General education is that part of the college education that provides students with the foundations essential to lead personally fulfilling and responsible lives as productive citizens. General education cultivates the knowledge, skills and attitudes that educated persons use to shape their lives. It fosters the desire and capacity to continue learning throughout life. A general education “produces persons who are open-minded and free from provincialism, dogma, preconception and ideology; conscious of their opinions and judgments; reflective of their actions; and aware of their place in the social and natural worlds.”
An educated person is able to think clearly, communicate effectively, make reasoned and ethically aware judgments, respect human diversity and connect and apply fields of knowledge. These general abilities are required by all areas of specialization. The breadth of general education complements the rigor and depth of specialized education.
If education is a journey, as many have conceived it, then the curriculum is a map. The Harper College general education curriculum requirements provide a selection of diverse courses. Following the map of general education ensures that a student’s education is a coherent, comprehensive journey.