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General Education Program

General Education Program

Purpose Statement

The general education curriculum is at the heart of a student’s educational journey, conveys the values embedded with a rich Mercy heritage, and infuses personal and professional practice with the spirit of liberal learning. It provides a foundation for learning for life and livelihood by exploring a range of disciplines, their relationships, and how they contribute to human understanding and the common good.

Program Vision

We envision students who are intellectually alive and socially responsible.

Learning Goals

  1. Understanding of human culture and the natural world
    • Science
    • Social sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Humanities
    • Arts
    • Religion
    • Philosophy
  2. Intellectual and practical capacities
    • Written and oral communication
    • Inquiry, critical and creative thinking
    • Quantitative literacy
    • Information literacy†
    • Collaboration
    • Integration of learning* 
  3. Individual and social responsibility
    • Civic responsibility, engagement and concern for the common good
    • Ethical reflection
    • Intercultural knowledge and sensitivities
    • Propensity for lifelong learning‡
    • Service to, care for and empowerment of others

†Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and use the needed information effectively and responsibly.

*"Integrative learning comes in many varieties: connecting skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences, applying theory to practice in various settings, utilizing diverse and even contradictory points of view, and understanding issues and positions contextually." (Mary Taylor Huber and Pat Hutchings. Integrative Learning: Mapping the Terrain. Washington D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2004. Page 13.)

‡"Propensity for lifelong learning is evident in students who can plan and assess their own learning, are active learners, learn in both formal and informal settings, learn collaboratively, integrate knowledge, and can call upon a variety of learning strategies for different learning situations." (C. Knapper and A. J. Cropley. Lifelong Learning in Higher Education. London: Kogan Page, 2000. Page 170.)