General Studies Curriculum

* Introduction – 5 Competencies
General Studies - Overview
Freshman Foundation
Integrated Courses (Part 1)
Integrated Courses (Part 2)
Capstone Experience
Integrated Courses for Spring 2008


Introduction – 5 Competencies

Kathryn Baldridge
Chair, Council on Undergraduate Education
Professor, Physical Education & Recreation

The Gallaudet community of faculty and staff is excited to announce a new undergraduate curriculum for all entering freshmen this fall. The purpose of the new required general studies curriculum is to prepare students to succeed in the 21st century world - a world where technology makes information easy to find but sometimes overwhelming to manage ... a world where learning and action are integrated and learning lasts a lifetime ... a world that values multiculturalism and diversity. In this world, English and ASL are valued and cherished equally.

To develop this new program, the Gallaudet faculty and staff spent many years studying the most effective teaching practices used by other top universities in the U.S. and the world. We studied research about what employers expect and value in successful employees and what graduate and professional programs expect from students in many different fields.

Here is what we found:  Successful citizens in the 21st century can use thinking skills from many different disciplines to solve problems in the world inside and outside of the classroom. They know what information they need to solve problems and they know where and how to get that information. Successful citizens can communicate in more than one language and with respect to cultural differences. Successful citizens in the 21st century understand their ethical and social responsibilities as part of an interdependent world.

To ensure our graduates have these important abilities, we have established five competencies all students must demonstrate by the time they graduate. 

  • language and communication 
  • critical thinking
  • identity and culture
  • knowledge and inquiry
  • ethics and social responsibility