Philosophy & Program Goals

General Education Program

The basis of an Appalachian education is the General Education Program. Through its interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, students learn to adapt to new environments, integrate knowledge from diverse sources and continue learning throughout their lives. The General Education Program draws on nationally identified best educational practices, as well as what employers say they want from today's graduates.

The General Education Program has four goals:

  1. Thinking critically and creatively
  2. Communicating effectively
  3. Making local to global connections
  4. Understanding responsibilities of community membership.

Beginning with the First Year Seminar, the General Education Program accounts for 44 semester hours of a student's degree program.

First Year Seminar

First Year Seminar introduces first year students to rigorous academic study at the university level through interdisciplinary engagement with a broad topic or question. Experienced faculty engage students in a shared process of inquiry in small seminar-style classes.

Faculty also help students make the transition to academic life at App State by introducing students to a variety of library research tools, making connections with faculty and other students, introducing the wide range of resources provided to students, and involving the university and local community. Additionally, all First Year Seminars share in common the learning goals, which are the foundation of the university's General Education Program

First Year Seminar courses also serve as a designated Global Learning Opportunity courses cultivate intercultural competence by examining a single issue from multiple perspectives.

General Education

The General Education Program includes:

  • writing courses at the freshman and sophomore levels;
  • a wellness literacy requirement to enhance students' knowledge and management of their personal health in all its dimensions;
  • a quantitative literacy component to develop reasoning and numerical skills;
  • a science inquiry theme to introduce students to concepts related to the scientific processes of studying natural phenomena;
  • an Integrative Learning Experience to provide students the opportunity to study a focused, thematic topic from multiple disciplinary perspectives;
  • a Liberal Studies Experience to give students the opportunity to explore several disciplines from across the campus.

As part of the Integrative Learning Experience and Liberal Studies Experience students are required to complete Fine Arts, Historical Studies, Literary Studies, and Social Sciences requirements.

The General Education Program also incorporates a Writing in the Discipline course and a Senior Capstone Experience in a student's major.