Montana State University

Policy 2.1

2.1 Policy on General Education/Related Education Requirements

Background. The Commission endorses the concept of general education and, as described below, requires of all undergraduate programs a substantial and coherent program of general education or a program of related instruction. By design, the policy is intended to be qualitative rather than quantitative in nature. No formula for specific application or particular pattern of general education is endorsed. However, every institution is expected to publish in its general catalog a clear and complete statement of its requirements for general education and/or for related instruction, as appropriate.

A substantial core of general education instruction is regarded as an essential component of all baccalaureate degree programs and of all academic or transfer associate degree programs. Similarly, a core of related instruction is regarded as a necessary integral part of all applied or specialized associate degree programs and of all certificate programs of an academic year or more in length. General education in degree programs shall be of collegiate length. The contents of general education, and of related instruction in applied or specialized degree and certificate programs, should be comparable, though not necessarily identical, to traditional academic offerings and should be taught by faculty who are clearly appropriately qualified. In some cases, institutions may provide for general education through admission or graduation requirements. Institutions are encouraged to include broad general education instruction as part of non-degree specialized programs in addition to directly utilitarian-related instruction.

General Education. General education introduces the students to the content and methodology of the major areas of knowledge - the humanities, the fine arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences - and helps them develop the mental skills that will make them more effective learners. General education may, of course, be taught in different ways, and an institution must judge whether its students are better served by curricula or requirements that approach the disciplines through content and methodology, or that approach the disciplines by concentrating on outcomes. The rationale and plan for the general education requirements should be cooperatively developed by the faculty, administrative staff, and trustees, and the expected outcomes should be stated in relation to the institution's mission and goals.

Related Instruction. Programs of study for which applied or specialized associate degrees are granted, or programs of academic year or more in length for which certificates are granted, must contain a recognizable body of instruction in program-related areas of 1) communication, 2) computation, and 3) human relations. Additional topics which should be covered as appropriate include safety, industrial safety, and environmental awareness. Instruction in the related instruction areas may be either embedded within the program curriculum or taught in blocks of specialized instruction. Each approach, however, must have clearly identified content that is pertinent to the general program of study.

Adopted 1988