AP 4025 Philosophy and Criteria for Associate Degree and General Education - Administrative Procedures, Chapter 4 Academic Affairs

  • References: Title 5 Section 55061; Accreditation Standard II.A.3

The successfully completed Associate in Arts General Education pattern may be applied to one or more Associate in Arts degrees; the successfully completed Associate in Science General Education pattern may be applied to one or more Associate in Science degrees.

Upon completion of graduation requirements, the major field will appear on the student’s permanent record, all transcripts, and on the diploma. Students may satisfy graduation requirements in effect at the first time of attendance at Ohlone College or regulations current at the time the student files for and receives a degree and/or certificate. Whichever catalog year is selected, all graduation requirements must be completed within that pattern. Of the 60 units required for graduation, 12 units must be completed at Ohlone College.

A Graduation Application must be submitted no later than the end of the eighth week of the semester in which the student expects to complete requirements. Please refer to the Academic Calendar in the Class Schedule for specific dates. College transcripts of all prior work must be on file in the Office of Admissions and Records on the Fremont campus before the application can be processed. The student’s transcript will certify the student’s graduation as either the last day of Fall Semester, Spring Semester, or Summer Term, as appropriate. There is only one formal commencement ceremony held each year at the end of the Spring Semester. All graduates who complete requirements during the academic year or the ensuing Summer Term are encouraged to participate in the graduation ceremony. Students with a cumulative grade point average in all college work applied toward the degree between 3.20 and 3.49 inclusive will graduate “With Honors.” All students with a cumulative GPA between 3.50 and 4.00 inclusive will graduate “With Highest Honors.” These notations will be included on the diploma.

General Education courses provide a comprehensive and well-rounded education that promotes the student’s personal, cultural, and intellectual growth. Completing these courses will promote personal awareness and growth as students adapt and grow in a changing world with a comprehension of the past, present, and future and an enhanced ability to address social, ethical, and philosophical issues.

Students will grow culturally, developing an appreciation of human differences and cultural heritages which will enhance their ability to live interdependently as ethical citizens within a culturally diverse and complex world. Finally, completing general education courses will instill intellectual curiosity and analytical thinking conducive to lifelong learning. Development of skills in such varied fields as the natural sciences, the social sciences, fine arts and humanities, English composition, mathematics, critical thinking, foreign languages, cultural diversity, physical education, and information competency will enable students to transfer and apply knowledge in multiple domains and solve everyday life problems.

The Ohlone College General Education pattern requires a minimum of 18 units in completing an Ohlone-specific general education pattern, including cultural diversity, wellness, and information competency components. The General Education pattern is recommended for students whose immediate goal is to complete an associate degree with either a general or occupational major. Students who desire to complete an Associate in Arts for Transfer or an Associate in Science for Transfer should opt for the CSU Breadth Pattern or Intersegmental General Education Plan. In some occupational majors students may be required to complete more than 60 units to obtain an associate degree. Students are advised to consult with a counselor.

The following information presents the General Education Philosophy and Student Learning Outcomes for the Ohlone College General Education pattern. The major areas include:

  1. Natural Sciences
  2. Social and Behavioral Sciences/American Institutions
  3. Fine Arts/Humanities
  4. Analytical Thinking and Oral Communication
  5. Physical Education/Wellness
  6. Cultural Diversity
  7. Information Competence

Area I Natural Sciences

Courses in the natural sciences are those which examine the physical universe, its life forms, and its natural phenomena. To satisfy the General Education requirement in natural sciences, a course shall be designed to help the student develop an appreciation and understanding of the scientific method, and encourage an understanding of the relationships between science and other human activities. This category includes introductory or integrative courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, general physical science, geology, meteorology, oceanography, physical geography, physical anthropology, physics, and other scientific disciplines.

Student Learning Outcome:

Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to analyze and apply concepts of biological and/or physical science obtained through the scientific method.

Area II Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social and behavioral science courses increase the understanding of individual and group-influenced behavior in a variety of contexts: geographic location, economic structures, historical background, political institutions, social groups, societies, and the individual person. Courses will challenge students to think critically about these contexts and should promote appreciation of how societies and social subgroups operate within them. Courses will also develop students’ abilities to recognize and apply appropriate methods of inquiry to the particular social science areas that they are studying.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to:

  1. Identify and apply the major theories and methods of inquiry of the relevant social or behavioral science to a variety of contexts in order to investigate, analyze, or predict individual or group behavior.
  2. Describe how individuals and/or groups are influenced by their social, cultural, and/or historical contexts.
  3. Apply disciplinary knowledge from the social or behavioral sciences to contemporary ethical or social dilemmas.

Area III Fine Arts/Humanities

Courses in the fine arts and humanities area cultivate intellect, imagination, sensibility, and sensitivity. Courses fulfilling this requirement study great works of the human imagination; increase awareness and appreciation of the traditional humanistic disciplines such as fine and performing arts, literature, music, philosophy, history, and communications; impart an understanding of the interrelationship between creative art, the humanities, and the self; provide exposure to both Western and non-Western cultures; may include a foreign language course that contains a cultural component as opposed to a course that focuses solely on skills acquisition.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Fine Arts. Courses in this area are theory-based or historical. Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to analyze and value modes of artistic expression.
  2. Humanities. In addition to the traditional lecture classes in humanities, this area may include arts courses that are experiential or participatory.

Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to identify the influence of culture on human experience and/or expression.

Area IV Language and Rationality

Courses in Language and Rationality provide students with the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and communication skills, as well as their computational skills. Courses in these areas focus on writing, argument, analysis, problem solving, and verbal communication.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. English Composition - Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to:
    1. Write a well-organized paper in Standard English which presents a main idea supported by effective documentation and details.
    2. Demonstrate the ability to write effectively for a variety of purposes, using correct grammar and appropriate style.
  2. Analytical Thinking and Oral Communication - Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to:
    1. Think logically and critically to solve problems, draw conclusions, and evaluate evidence.
    2. Communicate an idea clearly, either verbally or in written form.
  3. Math Proficiency - Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to demonstrate the ability to think analytically by applying the concepts and techniques of algebra to the solution of real world math applications.

Area V Physical Education/Wellness

Physical Education courses are activity based. Wellness courses are not necessarily activity based and have a focus on such topics as nutrition, stress management, weight management, fitness, and personal wellness.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Physical Education - Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to:
    1. Value the importance of and develop a regular regimen of physical activity and/or exercise.
    2. Demonstrate fundamental skills incorporating the techniques, rules, and strategies of the activity.
  2. Wellness - Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to formulate a personal wellness plan incorporating the basic principles of a healthful lifestyle.

Area VI Intercultural/International Studies

The Intercultural/International Studies requirement is intended to instill in students an appreciation of peoples and cultures other than their own. Students who fulfill this requirement should be able to empathize with and respect those from different cultural backgrounds, and realize the interconnectedness of all peoples. The requirement is meant to help ensure that Ohlone College graduates acquire the perspective necessary for an enlightened, diverse global citizenry. Students taking a course in these areas will be able to recognize and negotiate the complex ethics and politics of construing meaning and building social relationships across differences; e.g.: ethnocentrism, nationalism, cultural imperialism, cultural appropriation, and homogenization of nations and cultures. Courses which satisfy the Ohlone College Intercultural/International Studies requirement shall be courses wholly focused on the following topics: culture, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic background, and/or language. Courses that satisfy the Intercultural/International Studies requirement may focus on any of the aforementioned topics within a U.S. context, or within an international or global context such as technology, economic development, cross national communication, cultural relations, and world art and literature.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to:

  1. Analyze the ways historical, cultural, and/or social conditions impact a particular intercultural/international group or culture.
  2. Develop sensitivity and skills for living and working in a culturally diverse world.

Area VII Information Competency

Information Competency is the ability to identify an information need, to find the needed information efficiently, and to use information effectively and ethically. Information Competency combines aspects of library literacy, research methods, critical thinking, and technological literacy.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon receipt of an associate degree from Ohlone College, a student will be able to:

  1. Develop effective research strategies.
  2. Locate, retrieve, evaluate, and use information ethically and legally.

Adopted: May 2012