General Education

Introduction

The General Education Program courses required of each baccalaureate degree at AURAK are based on a coherent rationale. Courses offered in the General Education Program are designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge necessary to engage in higher order thinking, analysis of information, and problem-solving. These courses are intended to cultivate an informed, capable, and progressive citizenry. All courses included in the General Education Program are university-level courses and emphasize experiential and activity-based learning. Specifically, the General Education component examines the application of knowledge in concrete situations to foster critical thinking skills, communication, teamwork, empirical and quantitative skills, and personal and social responsibility. While the General Education Program is not a degree program, all undergraduate degree students must complete the University’s General Education requirements as a part of their academic program of study.

Mission

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. The General Education Program complements the students’ major program of study by examining achievements in areas of human inquiry and creative endeavor in order to cultivate those abilities so essential for the acquisition of knowledge.

Purpose

The purpose of the General Education Program is to explore broad disciplinary areas in order to expand students’ perspectives and improve their skills in analytical and critical thinking. The General Education Program is intended to facilitate a well-rounded and informed educational experience established on a holistic awareness of a broad spectrum of knowledge areas to ensure that students are exposed to a wide range of disciplines and topics. The General Education Program is designed to provide a relevant and challenging educational experience.

Completion of General Education Requirements

AURAK’s General Education Program embodies the vision, mission, and purpose of the University. The courses are required of all graduates as the intellectual foundation upon which AURAK’s educational framework is built. They are an essential element in the University’s educational process and lay the foundation for professional success, personal growth, and responsible citizenship. Students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge, learn communication skills, and examine their goals, values, and potentialities. Students are encouraged to complete their general education requirements by the end of their second year of study.

Competencies

Orientation courses lay a foundation for literacy in 1) humanities and 2) general orientation subjects.

Knowledge courses offer ample choices for students to develop and pursue a variety of academic interests in 1) social and behavioral sciences, 2) arts and humanities, and 3) mathematics and natural sciences. The following competencies are fundamental to the mission and purpose of AURAK’s General Education Program:

General Education Program

Competencies Description Program Learning Outcomes
Critical Thinking Skills Reasoning, inquiry, reflection, creativity and innovation, and the ability to analyze and synthesize information Solve abstract, familiar and non-routine problems without assistance using appropriate information drawn from relevant fields of work or disciplines.
Communication and Teamwork The development, interpretation and expression of ideas, the ability to consider and integrate multiple points of view and to work with others on shared objectives Present collaborative group analysis of topics that include complex ideas and integrate multiple points of view.
Empirical and Quantitative Skills The ability to derive knowledge from observable facts, the manipulation and analysis of data, resulting in informed, verifiable solutions and conclusions, effective understanding of technological concepts and the appropriate use of technology as a problem- solving tool Analyze empirical data using appropriate information retrieval and analysis methods, tools and techniques to arrive at informed, verifiable solutions to abstract, familiar, and non- routine problems.
Personal and Social Responsibility The ability to consider ethical and moral aspects of actions and consequences, intercultural awareness, and knowledge of regional, national, and global responsibility Articulate the ethical and moral aspects of possible courses of action in particular situations and explain the consequences which might follow with reference to intercultural issues at regional, national, and global levels.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Solve abstract, familiar and non-routine problems without assistance using appropriate information drawn from relevant fields of work or
  2. Present collaborative group analyses of topics that include complex ideas and integrate multiple points of
  3. Analyze empirical data using appropriate information retrieval and analysis methods, tools and techniques to arrive at informed, verifiable solutions to abstract, familiar and non-routine
  4. Articulate the ethical and moral aspects of possible courses of action in particular situations and explain the consequences which might follow with reference to intercultural issues at regional, national and global

Degree Requirements

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

  • Orientation courses (O): (13-14 credits)
  • Humanities/Fine Arts (H): (minimum of 6 credits)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (S): (minimum of 6 credits)
  • Natural Sciences/Mathematics (N): (minimum of 6 credits)

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 Orientation Course requirements “1-5” (amounting to 13-14 credits), and a minimum of 18 credits from the three remaining Knowledge Domains, as described below (amounting to a 18-20 credits):

Orientation Courses (13-14 credits required)

Students must complete 13-14 credits in this area. UNIV 100 University First-Year Transition is mandatory in the first semester.

  1. ENGL 101 (O): Composition (3 ) – Writing Intensive Course
  2. UNIV 100 (O): University First-Year Transition (1 )
  3. UNIV 200 (O): Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (3 )
  4. 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.)

  1. One of the following Arabic language courses:

ARAB 101 (O): Beginner Level Arabic and Culture for Non-Native Learners I (3 cr.) or

ARAB 110 (O): Arabic Language and Culture for Native Arabic Speakers I (3 cr.)

Knowledge Domains (18-20 credits required)

Students must complete a minimum of 18 credits in this area, divided into the following three categories: Humanities and Fine Arts (6 credits minimum), Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits minimum) and the Natural Sciences (6-8 credits minimum).

Knowledge Domains (18-20 credits)

Students must complete a minimum of 18-20 credits in this area, divided into the following three categories: 1) Humanities and Fine Arts (6 credits minimum), 2) Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits minimum), and the 3) Natural Sciences (6-8 credits minimum).

Humanities and Fine Arts (6 credits required)

1. Creative and Aesthetic Understanding

Required: PHIL 100 (H): Critical Thinking and Reasoning (3 cr.) – Writing Intensive Course or

ENGL 200 (H): Advanced Composition (3 cr.) – Writing Intensive Course

Academic programs may select to include either of the following courses in their General Education component to promote Creative and Aesthetic Understanding.

COMM 102 (H): Reading Image and Film (3 cr.)

ENGL 102 (H): Public Speaking (3 cr.)

2. Cross-Cultural and Ethical Understanding

Required: MEST 100 (H): Introduction to Islam in World Culture (3 cr.) – Writing Intensive Course

Academic programs are encouraged to include in their curricula additional General Education courses focused on promoting Cross-Cultural and Ethical Understanding from the following list:

HIST 100 (H): Contemporary Middle Eastern History (3 cr.)

HIST 101 (H): Ancient History of the Arabian Peninsula (3 cr.)

PHIL 101 (H): Ethics in Today’s World (3 cr.)

PHIL 102 (H): World Philosophies (3 cr.)

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits required)

1. Social and Global Perspectives

Required: UAES 200 (S): Survey of United Arab Emirates Studies (3 cr.) – Writing Intensive Course

Required: A minimum of one additional course from the following list:

COMM 101 (S): Interpersonal Communication and Group Interactions (3 cr.)

ECON 103 (S): Principles of Microeconomics (3 cr.)

POLI 100 (S): Contemporary Global Issues (3 cr.)

POLI 101 (S): Politics of Scarcity (3 cr.)

PSYC 100 (S): Introduction to Psychology (3 cr.)

The Natural Sciences/Mathematics (6-8 credits required)

1. Mathematics

Required: One of the following courses:

MATH 101 (N): Numbers and Data Interpretation (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.)

STAT 100 (N): Statistics (3 cr.)

2. Science of the Natural and Physical Worlds

BIOL 100 (N): Humankind in a Biological World (3 cr.)

CHEM 100/101 (N): Chemistry in Everyday Life (4 cr.)

CHEM 211/212 (N): General Chemistry I (4 cr.)

ENVS 102 (N): Sustainability and Human-Environment Relations (3 cr.)

Writing Requirement

To promote students’ achievement of the Written Communication competency, the University’s General Education Program also requires that students complete five writing-intensive courses. One of these writing-intensive courses is ENGL 101. Of the remaining four required writing-intensive courses, three must be other writing-intensive General Education courses, and the fifth writing- intensive course must be a course in the major program of study. Programs are encouraged to require students to take more than the university minimum of five writing-intensive courses.

The criteria for writing-intensive courses are provided below:

  • The course includes a sustained focus on individual student writing, as demonstrated in the syllabus through multiple writing assignments.
  • Students receive actionable feedback on their writing from the course instructor.
  • Students substantially revise and resubmit written drafts, incorporating feedback from the course instructor and using their own critical thought to improve their writing.
  • The final versions of written assignments total to at least 14 double-spaced, printed pages.

To be designated as “Writing-Intensive,” courses have to be approved by the General Education Committee as satisfying the criteria listed above. Course that have been approved as Writing- Intensive are clearly designated as such in the catalog, on transcripts, and in study plans for all programs.

The General Education Program Requirements and Course Substitutions

The degree requirements for the individual undergraduate programs outline the course options from which a student may select courses to meet the General Education requirements. Other General Education courses that fulfill the requirements listed in the General Education Program may be substituted to complete respective General Education components in accordance with the established Course Substitution Policy and Procedure. Although students are encouraged to identify and select courses that meet their needs, faculty advisors must approve these course selections to ensure that they satisfy General Education Program requirements.

General Education Committee

  • Prof. Jyoti Grewal – Dean, School of Arts & Sciences (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Philipp Dorstewitz – Associate Professor of Philosophy, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences (Co-Chair)
  • Dr. Maxime Merheb – Associate Dean, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Dr. Alexandria Proff – Chair, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Dr. Hamid Berriche – Chair, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • Dr. Rachel Matar- Chair, Department Biotechnology
  • Dr. Tahseen Arshi – Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship / Assistant Professor, Department of Management
  • Dr. Mohammed Awad – Chair, Department of Computer Science & Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Bryn Holmes – Director, Center for Learning Support Services and Advising
  • Ms. Hydee Cenabre – Administrative Assistant, School of Arts and Sciences (Rapporteur)
Last updated: Apr 21, 2021 @ 10:16 am

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Tel. :  + 971 7 2210 900
Fax :  
+ 971 7 2210 300
Mail:  info@aurak.ac.ae
Admissions:  admissions@aurak.ac.ae

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