Jan 24, 2021  
2009-2010 Catalog and Student Handbook 
2009-2010 Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Core

General Education Core

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, social/behavioral 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 to the following link www.NortheastState.edu/AcademicAffairs/GenEdCoreLearningOutcomes.pdf.


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        9 hours
    (At least one course must be
    in literature)
  • 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 plan to transfer to Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) universities should take six hours of United States history (three hours of Tennessee history may be substituted.) Students who plan to transfer to the University of Tennessee System universities or to out-of-state or private universities should check requirements and take appropriate courses.

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:

  • Upon completion of an A.A. or A.S. degree, the requirements of the lower-division general education core will be complete and accepted by a TBR university in the transfer process.
  • If an A.A. or A.S. is not obtained, transfer of general education courses will be based upon fulfilling complete subject categories. (Example: If all eight hours in the category of Natural Sciences are complete, then this “block” of the general education core is complete.) When a subject category is incomplete, course-by-course evaluation will be conducted. The provision of block fulfillment pertains also to students who transfer among TBR universities.
  • Institutional/departmental requirements of the grade of “C” will be honored. Even if credit is granted for a course, any specific requirements for the grade of “C” by the receiving institution will be enforced.
  • In certain majors, specific courses must be taken also 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.

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.state.tn.us) 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 remedial or developmental 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           3-4
  • Total                                                   15-16

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

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