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General Education Goals

Academic Affairs

In addition to major specific objectives established by each academic department, Missouri Southern State University has implemented a general education program that contributes toward the development of the whole person, as an individual and as a member of society. The faculty has established the following ten general education learning goals for all students graduating with a baccalaureate degree.


To develop students' effective use of the English language and quantitative and other symbolic systems essential to their success in school and in the world. Students should be able to read and listen critically and to write and speak with thoughtfulness, clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness.

Higher Order Thinking:

To develop students’ ability to distinguish among opinions, facts, and inferences; to identify underlying or implicit assumptions; to make informed judgments; and to solve problems by applying evaluative standards.

Managing Information:

To develop students’ abilities to locate, organize, store, retrieve, evaluate, synthesize, and annotate information from print, electronic, and other sources in preparation for solving problems and making informed decisions.


To develop students’ abilities to understand the moral and ethical values of a diverse society and to understand that many courses of action are guided by value judgments about the way things ought to be. Students should be able to make informed decisions through identifying personal values and the values of others and through understanding how such values develop. They should be able to analyze the ethical implications of choices made on the basis of these values.

Social and Behavioral Sciences:

To develop students’ understanding of themselves and the world around them through study of content and the processes used by historians and social and behavioral scientists to discover, describe, explain, and predict human behavior and social systems. Students must understand the diversities and complexities of the cultural and social world, past and present, and come to an informed sense of self and others. Students must fulfill the Missouri statute requirements for demonstrated knowledge of the United States and Missouri constitutions.

Humanities and Fine Arts:

To develop students’ understanding of the ways in which humans have addressed their condition through imaginative work in the humanities and fine arts; to deepen their understanding of how that imaginative process is informed and limited by social, cultural, linguistic, and historical circumstances; and to appreciate the world of the creative imagination as a form of knowledge.


To develop students’ understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts and their applications. Students should develop a level of quantitative literacy that would enable them to make decisions and solve problems and which could serve as a basis for continued learning. The mathematics requirement for general education should have the same prerequisite(s) and level of rigor as college algebra.

Life & Physical Sciences:

To develop students’ understanding of the principles and laboratory procedures of life and physical sciences and to cultivate their abilities to apply the empirical methods of scientific inquiry. Students should understand how scientific discovery changes theoretical views of the world, informs our imaginations, and shapes human history. Students should also understand that science is shaped by historical and social contexts.

International Cultural Studies:

To develop students’ understanding of how cultures and societies around the world are formed, sustained and evolve. Students should understand world affairs, international issues, and cultures other than their own as seen through the history, geography, language, literature, philosophy, economics, or politics of the cultures. Students will acquire empathy for the values and perspectives of cultures other than their own and an awareness of the international and multicultural influences in their own lives.

Health and Wellness:

To provide students with the knowledge and self-management skills that will assist them in adopting healthy lifestyles. This will encompass all areas of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, social and intellectual. Students will understand the relationship between lifestyle management, quality of life, and societal health and productivity.