General Education Core
All degree programs at HCC share a common core of learning. This core, considered General Education, is that aspect of the college’s instructional program that develops and integrates the student’s knowledge, skill, and experiences so that the student can engage effectively in a lifelong process of inquiry and critical thinking.
By completing the 21 -23 credits of general education coursework, students gain a balanced foundation in the three primary domains of knowledge: the arts and humanities, the sciences including mathematics, and the behavioral and social sciences.
Effective Fall 2017, HCC students will meet this general education requirement in a more flexible and interdisciplinary, competency-based format.
General Education Core1 Courses and Competencies
|ENG* E101 Composition
|ENG* E102 or Written Communication II
|Scientific Knowledge & Understanding
|Aesthetic Dimensions of Humankind
|Social Phenomena Knowledge & Understanding I
(within the fields of anthropology, psychology or sociology)
|Social Phenomena Knowledge & Understanding II
(not within the fields of anthropology, psychology or sociology)
* Students will fulfill the General Education Core Requirements by completing the required number of credits in courses associated with each General Education Competency. In addition to the competencies listed above, all Degree Programs have the following competencies embedded in coursework required prior to graduation: Critical Analysis & Logical Thinking, Appreciation of the Ethical Dimensions of Humankind, and Continuing Learning & Information Literacy.
1 In addition to the General Education core students must complete the Computer Literacy Requirement.
2 Only Quantitative Reasoning courses numbered higher than MAT*E137 will meet this requirement for students transferring to most 4-year schools. Students should consult their academic advisor when selecting courses to meet these requirements.
General Education Competencies and Goals
Required within the General Education Core Coursework:
- Written Communication in English: Students will be prepared to develop written texts of varying lengths and styles that communicate effectively and appropriately across a variety of settings.
- Quantitative Reasoning: Students will learn to recognize, understand, and use the quantitative elements they encounter in various aspects of their lives. Students will develop a habit of mind that uses quantitative skills to solve problems and make informed decisions. (Note that some programs accept any Mathematics (MATH) elective at the 100- or 200-level; please see program listing.)
- Scientific Knowledge & Understanding: Students will gain a broad base of scientific knowledge and methodologies in the natural sciences. This will enable them to develop scientific literacy, the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes essential for personal decision making and understanding scientific issues.
- Aesthetic Dimensions of Humankind: Students will understand the diverse nature, meanings, and functions of creative endeavors through the study and practice of literature, music, the theatrical and visual arts, and related forms of expression.
- Social Phenomena Knowledge & Understanding: Students will develop an increased understanding of the influences that shape a person’s, or group’s attitudes, beliefs, emotions, symbols, and actions, and how these systems of influence are created, maintained, and altered by individual, familial, group, situational, or cultural means.
Embedded in coursework within all Degree Programs:
- Critical Analysis & Logical Thinking: Students will be able to organize, interpret, and evaluate evidence and ideas within and across disciplines; draw reasoned inferences and defensible conclusions; and solve problems and make decisions based on analytical processes.
- Appreciation of the Ethical Dimensions of Humankind: Students will identify ethical principles that guide individual and collective actions and apply those principles to the analysis of contemporary social and political problems.
- Continuing Learning & Information Literacy: Students will be able to use traditional and digital technology to access, evaluate, and apply information to the needs or questions confronting them throughout their academic, professional, and personal lives.
General Education Course Competency Codes
All degree and certificate programs require various courses that meet graduation requirements. The following codes are used to help you and your advisor identify the General Education Course Competency Code, indicating which General Education Competency the course meets. In addition to the codes indicated, all courses numbered at the 100 and 200 level (HSE*E101 for example) qualify as open electives. You are advised to pay special attention to program footnotes when selecting electives and courses with the appropriate General Education Competency.
|Competency Codes: PDF_CSCU Transfer Electives
||Aesthetic Dimensions of Humankind
||Course Satisfying the Computer Literacy Requirement
||Historical Knowledge & Understanding
||Oral Communication in English
||Quantitative Reasoning (note that some programs accept any Mathematics (MATH) elective at the 100- or 200-level; please see program listing)
||Scientific Knowledge & Understanding
||Social Phenomena Knowledge & Understanding I
(within the fields of anthropology, psychology or sociology)
||Social Phenomena Knowledge & Understanding II
(not within the fields of anthropology, psychology or sociology)
||Written Communication in English I
||Written Communication in English II
Discipline Course Elective Codes
Prior to Fall 2017, all degree and certificate programs at the College required completion of various courses to meet graduation requirements. Many programs included elective courses in addition to specific courses. For students who enrolled in a degree or certificate program prior to Fall 2017, these graduation requirements will still be honored and therefore remain here as a record.
Beginning in Fall 2017, some degree and certificate programs at the College may continue to require elective courses from categories within a particular discipline as listed below.
The following codes are used to help you and your advisor determine which elective a course will satisfy. In addition to the codes indicated, all courses with course numbers at the 100- and 200-level (HSE* E101, as an example) qualify as open electives. You are advised to pay special attention to program footnotes when selecting your electives.
||Behavioral Science elective
||Course satisfying the Computer Literacy Requirement
||Computer Science elective
||Fine Arts elective
||Social Science elective
||All courses numbered 100 or higher
Terms You Need to Know
- Degree programs: academic programs requiring 60 to 68 credit hours to complete and which earn the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree designation. An Associate Degree requires a minimum of 60 credits.
- Certificate programs: short-term programs, usually 30 credits or less, intended for occupational training, upgrading, or retraining. Students receive a Certificate upon successfully fulfilling all requirements and applying for graduation.
- Corequisite Course: a course that MUST be taken during the same semester as another course.
- Online courses: courses offered via computer Internet connection, without regularly scheduled on-campus classes.
- Hybrid courses: courses that combine traditional classroom lectures with online coursework. Normally 50% of course work is conducted by on-campus meetings. All hybrid courses meet in the classroom on the first scheduled day of class.
- Prerequisite course: a course that must be successfully completed before a student can enroll in the next course. Often a grade of “C” or higher is required.
- Parallel course: a course that MAY be taken during the same semester as another course in order to fulfill the prerequisite for that course.
- Electives: credit courses selected by the student to supplement the required courses in the program of study. Students should consult with their faculty advisors when choosing electives. The courses from which electives may be selected are specified in the program of study. Course descriptions list the elective codes that are assigned to a course, iin this format: Code(s): AESX, FINA, HISX.
Computer Literacy Requirement
In today’s global society, computer literacy has become an essential skill, comparable to reading, writing, and arithmetic. Computer literacy at the college level means the ability to use computer-based technology in communicating, problem solving, and acquiring information. Upon graduation, students should have the tools necessary to evaluate and learn new technologies as they become available.
In order to complete their education at Housatonic Community College, HCC students must either complete a program-specific course showing computer literacy or successfully pass a test that shows ability to use word processing, presentation software, spreadsheets, the Internet, and email as tools to communicate and access electronic information.
All students enrolling in an associate degree program at HCC are required to fulfill the Computer Literacy Requirement prior to graduation and are encouraged to do so within the first 12 college-level credits.
The Computer Literacy Requirement can be satisfied in either of the following ways:
- Successful completion of a designated Code “C” course at HCC or an equivalent course from another accredited college (an official transcript must be submitted and a course description and course syllabus may be requested).
- Passing the HCC Computer Literacy Test* with a satisfactory score.
*Students who fail to pass the test after two attempts (one month apart) must satisfy the Computer Literacy Requirement by taking one of the designated Code “C” courses.
The Computer Literacy Requirement is built into some of the associate degree programs.
Elective Code “C” courses at HCC will teach students to meet the following computer literacy competencies adapted from digitalliteracy.gov:
- The ability to use a computer or mobile device, including use of a mouse, keyboard, icons, and folders;
- The ability to use software and applications as tools of communication, including proficiency in at least four of the following software types: word processing, spreadsheet software, presentation software, the Internet, and email.
The current “C” courses are:
Expectations for Student Use of Computers in Courses
Any Housatonic Community College course may require substantial computer based learning including use of the Internet, e-text books, instructional software, Blackboard*, research data bases, online assignments, etc., for the completion of class assignments, homework, research and assessments.
Computer- based learning experiences may be used in place of or in addition to traditional lectures for some lessons. All students have access to computer laboratories in both Beacon Hall and Lafayette Hall. Computer access is also available in the college library.
* Please see here for more information about Blackboard use in college classes.
Transferring from HCC to a Four-year College or University
You can start your academic career at HCC and complete your degree at a four-year college or university. HCC has a number of ways to make completing your four-year education easier and more efficient:
- CSCU Transfer Ticket Programs - Offered in a number of subject areas designed to provide seamless transfer to CT State Universities. See Degrees & Certificates for more information. Visit http://www.ct.edu/transfer for more information.
- Pathway to Teaching Careers (EC35) - Students will be prepared to transfer to the teacher preparation program at Southern Connecticut State University where students will work toward a baccalaureate degree with secondary education certification in their area of specialization.
- The Connecticut College of Technology Pathway Programs - See Degrees & Certificates
- Articulation & Transfer Agreements with more than 15 additional four-year Colleges - see Academic Support & Student Services .
- Guaranteed Admissions Agreement with CT State Universities - Students must apply before they have accrued 15 transferable credits. See Academic Support & Student Services
New students interested in transfer opportunities are encouraged to speak with an advisor as soon as soon as possible to ensure that they are aware of the requirements for a particular transfer process. Please refer to http://www.housatonic.edu/student-services/transfer-planning for more information on transfer opportunities for Housatonic students.
Blackboard e-Learning Platform
All online and hybrid courses at HCC utilize the Blackboard course management system. Toward the beginning of each semester, an online Blackboard Orientation course will be made available in Blackboard, and there is a helpful playlist on YouTube (http://tinyurl.com/grb4bmo) which introduces students to myCommNet and Blackboard. Students should review these materials and be prepared for the online learning environment before the first day of classes. Additionally, all students have access throughout the semester to the 24-hour CSCU Help Desk at 860-723-0221 for technical support and troubleshooting.