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General Education Course FAQs

Why am I required to take general education courses?
Parkland College is committed to equipping you with the knowledge, skills, and values essential for educated persons to realize your potential as a learner, worker, and valuable participant in a global society. General education is designed to encourage you to become a well-rounded citizen and promote lifelong learning. You enter Parkland with different levels of general knowledge. All of Parkland’s academic offerings will help you grow by improving your individual skills and competencies and by providing experiences in areas you have not yet explored.

The Parkland College faculty has developed the following General Education objectives, organized into 6 categories:

• demonstrate your ability to read, write, listen, and speak effectively.

• demonstrate your creative and analytical potential and your ability to appraise the quality, value, and significance of cultural components and artifacts, such as literature, sculpture, painting, music, performing arts, media arts, and spoken rhetoric.

Critical Thinking and Information Literacy
• demonstrate information literacy and your ability to think critically, which includes identifying biases and selecting and evaluating sources from varying as well as conflicting positions.

Quantitative Reasoning and Scientific Inquiry
• demonstrate your ability to compute and to think and express yourself effectively in quantitative terms.
• demonstrate your ability to solve problems, by collecting and evaluating facts and using methods of scientific inquiry.

• demonstrate your ability to use technology, especially computer technology, to access, retrieve, process, and communicate information.

Civic Engagement and Global Awareness
• demonstrate your understanding of worldwide political, social, behavioral, environmental and economic issues and ideas, as well as historical, cultural, and geographical perspectives.
• demonstrate ethical core values in making personal, social, academic, and professional decisions.
• demonstrate your awareness and understanding of diversity and its importance in cultures, ideas, perspectives, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

What is the difference between the general education core curriculum and the general education objectives?
The general education core curriculum identifies the range of courses that colleges and universities consider essential for your success in college and life. The general education objectives are the knowledge, skills, and values that are supported by that curriculum. While general education objectives are most clearly promoted in the general education core curriculum, even courses outside of that curriculum contribute to your learning of the general education objectives.

Why can’t I just take the cores classes in my major or career?
The general education curriculum requires you to take classes from many different areas. This is a great way to discover careers or interests that you may not have even known existed. Often these courses help you find your passion. Also, most careers will require you to understand more than just your major. For instance, a marine biologist needs to know how to write research papers so he can get his research published and an accountant may need to know something about art to work with her clients.

Will my completed general education courses transfer to another institution?
Parkland College is a participant in the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), a statewide agreement that allows transfer of the completed IAI General Education Core Curriculum between participating institutions. The curriculum comprises about two-thirds of an associate’s degree and about one third of a bachelor’s degree.

How do I choose the best general education classes for me?
The General Education core courses are from the following areas: Communications, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts, Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences. Programs of study may require specific individual general education courses or specific selections of general education courses. Consult the Parkland course catalog and work with an academic advisor, the director of the program, and the department chair to determine which classes are best.

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