General Education

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Learn. Think. Know. Do.

The free, democratic society demands an informed, thoughtful and ethical community. Through general education, students are encouraged to observe how people are connected to each other and discover a common humanity.

General Education is universal for all WVU Parkersburg students. It is not directly related to a particular course of study but instead connects students to the world outside a particular field. It offers the common knowledge, intellectual concepts and attitudes that every educated person needs with a wide and diverse curriculum that crosses disciplines. General Education emphasizes the critical thinking skills necessary to participate effectively in family, work, community and society and prepares students to thrive with others in a diverse society. It also underlines the importance of ethics in personal, work, and community life.

General Education Mission

WVU Parkersburg provides a flexible general education that meets the needs of certificate, associate, transfer and baccalaureate degrees and prepares students for the workplace and participation in the workings and concerns of their families, communities, state, country and world at large.

Measurable Outcomes

Through completing general education in their course of study, students will be able to:

  • Communicate clearly and effectively in various contexts and with various constituents/audiences through writing, speaking, listening and reading.
  • Employ their higher order thinking skills in situations that demand quantitative literacy.
  • Demonstrate appropriate competencies in scientific inquiry and the scientific method.
  • Illustrate knowledge and understanding of historical and diverse perspectives.
  • Express, develop, promote, and value aesthetic awareness.
  • Create personal standards and guidelines which clearly delineate professional skills, behaviors and attitudes in school, the workplace and in the community at large.

Critical Thinking Skills

Comparing & contrasting, classifying, induction, deduction, error analysis, constructing support, abstracting, analyzing multiple perspectives

Advanced Application of Knowledge Strategies

Advanced decision making, investigation, experimental inquiry, problem solving, invention

Classroom Assessment Tools

Standardized tests objective tests, test essay questions, formal papers, presentations, journal entries, peer feedback materials, course and discipline-related detailed rubrics

Promise of Quality

WVU Parkersburg is nationally accredited by Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Under the guidance of HLC, institutional-wide assessment occurs every 10 years of all programs, including general education. In addition, program reviews occur every five years on a rotating basis. The institution collects data on pertinent information, such as flexibility of class scheduling and completion rate.

General Education Benefits

  • Flexible access – traditional, online, blended and alternative delivery format classes.
  • Clear pathways to the next course of study – “Career Ladder” programs assure credits earned will not be wasted.
  • Meaningful projects prepare students to take part in the world at large.
  • Classes taught by instructors familiar with diverse student populations – from recent high school grads, to workers undergoing retraining, to seniors deciding to further their education.
  • Most classes transfer to other colleges in West Virginia due to a statewide general education course transfer agreement.
  • All certificate, associate, and baccalaureate degree programs at WVU Parkersburg require the completion of a general education core.

General Education Course Highlights

  • 100 percent of courses require students to learn discipline-specific terms and concepts in a useful process.
  • 83 percent of courses feature writing as a key component.
  • Courses regularly employ a variety of critical thinking skills in the classroom.
  • Logic, reasoning and the ability to analyze multiple perspectives were recognized as key components in the classroom experience.
  • Instructors use a wide variety of classroom assessment tools.
  • Students are encouraged to go beyond critical thinking into advanced application of knowledge.
  • Most courses in the general education curriculum have multi-discipline components.
  • Workforce skills and behaviors are regularly measured through assessment of attendance, timely assignment completion, ability to work in groups, safety, writing, interpersonal and public speaking, and other skills.


HLC Documents

HLC Assessment Faculty Resource Book pdf