2015-2016 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Core

Approved Courses for General Education  

Statement of Philosophy of the General Education Core

Northeast State requires a core of general education courses as part of each degree program. In compliance with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) approved general education core, each Associate of Arts and Associate of Science emphasis includes 41 semester hours of general education as preparation for entering a baccalaureate program. Each Associate of Applied Science degree program includes 15-16 semester hours of general education to prepare graduates for the expectations of employers.

The purpose of the general education core is to ensure that college students have the broad knowledge and skills to become life-long learners in a global community that will continue to change. Northeast State faculty designed the general education core courses to emphasize a breadth of understanding and not a set of skills, techniques, or procedures associated with a specific occupation or profession.  

As a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents System, Northeast State adheres to the philosophy that general education should provide critical thinking skills for inquiry and analysis, assimilation of facts and knowledge, and problem solving. Specifically, the general education core at Northeast State is grounded on these principles:

Educated people

  • Practice and are literate in the various methods of communication. 
  • Recognize individual roles in history, culture, and diverse heritages of Tennessee, the United States, and the world. 
  • Appreciate the web of commonality of all humans in a multicultural world and are prepared for responsibilities of an engaged citizenship. 
  • Recognize the ethical demands of life. 
  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge of the social and behavioral sciences to analyze the contemporary world. 
  • Are familiar with the history and aesthetics of the fine arts.
  • Understand and practice the scientific and mathematical views of the world. 

To ensure that TBR goals and learning outcomes are met, general education core courses have been reviewed and approved through both institutional and statewide processes. The general education core categories include communication (written and oral), humanities and/or fine arts, behavioral/social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, and history. Degree requirements for the Associate of Arts/Sciences and the Associate of Applied Science degree programs are listed below.

For a complete listing of the goals and learning outcomes for Northeast State’s general education core, please go here.

University Parallel Degree Requirements in the Tennessee Board of Regents System

Effective Fall Semester 2004, each institution in the State University and Community College System of Tennessee (The Tennessee Board of Regents System) will share a common lower-division general education core curriculum of 41 semester hours for baccalaureate degrees and the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degree programs. Lower-division refers to freshman and sophomore level courses. The courses comprising the general education curriculum are contained within the following subject categories: 

Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degrees*

Communication   9 hours**
Humanities and/or Fine Arts (At least one course must be in literature) 9 hours
Behavioral and Social Sciences 6 hours
History 6 hours***
Natural Sciences 8 hours
Mathematics  3 hours
Total 41 hours

 * Foreign language courses are an additional requirement for the Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs. The B.A. degree requires proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to completion of two years of college-level work. The A.A. degree requires proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to completion of one year of college-level work.

** Six hours of English composition and three hours in English oral presentational communication are required.

*** Students who lack the required one unit (one year) of American History from high school as an admissions requirement must complete six (6) semester hours of American History or three (3) semester hours of American History and three (3) semester hours of Tennessee History to fulfill the history requirement in general education.  Otherwise, students may choose from among the history courses approved at a particular institution to fulfill the six-semester hour requirement in history.

Although the courses designated by Tennessee Board of Regents institutions to fulfill the requirements of the general education subject categories vary, transfer of the courses is assured through the following means:

  • Students who complete the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree and transfer to a university within the Tennessee Board of Regents System will have satisfied all lower-division general education requirements.
  • Students who complete blocks of subject categories will have satisfied the general education requirements for the categories of note.  For example, if the eight (8) semester hours of natural sciences are completed, then this block of the general education requirement is fulfilled upon transfer to an institution within the Tennessee Board of Regents System.  When a subject category is incomplete, a course by course evaluation will be conducted, and the student will be subject to specific requirements of the receiving institution.
  • Institutional/departmental requirements of the grade of “C” will be honored.  If credit is granted for a course with the grade of “D,” any specific requirements for the grade of “C” by the receiving institution will be enforced.
  • In certain majors, specific courses must also be taken in general education.  It is important that students and advisors be aware of any major requirements that must be fulfilled under lower-division general education.  In cases where specific courses are required as a part of general education for certain majors, the student is responsible for enrolling in the correct courses.  Failure to fulfill specific major requirements in lower-division general education may result in the need to complete additional courses.

Courses designated to fulfill general education by Northeast State are published below. A complete listing of the courses fulfilling general education requirements for all system institutions is available on the TBR website (www.tbr.edu) under Transfer and Articulation Information.

Associate of Applied Science Degree Requirements in the Tennessee Board of Regents System

According to Tennessee Board of Regents policy, Associate of Applied Science degree programs require a minimum of 60 college-level semester hours. Credit hours earned in learning support courses are institutional credit and are not applicable to credit hours required for a certificate, associate, or baccalaureate degree. Each student studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree must complete a minimum of 15-16 semester credit hours of general education and a minimum of 44-46 semester credit hours in the technical specialty. Components of the basic core of general education in Associate of Applied Science degree programs consist of a minimum of one course in the following areas*                                                                                                           

Subject Area Credit Hours
English Composition  3
Humanities/Fine Arts      3
Behavioral and Social Sciences  3
Natural Science/Mathematics  3
One additional course from the
categories of Communication,
Humanities/Fine Arts,
Social/Behavioral Sciences,
or Natural Science/Mathematics
Total 15-16


*Consult the Approved Courses for General Education  section of this catalog for a list of approved courses.