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Curriculum Committee

General Education Subcommittee



Philosophy of General Education at Los Angeles Valley College

Definition: General education courses introduce students to a broad range of the fundamental areas of human knowledge: natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities and are designed to help students acquire the skills in reading, writing, speaking, and critical reasoning necessary to participate in and appreciate these areas. General education courses should give a broad appreciation of a subject area rather than focus on some narrow part of the discipline. It is intended to develop interests beyond the immediate personal and practical ones, and to develop the ability to apply analytical thought to a wide variety of subjects and situations.

Objectives of General Education:
The requirements in general education should be intellectually challenging and are designed to enable the student to:

  • Develop ability to think critically and analytically.
  • Develop an understanding of the nature and richness of human culture and social structures, including a historical perspective.
  • Develop an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in the community and nation as preparation for effective participation in today's society.
  • Develop an effective understanding and use of the written, spoken, and mathematical forms of communication.
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of human endeavor and accomplishment in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities, their interrelationships, and the various choices and values they represent.
  • Develop an understanding and enjoyment of literature, art, music, and other cultural areas and the encouragement of participation in these fields.
  • Encourage a spirit of inquiry into the past and into the future in order to adapt to conditions in the continually changing world.


The mission of the General Education Subcommittee is to make recommendations regarding proposed courses to determine whether they adhere to the established guidelines and philosophy for general education.

Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the General Education Subcommittee include:

  • Establish and periodically update, if necessary, a comprehensive philosophy of general education at Los Angeles Valley College. This may include a review of the specific existing categories of general education applicable to the Associate Degree as well as recommendations to expand or add to these existing categories.
  • Review all new and existing courses which are being proposed for general education credit and report recommendations to the VCCC. The recommendations should include whether the course meets the criteria for and objectives of general education and the particular category for which the request has been made.
  • Become knowledgeable about the general education requirements for the California State Universities (CSU General Education Certification) and the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), as well as the criteria required for courses to be applicable for specific general education categories.

General Principles and Criteria for Review

  • New and revised courses which are requested for general education credit are referred to the General Education Subcommittee for review.
  • Members of the subcommittee examine the course outline in question, specifically the content and objectives, using the "Objectives of General Education" as guidelines for consideration, as well as the definition of the general education categories as specified by the Los Angeles Valley College Associate Degree requirements, the CSU General Education Certification Plan, and the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), as adopted by both the UC and CSU systems.
  • The General Education subcommittee may also consider other information, such as whether the course in question is offered by another campus in the District and, if so, the type of general education credit granted by that particular campus. A course may be recommended for credit in more than one general education category.
  • A report is made to the VCCC with specific recommendations. The recommendation to the VCCC generally includes two parts: 1) Does the course in question satisfy the criteria and goals of a general education course? and 2) For which specific area or category of general education is the course recommended?

Procedures for Review

  • When courses are being proposed for general education credit, the General Education Subcommittee members will review these courses, discuss opinions and recommendations, and arrive at a committee recommendation.
  • This review will occur simultaneously with the technical review process.
  • A report will be made by the chair of the General Education subcommittee to the VCCC with specific recommendations. These recommendations, if approved, will be forwarded to the college Articulation Officer for submission to the CSU and UC systems according to their annual process and deadlines. General Education credit decisions will become effective for the Associate Degree the following semester.

    Revised Fall 2003