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Academic Catalog '11-'12 | General Education and the First Year Experience

Goals of the General Education Curriculum and the First Year Experience

The General Education Curriculum

In designing the general education curriculum for the College of Arts and Sciences, Trinity Washington University endorses the development of the full intellectual capacities of women in order to prepare those women for leadership in their personal and professional lives. Honoring our tradition as a liberal arts Catholic college for women, Trinity offers this curriculum in order to foster and sustain in our students growth in the knowledge, skills, and values inherent in the liberal arts.

Curricular Areas of the General Education Curriculum

The general education curriculum focuses on four different curricular areas:

Goals of the General Education Curriculum

Over the course of four years, students take courses within each of these areas to achieve eight goals linked to the completion of the general education curriculum. As a result of successfully completing Trinity’s general education curriculum, students will be able to:

  1. Read, understand, and analyze texts
  2. Communicate effectively in speech and in writing
  3. Understand and use quantitative reasoning to solve problems
  4. Locate, evaluate, and synthesize information in the construction of knowledge
  5. Explore and connect fields of knowledge in the liberal arts
  6. Apply diverse modes of inquiry to the study of human societies and the natural world
  7. Develop facility for moral reasoning and examine the moral and religious dimensions of human experience;
  8. Develop capacities for responsible citizenship and leadership in diverse communities.

The First Year Experience

Trinity is particularly committed to helping students achieve goals during their first year at the University. These first year experience goals are designed to support the goals and objectives for the general education curriculum. The major goal of the first year experience is that students will develop the skills needed for academic success, including the ability to manage time efficiently, study effectively, and take responsibility for their own learning.

As outlined below, each curricular area and the goals associated with it foster the development of particular skills during the student’s first year experience.

Foundational Skills

Goal 1: Read, understand, and analyze texts

First Year Experience Goal 1: Students will develop their abilities to read, understand, and analyze texts.

Objectives: Students will demonstrate ability to

  • Identify the text’s thesis or themes, main points, and types and quality of evidence
  • Paraphrase or summarize the content and meaning of the text
  • Identify the text’s purpose and audience
  • Identify the text’s thesis or themes, main points, and types and quality of evidence
  • Identify the author’s organizational and rhetorical strategies
  • Recognize strengths, weaknesses, and inconsistencies in the text

Goal 2: Communicate effectively in speech and in writing

First Year Experience Goal 2: Students will develop their abilities to communicate effectively in speech and in writing

Objectives: Students will demonstrate ability to:

  • Communicate clearly, coherently, and grammatically
  • Communicate using rational argumentation
  • Communicate using a variety of rhetorical strategies
  • Adapt writing and speaking to a variety of purposes and audiences
  • Adhere to standards and principles of academic integrity

Goal 3: Understand and use quantitative reasoning to solve problems

First Year Experience Goal 3: Students will develop their abilities to understand and use quantitative reasoning to solve problems

Objectives: Students will demonstrate ability to

  • Perform arithmetic and algebraic operations
  • Identify and apply mathematical concepts in a variety of contexts
  • Represent, interpret, and analyze quantitative information

Goal 4: Locate, evaluate, and synthesize information in the construction of knowledge

First Year Experience Goal 4: Students will develop their abilities to locate, evaluate, and synthesize information in the construction of knowledge.

Objectives: Students will demonstrate ability to

  • Locate resources relevant to the task
  • Evaluate the quality, credibility, and relevance of sources and the information contained in sources
  • Integrate and cite sources according to standards of academic honesty
  • Use common computer applications in word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, email, and the internet

Knowledge & Inquiry

Goal 5: Explore and connect fields of knowledge in the liberal arts

First Year Experience Goal 5: Students will begin to explore and connect fields of knowledge in the liberal arts.

Objectives: Students will

  • Acquire breadth of knowledge in the arts and humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Identify links and relationships across disciplines

Goal 6: Apply diverse modes of inquiry to the study of human societies and the natural world

First Year Experience Goal 6: Students will begin to apply diverse modes of inquiry to their studies.

Objectives: Students will

  • Pose questions, define problems, and investigate possible solutions using multiple modes of inquiry
  • Apply modes of inquiry to new settings and questions

Values & Beliefs

Goal 7: Develop facility for moral reasoning and examine the moral and religious dimensions of human experience

First Year Experience Goal 7: Students will appreciate and adhere to the principles of academic honesty.

Objectives: Students will

  • Gain understanding of diverse human values and religious beliefs
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand, analyze, and articulate the moral and ethical dimensions of issues
  • Demonstrate the ability to articulate and defend ethical judgments
  • Apply modes of inquiry to new settings and questions

Applications: Turning Knowledge into Action

Goal 8: Develop capacities for responsible citizenship and leadership in diverse communities

First Year Experience Goal 8: Students will develop their abilities to engage in civil discourse

Objectives: Students will

  • Demonstrate the civic knowledge needed for engagement
  • Demonstrate understanding of diverse identities and cultures
  • Demonstrate ability for civil, respectful discourse
  • Deepen understanding of social issues and social justice through experiential learning
  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and facility for, different forms of leadership

Trinity reserves the right to change, without prior notice, any policy or procedure, tuition or fee, curricular requirements, or any other information found on this web site or in its printed materials.

Questions may be directed to Virginia Broaddus, Ph.D., Provost at BroaddusV@trinitydc.edu.

For teacher education courses, check Continuing Education  Archived Course Descriptions and Schedules.

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