Sauk’s faculty have articulated general education requirements for its graduates as two separate components, which are documented in the catalog statements to students and in the design of the system for Assessment of Academic Achievement:
1) General Education Core Curriculum (GECC)
Sauk offers 40 transfer degree programs and 19 terminal career degree programs. All of the degree programs require students to take general education courses as part of a core curriculum requirement, in addition to subject-specific courses. GECC requirements adhere to ICCB requirements and have been locally approved by faculty and the Sauk Curriculum Committee prior to requesting ICCB approval and being published in the college catalog (see Figure 4iii).
Figure 4iii: GECC Requirements
Gen Ed courses
A.A. or A.S. degrees (# of credit hours)
A.A.S degrees (# of credit hours)
Variations in the requirements reflect varying academic considerations for the type of degree. Source: 2010-2012 Catalog
Under provisions of the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), approximately 25% (89 of 362) of Sauk’s courses are directly transferable to other IAI institutions as GECC credits. To assure that students can accurately identify these qualifying courses, a 900 identification number and code appears on each course description in the catalog and the class schedule students use to register for classes.
The college has two additional categories of GECC requirements that address distinctive local priorities for Sauk graduates:
Orientation: Degree-seeking students are required to take Orientation (PSY 100), a one-credit-hour course. The course outcomes require students to explore a number of skills to enhance their learning (such as study skills and strategies), diversity, and their own role in establishing academic goals. Students are encouraged to complete the class early in their college careers, and about 73% of in-coming students complete it within their first two semesters.
Personal Health and Development: A.A. and A.S. degree-seeking students are required to take up to four credit hours of personal-interest coursework, selected from a list of courses approved by the Curriculum Committee. In general, these courses address such interests as choir or music lessons, computer applications, and physical fitness. A complete list is provided in the Sauk catalog.
2) General Education Competencies:
In keeping with the intent of the community and various regulatory agencies, the faculty has articulated a set of outcomes, which are published in the catalog, that reflect institutional priorities for graduates: Students should live “responsible, productive, and joyful lives” and be prepared “for the increasing demands of the workplace and the expanding responsibilities of the diverse local and global communities in which they will live and work.” These competencies are achieved primarily through the curricular framework of the GECC, but are taught, reinforced, or confirmed in many of the major program and discipline-specific courses:
Ethics: Students will be able to:
Identify ethical issues in a variety of contexts and academic disciplines and explain their significance.
Reason about ethical principles and consequences.
Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning: Students will be able to:
Interpret and apply appropriate mathematical formulas and relationships in the appropriate context.
Perform mathematical computations.
Demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret the mathematical results of computations.
Problem Solving: Students will be able to:
Identify problems and the desired outcomes.
Recognize and evaluate available resources.
Adapt, organize, and implement solutions or plans of action.
Communications: Students will be able to:
Create and revise formal and informal writing assignments that are clear, coherent, and exhibit a command of Standard English.
Develop, organize, rehearse, and deliver formal and informal oral presentations that are audience appropriate and either informative or persuasive.
Demonstrate collaboration in completion of projects and assignments.
Demonstrate the ability to read college-level texts by providing appropriate and critical responses in discussions, tests, presentations, critiques, and reviews.
Demonstrate their ability to listen by providing appropriate and critical response after a listening experience.
Technology: Students will be able to:
Demonstrate general computer literacy.
Demonstrate the selection and use of appropriate technologies for the specific discipline.
Research: Students will be able to:
Identify, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information to generate ideas and concepts.
Assess the value of a source.
Identify, describe, and utilize appropriate research tools, methods, and processes.