General education opens an appreciation of the various ways a person can consider and understand the human experience, and of the breadth of human knowledge. General education is meant to teach habits of mind. Specifically, the general education program at Plymouth State University focuses on the following four habits of mind: problem solving, purposeful communication, integrated perspective, and self-regulated learning.
These important and critical habits of mind create flexible thinking and flexible skills that will translate into real world experiences and application. As a student, you will be pushed out of your comfort zone and into new and different fields, encouraging a broader world view. Drawing from different fields, specializations, and areas of knowledge creates a comprehensive education that can be applied and utilized in meaningful and previously unexplored and “unexpectable” ways.
Many people “don’t know what you don’t know until you learn it”! Therefore, general education is teaching you about problem-solving, curiosity, life-long learning with a purpose, adaptability, and strong work ethic. These habits of mind will serve you well throughout your college career as well as long after you graduate.
More specifically, a structured general education program focuses on branching out and providing different skills and ways of thinking to students that they may not have had prior to their general education experience. Using a structured general education program helps to create an interdisciplinary and integrative structure that guides methods of inquiry, again pushing students out of their comfort zones and into new ways of thinking. Furthermore, using a structured general education program creates a shared experience among students that encourages interaction across disciplines that may not have been fostered otherwise.
Different majors, programs, disciplines, and clusters are all represented in the general education program at PSU in order to create habits of mind and develop those new methods of inquiry. All of these different programs contribute to the educated person (re: reading) and what employers are looking for in future employees and what graduates can expect of their college education.
Finally, beyond learning new ways of thinking and habits of mind students also develop and prepare to “understand and manage complexity, diversity, and change” (LEAP Challenge, 2015). The general education program helps you to develop highly transferable skills that are marketable and flexible in a changing world. These skills and habits of mind are invaluable and you will carry them with you long after you leave PSU.