General Studies – General (697)

Award: Associate of Arts and Science Degree

Major: General Studies

Length: Variable (Designed for both part-time and full-time students)

Lead Faculty/Program Head: Nancy Warren, Randolph Boothe-Pharr

Purpose: The University Parallel Program leads to the Associate in Arts and Science Degree (AA&S). It is the first two years of a four-year college or university degree, usually the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.


Program Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to the VCCS general education outcomes and core competencies, students will be able to:

  1. Communication: Interact with others using all forms of communication, resulting in understanding and being understood.
  2. Critical Thinking: Evaluate evidence carefully and apply reasoning to decide what to believe and how to act.
  3. Information Literacy: Recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use it effectively.
  4. Quantitative Reasoning: Possess the skills and knowledge necessary to apply the use of logic, numbers, and mathematics to deal effectively with common problems and issues.
  5. Scientific Reasoning: Adhere to a self-correcting system of inquire (the scientific method) and rely on empirical evidence to describe, understand, predict, and control natural phenomena.
  6. Cultural and Social Understanding: Possess an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the interconnectedness of the social and cultural dimensions within and across local, regional, state, national, and global communities.
  7. Personal Development: Strive for physical well-being and emotional maturity.

The General Specialization is specifically designed for students who desire to transfer to a four-year college or university and who need the flexibility to broaden or narrow as much as possible their first two years of undergraduate education. All students need to acquaint themselves with the requirements of the major department of the college or university to which transfer is contemplated. Students and their academic advisors need to be certain that the community college courses selected are transferable in the program at the planned college of transfer.

Course Schedule

In the following course of study, “Elective” means any course for which a student can receive credit at the school to which he/she intends to transfer. “Humanities Elective” means a transferable course in Art, Drama, Literature, Humanities, Foreign Language, Music, or Philosophy. “Social Science Elective” means a transferable course in Economics, Government, History, Psychology, or Sociology. “Natural Science (Lab)” means a transferable course in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Natural Science, or Physics that includes both lecture and laboratory sessions. Students should choose electives that are related to their chosen area of training.

Sample Schedule

Fall Term
ENG 111 College Composition I 3
HIS 121 US History I or HIS 101 Western Civilization I 3
MTH 163 Pre-Calculus I or MTH 1513 3
ITE 115 Introduction to Computer Applications and Concepts 3
HLT xxx Health/Physical Education Elective 1
SDV 100 College Success Skills 1
Total 14

Spring Term
ENG 112 College Composition II 3
HIS 122 US History II or HIS 102 Western Civilization II 3
MTH 164 Pre-Calculus II, MTH 152 or MTH 240 3
HLT Elective Health/Physical Education 1
Transfer Elective4 3
Total 16

Fall Term
Science Elective BIO 101, CHM 111, GOL 111, NAS or
PHY elective 4
Social Science ECO, PLS, PSY, SOC elective 3
CST 100 Principles of Public Speaking 3
Transfer Elective4 3
Transfer Elective4 3
Total 16

Spring Term
Science Elective BIO 102, CHM 112, GOL 112, NAS or
PHY elective 4
Social Science ECO, PLS, PSY, SOC elective 3
PHI 115 Practical Reasoning2 3
Transfer Elective4 3
Transfer Elective4 2
Total 15

Minimum Credits Required 61

1 Some university programs require literature in the second year.
2 PHI 115 is a core competency capstone course and should be taken in the student’s last spring semester before graduation.
3 Students and their advisors should choose the mathematics sequence required by the institution where the student plans to transfer. Certain programs at four-year colleges require only three credits of mathematics; in such cases three of the six mathematics credits in the General Studies curriculum become a transfer elective.
4 Transfer Electives must be courses that transfer to four-year institutions. Students should consult with their faculty advisor or counselor and the college or university that they plan to transfer, to ensure the transferability of the course.