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The IC BLUEprint General Education Program

A.Statement of Purpose for the IC BLUEprint General Education Program

Illinois College is a liberal arts institution whose purpose is to educate students to lead fulfilling lives of leadership and service in the 21st century. The goals of the general education program are fulfilled both in the 12 core courses that extend throughout students’ academic careers and also in courses and components within their majors. Through this integrated approach, we encourage students to become lifelong learners.

Upon graduation, Illinois College students will have acquired a broad and diverse body of knowledge concerning the artistic, cultural, political, scientific, social, and spiritual dimensions of our past and present worldwide communities, as well as implications for our future. In achieving this, students will

  1. develop an understanding of different worldviews and lifestyles and an adeptness at utilizing various methodologies to interpret them;
  2. confront and explore basic questions about the meaning and purpose of life;
  3. understand dynamic interactions of economic, social, political, and scientific issues;
  4. expand their knowledge of cultures beyond their own and the interconnectedness as well as the disconnect among different communities across the globe.

Upon graduation, Illinois College students will have developed an array of skills, enabling
them to strive toward excellence and solve problems through inquiry, analysis, synthesis,
creative and critical thinking, and collaboration. In achieving this, students will

  1. know how to ask questions, develop hypotheses, examine relevant information, and draw conclusions, fusing experience, reason and training into considered judgment;
  2. approach problems with curiosity, open-mindedness, and perseverance;
  3. have the capacity to analyze information with perceptiveness and accuracy, making connections among disparate sources;
  4. learn how to work constructively with others inside and outside the classroom.

Upon graduation, Illinois College students will have learned to communicate effectively
and responsibly, and achieved various proficiencies, including aesthetic, statistical, and
information literacy. In achieving this, students will

  1. possess a facility with language that includes not only a knowledge of its rules but also the ability to express thoughts clearly and cogently for a variety of purposes and audiences;
  2. make connections that create meaning between self and audience, by learning to speak, read, write, and listen effectively, using appropriate media and data;
  3. critically evaluate statistical information and understand the use and misuse of such evidence;
  4. identify required information, use appropriate research tools to locate resources, and evaluate the most important materials;
  5. appreciate, understand, and evaluate aesthetic expression.

Upon graduation, Illinois College students will have become engaged and ethically responsible citizens capable of evaluating and challenging our world. In achieving this, students will

  1. become thoughtful citizens of the world, recognizing fundamental human rights;
  2. demonstrate responsibility to others and to themselves;
  3. exhibit an awareness of local, national, and global political processes, participating in them and making informed decisions;
  4. recognize problems in our society, be willing to take a stand, and work for change;
  5. act with an informed awareness of contemporary issues and their historical contexts;
  6. understand, analyze, and evaluate ethical systems, including their own, and act responsibly.

Illinois College encourages students to explore and experience their full humanity. We build relationships with students inside and outside the classroom, knowing that education happens on many levels and in many venues. True to our history rooted in social justice, Illinois College graduates are prepared by their moral awareness and intercultural competence to foster tolerance and respect, serving their communities through their leadership and exhibiting integrity in all endeavors.

II.The IC BLUEprint General Education Program
A.The Core Courses

1.Foundations
First-year experience of 3 courses, featuring a learning community of 2 courses:

  • First-Year Seminar (of varying themes)
  • Meets 3 hours each week with professor
  • Meets 1 hour each week with professor, student mentor, and other professional mentors to discuss common themes and issues related to college transitional success
  • Oral Communication or Written Communication, with Library Research/Information Literacy included in Written Communication

Either Oral Communication or Written Communication is taken concurrently with the First-Year Seminar in the fall semester, as part of the learning community, while the remaining course is usually taken in the spring semester of the first year.

2.Explorations
1-3 courses (8 total) from each of the following categories:

  • Creative Expressions
    (1 studio course required)
  • Cultures and Worldview
    (Required connection: 1 modern language course at the 102-level or above and another course)
  • Science in Society
    (1 lab science required)
  • Social, Spiritual, and Philosophical Issues

Each course may be listed in only one of these 4 categories. For each major, of courses that a student may take to fulfill major requirements, only one may be counted as an Explorations course. Explorations courses have to be drawn from at least four (4) different disciplines.

Students must take two pairs of related* or bonded** courses, taken either simultaneously or sequentially within a year, calendar or academic. These courses must be in separate disciplines. One of these pairs consists of the required connection between a modern language course and another course. For the other pair, the two courses may occur anywhere in the curriculum.

*Related courses share thematic similarities, but require no faculty collaboration.
**Bonded courses are more closely integrated, including at least two shared assignments, readings, or activities.

3.Transformations
One interdisciplinary senior capstone course or experience, or one disciplinary senior capstone course or experience with an interdisciplinary theme or component.

4.Course Criteria
In order to receive general education credit as a Foundations, Explorations, or Transformations course, it must include learning experiences that provide students with practice in four of the five following skills:

  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Creative and Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Inquiry, Analysis, and Synthesis
  • Collaboration

These experiences won’t be tracked for individual students. It is expected that as students take their various courses throughout the general education program that they will be exposed to all of these different skills in various forms. Some students might have more exposure to one of these skills than others, but they will have exposure to each of them in at least one course and probably in multiple courses.

B.Embedded Experiences

These are experiences, spread throughout the curriculum that each student must have.
A course may have at most 3 designated embedded experiences.

  • 5 writing extensive experiences, to take place in the first-year seminar, first-year writing course, senior capstone course or experience (discipline-appropriate writing), 1 course in the major (discipline-appropriate writing), and 1 other writing-extensive designated course or activity
    • 1 writing extensive experience may be fulfilled through a faculty-approved co-curricular activity
  • 5 speaking extensive experiences, to take place in the first-year seminar, first-year oral communication course, senior capstone course or experience (discipline-appropriate oral communication), 1 course in the major (discipline-appropriate oral communication), and 1 other speaking-extensive designated course or activity
    • 1 speaking extensive experience may be fulfilled through a faculty-approved co-curricular activity
  • U.S. Diversity/Global Awareness, fulfilled through completion of all of the following experiences:
    • required foreign language course at the 102-level or above connected to another course
    • some sessions in fourth hour of the first-year seminar
    • 1 course with a significant American diversity component
    • 1 course with a significant global awareness component Global Awareness may be fulfilled through study abroad and a reflective essay or participation in a BreakAway experience and a reflective essay.
  • Statistical literacy, fulfilled by 1 course in statistics or 2 courses with statistical component
  • Information literacy, fulfilled through completion of all of the following experiences:
    • the library component of first-year writing course
    • 1 course with an information literacy component
    • satisfactory completion of a research project in 1 course in the major (discipline-appropriate research project
  • Preparing for Ethical and Responsible Action, fulfilled through completion of all of the following experiences:
    • component in first-year communication course
    • Ethics course or course with ethics component
    • component in 1 course in the major
  • Community/Civic Engagement, fulfilled through completion of all of the following experiences:
    • service project in connection with first-year seminar
    • 1 designated course, independent study project including reflective essay, or a faculty-approved co-curricular activity

    C.Accommodations for Students in the 3-2 Program in Engineering

    Students participating in the 3-2 Program in Engineering are transfer students who transfer out of Illinois College but still receive a degree from Illinois College. Because they receive degrees from both Illinois College and the college or university at which they complete their degree, these students need to fulfill the general education requirements of both. In acknowledgement of the curricular constraints posed by this situation, the following accommodations will be made. They will be allowed only for those students in the 3-2 Program in Engineering who successfully complete the engineering program at the institution to which they transfer.

  1. Students in the 3-2 Program in Engineering whose level of language participation necessitates their enrollment in a foreign language course at the 101 level will have successfully completed the foreign language portion of the Culture and Worldview requirement upon completion of this course.
  2. Since participants in the 3-2 Program in Engineering attend Illinois College for only three years, they are not required to have a senior capstone course or experience.
  3. 3.Students in the 3-2 Program in Engineering may count up to 3 courses required for their major in the Science and Society category. Two of these courses must be outside the discipline of the student’s major.

    
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