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General Education

Simpson’s general education program builds on the strengths of the traditional liberal arts approach to undergraduate education but adapts it to the needs of current students and future employers. This “Engaged Citizenship” curriculum has been created by the faculty of the college in response to recent studies of student learning theory, the needs of employers, suggestions from alumni, and the recommendation of higher education organizations in the United States. Of particular importance were studies and recommendations of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) of best practices in the liberal arts. Simpson’s unique approach links the historic mission of the institution to educate students to become engaged citizens and the very best in learning theory. The Engaged Citizenship Curriculum promotes an integrative approach to learning that enables students of all ages to develop intellectual and practical skills.

The Engaged Citizenship Curriculum consists of

Resources for Faculty

The faculty has developed collections of resources for teaching some of the embedded skills. These resources are can be browsed by course characteristic, student learning outcome, or type of material.

  • Collaborative Leadership

  • Critical Thinking

  • Information Literacy

  • Oral Communication

Proposing a Course: Quick link to the forms needed for departments to add courses to the Engaged Citizenship Curriculum. Instructions for using this forms are available here [LINK].

Approved Designation Proposals: Faculty can access all the proposals for courses that have been approved as contributing towards the ECC. Some of the approved designations have since been removed, but the proposals remain. It is recommended that you not use this to determine which courses carry designations.

Assessment Resources: This page provides links to a wide variety of assessment instruments that could be used to assess the student learning outcomes associated with general education.


Simpson Colloquium: A first-year experience course required of all new students including transfer students

Areas of Engagement: Students need to take seven different courses (one course per area) that address the issues of citizenship from a variety of perspectives:

Embedded Skills: Students need to complete coursework in seven different skills which will help students develop expertise that will help them as they grow as free, responsible and fulfilled individuals in the world of family, work, service, and scholarship. These are all skills that employers look for in their employees.

Capstone in Major: To prepare students to be engaged citizens who are able to apply their learning in a specific discipline to the larger community through work and/or service, each major requires a capstone experience that allows students to demonstrate their abilities as apprentice practitioners in their chosen fields of study. Capstone experiences vary widely by major.