General Education

The General Education Program at Western

Western State Colorado University is an institution dedicated to a quality Liberal Arts and Science education and a key component of the undergraduate educational experience is the General Education program.

General Education Program Courses 2013-2014

gtPathways Guaranteed Transfer Information

How Fit Are You?

How Fit are You – brain with weights image
Western's natural environment offers its students incredible opportunities to challenge and stretch their athletic skills and adventurous spirits. Our students often embrace the challenges of the natural environment by becoming better skiers or mountain bikers by taking on harder runs and more challenging trails.  But why stop there? General Education at Western offers students the opportunity for students to exercise their intellect – think of General Education as a great cross-training fitness program for your brain.

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”  - Albert Einstein

General Education courses are not just about developing a broad content knowledge in various subjects. By exploring new fields of study and experimenting with new models of intellectual inquiry, you can develop many of the characteristics of an” intellectually fit” person:  flexibility, curiosity, resiliency, enthusiasm, and complexity. General Education courses also provide you with the foundations for analysis so critical for deeper engagement with specific fields of study.

Be an Intellectual Nomad

About the Exploratory Program

Be an Intellectual Nomad – book images
A nomad moves from place to place usually within a well-defined territory. Think of General Education as your territory and yourself as an intellectual nomad.  In each General Education course lays a possible oasis – a place where you might finally want to pitch your tent and settle down. 

General Education can be used to explore a wide range of academic disciplines so if you are not sure what you want to major in, begin your exploration of the possibilities though General Education. Students who come to Western without a declared major should check out our first year Exploratory Program.

But even if you have pitched your tent so to speak and chosen a major, General Education can add essential and important tools to your camp.

How Many Tools are in Your Toolbox? 

How many tools in your tool box – toolbox image

It is difficult to predict what the future holds for us but the one thing we do know is that a solid University education will continue to create opportunities and open doors. The knowledge and skills that General Education courses offer students are often those whose value is not necessarily immediately apparent, especially for students who know what they want to major in or who believe they have a set career path.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
or the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
- Charles Darwin

 

Students sometimes protest “but I know what I want to major in so, why do I have to take classes that are out of my field? “  The reality is that because we do not know what the future holds so there is no way of knowing what aspects of your education are going to serve you the best. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (April 5, 2012) illustrated the importance of a good Liberal Arts and Sciences degree: Companies say they need flexible thinkers with innovative ideas and a broad knowledge base derived from exposure to multiple disciplines…” and numerous employment recruiters in the article emphasized the importance of students developing enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through long essays, in-class debates and other hallmarks of liberal-arts courses.  So even if you know what you want to study, embracing your General Education courses and broadening your academic background across many disciplines is actually preparing you well for the future.  You can never have too many tools in your toolbox.

Take the Polymath Approach

 Take the Polymath Approach – gear head imageWhat you get out of General Education is often up to you as a student.  Rather than taking a shallow approach, we encourage you to take the polymath approach.  The polymath approach is not about knowing a little about a lot – it is about seeking a depth of knowledge in all things.  No matter what the class or subject, if you bring an open mind and willingness to learn you will find value in all your classes.  You can be strategic in your choices, looking for courses that have some connection to your desired field of study but you can also be adventurous and explore subjects you might just find interesting. Sometimes this can be difficult but to find value is to find meaning and this is the key to developing an active Life of the Mind. At the very least General Education can give you a broad knowledge base that you need to be an intelligent, critically-thinking individual who has a better understanding of how the world, people, and culture operate.

Advising Advice: Make the Good Stuff Even Better

So when you approach your General Education course be curious, be curious and fearless and be willing to embrace the journey and step outside the box.  Be willing to be surprised and be willing to work hard. Do not just think of General Education as something to get through or simply checking off requirements – revel in its challenges and new ideas - be willing to exercise those intellectual muscles and push those academic skills. Remember that these aren't just a bunch of classes you have to take before you get to the “good stuff” of your major – these are courses that can make the “good stuff” even better and lay the foundations for your life-long educational process.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's General Education Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family. 

Share your interest with friends and family: 
  1. Email this to your friends or family    Share on LinkedIn    Share on Google+    Twitter    Share this on Facebook

  2. Get more information about the program.
  3. Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.

Courses

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at http://www.western.edu/catalog. To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.

 HNRS 397 - SPECIAL TOPICS, HONORS ( 1-3 credits)

Special topics (1-6 credit hours, to be determined by faculty, department and student)

Scholarships

Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

 Campbell, J.W. Memorial Wrestling Scholarship

Campbell, J.W. Memorial Wrestling Scholarship Available to:

Members of the Western Wrestling team who have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Preference will be given to students with an English major and/or who are writers. 

Provided by:

Family and friends, to honor J.W.

Amount:

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:

The Western Wrestling Coach. Application: Nomination by head Wrestling Coach. Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for additional information. (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210

 Decker, Bob Basketball Scholarship

Decker, Bob Basketball Scholarship is Available to:

Current or entering students who are an active member of the Western State Colorado University Men´s Basketball Team.

Basketball Scholarship Provided by:

The Western Foundation and contributions to the Bob Decker Basketball Scholarship Fund.

Amount: $1,000.00 for the academic year.

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Men´s Basketball Coach.

Application: Nomination by head Men´s Basketball Coach. Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for additional information. (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210

Find out more about Western's Athletics Program at www.western.edu/athletics

 Kaczmarek, Herbert J. and Marie H. Memorial Scholarship

Available to:
Recipient must be an active member of a Western intercollegiate sports team. Must demonstrate outstanding character and leadership qualities. Must have both academic promise and financial need with a minimum of 30 credit hours. Preference will be given to applicants from a small town in Colorado.

Provided by:
Kaczmarek family (William, Mike, Kevin, Bryce and Mayra) in memory of their parents, Herbert J and Marie H Kaczmarek.

Amount:
Award depends on funds available (approximately $1300).

Selected by:
Donor Scholarship Committee.

Application:
Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210.

 Kiefer, Brian L. Memorial Scholarship

Kiefer, Brian L. Memorial Scholarship Available to:

Must be a junior or senior member of the Western Men´s or Women's Intercollegiate Basketball team or Western Volleyball team, must demonstrate leadership both on and off the court, must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better, and must maintain a well-rounded educational experience. Extracurricular involvement (outside Intercollegiate Athletics) will be considered.

Scholarship provided by:

Established to perpetuate the memory of Brian L. Kiefer who was an outstanding example of leadership, academic achievement and Intercollegiate Athletic ability. To recognize outstanding scholarship, citizenship and Intercollegiate Athletic ability, and to encourage students to continue their education at Western.

Scholarship amount:

$750.00 per semester. Applicants must reapply and show they have maintained the required eligibility in order to receive the scholarship for the second semester. The recipient shall have his name inscribed on the Brian L. Kiefer plaque displayed in Paul Wright Gymnasium.

Selected by:

Donor Scholarship Committee.

Application:

Nomination by the head coaches of eligible sport programs listed above. Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for additional information. (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210

 Long, Kelly Memorial Scholarship

Available to: Resident of Colorado, who is accepted by Western admissions and maintained a 3.0 GPA during four years of high school. Must be a participant in intercollegiate wrestling. Provided by: The Kelly Long Memorial Scholarship has been established by Mr. and Mrs. Ron Long to accomplish three major purposes. To perpetuate among contemporary young people the memory of Kelly Long, who was an outstanding example of excellence in citizenship and Intercollegiate Athletics. To reward outstanding scholarship, citizenship and Intercollegiate Athletics ability among Western State Colorado University students. To encourage these outstanding students to continue pursuit of their personal goals and a quality education at Western. Amount: The dollar amount of the scholarship shall be determined by the Western Foundation and the Selection Committee, to be distributed over two semesters, one-half awarded at the beginning of each term. Approximately $700 for the academic year. Selected by: The Western Head Wrestling Coach. Application: Selection by the head Wrestling Coach. Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for additional information. (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210

 MacAllister, Western Presidential Student-Intercollegiate Athletics Scholarship

MacAllister, Western Presidential Student-Intercollegiate Athletics Scholarship Available to:

Student will be selected according to the following criteria (in order): Must be a student-Intercollegiate Athletics participating in a varsity sport at Western State Colorado University. Academic merit (minimum GPA of 3.5 for incoming freshman or 3.2 for current Western students). Involvement in campus activities and/or community service.

Athletics Scholarship Provided by:

Jim MacAllister.

Amount: Award depends on funds available.

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Western Intercollegiate Athletics Director

Application: Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210

Find out more about Western's Athletic Department at www.western.edu/athletics

 MacLennan, Ken Scholarship

MacLennan, Ken Scholarship Available to:

Must be a student-Intercollegiate Athlete participating in a varsity sport at Western and have unmet financial need. Student must have minimum GPA of 2.75 and have a history of community service and a strong work ethic. Preference given to student Intercollegiate Athletes from small or rural towns and to students majoring in Recreation and Exercise & Sport Science.

Scholarship Provided by:

Carlo Gaines.

Amount:

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:

Donor Scholarship Committee. Application: Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for application and deadline information.  970.943.2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210

 Pederson/Wright/Borah Memorial Scholarship Fund

Available to:
Full-time student or must have been accepted for admission to Western. Must be a scholar/Intercollegiate Athlete, i.e. must participate in an intercollegiate sport; must have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher; must demonstrate leadership qualities both as an Intercollegiate Athlete and as a student; priority will be given to football, basketball, wrestling and skiing, however all male intercollegiate sports participants are eligible.

Provided by:
This fund was established to honor three great men in the history of Western Intercollegiate Athletics - men whose impact on the college and on the hundreds of students with whom they worked will last forever: Willard "Pete" Pederson, Paul W. Wright and Leroy "Tracy" Borah.

Amount:
Award depends on funds available. Approximately $1000 for the academic year.

Selected by:
Western Intercollegiate Athletics Director, Western Faculty Intercollegiate Athletics Representative, a female member of the coaching staff or faculty, and Candi Borah for as long as she is willing and able to serve.

Application:
Nominations submitted by Western head coaches. Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for additional information. (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210

 Wright, Paul W. Memorial Fund

Available to:
Western/RMAC scholar Intercollegiate Athletics. Must have competed at Western State Colorado University for two or more years and have at least one year of eligibility remaining.

Provided by:
Paul W. Wright and his wife Hazel who made immeasurable contributions to students of Western. During his 28 years on the staff (1935-1963), "Frosty" Wright coached every men's sport at one time or another and served as Intercollegiate Athletics director and chairman of the Physical Education Department. He was named to the Helms Intercollegiate Athletics Foundation Hall of Fame in 1970 in partial recognition of his role in establishing skiing as an intercollegiate sport recognized by the NCAA. The gymnasium on the Western Campus is named in his honor.

Amount:
Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:
Donor Scholarship Committee (Director of Intercollegiate Athletics).

Application:
Contact the Intercollegiate Athletics Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 210