also offers broad cultural perspectives which are useful for the study of any discipline at the university. Mastery of the spoken word can be used effectively throughout one's life and career and will be required frequently in a student's academic course work. Mathematics is the language of the natural sciences and, increasingly, the social sciences. It also has many important and necessary applications in the humanities and other fields of study. But perhaps the most important basic skill is writing fluency. Writing is really a form of concentrated thinking and is indispensable to all disciplines and modes of thought. The required English composition course provides an appropriate foundation for this skill, but some writing will also be expected of a student in nearly every course he or she takes at Shippensburg.

To achieve these basic skills, undergraduates are required to take five courses for a total of 15 credit hours in the following areas:

Fluency in Writing


Students must take one of the following for 3 credits:

Fluency in Speaking


Students must take the following for 3 credits:

Historical Perspectives


Students must take the following two courses for a total of 6 credit hours:

Mathematical Competency


Students must take one mathematics course numbered 100 or higher, for 3-4 credit hours, or must place at the Advanced Level through the university placement policy.

Placement Testing


The mission of the Placement Testing Program is to ensure undergraduate students are sufficiently prepared to succeed in the courses required by Shippensburg University's General Education Program. Student proficiency is ascertained by administering reading, writing (English), and mathematics. SAT scores are used to determine if students must take the mathematics, writing (English) and/or reading tests. Students who must take these tests will be notified.

Transfer students who need further course work in mathematics and/or writing may be required to test. These students will be notified of the testing requirement.

Writing


The First Year Writing Program is designed to provide students with sufficient writing skills to meet undergraduate requirements. Students are placed in the writing course that best meets their needs based on their SAT score in writing and their performance on the writing placement test. Four placements are possible. Most students qualify for ENG 114 - Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar Credits: 3 , successful completion of which fulfills the university writing competency requirement. Those who would benefit from smaller classes and more attention to the development of writing skills will be assigned to ENG 113 - Introduction to Academic Writing Credits: 3 . Those with significant writing challenges will be placed in ENG 050 - Basic Writing Credits: 3 *. Upon earning a grade of C or better in ENG 113 , these students are then qualified to enroll in ENG 114  . Students who show considerable promise in writing may be invited to schedule ENG 115 - Advanced Placement Writing Credits: 3 , which also fulfills the competency requirement.

Note


*Developmental course work does not count towards the 120 credit minimum needed for graduation.

Level 1: ENG 050 Basic Writing  

Level 2: ENG 113 Introduction to Academic Writing  

Level 3: ENG 114 Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar  

Level 4: ENG 115 Advanced Placement Writing  

Reading


Reading efficiently is vital to college success. The Reading Placement Test measures reading comprehension in short and long narratives as well as the understanding of the relationship between sentences. Students who score below the minimum level are required to improve their reading skills by earning a grade of at least a C in RDG 050 Developmental Reading and Study Skills .

Mathematics


Shippensburg University requires all students to satisfy a college-level mathematics competency in order to qualify for graduation. According to SAT-M score or placement testing scores, students' math skills are classified at one of the following levels:

Levels 1-2


Students who place at level 1 or 2 may be required to improve their proficiency in mathematics by taking a developmental mathematics course as a prerequisite for enrolling in college-level mathematics coursework.

For students who place at level 1, successfully passing a developmental mathematics course is a prerequisite for all college-level mathematics courses. Students must commence the developmental mathematics course within one calendar year of enrollment at Shippensburg.

For students who place at level 2, successfully passing a developmental mathematics course is a prerequisite for algebraically intensive courses which require level 3 placement. However, these students have access to courses designated with a level 2 placement without any further remediation.

There are a variety of options available for meeting this requirement. Students who place at level 1 or 2 will receive further information from the Placement Testing Office.

Levels 3-4


Students who place at level 3 or 4, based on SAT scores or the placement test, must pass at least one college-level math course. Some majors require a particular course, and that particular course may list a second course as a prerequisite dependent on the individual student's placement level.

Levels 5-6


Students who place at levels 5 or 6, based on SAT scores or the placement test, have fulfilled the university competency requirement unless required by major.

Categories of Knowledge


The second component of the general education curriculum at Shippensburg is the completion of eleven courses distributed among five categories of knowledge. Taken together, these categories embrace the modes and current frameworks of human expression, thought, and organization which are characteristic of our diverse society. The university believes awareness and understanding of the principles and intellectual skills associated with the disciplines contained in each category are necessary for a comprehensive education and for a well-educated individual. The courses taken within these categories will acquaint the student with the methods of inquiry relevant to each discipline and this familiarity will in turn help the student to think critically-that is, to be able to ask good and fruitful questions, to reason and analyze logically and systematically, to synthesize parts into wholes, and to make informed choices and decisions.

Undergraduates are required to take 11 courses for a total of 33 credit hours as indicated in the following categories:

Category A-Logic and Numbers for Rational Thinking


(One course - 3-4 credit hours)

The courses in this category emphasize the use of symbols as a means of expressing complex thoughts and information lucidly and accurately. Many involve computational and mathematical operations-that is, the use of mathematics as a symbolic language where each element and rule of operation is defined very clearly in order to obtain precise understanding. Similarly, the remainder of the courses which may be taken to fulfill this requirement stress precise, logical approaches to reasoning; for example, the study of those aspects of philosophy involving the exposition of abstract ideas.

One course must be taken from any of the following, with the exception the mathematics course selected under Basic Skills and Competencies may not be used for this requirement.

Category B-Linguistic, Literary, Artistic and Cultural Traditions


(Three courses - 9 credit hours)

Culture is the human-made part of the environment and the spoken and written word, together with the visual and performing arts, are its foundation. The courses required in this category are designed to acquaint the student with the richness and diversity of these aspects of culture, especially with the recognized standards of literary and artistic excellence. The emphasis in this category is also on the breadth and extent of the many cultural experiences and heritages that make up our world. Knowing only the traditions of our own immediate surroundings or even simply those of our country is no longer enough to function effectively in a world where contact between varied cultures and knowledge of their interaction has become normal and expected.

All students completing a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program will be required to attain intermediate level of proficiency in a foreign language. Intermediate proficiency may be satisfied by the completion of three years of a foreign language in high school, a 103-level college course in a foreign language, or satisfactory completion of an intermediate-level proficiency examination. Even if you are not completing a B.A. degree, the university encourages study of a foreign language as a means of fulfilling the requirement of this category. Foreign language study introduces students to the way language works, why words matter, and aids them in understanding more about their own language and its intricacies. Such study also fosters greater appreciation of peoples and cultures by crossing the language barrier and seeing more deeply how others live.

One course must be taken from those listed under Literature and two courses in different disciplines from those listed under Humanities.

Humanities


(two courses - different disciplines)

Category C-Biological and Physical Sciences


(Three courses - 9 credit hours)

Basic scientific literacy is necessary for knowledge of ourselves as a species and of the universe in which we live. The courses in this category have two comprehensive objectives to make clear what kinds of problems in the physical world are susceptible to scientific investigation and what kinds of solutions such investigation can produce and to provide an appreciation of the practice of scientific research and methodology, with its interaction of experiment and hypothesis. While the requirements of this category may be satisfied without a course containing a laboratory component, the university strongly encourages the selection of such courses. Experimentation in the laboratory allows the student both to observe and to participate directly in the systematic observation of nature and the principles of its investigation.

One course must be taken from those listed in three of the following disciplines.*

Note


*Students majoring in the biological or physical sciences are permitted to count one course from their major department toward satisfying this requirement. Natural science courses that carry one of the above courses as a prerequisite and required science courses for Early Childhood/Elementary Education PK-4 and Elementary/Middle Level Education majors may also be counted toward this requirement.

Category D-Political, Economic and Geographic Sciences


(Two courses - 6 credit hours)

Institutions are formal ways societies and cultures create over time to pursue activities important to them. Two of the most basic institutions in any large, collective society are its governmental structure and its economic system-that is, the ways which a society has chosen to regulate the interaction between individuals and groups and the ways which it has chosen to satisfy and organize its material needs. Both of these frameworks and the remaining institutions of any society are all affected and shaped by their physical environment, the geography in which they are set. In an era of increasingly complex global interaction, an understanding of these institutions in today's society and the influences that have helped to pattern their development are vital to the citizens of a participatory democracy.

One course must be taken from those listed in two of the following disciplines.

Category E-Social and Behavioral Sciences


(Two courses - 6 credit hours)

An awareness and recognition of the disciplines that examine and analyze group and individual behavior is of increasing importance for all who seek to understand and to predict the patterns and processes of human activity. These disciplines examine the causes of human action and the diversity of its organization and structure. Their study will help the student to see the connection between his or her own perspective and that of society and to appreciate the effect social forces have on the individual. The courses in this category will also consider the theoretical frameworks of each discipline and the methods and results of current research.

One course must be taken from those listed in two of the following disciplines.

University Diversity Requirement


Shippensburg University expects its students to understand the diverse nature of the United States-its currently diverse society as well as its diverse historical and cultural roots. Students should also gain awareness of how the country continues to emerge and be shaped by the interaction of people with different views. Finally, students should understand how cultural, ethnic and racial heritage, as well as gender, age, social class, sexual orientation, and abilities have shaped their attitudes, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

To complete the university diversity requirement, undergraduates are required to take one approved diversity course for a total of 3 credit hours. The following courses currently satisfy the university's diversity requirement.

Library/Information Skills


An integral aspect of the General Education Program is the development of library and information skills. This requirement is fulfilled through the completion of a self-paced, online tutorial that provides hands-on experience in finding scholarly information. All students enrolled in ENG 114 Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar  or ENG 115 Advanced Placement Writing  must complete this tutorial.

Completion of the tutorial will provide students with an introduction to the research skills they will need to succeed in their other courses. This tutorial becomes the basis for appropriately leveled instruction in subject oriented information literacy, which is provided within the context of individual courses.

Additional Study


With advisement, students entering Shippensburg as freshmen will complete, in most cases, both the basic skills and the distribution requirements of the general education program within their first two years at the university. However, Shippensburg University believes general education is a process and not just a series of defined courses taken early in the academic experience. The need for and the value of a liberal education extends beyond the freshman and sophomore years and the university strongly encourages students to elect to take courses in the general education curriculum and in areas outside of their majors as juniors and seniors. Carefully selected, these courses can help not only to enrich and to continue the search for breadth of knowledge, but also to integrate a student's entire academic study, further demonstrating the basic interdisciplinary connectedness of human understanding.

Summary of Requirements


Required Skills and Competencies: Five courses (15 credit hours)

Categories of Knowledge: Eleven courses (33 credit hours)

Required Skills and Competencies


Five courses (15 credit hours) in the following:

Writing - ENG 114 Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar  or ENG 115 Advanced Placement Writing  

Speaking - HCS 100 Introduction to Human Communication  

Mathematics - One mathematics course numbered 100 or higher or placement at the Advanced Level through the university placement policy

History - HIS 105 Historical Foundation of Global Cultures  and HIS 106 Thinking Historically in a Global Age  

Category A-Logic and Numbers for Rational Thinking


One course (3-4 credit hours). The mathematics course selected under Required Skills and Competencies may not be used for this requirement.

Category B-Linguistic, Literary, Artistic and Cultural Traditions


Three courses (9 credit hours). One course must be taken from those listed under Literature and two courses in different disciplines from those listed under Humanities.

Category C-Biological and Physical Sciences


Three courses (9 credit hours). One course must be taken from those listed in three different disciplines.

Category D-Political, Economic and Geographic Sciences


Two courses (6 credit hours). One course must be taken from those listed in two different disciplines.

Category E-Social and Behavioral Sciences


Two courses (6 credit hours). One course must be taken from those listed in two different disciplines.

Library/Information Skills


Fulfilled through successful completion of the library tutorial.

Diversity Requirement


Fulfilled through successful completion of 3 credits of approved diversity courses.