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General Education Distribution

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Clarion University’s academic structure has recently been reorganized. The information on these pages is valid for students who began their degrees prior to fall 2014.

For students looking for information about degrees in the new academic structure, it can be found on the college web pages:

College of Arts, Education and Sciences
College of Business Administration and Information Science
Venango College

For students seeking information about degree programs prior to fall 2014, it is available in the 2013-15 Undergraduate Catalog or in the 2013-15 Graduate Catalog.

A new catalog reflecting the reorganized academic structure will be available this fall. Curricular questions should be directed to your academic advisor.

Goals and Purposes

A Clarion University education provides students with  both a specialized and a liberal education. A specialized education provides a student with depth of knowledge in a particular vocation, profession, academic discipline, or area of study. General education aims to assist the student’s development of skills which apply to all career areas and disciplines, and development as a person and an informed citizen for life within and beyond the university.

Students have the freedom to select an academic major for their area of specialization and elective courses in which they are interested. The general education curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects and develop skills that not only serve their interests but community needs as well. Here is an outline of general education requirements:


General Education Requirements

I. Liberal Education Skills
(in writing, mathematics, and communication)–12 credit hours to include:

A. College Writing and information literacy

B. A mathematics course

C. A selection of courses from academic support, computer information science, communication, elementary foreign language, English composition, logic, mathematics, and speech communication.


II. Liberal Knowledge
(about society, its individuals, culture, and environment)–27 credit hours distributed among three categories:

A. Physical and biological sciences–9 credits

B. Social and behavioral sciences–9 credits

C. Arts and humanities–9 credits

At least two disciplines must be represented within each of the three categories.


III. Health and Personal Performance
(with focus on wellness, creative activities, and use of leisure time)-three credits to include:

A. Health and wellness (one course)–2 credits

B. Personal performance (one course)–1 credit


IV. General Education Elective
(for further exploration of areas of interest and continued broadening of studies)-sufficient course work to bring the total for general education to 48 credits from an approved list in areas of skills or liberal knowledge. These may not be in your major, and only one additional hour of personal performance is permitted.


General Education Flags

Among the courses meeting requirements in both general education and the major, there are courses having "flags" or special designations.

These flags denote courses that address such practical qualities as the ability to understand and discuss values, to write effectively, to engage in quantitative reasoning and to be information literate. You will need to be sure courses selected in general education and in the major show a total of six flags in the following categories:

In general education:

  • One first-year Values Flag-
    promotes reflections on personal values, interpersonal values, and societal values.

  • One Basic Information Literacy Flag-
    shapes ability to gather, access, and critically evaluate information. Usually fulfilled by first-year writing competency course.

In the major or general education:

  • A second Values Flag-
    encourages exploration in human values, applied values, or ethics in a particular context

  • Two Writing Intensive Flags-
    engage in higher order reasoning and communication in specific disciplines. These two writing courses count for credit beyond general education as part of the total academic experience, either in the major or in support courses for the major.

  • A Quantitative Reasoning Flag-
    to develop skills associated with learning from data, quantitative expression, evidence and assertions, and quantitative intuition.

  • One Applied Information Literacy Flag-
    ability to use information to accomplish specific purposes, incorporate information into knowledge base and value system, and understand the legal and ethical issues of accessing and using information.

Students have the freedom to select the academic major and elective courses that are of interest. The general education curriculum provides the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects that not only serve student interests but community needs as well.