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General Education Rationale and Minimum Requirements

MCC recognizes the importance of preparing students for success in both their personal and professional lives. MCC students develop, across the curriculum, both the knowledge base of a program of study as well as the career skills needed to become a productive individual, an effective and contributing team member, and a person who appreciates the importance of lifelong learning and self-improvement. Vital to the preparation for lifelong learning skills is the development of competencies in:

  • Communication – Effective communicators express thoughts, ideas, and feelings in both written and oral modes in order to be successful in their education and professional careers. This requires students to develop critical reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills early in their college experience and to have these skills reinforced throughout their program curricula. Effective communicators:
    • engage in the four stages of the communication process: collecting, shaping, drafting, and revising;
    • select, organize, and present details to support a main idea;
    • participate in groups using a variety of collaborative techniques;
    • use knowledge of target audience expectations and values to shape a text;
    • use various techniques in writing and speaking including authority, point-of-view, style, and voice; and
    • employ good mechanics and word usage choice.
  • Critical thinking – Critical thinking stresses a rational process, demonstrates logical inquiry and problem solving, and leads to an evaluative decision or action. It plays an important part in personal, social, and professional development. It helps learners uncover bias and prejudice in ideas. Critical thinking encourages learners to develop a willingness to consider different points of view and to explore possibilities. It underlies the basic elements of communication, writing, speaking, and listening. Critical thinkers:
    • interpret and evaluate statements, theories, problems, and observations from different points of view or perspectives;
    • question the validity of assumptions, evidence, and data;
    • assess the value or importance of positions, policies, and formulated solutions; and
    • employ the logic of argument.
  • Information literacy – Information literacy is a set of abilities to recognize when information is needed; to retrieve, manage, and organize the needed information; and to locate, evaluate, and use technology in the gathering of this information. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, to become more self-directed, and to assume greater control over their own learning. Information literate learners:
    • determine the extent of information needed;
    • critically evaluate information and its sources;
    • incorporate selected information into a personal knowledge base;
    • use information ethically and legally; and
    • utilize software to manage, present, and store information.
  • Numeracy – From balancing a checkbook to managing a business, numbers play an integral part in life experiences. Success in both a career field and personal experiences involves the effective use and understanding of numbers. Numeracy is the ability to think about, express, and evaluate information in quantitative terms. Numerically literate individuals:
    • interpret, analyze, and solve basic numerical problems;
    • estimate the reasonableness of an answer; and
    • interpret, evaluate, and present graphic/tabular data.
  • Scientific inquiry – Science plays a vital role in today’s society from environmental issues to health issues to economic issues. To assess the validity of scientific information, students should be able to effectively evaluate and use the scientific process. Scientific inquirers:
    • apply the scientific inquiry process to a situation;
    • communicate the importance of science in daily life;
    • evaluate societal issues from a scientific perspective; and
    • make informed judgments about science-related topics and/or policies.
  • Social cultural awareness – Social and cultural awareness provide the basis to understand how each person shapes, and is shaped by, culture and society, as well as to recognize and understand the obligation to engage in ethical, safe, and legal behaviors. Socially and culturally aware individuals:
    • appreciate the influence of history, geography, the arts, humanities, and the environment on individual cultural development;
    • distinguish subjective opinions and ideology from objective findings and data;
    • recognize social and individual biases;
    • develop personal and social responsibility and participate as an engaged citizen; and
    • recognize individual differences, value diversity, and display global awareness.

It is in this spirit that the College promotes the importance of general education. General education core requirements must be completed by every student who completes a degree or certificate of achievement program at MCC. In most programs, general education requirements are already determined; in programs where specific courses are not outlined, students should use the list of approved general education courses to complete minimum requirements for general education.


General Education Minimum Requirements


General education course areas

Competencies covered in course area

Minimum number of credit hours required


communication, critical thinking, social cultural awareness

9.0 credit hrs.

Humanities/social sciences

scientific inquiry, social cultural awareness, critical thinking

4.5 credit hrs.

Quantitative/numeracy skills

numeracy, critical thinking

4.5 credit hrs.

Human relation skills

social cultural awareness, scientific inquiry, critical thinking

4.5 credit hrs.

Information systems and literacy

information literacy

4.5 credit hrs.


scientific inquiry

Variable depending on program of study