General Education Program

Our general education program prepares creative and critical thinkers who integrate and communicate learning from a variety of disciplines and experiences in ways that enhance civic, personal, and professional lives.
Graphic depicting elements of general education curriculum

Becoming a lifelong learner is a process, and we hope to encourage students not only in the classroom but also in their extra- and co-curricular experiences to explore the connections between what they study and their everyday lives – and perhaps help them imagine a future that will change the world for all of us.

Professor Kisha Tracy, English Studies Department
Chair, General Education Program Area

General Education Program

  • Kisha Tracy, Chair, General Education Program Area
  • Franca Barricelli, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Petri Flint, Chair, Humanities
  • Laura Garofoli, FYE Coordinator
  • Elizabeth Gordon, Chair, Earth & Geographic Science
  • Cate Kaluzny, Director of Assessment
  • Sara Levine, Dean of Arts and Sciences
  • Denise Sargent, Chair, Education
  • Zachary Miner, Exploration Representative
  • Reid Parsons, Integration Representative
  • Brian Schremser, SGOCE Representative
  • Ambassador and Assessment Program 2021-2022
    • Chris Cratsley (Quantitative Reasoning, Procedural and Logical Thinking)
    • Katherine Jewell (Inquiry and Analysis)
    • Kori Ryan (Personal Wellness, Ethical Reasoning, Integrative Learning)
    • Connie Strittmatter (Information Literacy, Reading, and Writing)
  • Email:generaled@fitchburgstate.edu  
  • Social Media:

Overview of Program

Foundation: Foundations for Lifelong Learning
Foundation courses are taken in the first year and are intended to help you develop the skills necessary to succeed personally, academically, and professionally as well as increase your familiarity with campus resources. In these five courses, you will focus on college-level reading, writing, information literacy, quantitative reasoning, and speaking and listening.

Benefits:

  • Foundational skills
  • Cohesive first-year: especially for first-generation and at-risk students

Exploration: Critical and Creative Thinking across the Disciplines
Exploration courses will allow you to experience topics from different viewpoints and use a variety of methods to think about our world - past, present, and future - as well as build upon the skills you develop in the Foundation. In these nine courses, you will be exposed to a number of artistic, civic, diverse, ethical, historical, literary, and scientific perspectives while expanding your approaches to thinking and wellness. 

Benefits: 

  • Building on Foundation skills (plus)
    • Creative Thinking
    • Critical Thinking
    • Digital Literacy
    • Information Literacy
    • Quantitative Reasoning
    • Reading
    • World Languages, Speaking & Listening
    • Writing
  • Breadth of exploration and exposure
  • Balance of interdisciplinary and disciplinary

Integration: Advancing and Applying Liberal Arts and Sciences Learning
Integration courses provide the opportunity to combine what you have learned in the General Education program and your major to think about more advanced ideas and problems. In these three courses, you will learn how to take knowledge and skills from different perspectives and apply them in new ways. You will also participate in a high-impact, experiential learning experience, ranging from community engagement and study abroad to independent research and internships.
 
Benefits:

  • Continued development of Exploration learning
  • Ability to choose focus
  • Potential to take a minor to satisfy requirement (plus)
  • High-impact practice
    • Civic Engagement
    • Experiential Learning/Internship
    • Student-Faculty Research Project
    • Student-Faculty Creative Project
    • Study Abroad
    • Team Teaching/Learning Community
    • Writing Intensive

Transfer plan 

Shows integrative learning courses and practices plus minor benefits for integration

The liberal arts teach you how to think critically and support the formation of your soul, and contribute to the humanity in a person.

Anna M. Clementi
President, Center for Italian Culture at Fitchburg State University

The Curriculum

Overview of Program

Foundation: Foundations for Lifelong Learning
Foundation courses are taken in the first year and are intended to help you develop the skills necessary to succeed personally, academically, and professionally as well as increase your familiarity with campus resources. In these five courses, you will focus on college-level reading, writing, information literacy, quantitative reasoning, and speaking and listening.

Benefits:

  • Foundational skills
  • Cohesive first-year: especially for first-generation and at-risk students

Exploration: Critical and Creative Thinking across the Disciplines
Exploration courses will allow you to experience topics from different viewpoints and use a variety of methods to think about our world - past, present, and future - as well as build upon the skills you develop in the Foundation. In these nine courses, you will be exposed to a number of artistic, civic, diverse, ethical, historical, literary, and scientific perspectives while expanding your approaches to thinking and wellness. 

Benefits: 

  • Building on Foundation skills (plus)
    • Creative Thinking
    • Critical Thinking
    • Digital Literacy
    • Information Literacy
    • Quantitative Reasoning
    • Reading
    • World Languages, Speaking & Listening
    • Writing
  • Breadth of exploration and exposure
  • Balance of interdisciplinary and disciplinary

Integration: Advancing and Applying Liberal Arts and Sciences Learning
Integration courses provide the opportunity to combine what you have learned in the General Education program and your major to think about more advanced ideas and problems. In these three courses, you will learn how to take knowledge and skills from different perspectives and apply them in new ways. You will also participate in a high-impact, experiential learning experience, ranging from community engagement and study abroad to independent research and internships.
 
Benefits:

  • Continued development of Exploration learning
  • Ability to choose focus
  • Potential to take a minor to satisfy requirement (plus)
  • High-impact practice
    • Civic Engagement
    • Experiential Learning/Internship
    • Student-Faculty Research Project
    • Student-Faculty Creative Project
    • Study Abroad
    • Team Teaching/Learning Community
    • Writing Intensive

You never know when a particular subject or teacher will light a spark that will shape the rest of your life.

Sharon Bernard '99
Director, Fitchburg Public Library

Student Learning Showcase

The Curriculum in Action

Foundation

Foundations for Lifelong Learning

Exploration

Critical and Creative Thinking Across the Disciplines

Integration

Advancing and Applying Liberal Arts and Sciences Learning