2014-2015 Academic Catalog (August 2014 - July 2015) 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2014-2015 Academic Catalog (August 2014 - July 2015) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Studies Program and Testing


General Studies

All Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours to receive a baccalaureate degree, regardless of their field of specialization, and among these must be the minimum 49 semester hours prescribed in the Program of General Studies.  www.concord.edu/userfiles/files/Academics/registrar/Gen_Studies_Prog_Sept_2013.pdf

General education is an essential element in an educational process designed around student learning expectations and the attainment of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes. At Concord University, the Program of General Studies is a coherent series of courses that emphasize the common learning of a shared body of knowledge, the development of intellectual skills, and an appreciation of the diverse social and cultural values and institutions that make up the modern world. Through studies in these basic liberal arts and sciences, students gain a foundation for specialized studies, are equipped with the tools and skills necessary to pursue further learning, and acquire an understanding of the modes of inquiry and the ways of knowing.

Although general education continues throughout the full four years, students will take most of the Program of General Studies in their first two years. This makes it possible to explore programs and fields of specialization.

The Program of General Studies consists of some courses which are absolute requirements; others allow for some academic choices.

A. Written and Oral Communications (9 hours)

Depending on placement, the first courses in English for entering freshmen are ENGL 90 *, Fundamentals of Composition and Grammar, non-graduation credit (3); ENGL 101 , Composition and Rhetoric (3); or ENGL 102 , Composition and Rhetoric (3); and

  , Fundamentals of Speech (3).

1.  Initial placement in ENGL 90  or ENGL 101  is determined by the student's score on one of the following:

the English section of the Enhanced ACT

the Critical Reading (formerly termed Verbal) section of the SAT

the English section of the ASSET test

and, additionally, in some cases by a writing sample.

Initial placement in ENGL 102  is determined by both of the following: 

(1) the student's score on one of the test sections indicated above, and (2) demonstration of writing proficiency beyond the ENGL 101  level. (Contact the Chair of the Division of Languages and Literature for further information.)

  1. A student who scores below 18 or who has no scores at the time of enrollment will be placed in ENGL 90 .
  2. A student who scores between 18 and 24 in ACT English will be eligible for initial placement in ENGL 101 . However, if a writing sample indicates a need for more basic instruction, the student will be transferred to ENGL 90 .
  3. A student who scores above 24 in ACT English will be eligible for placement in ENGL 102  if, in the judgment of at least two English faculty members, the student's writing demonstrates adequate mastery of the skills taught in ENGL 101 .

*In special circumstances, students whose writing ability appears to be inappropriate for the type of freshman-level course in which they are enrolled may be transferred to a different course within two weeks after classes begin should two of three faculty members concur with the instructor of the course.

A minimum grade of C is required in ENGL 90 , ENGL 101 , and ENGL 102 . An incoming student must enroll in an English class at the appropriate level in the entering semester and continue to do so each semester until this course sequence has been satisfactorily completed.

2. In oral communication, students will complete COMM 101 , Fundamentals of Speech. Teacher education majors are referred to the section on Admission to Teacher Education  for additional requirements.

*All students must complete the nine (9) hour requirement for the Written and Oral Communications component of the General Studies program.  Students mandated to enroll in ENGL 90 will have three additional credit hours required for this category (non-graduation credit).

B. Literature (6 hours)

Non-English majors will complete ENGL 203 , World Literature I (3) and ENGL 204 , World Literature II (3); or they may substitute three Special Topics Mini-courses (1, 1, 1) for either ENGL 203  or ENGL 204  (not both), as indicated below:

ENGL 203A  courses may be used toward substitution for ENGL 203 .  

ENGL 204A  courses may be used toward substitution for ENGL 204 .

ENGL 207A  courses may be used toward substitution for either ENGL 203  or ENGL 204 


Both ENGL 203  and ENGL 204  are required for B.A. English and B.S. Education English/Language Arts majors.

Only Elementary Education K-6 candidates may substitute ENGL 329 for ENGL 204 in the General Studies Program.

D. Natural Sciences and Mathematics (14-15 hours)

  1. Students will complete one college level course (100 level or above) offered by the Department of Mathematics for at least three semester hours.
  2. Students will complete two four-hour laboratory science courses offered by the Department of Physical Sciences (GEOL, CHEM, PHYS, PHSC) or the Department of Biology (BIOL) for eight semester hours.
  3. Students will complete an additional four-hour laboratory science course from BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, PHYS, PHSC; or N SC 300C -N SC 300D  (3); or MATH 105 , Elementary Statistics (3); or CS 201 , Introduction to Computer Programming I (3). Teacher education majors are referred to the section on Admission to Teacher Education  for additional requirements.


BIOL 201 , Ecology and Field Methods, cannot be used to satisfy a General Studies science requirement.

E. The Social Sciences (12 hours)

Students must complete four courses with at least three of the following disciplines represented.

No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline and be counted toward meeting the general studies requirement.

Only one Economics course may be counted toward the general studies requirement.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Education degree must take three hours of history. Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Education with the Elementary content specialization must take GEOG 200 and HIST 101 or HIST 102.

F. Physical Education (2 hours)

Students will complete the following:

G. Modern Languages (6 hours)

In certain cases, a two-semester sequence of courses in the same modern language can be substituted for up to two General Studies courses. Both courses in this two-course sequence must be passed before General Studies credit can be awarded. Modern language courses can be used to substitute for no more than ONE General Studies course per Academic Division.

Students entering Concord with no high school credit in a particular language may substitute the 101-102 sequence of courses in that language for up to two General Studies courses.

Students entering Concord with one year of high-school credit in a language may take the 101-level course in that language for credit toward graduation, but not for General-Studies course substitution purposes. A two-course sequence in that language that begins at the 102- or 110-level (or higher) may be substituted for up to two General Studies courses.

Students entering Concord with two or more years of high school credit in a particular language may take the 101- 102 course sequence (or the 110-level course) in that language for credit toward graduation, but not for General-Studies course substitution purposes.

A two-course sequence in that language beginning at the 201-level (or higher) may be substituted for up to two General Studies courses. Students fulfilling modern language program requirements MAY take 101 and 102 of a language studied in high school to fulfill program requirements, but may NOT substitute for general studies requirements with the same language.

Honors Course

Any student enrolled in the Honors Program may elect to substitute the 400 level capstone course for any General Studies course not required in his or her program, except that there is no substitute permitted for ENGL 101  - ENGL 102 , or the General Studies mathematics requirement.

Remedial Courses (0-10 hours)

Students admitted provisionally or who do not achieve adequate scores on entrance examinations may be required to complete one or more of the following courses:


Students scoring 17 or above on the reading section of the Enhanced ACT, 340 or above on the verbal section of the SAT, 36 or above on the reading skills test of the ASSET, or 30 percentile or above on the Nelson-Denny Reading Test will be considered to have met minimal reading skill requirements. It is recommended that students not meeting this standard complete a developmental course in reading  EDUC 90 and/ or EDUC 91 .


Grades and credits earned in courses numbered less than 100 will not be calculated in the student's academic status, standing or grade point average.


ACT Testing (National and Residual)

Registration for the National ACT test must be done online at www.act.org. Students taking the Residual ACT must contact the Admissions Office. All students planning to take either of these tests may contact the Admissions Office for additional information.

ASSET Testing

ASSET testing is administered in group settings when possible and is used mainly as a placement tool for eligible students. Students must have been out of high school for more than five years in order to be eligible to utilize this test for admission purposes; otherwise, the test may only be used for placement purposes. For additional information regarding this testing procedure, contact the Admissions Office.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Concord University awards credit based on scores earned on the College-Level Examination Program. The University considers scores for credit for both the General Examinations and the Subject Examinations.

The General Examinations are objective tests that measure achievement in five basic areas of the liberal arts: English composition, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences-history. The Subject Examinations measure achievement in specific college courses.

Students must receive satisfactory scores on the CLEP Examination in order to be awarded credit. Additional information on CLEP may be obtained by contacting the Registrar.

Credit by Examination

A Concord University student in special circumstances may be permitted to obtain credit by examination for a course listed in the Catalog. The final decision of whether or not such an examination is given remains the prerogative of the appropriate department or division.

The student shall make a written application to the appropriate departmental or divisional chairperson in order to explain the reason(s) for the request. This department or division will form a committee that consists of at least two persons who will screen the applicant's request and determine its merits. Should the application be granted, this same committee will then administer the examination and evaluate the student's performance. The committee will assign a grade of A, B, C, D, or F, and that grade will be recorded with the Registrar.

Application for such an examination, if approved, must be accompanied by a $50.00 registration fee. A student must be enrolled at Concord to apply. The examination must be scheduled before the end of the semester in which registration takes place.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Testing

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) is a credit-by-exam program administered by the U.S. Department of Defense for military personnel on military installations. DSST exams represent 37 subjects in the following broad areas: Applied Technology, Business, Humanities, Mathematics, Physical Science, and Social Sciences. Students must earn passing scores on the DSST exams to be awarded credit by Concord University.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Testing

The GRE subject tests gauge undergraduate achievement in eight specific fields of study: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, literature in English, mathematics, physics and psychology. The subject-based tests are used by some graduate schools to supplement undergraduate grades and are useful for identifying strengths and weaknesses in specific areas within a discipline. Some schools may require that a subject test be completed along with the general GRE. The tests are administered at Concord University in April, November and December. Concord University also offers services with test takers for disabilities. Fee waivers are available if eligibility requirements are met. For more information on the GRE subject based test, contact the Career Services Office or www.gre.org. For information concerning the GRE general test, which is computer based, contact www.gre.org.

PRAXIS Tests (Teacher Certification)

All teacher candidates for a Bachelor of Science in Education must successfully complete PRAXIS:  Core Academic Skills for Educators prior to admission to the Teacher Education Program. Students who have successfully completed EDUC 210 , EDUC 301  and EDUC 305 , but who have not successfully passed PRAXIS:  Core Academic Skills for Educators, must meet with the Director of Teacher Education in order to receive permission to continue taking education courses. Teacher candidates must also successfully complete Praxis II: Subject Assessments (some specializations require more than one subject assessment) and Principles of Learning and Teaching Test (PLT) prior to admission to student teaching. Candidates should consult their academic adviser in Education for information regarding specific tests and required passing scores.


Proficiency Tests

In addition to the American College Test (ACT) that all entering students must take for admission, proficiency tests may be given in some areas (for example, mathematics and music). Students are placed in appropriate courses on the basis of these tests. If there are other subjects in which students have had extensive preparation, however, they may discuss with that department the possibility of proficiency testing to determine eligibility to enter more advanced courses, or they may inquire about taking a College-Level Examination (CLEP) or a Credit by Examination.