To graduate from Castleton University, all students must complete the requirements of their major and satisfy the university's General Education requirements. The Connections General Education program is designed to reflect what it means to be a Castleton student.
The Connections General Education program:
- Encourages students to make connections throughout academic courses, cultural events, and co-curricular activities;
- Engages students in a wide range of disciplines, leading to adaptable and flexible thinking;
- Teaches students to search for, critically appraise, and implement knowledge;
- Prepares students to convey ideas through multiple means of expression;
- Primes students to value different perspectives and cultures;
- Promotes students to be engaged as active citizens on campus and beyond;
- Stimulates intellectual curiosity, preparing students to be lifelong learners.
In addition to in-depth study in their major, every Castleton student will develop transferable academic skills and gain a breadth of experience in a range of intellectual disciplines. Significantly, a sequence of Connections Seminar courses will help students to integrate knowledge and insights from their varied academic and co-curricular experiences at Castleton.
Components of the Connections General Education Program
The liberal arts tradition is important at Castleton, and it is at the center of a Castleton education, no matter what field you choose to study.
At Castleton, we believe that various academic experiences and your experiences as a student should inform one another. These connections will help you live a rewarding life during and after your time here.
Current students can review these requirements and their progress by surveying their Program Evaluation on the Castleton Portal page. Additional details on the requirements of the Connections General Education Program are available in the undergraduate catalog.
To engage in meaningful and productive study, the student should develop and learn to apply a variety of skills, including reading, writing, public speaking, critical thinking, library research, and practical computing. The courses listed under the Connections General Education requirements are designed to help students develop these and other skills and are required of all Castleton students.
Written Expression: In order to graduate from Castleton, all students must pass the university writing assessment, which consists of ENG 1061 - English Composition, writing-intensive courses, and the writing assessment folder. For a complete description of the process through which students fulfill Castleton's writing standard, see A Guide to the Castleton Writing Standards.
Oral Communication: Students must demonstrate that they have met the university's Oral Communication standard to graduate. They accomplish this by passing ENG 1070 - Effective Speaking and by receiving a passing grade on the Speaking -Intensive (SI) component of an additional course.
Digital and Computer Literacy: Students will learn a sufficient level of computing knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the current academic and professional worlds. To meet this goal, students must complete a Digital and Computing Literacy course.
The Areas of Understanding
All students must complete a specified number of credits in each of the five Areas of Understanding. These five areas are an introduction to the variety of ways that human beings understand and explore their world and themselves. The requirements provide a starting point for further exploration of the category of human knowledge and ways of knowing represented by the area and may be satisfied by courses in a number of different fields of study. To encourage a wide breadth of disciplinary experiences, students may not take more than one course with the same prefix for credit throughout the entire Areas of Understanding.
The five Areas of Understanding are:
- Arts and Aesthetics
- Humanistic Perspectives
- Natural Science
- Social Science
Learn more about the Areas of Understanding →
These courses will also help you make connections: connections between your previous experiences and college life, connections between your different courses, and connections between what you learn in the classroom and your wider life both during and after college.
Explore the Connections Seminars →
Your Connections Seminar courses also incorporate Castleton’s Soundings Program. Soundings events and courses in the Areas of Understanding open up the broad experience of the liberal arts.