2020-2021 Catalog

About SKCs General Education Requirements

What are General Education Requirements?

General education courses are a set of courses that students take outside their academic major. All degree and certificate of completion programs have requirements for general education courses.

General education courses help students develop a broad base of knowledge and skills and become more effective life-long learners. General education coursework provides students with the abilities to effect positive change in their home, workplace, and communities. Student gain awareness and abilities that help them meet the challenges of rapid social, environmental, and technical changes on reservations and in the world. Because SKC is a tribal college, general education courses also emphasize the knowledge and awareness of Native American cultures, particularly the Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai tribal cultures, histories, and languages.

General Education Outcomes

The goals, or student learning outcomes, for the general education program at SKC are known as the 4 Cs: critical thinking, cultural awareness, citizenship, and communication. In order to meet general education objectives, courses emphasize both an academic area, such as math, science, or fine arts, and development of skills in the 4Cs.

The 4 Cs

Salish Kootenai College defines the 4Cs as follows:

Critical Thinking is a self-directed process for refining thought.  Critical thinkers validate and reflect on their thinking, consider the validity of information sources, context, and multiple perspectives, and apply both logic and traditional understandings to make decisions.

Cultural Understandings at SKC emphasizes sustaining and perpetuating the living cultural traditions of the Séliš, Qĺispé, and Ksanka peoples. This includes the tangible forms (places & artifacts) and intangible forms (language and ceremony). Understanding these traditions helps students recognize the importance and necessity of cultural traditions to all people and their roles in intercultural relations.

Citizenship includes informed and committed participation in the life of one's community at the local, national, and global levels. Citizens recognize and address community issues, apply ethical and legal knowledge and reasoning, and respect the rights of others.

Communication is clear, respectful sharing of information guided by critical thinking and mindful consideration. Skilled communicators connect with people through spoken, written, and media methods that effectively convey content knowledge and individual values. 

Areas of Study

The general education curriculum introduces students to major areas of knowledge in humanities, fine arts, Native American studies, natural sciences, mathematics, and social sciences, which are organized into the following categories:

COMM = Communication

NASD = Native American Studies

FAH = Fine Arts and Humanities

MS = Mathematics and Natural Sciences

SS = Social Sciences

Meeting the General Education Requirements

Students satisfy general education requirements by either completing required courses at SKC, or by transferring equivalent courses from other accredited institutions.  The Admissions Officer evaluates transcripts and course descriptions from other institutions to ensure course equivalency. Faculty advisors assist students in completing a program of study that includes general education requirements.  However, responsibility for meeting the general education requirements rests with the student.

Service Learning

Service to the community is an important component of citizenship. Salish Kootenai College requires all graduates to complete a Service Learning course within their respective degree programs. In Service Learning, students participate in a minimum of 30 hours of service to the community outside of regularly scheduled class time. Objectives and service activities are designed to reflect and enhance the content of the student’s area of study.