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Castleton University    
 
    
 
  Oct 19, 2017
 
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18

General Education Program


Print a Gen Ed Planner.  

To graduate from Castleton University, all students must complete the requirements of their Major and satisfy the university's General Education ("Gen Ed") requirements.


The Components of the Gen Ed Program

The goals of Castleton's Gen Ed program, which includes the Frames of Reference, are to prepare the student to search for the meaning of a good life; to develop an awareness of the interaction between personal and societal values; to foster an appreciation of the interconnectedness of all things; to stimulate intellectual curiosity and promote life-long learning.

In order to engage in meaningful and productive study, the student should develop and learn to apply a variety of skills, including reading, writing, speaking, critical thinking, using the library, and practical computing. The courses listed under the Gen Ed requirements are designed to help students develop these and other skills, and are required of all Castleton students. In addition to providing a common educational experience, these courses prepare the student for subsequent course work at Castleton, and for life beyond the university.

The nine components of the Gen Ed Program are as follows:

(Transfer students may be exempt from some Gen Ed requirements; see "Transfer Policies for Newly Admitted Students" under Admissions Policies  )

University Writing Standard

In order to graduate from Castleton, all students must pass the university writing assessment, which consists of ENG 1061 - English Composition , writing intensive courses, and the writing assessment folder.

-ENG 1061 should be taken within the student's first year.

-Students pursuing a Bachelor's Degree must pass two writing intensive courses, while students pursuing an Associate's Degree must pass one writing intensive course. Students who transfer in a "pass" at the Associate's level for Writing Standards from another VSC College will be required to successfully complete one additional Writing Intensive course.

-The writing assessment folder contains recommendations for improvement noted by readers of the timed essays from ENG 1061 and the student's first writing intensive course as well as the student's culminating essay. Essays in the writing assessment folder will be evaluated according to the University's Writing Standards. Students will sit for the culminating essay, offered each semester, during a special session scheduled near the conclusion of their final required writing intensive course. The student's culminating essay is reviewed by a university committee, which determines whether the essay receives a "pass," a "no pass," or a "pass with distinction." Students whose essays receive a "no pass" are encouraged to complete another writing intensive course, near the end of which they will be afforded the opportunity to compose another culminating essay. Those who elect not to complete an additional writing intensive course are responsible for both inquiring as to the date and time of each semester's opportunity to sit for the culminating essay and indicating their desire to participate.

For a complete description of the process through which students fulfill Castleton's writing standard, see the booklet, "A Guide to the Castleton Writing Standards," which is available in paper copy at the Academic Deans' Office, the English Department, the Academic Support Center, the Calvin Coolidge Library, and in electronic form on the university website.

Computing Requirement

As a part of their general education, students will learn a sufficient level of computing knowledge and skills necessary to compete successfully in the current academic and workforce environments. To meet this goal, students must complete a course that is designated Computing Intensive (CI). Students may meet this requirement in one of two ways:

  • Most students will complete a foundational computing‐intensive course (e.g. ART 1230 BUS 1270 COM 1230 ) during their first year. Such a course is designed to provide a broad overview of university‐level computing and a competent level of proficiency in at least four of the following skill areas: engaging in electronic collaboration and communication; the use and creation of structured electronic documents; the preparation of technology-enhanced presentations; the management of and ability to run reports from databases; the use of spreadsheets to manage and manipulate data; and the use of graphical and multimedia technologies.
  • Students may elect to wait and complete this requirement by enrolling in one of the advanced computing‐intensive courses once they have begun their studies in specific majors. (Programs with computing intensive courses include: Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Chemistry, Education, Geography, Music, Physical Education, Psychology, Science, and Sociology.) Such courses utilize computer applications required for professional work in specific fields and provide intensive instruction in one or two of the skill areas listed above.

First-Year Seminar

Students who graduated from high school within the year prior to matriculating at Castleton are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester.  (Exceptions may be made for students who participated in a full-time early college program.) Transfer students with fewer than 12 credits are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester and those with 12 or more credits are strongly encouraged to take a Transfer Seminar.

These seminars are specially designed courses that emphasize the development of academic skills and the integration of the student into the university community. In conjunction with Common Hour and Soundings, First-Year Seminars will assist new students with the transition to university life by providing opportunities for academic, social, and personal development. Students' First-Year Seminar instructors also act as their academic advisors during their first year at Castleton.

Some seminars are linked to a second companion course, forming a cohort or learning community. Students signing up for these seminars will automatically enroll in two courses: the FYS and its cohort or partner. Linking courses is a way to explore a theme across academic disciplines and examine a topic from different perspectives.

All First-Year Seminar students participate in a recycling project as part of the first- year experience. Castleton is committed to civic engagement, and to teaching sustainable practices. In the first semester, as a member the of Castleton University community, students are asked to help solve an environmental problem affecting all of us through recycling that is part of our larger Green Campus Initiative. Projects are aimed at preparing our graduates for engaged, environmentally responsible citizenship.

Information Literacy Standard

Students must receive a passing grade on the university's Information Literacy assessment before they can graduate. This exam-based assessment is designed to test student competencies, as identified in the Association of College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency for Higher Education, in basic skills related to determining the nature and extent of information needed; accessing the needed information effectively and efficiently; evaluating information and its sources critically and incorporating selected information into one's knowledge base and value system; and understanding many of the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and the issue of assessing and using information ethically and legally. Students are encouraged to complete the assessment soon after they have passed ENG 1061 and their FYS requirement. Instruction in the skills and knowledge on which the information literacy assessment is based is available through the library. Further information is available in the Academic Dean's Office.

Literature Requirement

In order to earn a Bachelor's degree (but not an Associate's degree), students must satisfy the Literature Requirement by taking and passing ENG 2260 - Touchstones of Western Literature (L)  

Oral Communication Standard

Students must demonstrate that they have met the university's Oral Communication standard before they can graduate. The standard is met by taking and passing ENG 1070 - Effective Speaking  and by receiving a passing grade on the Speaking Intensive (SI) component of an additional course. If a student is unable to receive a passing grade for the SI component after taking two courses that include the SI designation, they must take a 1-credit Supplemental Speaking course. The student will then be required to present before a group comprised of at least two faculty, or other individuals, qualified to evaluate the student's oral communication skills and a small group of volunteers drawn from the university population at large.

Quantitative Reasoning Standard

Students must receive a passing grade on the university's Quantitative Reasoning assessment before they can graduate. This exam-based assessment is designed to test student competencies related to quantitative reasoning such as algebra, logic, problem solving, and computational skills, including working with percentages. Students are encouraged to complete the assessment early in their university careers. Instruction in the skills and knowledge on which the Quantitative Reasoning assessment is based is available, including in introductory mathematics courses and through the Academic Support Center.

Students who have earned either a 600 or higher on the math section of the SAT, or a 150 or higher on the Core Academics Skills Test for Educators, or a 175 or higher on the math section of Praxis I will have satisfied the Quantitative Reasoning Standard upon submission of their scores to the Registrar. Further information is available in the Academic Deans' Office.

Soundings

Soundings, or "Introduction to the Liberal Arts," is a three-course sequence-First-Year Soundings I (INT 1051), First-Year Soundings II (INT 1053), and Junior Soundings (INT 3054)-where students attend a number of on-campus cultural events in order to experience the richness and vitality of the liberal arts through lectures, plays, films, recitals, poetry readings, dance performances, and other activities. The three-course sequence totals 2 credits.

Students must take First-Year Soundings I and First-Year Soundings II during their first year at Castleton. Consequently, a student may not drop Soundings unless, in the judgement of the teachers of Soundings, he or she has a very serious reason such as substantial personal hardship or prolonged illness.

The Frames of Reference

All students must complete a specified number of courses in each of the four "Frames of Reference."  The four areas of learning are an introduction to the variety of ways that human beings understand and explore their world and themselves. The requirements in each frame provide a starting point for further exploration of the category of human knowledge and ways of knowing represented by the frame, and may be satisfied by courses in a number of different fields of study. Students are encouraged to experiment by taking courses in academic areas with which they are unfamiliar.

Taken together, the frames provide a balance to the concentrated focus of the major by placing the student's university experience within the wider context of an intellectual heritage shared by all human beings. In addition, the frames are intended to make students aware that many academic disciplines, both within and across frames, share common concerns and themes, and that the apparent diversity of disciplines is not a cacophony of voices; it is a chorus.

The four frames of reference are as follows:

Aesthetic Understanding and Activities - This area of study is concerned with the forms of human expression, the value of aesthetic activities, artifacts, and experiences, and the contributions of the arts and language to human life and culture.

  • Students will demonstrate awareness and understanding of several forms of cultural expression such as: creative writing, dance, motion picture arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.
  • Students will be able to critically discuss and write about the arts.
  • Students will develop an understanding of the historical and/or philosophical context of forms of human expression, and the value of aesthetic activities.
  • Students will gain a broader knowledge of the contribution of the arts to society.

Scientific and Mathematical Understanding - This area of study is concerned with mathematical and empirical ways of knowing, pertaining to such things as nature, the universe, the human body, mathematics, logic, and critical thinking.

  • Students will demonstrate scientific literacy.
  • Students will be able to apply the scientific method, as well as understand the values and limitations of scientific investigation.
  • Students will be able to explain how our natural world is affected by human and nonhuman processes.
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in logical and mathematical reasoning, allowing them to acquire, understand, and apply mathematical concepts and information in quantitative, qualitative, and statistical ways.

Social and Behavioral Understanding - This area of study is concerned with the issues and principles involved in understanding human behavior and personality, social life and institutions, economics, and politics.

  • Students will be able to describe basic theories of human behavior and personality, including environmental factors that influence the development of human personality.
  • Students will be able to describe theories of, and differences in, human social organization, including the organizational structures of economic life and work, family, marriage, child rearing, education, and politics around the world.
  • Students will be able to describe issues and theories about the relationship between society and the individual, including the political and economic factors that influence that relationship.
  • Students will be able to describe moral and ethical issues and theories concerning human life both individually and socially.
  • Students will develop a basic understanding of the intersections of our human environment with the natural environment.

World Views: Cultural, Historical, and Philosophical - This area of study is concerned with understanding oneself in the larger contexts of one's own and other cultures as presented by the study of history, geography, language, philosophy, ethics, and anthropology.

  • Students will explore various aspects of thought, culture, language and tradition, as seen in various forms of communication among the peoples of the world.
  • Students will demonstrate a broader knowledge of the commonalities and the diversity of cultures of the world.
  • Students will understand themselves in the larger contexts of their own and other cultures.
  • Students will learn about various schools of philosophical thought.

Associate's Degree Requirements

(Transfer students may be exempt from some Gen Ed requirements; see "Transfer Policies for Newly Admitted Students" under Admissions Policies  )

University Writing Standard - Complete ENG 1061 - English Composition  and 1 Writing Intensive (WI) course. Earn a "Pass" on the Writing Assessment Folder, which includes the culminating essay.

Computing Requirement - Complete either ART 1230 , BUS 1270 , COM 1230  or a course designated as computing intensive (CI).

First-Year Seminar (FYS) - Students who graduated from high school within the year prior to matriculating at Castleton are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester.  (Exceptions may be made for students who participated in a full-time early college program.) Transfer students with fewer than 12 credits are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester and those with 12 or more credits are strongly encouraged to take a Transfer Seminar.

Information Literacy Standard - Complete library work, course work, and pass an Information Literacy Assessment.

Oral Communication Standard - Pass ENG 1070 - Effective Speaking  and the SI component of an additional course.

Quantitative Reasoning Standard - Pass exam-based Quantitative Reasoning Assessment.

Soundings - Complete First-Year Soundings I (INT 1051 )

The Four Frames of Reference:

  • Aesthetic Understanding and Activities                                                     3 cr
  • Scientific and Mathematical Understanding                                           3-4 cr
  • Social and Behavioral Understanding                                                       3 cr
  • World Views: Cultural, Historical, and Philosophical                                 3 cr

Note: A course may be used to satisfy only one frame of reference. In many cases the First-Year Seminar course or the Writing, Speaking, or Computing Intensive courses will also satisfy the frames of reference, Gen Ed, major, or minor requirements.

Minimum Total Credits Required for an Associate's Degree: 64 cr

In order to graduate a student must attain an overall GPA of 2.0 on courses taken at Castleton.


Bachelor's Degree Requirements

(Transfer students may be exempt from some Gen Ed requirements; see "Transfer Policies for Newly Admitted Students" under Admissions Policies  )

University Writing Standard - Complete ENG 1061 - English Composition  and 2 Writing Intensive (WI) courses and earn a "Pass" on the Writing Assessment Folder, which includes the culminating essay.

Computing Requirement - Complete one of the following: ART 1230 , BUS 1270 , COM 1230 , GEO 2210 , MUS 3450 , SCI 2210  or a course designated as computing intensive (CI). (PSY 3151  and/or PSY 3152  satisfy the CI requirement for Psychology majors; SOC 3910  satisfies the CI requirement for Sociology majors.)

First-Year Seminar - Students who graduated from high school within the year prior to matriculating at Castleton are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester.  (Exceptions may be made for students who participated in a full-time early college program.) Transfer students with fewer than 12 credits are required to take a First-Year Seminar in their first semester and those with 12 or more credits are strongly encouraged to take a Transfer Seminar.

Information Literacy Standard - Complete library work, course work, and pass an Information Literacy Assessment.

Literature Requirement - Complete ENG 2260 - Touchstones of Western Literature (L) .

Oral Communication Standard - Pass ENG 1070 - Effective Speaking  and the SI component of an additional course.

Quantitative Reasoning Standard - Pass the exam-based Quantitative Reasoning Assessment.

Soundings - Complete First-Year Soundings I (INT 1051 ), First-Year Soundings II (INT 1053 ), and Junior Soundings (INT 3054 ).  

The Four Frames of Reference:

  • Aesthetic Understanding and Activities (each course must have a different prefix)                                                                       6 cr
  • Scientific and Mathematical Understanding (No more than 2 courses may have the same prefix)                                              10 cr
  • Social and Behavioral Understanding (each course must have a different prefix)                                                                          6 cr
  • World Views: Cultural, Historical, and Philosophical (each course must have a different prefix)                                                    6 cr

Note: A course may be used to satisfy only one frame of reference. In many cases the First-Year Seminar course or the Writing, Speaking, or Computing Intensive courses will also satisfy the frames of reference, Gen Ed, major, or minor requirements.

Note: Each Frame of Reference requires you to complete courses in more than one subject (in other words, different course prefixes are required).  For example, you cannot use two art ("ART") classes to complete the Aesthetic Understanding frame.

Minimum Total Credits Required for a Bachelor's Degree: 122 cr.  (To complete a bachelor's degree in four years, you must successfully complete a minimum of 15-16 credits per semester.)

In order to graduate a student must attain an overall GPA of 2.0 on courses taken at Castleton.


Courses in the Four Frames of Reference

All students must complete a specified number of courses in each of the four Frames of Reference. Click below to see the courses in each Frame: