Guidelines for Assigning General Education Designations to Courses at Northwest Indian College



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Guidelines for Assigning General Education Designations

to Courses at Northwest Indian College
Every 100 and 200 level course at NWIC is given a general education designation which is used to determine how it applies to the graduation requirements for each program of study. The following is a set of guidelines developed by the NWIC faculty and Curriculum Committee to aid in assigning general education codes to new and revised courses.
Communications Skills (CS)

Courses designated CS focus on the development of written or oral communication skills.

CS courses generally contain some or all of the following elements and will vary from course to course:


  • Writing intensive

  • Requiring organization and critical evaluation of written content

  • Developing research sources

  • Using quotes, citations and other skills related to writing

  • Developing self-editing skills

  • Developing effective interpersonal skills

  • Understanding and practicing cultural aspects of communication/cultural communication skills

  • Assertive communication skills (finding your voice)

  • Vocabulary development and use of technical terminology appropriately in written and oral communication

  • Developing group communication skills

  • Use of library resources in communication

  • Native perspectives on communication



Quantitative Skills (QS)

Courses designated QS focus on the development of quantitative and analytic skills.

QS courses generally contain some or all of the following elements and will vary from course to course:


  • Development of basic mathematics skills

  • Logic

  • Problem solving

  • Analysis

  • Quantitative estimation

  • Interpretation and creation of statistical and graphical data

  • Analytic computer skills (such as programming)

  • Computation

  • Statistical analysis and manipulation

  • Solving real world problems using analytic skills

  • Critical thinking skills particularly in relationship to native and western perspectives

  • Understanding and application of quantitative approaches to multiple disciplines

  • Native perspectives on quantitative skills


Humanities (HT or HP)

Courses designated as humanities focus on those things that make us human, relating to the human condition, including the arts, music, theater, creative writing/poetry/literature, language arts, film, religion, and philosophy.

Humanities courses generally contain some or all of the following elements and will vary from course to course:


  • Visual and performing arts

  • Cultural arts

  • Application of Western and native arts

  • Creativity in general

  • Playing

  • Library science

  • Museum studies

  • Intellectual property

  • Relating impacts of technology, ideas, cultural norms on being human

  • Multi and interdisciplinary studies

  • Native perspectives on the humanities


Humanities Theory (HT) – Courses designated humanities theory contain some or all of the following elements in addition to the general humanities qualities:

  • Thinking

  • Analyzing

  • Listening

  • Reading

  • Comprehension

  • Study of spirituality

  • Connection to nature

  • Evaluation and synthesis (i.e. higher order processes in Bloom’s taxonomy)


Humanities Performance (HP) – Courses designated humanities performance are primarily focused on the expression or demonstration of the humanities rather than theory and contain some or all of the following elements in addition to the general humanities qualities:

  • Expression

  • Writing

  • Hands-on doing/demonstration

  • Listening


Social Sciences (SS)

Courses designated SS focus on the study of the social life of human groups and individuals including cultural anthropology, economics, history, Native American studies, political science, psychology and sociology.

SS courses contain some or all of the following elements and will vary from course to course:


  • Human behavior

  • Understanding of people and culture

  • Data, analysis, comparisons and organization about people and culture

  • Identity and the macro, meso, and micro influences on identity

  • Social justice, equality, diversity

  • Sustainability

  • Resource distribution

  • Theories related to history

  • How groups interact

  • Human organizations – including governments, bureaucracies, and institutions

  • Impacts of people on organizations/impacts of organizations on people

  • Psychological and sociological perspectives on the phenomenal world

  • Native perspectives on social sciences



Natural Sciences (NS or NSL)

Courses designated natural sciences focus on the study of the physical world and its phenomena, including the disciplines of astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, physical geography, geology, mathematics, native environmental science, physical science and interdisciplinary sciences.

Natural sciences courses generally contain some or all of the following elements and will vary from course to course:


  • Use of the scientific method

  • Empirical approaches to study the natural world

  • Use of mathematics to describe and study the phenomenal world

  • Perspectives concerning the phenomenal world (that which may be touched or observed directly or indirectly)

  • Systematic views to describe the physical world

  • Dealing with accuracy and systemization of observation of the physical world

  • Ecological systems (relationships and interactions)

  • Humans' roles/ethics related to the physical world

  • Connections between art and science

  • Sustainability and environmental impacts

  • Native perspectives on natural sciences


Natural Sciences Laboratory (NSL) – Courses designated natural sciences laboratory contain some or all of the following elements in addition to the natural sciences qualities:

  • Natural science performance

  • Performed in the laboratory or in the field

  • Application and discovery of the physical world

  • Experiential

  • Application of natural science principles

  • Observations of the physical world

  • Bring the ideas of spirituality and connection to nature into the lab.

  • Comparing theoretical results with lab observations; using lab results to make inferences

  • Oral or written presentation of experimental findings



Native American Studies (NASD)

Courses designated NASD focus primarily on native culture.



NASD courses generally contain some or all of the following elements and will vary from course to course:

  • Culturally relevant focus

  • Culturally specific to Native culture

  • Ecologically related to people and place

  • Cultural context/relevance throughout the course

  • Contemporary and historical native perspectives

  • Native spirituality

  • Native history

  • Native Languages

  • Use of contrasting examples to enlighten contemporary Native aspects – a cultural balance

  • Larger Native worldview

  • Understanding regional history (Coast Salish, Nez Perce, etc.)

  • Micro, meso and macro interconnections relating to native culture and other disciplines



Additional Guidelines

  • A student can use each course to satisfy one general education requirement only - CS, QS, HT, HP, NS, NSL, TE or NE. In certain cases, a course may be used to satisfy either of two general education requirements. For example, a math course may satisfy either a QS or NS requirement.







  • Courses that are not coded as CS, QS, HT, HP, SS, NS, or NSL will be coded Transfer Electives (TE) or Non-transfer electives (NE) according to the current Washington State Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC) guidelines.




  • Student Success courses are coded TE (for CMPS 101) or NE (for HMDV 110).




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