The mission of the General Education program is to provide students with opportunities to acquire and reinforce key intellectual competencies in:

  • Reasoning and analyzing quantitatively;
  • Using scientific method;
  • Thinking critically; and
  • Writing effectively. 

Sometimes called “21st-Century skills,” these competencies are essential for success in the pursuit of more advanced learning, including the specialized study required in the major and the still more specialized study required at the graduate level.

In addition, the 21st-Century competencies are also essential for success in an increasingly networked world that relies on the ability to communicate expertly combined with highly developed skills in analyzing complex problems, scrutinizing their implications, and arriving at smart solutions.

The New UNF Competency and Outcomes Curriculum

Beginning Fall 2014, UNF will have a new General Education curriculum. This new curriculum focuses on fundamental intellectual competencies that provide a basis for life-long learning, including in one’s major and minor:

  • Writing Effectively: This competency includes but is not limited to communicating effectively in writing across multiple formats; analyzing the different compositional features and requirements of different kinds (genres) of writing; explain grammatical, stylistic, rhetorical, and other terms and concepts that are basic to communicating effectively in writing; and explaining one’s own communicative decisions and practices. 
  • Thinking Critically: This competency includes but is not limited to understanding basic social and behavioral science concepts; examining behavioral, social, and cultural issues from various points of view; analyzing, evaluating, and appreciating cultural artifacts (such as texts, music, artworks, media productions, architecture); investigating the role of technology in shaping culture; examining different cultural traditions, institutions, and political and economic systems; understanding and applying different qualitative methods of inquiry and different kinds of argumentation and evidence; and reflecting critically upon the human condition and experience. 
  • Analyzing and Reasoning Quantitatively and/or Using Scientific Method: This competency includes but is not limited to determining appropriate mathematical and computational models and methods in problem solving; understanding mathematical, statistical, and computational concepts; applying mathematical and computational models and methods in problem solving; critically examining and evaluating scientific observation, hypothesis, and model construction; understanding fundamental concepts, principles, and processes about the natural world; and using scientific method to explain the natural world. 
  • Applying Knowledge: This competency includes but is not limited to translating theory into practice, critically examining one’s own point of view and points of view that are different from one’s own, and understanding how and appreciating why people have different perspectives. Developing this competency is a central aim of our cultural diversity courses as well as of our experience-based courses, such as internships, practicums, study abroad, transformational learning courses, and community-based learning courses.

Assessment of Student Learning

The General Education program seeks to give students direct feedback about the extent to which they have developed the ability to write well, think critically, analyze and reason quantitatively, use scientific method, and apply their knowledge in real world situations. To this end our aim is to provide students with opportunities to learn how to think and talk to themselves about their work in the ways that professional educators do when they review the work of their students.


Current General Education Program Requirements: 2014-15 

Previous General Education Program Requirements: 2013-14 and Earlier