Mercer University’s founding vision, articulated by Jesse Mercer in the 1830s, dedicates us to promote free inquiry, religious liberty, and inclusiveness-values consonant with Baptist heritage. University President William D. Underwood underscored that vision in 2006, noting that “…the extent to which a university transforms the lives of individual students, who in turn transform their communities, represents the ultimate measure of a university’s greatness.” To put this transformative vision into practice within the communities we serve, a Mercer University education emphasizes experiences that infuse intellectual growth, cultural understanding, civic responsibility, and moral discernment with practical competencies.
The distinctiveness of their programs and traditions notwithstanding, Mercer University’s undergraduate colleges and schools share learning outcomes that reflect Mercer’s mission to educate the whole person. These undergird the General Education Curricula, which provide the necessary foundation for disciplined study and lifelong learning.
General Education is designed to help students cultivate and refine habits of mind that prepare them to contribute constructively and meaningfully to society. To realize this goal, General Education strives to instill in persons broader perspectives while empowering them to find fuller and richer citizenship in a world in which different cultures, social institutions, and technologies intersect in multiple and diverse ways.
Four Student Outcomes of General Education
A Mercer education emphasizes experiences that foster intellectual growth, cultural understanding, civic responsibility, and moral discernment. These four interrelated capacities inform the intended outcomes for general education.
Intellectual growth may be interpreted to include complexity of thought, integrative and synthesizing ability, quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, critical inquiry, critical reflection, creative expression, integration of life and learning experiences, self understanding and knowledge, and capacity for continued learning and intellectual growth.
Cultural awareness may be interpreted to include global perspective, intercultural perspective, empathy, perspective taking, engaging the other, and culture appreciation.
Civic responsibility may be interpreted to include active responsible citizenship, the ability to engage with problems and issues, civility and respect, collaboration and working in teams, and caring.
Moral discernment may be interpreted to include judgment in ambiguous situations, academic integrity, ethical reasoning, ethical behavior, and the ability to act upon reflectively-held convictions.
These broad learning outcomes are achieved, not in the abstract, but in and through the exercise and development of certain specific practical competencies that are infused in these four outcomes of general education.
- Communicating effectively in writing in a variety of modes and settings
- Communicating effectively orally in a variety of modes and setting
- Analyzing observed natural phenomena through the use of scientific reasoning
- Reasoning quantitatively
- Integrating coherently diverse perspectives with knowledge
- Acting perceptively and responsibly in light of the education one has received
As required by the University’s accrediting body, general education programs at Mercer will constitute a minimum of 30 semester hours to include credit hours in humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral science, and science/mathematics.
General Education Objectives/Requirements
Students in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies will be exposed to a common body of knowledge drawn from the liberal arts and will experience a learning environment in which all faculty reflect the college’s commitment to quality and person-centered teaching. The primary focus of the college’s work is the cultivation of a three-way conversation among teacher, students, and subject matter.
This experience will instill in students certain skills, abilities, knowledge, and characteristics. Students will:
- Develop the ability to think logically and to communicate effectively.
- Develop the ability to analyze critically a variety of texts.
- Refine their discipline of thinking and their precision of expression.
- Develop an understanding and appreciation for the relevance of holistic education to their more specific career and life objectives.
- Participate in academic contexts that model the ideals of a wholesome educational process.
- Incorporate positively their educational experience into the larger pattern of their family and professional lives.
In keeping with its mission, the College of Continuing and Professional Studies requires a set of general education courses that emphasize technology, cultural diversity, and a global society. The requirements are designed to meet the needs of undergraduate students seeking degrees in majors offered by the College of Continuing and Professional Studies.
LBST 175, LBST 180
|Cross-Cultural and Global Studies* (1 course)
*60 semester hour prerequisite
|1 course from the following: LBST 302, LBST 303 or any approved special topics course or any approved study abroad course|
|Humanities and Social Sciences
|1 course from literature (ENGL)
1 course from history (HIST) 1 course from LBST 275, LBST 280, PHIL 101, PHIL 201, PHIL 288, or PHIL 390
1 course from religious studies (RELG) 1 course from the following: ARTH 101, ARTH 201, ARTH 202 COMM 104, COMM 205 LBST 250, LBST 255 MUSC 150
1 course from the following: PSYC 111, SOCI 111
|Mathematics and Science
|1 course from MATH 129 or above
One additional lab science from the following: BIOL 101, BIOL 105 CHEM 205 ENVS 210, ENVS 215, ENVS 390 PHYS 106, PHYS 220, PHYS 225 SCIE 215, SCIE 220, SCIE 350
|Total Hours||Minimum of 42|
Foundations for Liberal Studies (FDLS)
The foundations for liberal studies courses are specifically designed to provide instruction in the strategies and techniques necessary of orientation, adjustment, participation, and success in an academic program by students making their initial entry into a college program, and for students who may have had some prior college work, but who have not actively participated in a college program in the last two years.
The FDLS Advantage!
Five courses comprise the foundations for liberal studies:
- FDLS 110 The Culture of the University
- FDLS 115 Mathematics, Problem-Posing, and Culture
- FDLS 130 Language and Communication
- FDLS 150 Principles of Self-Renewal
- FDLS 170 Fundamentals of Research Methods
FDLS 110, 115, and 130 are designed to be taken at the onset of the student’s academic work at Mercer University. Students may take these courses only within the first academic year in the college or with permission of the department chair or a College of Continuing and Professional Studies administrator. The Director of Admission and the Academic Standards Committee require some entering students to enroll in and successfully complete one or more of the foundation courses as part of their admission process, specifically, provisionally admitted students and all international students.