Tier One Outcomes

University-wide General Education Structure: Expected Outcomes for Accommodating Tier One Students


Learning Outcomes

After taking Tier One courses in Individuals and Societies students will be able to:

  • understand more clearly issues of self-identity, social difference and social status, and the effects of major institutions on individual experiences
  • demonstrate knowledge of the formal and informal structures and processes that make social systems, governments, and economies work
  • have an informed opinion about socio-cultural problems and issues, which can be expressed orally or in writing, and based on knowledge about social, cultural, political, economic, philosophical, and religious theory
  • demonstrate a well developed critical faculty for distinguishing among the various theoretical and ideological interpretations of world events as they are presented in the media

Course Guidelines

Tier One courses in Individuals and Societies will:

  • emphasize fundamental issues and concepts pertinent to the broad exploration of questions about human beings and their societies
  • foster independent, creative, and interactive learning
  • provide students with opportunities to discuss course topics and material
  • inspire students to think about themselves, others, and social organizations in new insightful ways
  • instill in students a love of learning, excite them about the university experience, and leave them with valuable skills and knowledge applicable to their lives
  • focus on BOTH individuals AND societies, or on either
  • Representative areas of study include, but are not limited to: basic human thought processes (e.g. conceptual systems, symbolic representation of the world, knowledge acquisition, judgment and decision-making, problem-solving); personal identity; group identity; family and kinship structure; religious, political, economic, and legal institutions; individual freedom and social control; ethical and moral principles; and ideas of social justice. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and it is not expected that any single course will necessarily span all the areas above.
  • Tier One courses in Individuals and Societies do not confirm to these guidelines if:
    • they do not avoid narrow parochialism


Learning Outcomes

After taking Tier One courses in Traditions and Cultures students will be able to:

  • identify references and allusions to the periods, ideas, people, artifacts, and events generally felt to have been important in the past
  • identify and define their own world view, compare and contrast their world view with other world views, and through written and oral communication present and defend their world view
  • appreciate the art, history, politics, and philosophies of cultures other than their own, including non-western cultures
  • analyze how perceptions, values, beliefs, and customs influence individual and societal behavior and to use these analyses before judging

Course Guidelines

Tier One courses in Traditions and Cultures will:

  • study historical development and fundamental concepts in European or other world cultures
  • provide an awareness that we, as historical beings, are shaped by the thoughts and actions of our predecessors and that we will influence the lives of those who follow us
  • examine cultures as distinct heritages of ideas, values, and artistic expressions and view them
  • as having undergone continual adaptation due to social changes.
  • have a broad sweep both in terms of chronology and in terms of geography
  • engage in a rigorous exploration of fundamental knowledge that emphasizes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural analysis
  • emphasize the assessment, evaluation, and critique of culture.
  • require significant essay assignments

Tier One courses in Traditions and Cultures do not conform to these guidelines if:

  • they do not use the study of a specific culture as an exemplar of how traditions and cultures develop and change


Learning Outcomes

After taking Tier One courses in Natural Sciences students will be able to:

  • understand the nature and application of physical and /or biological science
  • apply ideas and processes beyond the classroom
  • recognize the complexity of many scientific issues
  • design experiments, generating and analyzing actual data, using abstract reasoning to interpret these, formulating and testing hypotheses with scientific rigor
  • speak and write about scientific knowledge
  • appreciate the relative scale of objects, rates of change, linear and nonlinear growth
  • present data in tables, graphs and charts as well as performing appropriate mathematical calculations and data analysis
  • read and understand scientific literature from popular sources such as magazines and newspapers

Course Guidelines

Tier One courses in Physical Sciences will:

  • demonstrate the importance of physical and chemical processes and their application to events in the everyday world
  • cover the following major concepts:
    • Newton's laws governing force and motion
    • laws of thermodynamics governing energy and entropy
    • the role of electromagnetism in nature
    • the atomic structure of matter
  • be interdisciplinary and cut across departments and disciplines and integrate them so that the commonality of the scientific approach can be exemplified. To insure this interdisciplinary perspective every offering must include course content that integrates two or more disciplinary or cross-disciplinary applications such as:
    • Astronomy/Planetary Sciences: Formation and development of the Universe; cosmology, stellar evolution and planetary astronomy
    • Geosciences: Formation, development of the earth; geophysical/geochemical processes of  continents and oceans
    • Engineering/Technological Sciences: The interplay between science and technology; applied  science and everyday life
    • Atmospheric sciences: Formation and development of the atmosphere; physical and chemical processes of  the atmosphere, weather and climate
    • Environmental Sciences: The interaction and interconnections between physical, chemical, and biological  processes as they affect, and are affected by, human beings living in their environment.

Course Guidelines

Tier One courses in Biological Sciences will:

  • demonstrate the importance of a study of biology and their application to events in the everyday world.
  • be rigorous and emphasize the integrative nature of science, including cross-discipline contributions, and include exposure to scientific thinking and procedures applicable throughout the sciences
  • encourage students to think critically about the world around them, the processes leading to the evolution of diverse life forms, the interdependence of living systems, the importance of understanding and preserving the life around us, and the benefits of playing an active role in their own health and well-being
  • cover the following major concepts:
    • Evolution and diversity of life
    • Cells
    • Structure and function at the multi-cellular level
    • Genetics and Development
    • Health and Disease
    • Interaction and interdependence between organisms

A course would not conform to these guidelines if:

  • it does not include all major concept areas specified for either the physical or biological sciences.