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General Education for Adult Learners in the Twenty-First Century

Thomas Edison State University is focused on meeting the educational needs of the self-directed adult learner. Students come to the University with a wealth of experience from academic work at other institutions, from the workplace and from military service. Thomas Edison State University is committed to education as a transformative process that broadens perspectives in a global, technologically sophisticated and diverse society. Our vision for general education at the University is that it be threaded throughout the curriculum, across all schools and at all levels of study.

Undergraduate degrees offered through Thomas Edison State University are designed around three constructs:

  1. General Education: an integrated foundation based on the liberal arts with a focus on core skills and competencies
  2. Area of Study: in-depth work in a specific discipline
  3. Elective Courses: a flexible elective component to meet personal and intellectual interests complementary to, but distinct from, the selected field of study.

General Education Requirements

Intellectual and Practical Skills top of page

Intellectual and communicative skills necessary for success in the academic environment and for addressing globally complex challenges.

Written Communication:
Communicate their ideas effectively in writing using text, data and images as appropriate and in different genres and styles.

Oral Communication:
Communicate their ideas effectively orally using multiple modes of communication, as appropriate.

Information Literacy:
Identify, locate, evaluate and effectively and responsibly use and share information for the problem at hand.

Quantitative Literacy:
Demonstrate competency and comfort in working with numerical data, create complex and refined arguments supported by quantitative evidence and clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats (suing words, tables, graphs, mathematical equations, etc.), as appropriate.

Civic and Global Leadership top of page

Knowledge required for responsible global citizenship and effective engagement in a dynamic environment.

Diversity/Intercultural Literacy:
Recognize that they are members of diverse communities, both local and global, and demonstrate intercultural knowledge, skills and attitudes that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts and social categories, such as, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, religion and age.

Ethical Leadership:
Assess their own ethical values and the social context of a given situation, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, apply ethical principles to ethical dilemmas and consider the ramification of alternative actions.

Civic Engagement:
Demonstrate effective, responsible, and meaningful skills while engaged in the political life of a community.

Knowledge of Human Cultures top of page

Knowledge from the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, which develop an understanding of humanity.

Understanding of the Physical and Natural World top of page

Knowledge from the Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics) in order to develop an appreciation of the order, diversity and beauty of the natural environment and an understanding of scientific reasoning.

New General Education Offering

We are excited to announce a new General Education offering:
A suite of courses with all learning materials included at no additional cost.

What does this mean for you?
If you choose from the select courses, there is now a pathway through the general education requirements that calls for no money for textbooks or other course materials.

View General Education Courses