The Foundations area of the GE Pathways Program is designed to provide you with the intellectual bases necessary for success at the college level. Through course work in oral and written communications, critical thinking, mathematics, and the natural sciences you will gain the analytical capacities and competencies demanded across the college curriculum.
The Foundations contain some areas of study with which students are already familiar, such as English composition and math, but will enhance capabilities you developed in your earlier educational experiences. The Foundation area also includes specific work in oral communication and critical thinking—the ability to distinguish fact from opinion, reason rationally and construct effective arguments—and that may not have been emphasized in earlier course work.
The Foundations area also includes courses in the physical and life sciences. These courses include a laboratory component, enabling you to engage in active scientific inquiry and practices. Active inquiry is one of the core values of the GE Pathways program, and lab-based science courses in the Foundation ensure that all students experience this form of study while developing a basic understanding of science and its role in society.
Another important function of Foundations courses is to provide “windows” into the GE Pathways. Many Foundations courses are associated with one or more Pathways and can be counted toward Pathway minors (see the Foundation Associations in the GE Pathway planning sheet [pdf]). In these courses, students will gain insight into the types of questions and ideas explored in specific Pathways. This will help you select a Pathway minor (if you choose to pursue one) while at the same time providing the intellectual foundation for college success. Explore the Pathways through the Foundations!