General Education

Columbia College’s emphases on the liberal arts and women’s leadership development are found within the General Education curriculum coordinated experiences and activities available to all students. Students who complete the General Education, curriculum will develop

  • An appreciation for the liberal arts to include:
    • Aesthetic Literacy
    • Historical Literacy
    • Human Institutions and Behavior
    • Literary Knowledge
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Religious Studies
    • Scientific Literacy
  • College level, real world, professional competencies in written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and information and technology literacy
  • An understanding of gender perspectives and social justice
  • An understanding of the nature and application of moral, ethical, and religious values
  • An understanding of women in leadership and opportunities for personal growth
  • An awareness and use of strategies for academic and professional excellence.

How Will This Happen?

The Columbia College experience begins with a focus on academic preparation through the General Education model. This model is designed to develop students’ capacity for critical thought and expression, lifelong learning, acceptance of personal responsibility, and commitment to service and social justice through a liberal arts curriculum. In addition, students are provided experiential approaches to learning that assist in the development of practical knowledge within real world experiences.


General Education Program

College-Level Competencies (completion of one course for each competency)

College Writing I

College Writing II

Oral Communication

Modern Language (intermediate level)

Quantitative Literacy


Learning Domains (completion of one course for each domain)

Aesthetic Literacy

Historical Literacy

Human Institutions and Behavior

Literary Knowledge

Philosophical Inquiry/Religious Studies

Scientific Literacy


Values and Perspectives (completion of one course for each value/perspective)

Gender Perspectives and Social Justice (Liberal Arts 201; see description below)

Ethical Leadership (Liberal Arts 301 or an alternative course; see description below)



Other College Requirements - these requirements may be embedded within Learning Domain or major/minor courses or may be taken as additional courses

Writing Intensive - develops effective oral communication across contexts

Communication Intensive - develops effective written communication across contexts

Information and Technology Literacy – develops fluency in information and computing technology and the ability to use technology tools appropriately for research, decision-making, and problem solving

Liberal Arts 100 – develops strategies for academic success, personal growth and responsibility, and professional/career exploration and development


Liberal Arts 201: Diversity, Gender, and Social Justice

This course introduces students to the issues that inform gender, diversity, and social justice and connects academic study and practical experience to provide intentional and relevant teaching and learning and to develop commitment both to socially responsible leadership and to civic engagement as defined by social and political awareness.  As a service learning course, LA 201 provides an avenue for students to put their knowledge into practice and introduces students to real issues of social justice outside the classroom.  Each section of LA 201 is associated with at least one community partner, and each student completes a total of 36 hours in the field, with most service learning work done in the community surrounding the college.  Required of all sophomores in the Women’s College.


Liberal Arts 301: Women, Leadership, and Social Change

(Option for students in the Women’s College who have completed LA 201). LA 301 is designed to continue building social consciousness and confidence that begins with LA 201. After spending a semester in 201 intimately involved with social justice and related service-learning, students in LA 301 experiment with principles of ethical leadership as they articulate their desire for social change by developing a social justice project.  The scope of the project proposal includes needs assessment, community partnerships, resourcing, timing, budgeting, and tools for assessing outcomes as students contemplate becoming agents of change.  Proposals provide students with the tools for execution in a subsequent leadership semester or as part of a major capstone experience.  Thus, every Columbia College student can be mentored while developing and executing a personal project as an advocate for social change.