Jul 19, 2024  
2019-2020 Chesapeake College Catalog 
2019-2020 Chesapeake College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Program and Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

Chesapeake College’s vision is to prepare students as independent learners who are intellectually competent, technologically proficient, and who share the responsibilities and privileges of global citizenship. The General Education Program requirements represent a core curriculum for all associate degree-seeking students.

Program Description

The General Education Program is a collection of core courses where faculty teach and assess the institutional student learning outcomes. While the number of required credits varies among degree programs, students choose courses from each of the designated areas of the General Education distribution list to meet the requirements of their program of study.

Program Goals

The General Education Program will provide students with:

  • the awareness of the challenges of a modern, technological society;
  • the skills to express themselves clearly and creatively;
  • the ability to interpret and analyze information, to solve problems, and to compute mathematically;
  • knowledge of the nature, value, and diversity of cultures.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the General Education core courses, students will be able to:

*1. Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Definition: Communicating in oral and written English is the process of competently and effectively participating in the exchange of ideas, which includes comprehending, articulating, and formulating a logical argument.

A course that addresses this outcome might require a student to participate actively in the exchange of ideas, apply an awareness of social dynamics, consider audience, or develop expression that is clear, convincing, and logical.

*2. Solve problems using critical analysis and reasoning.

Definition: Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information from multiple perspectives.

A course that addresses this outcome might require a student to analyze, solve problems, construct a logical argument, apply scholarly and scientific methods, and accurately employ terminology and information. Particular critical thinking skills can vary from discipline to discipline.

*3. Demonstrate technological competency.

Definition: Technological competency is the set of skills necessary to apply, assess and utilize technology.

A course that addresses this outcome might require a student to examine social implications, evolution, and laws that govern responsible use of technology, and apply tools to generate, retrieve, evaluate, and synthesize information within and across disciplines.

*4. Apply information literacy skills to locate, evaluate and use information effectively.

Definition: Information literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information (American Library Association).

A course that addresses this outcome might require a student to identify a variety of sources and formats for information, evaluate the reliability and validity of information and sources, and use information legally and ethically.

5. Apply scientific and quantitative reasoning skills effectively.

Definition: Quantitative literacy is the use of numerical, geometric, and measurement concepts, mathematical skills, and the principles of mathematical reasoning to draw logical conclusions and to make well­reasoned decisions within the context of various disciplines and daily life.

A course that addresses this outcome might require a student to use abstract symbols such as mathematical formulas, numerical methods, graphs, tables, charts and schematics to organize, analyze and interpret data and numerical concepts.

Definition: Scientific literacy is built on the interaction of evidence and logical reasoning, the importance of careful observation, the role of observations in supporting a line of reasoning, and the value of reasoning in suggesting new observations (American Association for the Advancement of Science).

A course that addresses this outcome might require a student to generate an empirically evidenced and logical argument; distinguish a scientific argument from a non­scientific argument; reason by deduction, induction and analogy; distinguish between causal and correlational relationships; and recognize methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge.

6. Evaluate diverse forms of expression and perspectives.

Definition: Acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to develop critical understanding of personal and social characteristics that differentiate individuals, their cultures, social structures and artistic expression is essential to the evaluation of diverse forms of expression and perspectives.

A course that addresses this outcome might require a student to examine how political, economic, historic, artistic, psychological and social forces shape individual behaviors and social structures. Students might also analyze the social, physical and cultural forces that shape a society. Insights into diverse perspective in the arts and social sciences will provide understanding of how globalization is causing change, human opportunity and conflict.

7. Apply values and ethical frameworks to complex problems.

Definition: To apply values and ethical frameworks necessitates an ability to identify, comprehend, and examine ethical problems and dilemmas and their ramifications in a systematic, thorough, and responsible way.

A course that addresses this outcome might require a student to reflect on academic integrity case studies, work samples illustrating application of ethical principles, activities in creative inquiry or service learning groups and historical, contemporary, and social perspectives related to and across disciplines.

* Institutional Outcomes Across the Entire Campus

Limited Distribution Core Requirements

 Category  AA / AS / AAT Degree

AAS Degree

 Arts and Humanities

 6 Credits - COM 101 Plus 3 credits

 3 Credits - One Course

 English Composition

 3 Credits - ENG 101

 3 Credits - ENG 101

 Social/Behavioral Sciences

 6 Credits - Two Courses

 3 Credits - One Course


 3-5 Credits - One Course

 3-5 Credits - One Course

 BIO/Natural Sciences

 7-8 Credits - At Least One Lab Science

 3-4 Credits - One Course

 Interdisciplinary/Emerging Issues

 6 Credits - IDC 201 and PED 103

 0 Credits*

Minimum Required Credits:

 28 Credits

 18 Credits*

*NOTE:  In addition to the courses specified above in a particular General Education category, any Limited Distribution Core course may be used in meeting the minimum required credits for the AAS Degree. See individual program requirements for details.

English Composition Category

Eligible courses include:

Interdisciplinary/Emerging Issues Category

Eligible courses include:

Online Options

Many of these general education courses may be taken online.

State General Education Student Transfer Policy

[See Student Transfer Policies, Appendix 1 .]

While each college has the autonomy to design a General Education Program to meet the unique needs and mission of the institution, the State of Maryland has adopted regulations establishing common standards for general education courses. The regulations also guarantee transfer of these courses and their application to the General Education Program of the receiving institution. Under the policy, community colleges may require no more than 36 hours of general education credit for Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degree programs. Receiving institutions may require no more than 46 credits of upper- and lower-level general education courses, including any institutional requirements. The regulations also mandate that general education requirements successfully completed at the sending institution would be accepted as meeting the general education requirements of the receiving institution within the State without further review or course-by-course match.

A student who has successfully completed any part of the 36 lower-division general education credits at a public college or university shall receive lower-division general education credits for those courses at any public institution to which the student transfers.

Chesapeake College requires a minimum of 31 general education credits for its Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Arts in Teaching transfer degree programs. The College requires a minimum of 20 general education credits for its Associate of Applied Science career programs. The courses which are eligible for meeting these standards in both the career and transfer degree programs are listed in the Limited Distribution Core Requirements.

Standards for a “C” Paper

The following standards for a “C” paper were developed by a Statewide English Composition Committee, approved by the Maryland Chief Academic Officers, and recommended for implementation on a voluntary basis at all public two- and four-year colleges and universities. The Chesapeake College Faculty has adopted the Standards for a “C” Paper as guidelines for college-level courses, especially those meeting the general education Limited Distribution Core Requirements.


The “C” paper fulfills the assignment, meeting all specified requirements, such as subject, organization, and length, and reflects the author’s awareness of audience and purpose. The paper presents a central idea supported by relevant material (facts, figures, examples, quotations, or other details). The reasoning is sound; arguments are supported with adequate evidence, and the paper makes appropriate use of specific, concrete, and relevant information. Other points of view are acknowledged and responded to as appropriate. Sources of information are accurately and fully attributed.


The “C” paper has a discernible and logical plan. It has a focus, and the writer maintains the focus throughout the essay. The writer has unified the entire essay in support of the central idea, or thesis, and individual paragraphs in support of subordinate points. Some individual paragraphs, however, may be weak. The writer promotes coherence through the logical order of paragraphs and the use of some or all of the following devices: thesis sentence, topic sentences, opening and closing paragraphs, and transitions. The use of these devices may lack smoothness, but the writer has achieved an acceptable level of organization.


The “C” paper uses reasonable stylistic options (tone, word choice, sentence patterns) for its audience and purpose. The writing is clear. As a rule, the paper has smooth transitions between paragraphs, although some sentences may be ineffective. The meaning of sentences is clear, although some sentences may be awkward or there may be a lack of variety in sentence patterns. Nonetheless, sentence structure is generally correct, although it may show limited mastery of such elements as subordination, emphasis, sentence variety and length, and modifiers. The paper reflects current academic practices of language use established by professional associations such as the Modern Language Association and the American Psychological Association.


The “C” paper follows the conventions of standard written U. S. English; thus, it is substantially free of errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics. What errors are present must not impede meaning nor overly distract the reader.


In addition to the state-wide standards for a “C” paper, the college uses the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Value Rubrics and other institutional rubrics in the assessment of the institutional student learning outcomes.