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general education program


what you need to know about the general education program

you may hear your faculty or advisors talk about general education, gep or gen ed. it is important that you understand how the general education program fits into your overall educational program at frostburg state university. below are five key questions about the general education program. more detail can be found in the academic life chapter of the undergraduate catalog.

what is meant by general education (gen ed)?

almost all accredited colleges and universities have something similar to our gen ed program. think of gen ed as the foundation to a house. before you can put a second floor or third floor to a house, you have got to make sure the foundation is rock solid. that’s what the gep is there to do – provide you a strong foundation. this foundation, when built correctly, will help you throughout the rest of your academic career. even students going on to earn their doctorates can trace their success back to their general education program.

what are some other reasons i should care about my general education program?

these are the courses that will teach you how to write better and communicate more clearly, that will give you the reasoning skills to do well in your major or concentration, and that will foster your ability to think critically. we want you to be well rounded and ready to approach challenges from a variety of different angles and disciplines. guess where that ability comes from? you guessed it – your general education program.

what are some of the requirements of fsu’s gep?

to graduate from fsu, you’ll need to earn at least 40 credit hours in courses from the general education program. you must make a grade of a c or better in the core skills area of the general education program (that’s english and math). more often than not, you’ll take most of your general education program courses as a freshman or sophomore. that helps you build that foundation for success in your major.

what are some of the categories of the general education program?

we want you to have core skills. that’s largely math and english. we also want you to think critically and be able to synthesize information. when you graduate from fsu, we want you to be a good citizen, so we have a gep learning goal of values and responsibility. we want you to contribute to society. and as part of fsu’s “world of experiences,” there is a gep learning goal related to appreciating other cultures.

in addition to core skills, we want you to have an interdisciplinary education. all that means is that you learn from the social sciences, the humanities, the physical sciences, and the arts. it all ties in with creating a well-rounded foundation. you can find more detail on pages 21 and 22 of your undergraduate catalog.

what am i supposed to learn?

here are our learning objectives, which link directly to our general education learning goals.

  • written communication - we want our students to demonstrate proficiency in their written communication that would satisfy both academic and applied audiences.
  • oral communication - we want our students to demonstrate proficiency and professionalism in oral communication.
  • mathematical and quantitative reasoning - we want our students to analyze and assess problems through calculation and by employing quantitative tools.
  • values and social responsibility - we want our students to demonstrate civic oriented behaviors and apply principles of social responsibility to solve community challenges.
  • appreciation of cultural identities - we want our students to interpret situations through a lens of diversity and globalization.


feel free to ask your academic advisor about creating your own general education program.