General Education

Program Mission

The mission of the General Education Program complements the students’ major program of study by enhancing their educational experience. The General Education Program examines achievements in areas of human inquiry and creative endeavor and cultivates abilities essential for the acquisition of knowledge. The mission of the General Education Program supports the university mission by preparing students to face the challenges of a globalized, multicultural, and rapidly changing world.

Structure and Aims of the General Education Program

The General Education Program at AURAK is not a degree program.  To graduate from their academic programs, all AURAK students must nevertheless complete the university’s general education demands.  Students are required to take a set of courses outside their major to develop their understanding of broad disciplinary areas and the connections between and among them. Courses approved for general education emphasize experiential and activity-based learning and the application of knowledge to concrete situations.  Students must complete 22-24 credits of mandatory, Core Courses.  They must also complete a further 9-10 credits from a list of courses distributed across three Knowledge Areas: Arts and Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; and the Natural Sciences.  All students are expected to take one course from each of these Knowledge Areas.

Program Goals

The General Education Program aims to develop self-directed individuals who:

  1. Reflect on their roles within the local, regional, and global communities
  2. Recognize the complex, historically constituted nature of the relationships within and between local, regional, and global communities
  3. Reflect on the ethical consequences of individual and collective human action
  4. Employ quantitative reasoning as a tool for description and analysis
  5. Recognize the value and contributions of the natural and physical sciences
  6. Express themselves thoughtfully in writing and speech
  7. Demonstrate the ability to seek information and to critically analyze sources
  8. Analyze the roles played by a range of creative endeavors in defining and enriching understandings of culture.

Courses in the General Education Program strengthen student learning and achievement in the following six competences. The Program’s Student Learning Outcomes are listed next to each competency:

General Education Competencies Student Learning Outcomes
1. Communication and Information Literacy 1. a. Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills
1.  b. Identify appropriate investigative methods, while designing and implementing research strategies.
2. Critical and Ethical Thinking 2. a. Demonstrate critical, analytical thinking in decision making and problem solving
2. b. Explain how ethical perspectives are applied to real-world problems.
3. Creative and Aesthetic Expression 3. a. Describe the diverse nature, meanings and functions of creative endeavors through the study of literature, film or the visual arts.
4. Inter-Cultural and Global Citizenship 4.a. Describe the contributions that people of diverse backgrounds bring to a multicultural world
4. b. Explain cultural topics and issues in relation to history, politics, communication styles, economy, or beliefs and practices.
5. Natural Sciences 5. a. Demonstrate knowledge of scientific methods used to explore natural phenomena
5. b. Apply scientific concepts and models to at least one of the natural sciences.
6. Quantitative and IT Literacy 6. a. Solve quantitative problems
6. b. Construct proofs supported by quantitative evidence.
6. c. Communicate arguments and solve problems using a variety of formats (words, tables, graphs, and mathematical equations, as appropriate) and computer software, programming, and technology

To achieve these outcomes, the General Education Program requires undergraduate students to take 31-34 credits in the following four categories:

  • Orientation courses (O): (7-8 credits)
  • Humanities/Fine Arts (H): (12 credits)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (S): (6 credits)
  • Natural Sciences/Mathematics (N): (6-8 credits)

AURAK distinguishes between core courses and knowledge domains, which together contain courses from the above four categories. The codes “O,” “H,” “S,” and “N” identify the category to which a course belongs.

All AURAK undergraduate students must complete all General Education requirements in order to graduate. This will amount to a total of 31-34 credit hours. All students must complete the Core Course requirements “a – h” (amounting to 22-24 credits), and one course in each of the Knowledge Domains, as described below (amounting to a 9-10 credits):

Core Courses (22-24 credits)

Students must complete 22-24 credits in this area. UNIV 100, University Freshman Transition is mandatory in the first semester.

  1. ENGL 101 (H): Composition (3 cr.)
  2. POLI 100 (S): Contemporary Global Issues (3 cr.)
  3. ENGL 200 (H): Advanced Composition (3 cr.)
  4. PHIL 100 (H): Critical Thinking and Reasoning (3 cr.)
  5. One of the following MATH courses:

    MATH 101 (N): Numbers and Data Interpretation (3 cr.)
    STAT 100 (N): Statistics (3 cr.)
    MATH 108 (N): Calculus with Business Applications (3 cr.)
    MATH 111 (N): Calculus with Life Sciences Applications (4 cr.)
    MATH 113 (N): Calculus I (4 cr.)

  6. One of the following IT courses:

    ITEC 103 (O): Fundamentals of Information Technology (3 cr.) or
    CSCI 112/113 (O): Introduction to Computer Programming (4 cr.)

  7. MEST 100 (O): Introduction to Islam in World Culture (3 cr.)
  8. UNIV 100 (O): University Freshman Transition (1 cr.)

Knowledge Domains (9-10 credits)

Students must complete 9-10 credits in this area, with one course taken from each of the following three categories: Arts and Humanities (3 credits), Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 credits) and the Natural Sciences (3-4 credits).

Arts and Humanities (3 credits)

  1. Creative and Aesthetic Understanding:
    1. ARTT 100 (H): Introduction to Visual Arts (3 cr.)
    2. ARAB 110 (H): Introduction to Arabic Literature (3 cr.)
    3. COMM 102 (H): Reading Image and Film (3 cr.)
    4. COMM 104 (H): Photography and Communication (3 cr.)
    5. ENGL 102 (H): Public Speaking (3 cr.)
    6. ENGL 201 (H): Literature Across Cultures (3 cr.)
  2. Cross-Cultural and Ethical Understanding
    1. HIST 100 (H): Contemporary Middle Eastern History (3 cr.)
    2. HIST 101 (H): Ancient History of the Arabian Peninsula (3 cr.)
    3. PHIL 101 (H): Ethics in Today’s World (3 cr.)
    4. PHIL 102 (H): World Philosophies (3 cr.)

Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 credits)

  1. Social and Global Perspectives:
    1. PSYC 100 (S): Introduction to Psychology (3 cr.)
    2. SOCI 101 (S): Contemporary Social Issues (3 cr.)
    3. ECON 103 (S): Principles of Microeconomics (3 cr.)
    4. MGMT 200 (S): Entrepreneurship and Innovation (3 cr.)
    5. POLI 101 (S): Politics of Scarcity (3 cr.)
    6. POLI 102 (S): State and Society in the UAE (3 cr.)
    7. GEOG 100 (S): World Regional Geography (3 cr.)
    8. COMM 101 (S): Interpersonal Communication and Group Interaction (3 cr.)

The Natural Sciences (3-4 credits)

  1. Science of the Natural and Physical Worlds
    1. BIOL 100 (N): Humankind in a Biological World (3 cr.)
    2. CHEM 100/101 (N): Chemistry in Everyday Life (4 cr.)
    3. ENVS 100/101 (N): Energy and Environmental Science (4 cr.)
    4. ENVS 102 (N): Sustainability and Human-Environment Relations (3 cr.)
    5. CHEM 211 (N): General Chemistry (3 cr.)

 

The General Education Committee of 2015 – 2016.

 

  • Philipp Dorstewitz (Chair)
  • Tawfiq Fariz Abuhantash
  • Irshad Ahmad
  • Khaleda Almansoori
  • Mohammed Awad
  • Bryn Holmes
  • Gulnara Karimova
  • Majed Khodr
  • Syed Rizvi
  • Jimmy Teng