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Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018 [Archived Catalog] [Archived Catalog]

PDF copy: College of General Studies.pdf

College of General Studies


Ester Warren, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.S., Ed.D.
Dean, College of General Studies
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Bruce Bell, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Associate Dean, College of General Studies
Professor of Business and Communication

Benjamin K. Forrest, B.S., M.A.R., MRE, Ed.S., Ed.D.
Associate Dean, College of General Studies
Professor of Christian Education

Craig Hammond, B.S., M.S.A.
Associate Dean, College of General Studies
Assistant Professor of Accounting

Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Chair, College of General Studies
Professor of English

Cindy Bunker, B.S., D.V.M.
Chair, College of General Studies
Associate Professor of Biology

Brad Burgess, B.S., A.A.S., M.B.A., M.A.R.
Chair, College of General Studies
Assistant Professor of Religion

Jamaica Conner, B.S., M.Ed.
Chair, College of General Studies
Assistant Professor of English

Amy Hassenpflug, B.A., M.Ed.
Chair, College of General Studies
Assistant Professor of General Studies

Cynthia Perry, B.A., M.S.
Chair, College of General Studies
Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Carolyn Towles, B.S., M.Ed.
Chair, College of General Studies
Assistant Professor of English

Program Directors

A listing of program directors can be viewed at http://www.liberty.edu/programdirectors.


The faculty roster, which can be sorted by department and faculty type, is available at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?action=faculty&PID=19959&CatID=27.

The College of General Studies (CGS) was founded in 2011 to organize and deliver general education coursework to the University’s first- and second-year students.  CGS offers courses in areas such as communication; math, science, and technology; information literacy; and critical thinking. CGS has a dedicated faculty who focus on delivering innovative and effective education for first and second year students.  

The College of General Studies’ goals include:

  1. Equipping freshman and sophomore students for spiritual, vocational, and intellectual success in life, learning, and education; 
  2. Enriching the freshman and sophomore experience in the classroom through a rigorous and coherent sequence of courses; Increasing student success via faculty mentoring, freshman learning communities, best practices of college instruction, and technological innovations; and
  3. Preparing students for their chosen major by which they will be equipped toward their future career goals.

In addition, the College of General Studies spearheads University instruction and assessment efforts in relation to core competencies such as communication; math, science, and technology; information literacy; and critical thinking.

General Education Guidelines

The general education component is tailored to the individual degree program by drawing from the University’s approved general education course options. The institution requires in each undergraduate degree program the successful completion of a general education component at the collegiate level that:

  1. is a substantial component of each undergraduate degree;
  2. ensures breadth of knowledge; and
  3. is based on a coherent rationale.

For degree completion in associate programs, the component constitutes a minimum of 15 semester hours or the equivalent.  For baccalaureate programs, the component constitutes a minimum of 30 semester hours or the equivalent. These credit hours must include at least one course from each of the following areas.

  1. humanities/fine arts (HFA);
  2. social/behavioral sciences (SBS); and
  3. natural science/mathematics (NSM).

A complete listing of approved courses is displayed in the “Approved Residential General Education and Integrative Courses” and the “Approved General Education Courses for Online Programs” sections. The courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. The institution provides a written justification and rationale for course equivalency.

Rules/Principles for Approval of General Education Courses

  1. Required General Education courses must be general;
  1. General education courses must be open to students of all majors, without heavy loads of prerequisite requirements
  2. Courses must not be reducible to a narrow or focused skill (e.g. guitar lessons cannot substitute for Music Appreciation)
  3. Courses must contribute to preparing students for a breadth of degree programs/careers
  1. General Education courses contribute to the University’s plan to ensure that students satisfy certain Core Competencies.
  2. In the event that a 300- or 400- level course is required to fulfill a requirement as a general education course, it must not be considered part of any major/program requirements (directed electives are acceptable, however).

Information Technology

Information Technology (INFT) is designed to assist students in developing and demonstrating foundational technology competency and proficiency that will lead to success in their college program coursework and future careers.  All incoming residential students, both freshmen and transfer, have the option to take an assessment in Information Technology their first semester to determine basic competency.  The Information Technology assessment covers areas in computer concepts, including file management, email, word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software.

The competency requirements may be met by either passing the assessments or taking a course, INFT 110 (Computer Concepts and Applications) or INFT 111 (Computer Concepts and Applications – MAC only).  In addition, students may complete a combination of assessments and coursework (INFT 102, 103, and/or 104) to fulfill the competency requirements. Online students develop their technology skills by other varied means, and online students beginning at Liberty complete UNIV 104 (Instructional Technology for Online Learning) to assure technological competency.

General Education Requirements for Residential Programs

The College of General Studies oversees the majority of courses included in the University’s General Education Requirements, which were adopted in 1990 by the faculty of Liberty University for all baccalaureate degree students. While the list of courses that comprise the general education core remains largely unchanged, the arrangement of courses now reflects the University’s commitment to develop core competencies in undergraduate students. The goal is to ensure that all undergraduate students demonstrate college-level knowledge and skills that prepare them both to fulfill the specific requirements of their individual college/school and major fields of study and to translate their learning into a variety of career contexts. An undergraduate curriculum of required basic General Education courses serves as a foundation for later specialization. 

This competency is the ability to elicit, synthesize, and respond clearly to quality information in an effective, correct, and appropriate format.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Produce well-structured, sound communications in various modes of discourse.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of diction, syntax, grammar, and mechanics to sentence and essay revision and editing
  3. Write a critical analysis of a literary, historical, and / or rhetorical work.
  4. Integrate credible sources accurately and effectively.

Information Literacy is the ability to recognize the need for information (which comes from a variety of textual, visual, digital, and other forms of media); strategically discover and organize information; use established criteria (such as reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, contextualization, and point of view or bias) to critique information and its sources; responsibly contribute to the conversation surrounding information.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Determine the nature and extent of information needed.
  2. Discover and evaluate information
  3. Access and use information legally and ethically
  4. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

Critical Thinking. This competency is the process of evaluating information gained through observation, reflection, or research, to reach logical conclusions and to guide decision- making.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate information to determine if it is supported by the evidence.
  2. Determine the relevance of information in evaluating an argument or conclusion
  3. Recognize flaws and logical inconsistencies in an argument.
  4. Generate conclusions based on credible research, analysis, and interpretation.
  5. Apply reading comprehension strategies including interpreting, evaluating and analyzing written content.

Math, Science, and Technology. This competency is the reasoning, quantitative, and technology proficiency necessary for general life skills and application to a wide variety of disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply technology to analyze, interpret or communicate information.
  2. Analyze evidence to generate conclusions.
  3. Apply a structured method to solve problems.

Christian Life & Thought. This competency is a coherent way of understanding God, humanity, and the world; it derives its principles from the Bible and applies them in order to direct belief and action.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Summarize the biblical metanarrative which frames the Christian worldview.
  2. Apply the biblical text and its principles to life through a contextual hermeneutic.
  3. Compare and contrast the biblical worldview with non-biblical worldviews.

Core Competency Requirements

Degree Completion Plans for residential and online students are organized according to core competencies, basic knowledge and skills that all students need for successful completion of their program of study. The General Education Requirements are located on the left side of the Degree Completion Plan. The DCP for each program, including the General Education Requirements, is available using links throughout this catalog. The General Education Requirements for some majors may vary.

Residential Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science

Associate of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Bachelor of Music
Bachelor of Science

Online Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science

Associate of Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Bachelor of Science

Approved General Education Courses for Residential Programs

The list of approved general education courses for residential programs is published online at http://www.liberty.edu/gened.

Approved General Education Courses for Online Programs

General Education

This elective may be fulfilled by approved courses within the Humanities and Fine Arts, Natural Science, Math, Technology, History, Social Science disciplines or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Restrictions may apply to some majors. General education electives must meet the University's general education guidelines.

The list of approved general education courses for online programs is published online at: http://www.liberty.edu/academics/generalstudies/index.cfm?PID=36025.

ENGL 100 (Basic Composition) is a developmental English course designed to help students improve their writing skills by studying correct usage of grammar and mechanics, organizing their thoughts for written assignments, and composing organized paragraphs and essays through the writing process.  ENGL 100 is a review of writing concepts established at the secondary level, such as a study of the basic modes of writing, grammar/mechanics, organizing techniques, and correct usage, providing essential tools of writing to students who do not have prerequisite English skills for college-level English.

In addition to Liberty University’s general education requirements, distance education students may also be required to fulfill additional requirements set by their home states.  Details by state will be added to the Degree Completion Plan.  Specific Degree Completion Plans for each state whose requirements differ are available from Liberty University Online Advising.

Highlighted text indicates a change from the official version of the catalog.

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