The institution requires in each undergraduate degree program the successful completion of a general education component at the collegiate level that is (1) a substantial component of each undergraduate degree, (2) ensures breadth of knowledge, and (3) is based on a coherent rationale. For degree completion in associate programs, the component constitutes a minimum of 15 semester hours or the equivalent; for baccalaureate programs, a minimum of 30 semester hours or the equivalent. These credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts; social/behavioral sciences; and natural science/mathematics. The courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. The institution provides a written justification and rationale for course equivalency. (General Education)
Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) demonstrates compliance with this core requirement. The General Education component for each program is based upon the statewide North Carolina Community College System Curriculum Standards and is a minimum of 15 semester hours, including communications and English, humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral science, and natural science/mathematics. Breadth of knowledge and course content are again standardized across the state through the North Carolina Community College System Common Course Library. To ensure adequate breadth of knowledge, the courses are taught by faculty qualified within the appropriate discipline. Recognition of the breadth and coherent rationale for each general education course is further demonstrated by the fact that all of them have been approved under the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement between the North Carolina Community College System and the University of North Carolina System. The College also has in place a waiver of pre-requisites and course substitution processes requiring approval at the academic dean level.
All thirty-five associate degree programs at Cape Fear Community College contain a substantial General Education component which ensures sufficient breadth of knowledge in each program. The General Education component is a minimum of 15 semester hours, including at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural sciences/mathematics. Degree programs also contain a minimum of 6 semester hours of communications. The rationale for these local requirements is based upon the statewide North Carolina Community College System Curriculum Standards (Curriculum Standards) which specify standard course content for each program of study. A sample Curriculum Standard for Business Administration is attached (Sample Standard). The breadth of knowledge and content for individual courses required as part of the General Education component are, like all courses offered by North Carolina community colleges, part of the state's Common Course Library (Common Course Library). A sample listing of Business courses in the Common Course Library is also attached (Course Sample).
General Education course descriptions in the Common Course Library are standardized, regardless of the degree program in which they are offered, so the courses cannot be narrowly focused on skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. These same course descriptions can also be found in the CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (Course Descriptions pg 144). As an additional guarantee that CFCC General Education courses maintain a broad focus, these courses are offered by faculty qualified and assigned to the appropriate General Education departments within the Arts and Science Division. These departments and their faculty ultimately determine how the guidelines offered in the course descriptions will be carried out through the course syllabi. In further recognition of the breadth of knowledge and suitability of required skill level contained in these General Education courses, they have also been approved under the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement between the North Carolina Community College System and the University of North Carolina System (Comprehensive Articulation Agreement). With regard to course equivalency, students typically take the courses required in their program. However, in rare cases students may substitute one course for another. If the course being substituted is a pre-requisite or co-requisite, it must first be waived by the Vice President of Instruction or the academic Deans and then replaced by the substituting course using the appropriate forms. Normally, a waiver will be recommended by the appropriate Department Chair and approved by the Dean who will keep the Vice Presidents of Instruction and Student Development informed of all such waivers (Pre- or Co-Requisite Waiver pg 20) (Waiver Form).
Students may also substitute other courses in their program of study by obtaining the approval of the Department Chair who maintains cognizance over the course in question and the appropriate Dean. The Department Chair will review the equivalency of the requested course substitution, obtain the Dean’s approval, and then submit the required and completed form (Course Substitution Form) to the Registrar’s Office. In both cases, approval for course substitution or equivalency requires a written justification and rationale. Please see Comprehensive Standard 3.5.1 (Comprehensive Standard 3.5.1) for a discussion of General education competency assessments.