General Education Requirements / Liberal Arts Breadth

The general education requirements at Prescott College are designed to support the college-wide learning outcomes. The general education program at Prescott College requires successful completion of at least 30 credits that Includes the appropriate set of core curriculum courses. On-campus undergraduate students entering as first-time freshmen complete CC1, CC2, CC3, and CC4. Online undergraduate students complete the PASS1, CC4 and core seminar courses. These core courses address many college-wide learning outcomes with additional learning outcomes met within competence and breadth courses. In order to complete the general education requirements at Prescott College, each student’s degree plan must include at least two courses that assess each college-wide learning outcome; these courses may be in the competence or breadth areas. Transfer courses may be used for partial fulfillment of the College’s general education requirements.

In addition to the core curriculum requirements, online undergraduate students complete a breadth in the Liberal Arts in order to demonstrate their learning in the major academic areas of the liberal arts and complete their general education requirements. On-campus undergraduate students may elect to complete a Liberal Arts Breadth in addition or in place of an elective Breadth. The areas of a Liberal Arts Breadth are:

  • Social Sciences such as Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Education, History.
  • Humanities such as Literature, Fine Arts, Philosophy, Religion, Foreign Languages, History.
  • Math/Science such as Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences.
  • Communication/Writing such as English Composition, Rhetoric, Creative Writing, Speech, Interpersonal Communication, Journalism, Media Studies, Computer Learning

Undergraduate Core Curriculum

The Prescott College mission guides our faculty to offer interdisciplinary, experiential and self-directed curricula preparing students to make a living making a difference for social justice and environmental sustainability.

Creating solutions for the social and ecological crises facing the 21st century requires the abilities to integrate and apply knowledge, skills, and abilities from traditionally separate fields of knowledge. Becoming a self-directed, life-long learner requires structure, guidance, and support through each phase of our students’ educational journeys.

In each year of on-campus undergraduate study, students are required to choose from various courses labeled CC1, CC2, CC3 or CC4 (Senior Project) in the schedule of classes. Similarly, online undergraduates complete a Core Curriculum course and PASS I in their first term, and CC4 (Senior Project) in their final term. These classes are designed to create a supportive interdisciplinary curricula and advising structure for students to develop academic and professional competence through their individualized programs of study and to complete key graduation requirements.

These classes also help students to integrate learning from across liberal arts fields at increasing levels of rigor in each year. At each phase, students update their electronic portfolios with examples of their learning and tag these artifacts with the appropriate departmental and general education learning outcomes.

Core Curriculum – Online Undergraduate

  • Professional and Academic Success Seminar I (PASS I): PASS I begins at Orientation for all new students and continues through the first term. The focus of this course is on creating an individualized yet compelling Bachelor’s curriculum, practicing research and library skills, learning to network with professionals and fellow students in the competence area, increasing awareness of social and ecological implications of each student’s competence, writing and processing study contracts and self-evaluations, and learning how to develop an e-portfolio. The PASS I also supports students’ orientation to the procedures, policies, faculty, and requirements of online undergraduate program. The PASS I must be completed in the first term of enrollment; if not, it must be repeated in the second enrollment period.
  • Core Curriculum 4: Senior Project: is taken in the final term. These courses bring students together from across various fields of knowledge to work with a faculty  guide and to support one another in completing their senior projects. The capstone senior project demonstrates students’ academic and professional competence and is posted to their e-portfolios to document this competence to the faculty and to support their applications for jobs and graduate school.
  • Core Seminar: Each area of study has a core seminar that is typically completed in the student’s first term of study.

Core Curriculum – On-campus Undergraduate

  • CC1 courses are taken at the very beginning of students’ educational journeys and include orientation courses, first year learning communities, and writing workshop courses. CC1 courses introduce students to our faculty and to one another. They orient students to our systems and processes and to how experiential learning works. Students begin to use the liberal arts knowledge and skills to address the big questions facing our world. Writing Certification level, one is completed during CC1. Students begin posting signature assignments and other artifacts of learning to their e-portfolio in CC1 and update their e-portfolios each year in subsequent core curriculum courses.
  • CC2 courses are taken in the second phase of study (e.g., year two for first time freshmen, first term for transfer students). These courses help students identify and integrate learning from various paradigms of knowledge into the degree plans that will guide the development of their academic and professional competence. Students set clear academic and career goals and work with faculty advisors and peers to draft and revise their degree plans and to have them approved by their faculty advisors. CC2 courses are writing emphasis and/or quantitative skills courses that help students satisfy the Writing Certification level two writing emphasis requirements. For online undergraduates, the PASS I course combines elements of CC1 and CC2 courses.
  • CC3 courses provide a platform for students to integrate interdisciplinary research methods and knowledge into a proposal for their senior project. Prior to the senior year, students work with one another and their faculty advisors to revise and receive approval for their project proposal which includes a review of relevant academic and professional literature. The CC3 courses satisfy Writing Certification level three. Students identify target professions and/or graduate schools, revise degree and career plans as necessary, and update their e-portfolios with examples of their best work and other professional materials. Students interested in the accelerated master’s tracks at Prescott College apply for admissions during CC3. 
  • CC4: Senior Project courses bring students together from across various fields of knowledge to work with a faculty  guide and to support one another in completing their senior projects. The capstone senior project demonstrates students’ academic and professional competence and is posted to their e-portfolios to document this competence to the faculty and to support their applications for jobs and graduate school.

Math and Writing Requirements

Math and writing are part of the general education requirements at the College. Before new students arrive, the Registrar reviews every student’s transcripts to determine if they have fulfilled the math requirement and/or writing certification part I based upon the criteria below.

Math Certification

Math certification will usually be completed in the sophomore year, but must be completed prior to the senior year. Students may satisfy the Math certification requirement in one of five ways:

  1. Successful completion of a mathematics course at Prescott College. See individual department Advising Documents for specific requirements for particular areas of the curriculum (e.g. Applied Algebra for the BA in environmental studies, Calculus for BS Degree).
  2. Successful completion (“C-” or better) of a college-level (College Algebra or equivalent) mathematics course taken at another regionally accredited college or university. Other college- level mathematics courses may satisfy the math certification requirement pending review of course descriptions.
  3. Successful completion (“C-” or better) within five (5) years of entering the College of a Pre-calculus or Calculus course taken in high school.
  4. A qualifying score of four (4) or better on the Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in Calculus.
  5. Score 50 or higher on the College Board’s CLEP test in any of the following: Calculus, College Algebra, or College Mathematics; the course should be consistent with department requirements. Consult the CLEP website for more information: http://clep.collegeboard.org/exam. Passing CLEP scores also result in transfer credit.

Writing Certification I: Basic College-level Writing Proficiency

Students may satisfy the Writing Certification I requirement by completing Writing Workshop or equivalent at Prescott College; by transferring in an equivalent course from another accredited institution (with a grade of C- or better); or by achieving a score of 3 or higher in AP English. Transfer courses can be reviewed for suitability.

Writing Certification II: Three Courses Designated “Writing Emphasis” (WE)

Writing Certification II is satisfied by the completion of three courses designated Writing Emphasis. At least one of these courses must be in the competence area. WE courses may be Lower Division or Upper Division. Writing Certification I is a prerequisite or co-requisite for a WE course. CC2 and CC3 are Writing Emphasis courses. Guidelines for Writing Emphasis courses:

  • Courses must be designated WE prior to the registration period for the course. Any student wishing to earn WE in a non- WE course must enroll in a mentored study that parallels the course they will attend.
  • Faculty teaching WE classes will be given the freedom to design their classes in ways that achieve the WE objectives subject to the approval of an academic dean or designee. Expectations include
    • two rigorous writing assignments per course and a minimum of 15 pages of formal writing [i.e. polished writing in the style of a particular discipline(s)].
    • Iterative evaluation of the student’s writing and feedback on writing throughout the course.
    • Class time dedicated to the writing process relative to course assignments
    • peer review work is suggested.
  • Faculty may require WCI as a prerequisite for any WE course.

Writing Certification III: Upper Division Research Paper

  • The paper may be written in the context of any upper-division Prescott College Writing Emphasis (WE) course or independent study in the student’s competence or breadth area.
  • The paper must be a thesis-driven research paper (expository or persuasive essay).
  • The paper should reflect correct documentation style (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago Style, etc.), as well as appropriate research methods for the content area. Research requires the student to use and evaluate a variety of reliable sources, including juried periodicals, books, and juried internet sites (e.g., using journal databases like EBSCOHOST). Most faculty members will ask the student to include a literature review in the body of the paper or an annotated bibliography.
  • The paper must be at least 2500 words in length, excluding bibliography, appendices, and works cited pages.