Apr 20, 2024  
2014 -2015 Chesapeake College Catalog 
2014 -2015 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 in oral and written English;
  2. read with comprehension;
  3. think critically; reason abstractly;
  4. analyze and interpret mathematical information;
  5. understand and use the scientific method;
  6. demonstrate cultural literacy;
  7. understand the nature and value of the fine arts;
  8. demonstrate information literacy;
  9. apply technology to learning; and
  10. foster ethical behavior.

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 - From Two Different Disciplines

 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

 3 Credits - One Course

Minimum Required Credits:

 31 Credits

 20 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.