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General Education

Before being awarded a degree, all students are expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of competence in the essential skills of a college graduate. Assessments will occur in courses within the General Education curriculum - including the Critical Inquiry course and the Junior Seminar.

General education is the foundation for academic and career success and is intended to develop the skills and attitudes that Mercy's faculty believes every educated person should possess. The courses provide the transferable skills that are required of students to be successful within their major study. General Education courses stimulate understanding of personal, social and civic values as well as scientific principles and ethics. The courses lead to the appreciation of diverse cultures and mastery of multiple models of inquiry. They teach effective analysis and communication, and promote the importance of creativity to the human spirit through General Education, students acquire breadth of knowledge, gain competence to be lifelong learners and develop an awareness of how their entire college coursework shapes the quality of their lives. 

The essential skills, as determined by the faculty of Mercy College are:

  1. Written communication
  2. Oral communication
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Critical reading
  5. Quantitative reasoning
  6. Information literacy

The pursuit of competence in these areas is a process of intellectual of personal growth. 

Through regular assessment, students will come to recognize both their strengths and weaknesses, and learn to build on their achievements while improving the areas in which they are deficient.

Assessment begins with placement tests for freshmen that evaluate the student's current level of accomplishment and indicate the appropriate initial course placement. 

Formative assessment continues throughout the students' undergraduate experience. The process enables all students to monitor their progress in learning each skill. The College's academic support services are available to assist students in their skill development, including the libraries, the Learning Centers, Career Planning and Placement, etc.

As freshmen, students register for a section of the Critical Inquiry course. In this course, students are introduced to the critical thinking, critical reading and information literacy competencies. Each course section focuses on a particular topic through which these competencies are achieved. Students analyze assigned readings, prepare and respond to arguments related to that topic, and complete projects that require research and assessment of relevant print and online sources. Many students in the Critical Inquiry course have the opportunity to express themselves through digital storytelling and the development of e-portfolios. The Critical Inquiry course helps students learn how to engage effectively with the learning environment and how to best grow academically through their Mercy education.

Recent Themes and Topics for Critical Inquiry were:

The Personal is Political
Digital Worlds
Gender and Media
Race, Class, and Gender
Civic Literacy
The Individual and Society
Contemporary Social Issues
Immigration in NYC
Globalization
Narrative and Storytelling 

In their junior year (and after successfully completing the Critical Inquiry course and other prerequisites), students register for the Junior Seminar General Education capstone course. Junior Seminar helps ensure that students have achieved an acceptable level of performance, and practical application, of the competencies covered across the General Education curriculum. Topics for Junior Seminar sections are diverse, and students may choose their section according to their major, area of concentration or general interests. The course is conducted in intensive seminary format; students research various aspects of the seminar topic and give multiple presentations in written and oral form. Students also have the opportunity to express themselves through digital storytelling and the development of e-portfolios in the Junior Seminar course.

Recent Themes and Topics for Junior Seminar were:

Media Messages and Civic Responsibility
Potential Discourse in America
Rebellion, Revolution and Social Change
Music and Social Problems
Current Events and Media
Humor
New Technology
Environmental Issues
Understanding Mass Media

Oral Communication

Oral communication involves the ability to comprehend and to speak in Standard English with precision and clarity. At the completion of the General Education curriculum, students should be able to:

  1. Create and communicate a compelling central message
  2. Use a discernable organizational pattern that makes the content of the presentation cohesive
  3. Select language choices that are appropriate for the audience
  4. Demonstrate delivery techniques appropriate for extemporaneous speaking
  5. Incorporate a variety of types of relevant, credible supporting materials

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative reasoning involves the ability to use established methods of computation and contemporary technology to analyze issues and answer questions germane to their environment. At the completion of the General Education curriculum, students should be able to:

  1. Model relevant information into a mathematical representation
  2. Use calculations to solve problems
  3. Use quantitative information to support an argument or make an inference
  4. Analyze quantitative data to make judgments and draw conclusions

Reading Fluency

Reading fluency involves the ability to read and understand primary and secondary sources. At the completion of the General Education curriculum, students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the explicit message of a text and its main supporting elements
  2. Explain possible implications of the text beyond its explicit message
  3. Evaluate texts for significance and relevance
  4. Analyze text structure or other textual features

Written Communications

Written communication involves the ability to express ideas clearly and effectively through writing. At the completion of the General Education curriculum, students should be able to:

  1. Write appropriately to context, audience, and purpose
  2. Use appropriate content to illustrate comprehension of a subject
  3. Execute appropriate conventions particular to a specific discipline and/or writing task
  4. Use relevant sources to develop ideas that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of the writing
  5. Communicate meaning to readers with clarity and fluency

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking involves the ability to analyze and interpret insightfully and in depth. At the completion of the General Education curriculum, students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the viewpoints or assumptions of others
  2. Evaluate their own viewpoints or assumptions
  3. Create a specific position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis) that takes into account the complexities of an issue
  4. Synthesize information from sources
  5. Draw logical conclusions and identify consequences and implications

Information Literacy

Information literacy involves the ability to identify, retrieve, evaluate, organize, cite properly and use a wide range of resources including print, graphic and electronic for independent learning and practical problem solving. At the completion of the General Education curriculum, students should be able to:

  1. Determine the nature and extent of the information needed
  2. Select the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information
  3. Evaluate information and its sources critically
  4. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  5. Access and use information ethically and legally

The General Education Curriculum has two distinct but interrelated purposes. First, it is designed to ensure that students have a certain breadth of knowledge. That knowledge is drawn from the liberal arts and sciences, and extends beyond the specialization of a major field. Second, the General Education Curriculum is designed to ensure that students develop the basic competencies that support continued growth and achievement in careers and in the professions. To achieve these goals, the General Education Curriculum has been designed with the following components:

 

Liberal Arts Core / Competency Skills ........................................................18 credits

CINQ 101 Critical Inquiry

ENGL 111 Written English and Literary Studies I

ENGL 112 Written English and Literary Studies II

SPCM 110 Oral Communication

MATH 115 Mathematics for the Liberal Arts

or MATH 116 College Algebra or a higher-level math course

JRSM 301 Junior Seminar

 

Liberal Arts Disciplinary Groupings............................................................24 credits

Choose three credits from each of the eight groupings:

Literature and Communication

Literature, Speech, Communication

Language and Cultural Perspectives *

World Languages

Ethical Perspectives

Philosophy, Religion

Historical and Global Perspectives

History, Political Science, Geography

Mathematics and Information Technology

Mathematics, Computer Information Science

Scientific Perspectives

Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Astronomy, Exercise Science

Social Perspectives

Sociology, Psychology, Economics

The Arts

Art, Art History, Music, Theater, Film

 

Choose 18 credits with advisement from any combination of the

eight groupings ................................................................................................18 credits

(Note: Some 200-level major prerequisite courses may be used to fulfill this requirement).

 

Total ............................................................................................................ 60 credits

* For Language credit a student must have the equivalent of an intermediate (level 116 or higher) course.

Credit for any language course may be earned through traditional coursework, transfer credit or through an authorized proficiency exam.

The Arts

Students should be able to:
a. Identify key concepts in the Arts
b. Demonstrates knowledge of the vocabulary of the Arts
c. Compare methods of inquiry in the Arts
d. Examine significant debates in the Arts
e. Explain significant debates in the Arts
f. Develop evidence based arguments in the Arts


Scientific Perspectives

Students should be able to:
a. Identify key concepts in the Sciences
b. Demonstrates knowledge of the vocabulary in the Sciences
c. Compare methods of inquiry in the Sciences
d. Examine significant questions in the Sciences
e. Explain significant debates in the Sciences
f. Develop evidence based arguments in the Sciences


Literature & Communications

Students should be able to:
a. Identify key concepts in the study of Literature and Communications
b. Demonstrates knowledge of the vocabulary in the study of Literature and Communications
c. Compare methods of inquiry in the study of Literature and Communications
d. Examine significant questions in the study of Literature and Communications
e. Explain significant debates in the study of Literature and Communications
f. Develop evidence based arguments in the study of Literature and Communications


Language and Cultural Perspective

Students should be able to:
a. Identify key concepts in the Language and from a Cultural Perspective
b. Demonstrates knowledge of the vocabulary in a Language and of a Culture
c. Compare methods of inquiry in the Language and from a Cultural Perspective
d. Examine significant questions in the Language and from a Cultural Perspective
e. Explain significant debates in the Language and from a Cultural Perspective
f. Develop evidence based arguments in the Language and from a Cultural Perspective


Social Perspective

Students should be able to:
a. Identify key concepts in the Social Sciences
b. Compare methods of inquiry in the Social Sciences
c. Examine significant questions in the Social Sciences
d. Explain significant debates in the Social Sciences
e. Develop evidence based arguments in the Social Sciences
f. Demonstrates knowledge of the vocabulary in the Social Sciences


Ethical Perspectives

Students should be able to:
a. Describe the ethical issues present in prominent problems in politics, economics, health care, technology or the arts.
b. Show how ethical principles or frameworks help to inform decision making with respect to these problems.
c. Identify and elaborate on key ethical issues present in at least one prominent social or cultural program.


Historical & Global Perspective 

Students should be able to:
a. Describe how knowledge from different cultural perspectives might affect interpretations of prominent problem in politics, society, the arts and/or global relations.
b. Evaluate the sources of his or her own perspectives on selected issues in culture, society, politics, the arts or global relations and compares that perspective with other views.
c. Identify a significant issue affecting at least two countries or continents
d. Justify a position on a public issue and relate this position to alternate views within the community/policy environment.


Mathematics & Information Technology

Students should be able to:
a. Identify key concepts in Mathematics and Information Technology
b. Demonstrates knowledge of the vocabulary in Mathematics and Information Technology
c. Compare methods of inquiry in Mathematics and Information Technology
d. Examine significant debates in Mathematics and Information Technology
e. Explain significant debates in Mathematics and Information Technology
f. Develop evidence based arguments about Mathematics and Information Technology

Written Communications - ENGL 111 & 112 (6 crs.)
ENGL 111 Written English & Literature I
ENGL 112 Written English & Literature II
ENGL 191 Honors English I
ENGL 192 Honors English II


Speech Requirement (3 crs.)
SPCM 110 Oral Communications
SPCM 190 Honors Speech


Critical Inquiry (3 crs.)
CINQ 101 Critical Inquiry
Waived for transfer students with 30+ credits.
If waived you must add 3 additional credits of 
Liberal Arts


Junior Seminar Requirement (3 crs.)
JRSM 301 Junior Seminar
To be taken upon completion of ENG 112, SPCM 110, MATH 115, and/or MATH 116


Literature & Communication (3 crs.)
ENGL 239 American Studies
ENGL 268 Harlem Renaissance
ENGL 275 Modern American Fiction
ENGL 217 Introduction to Creative Writing
ENGL 220 The Short Story
ENGL 230 The Bible as Literature
ENGL 295 Topics in Literature
HUM 216 Women: Myth and Reality
SPCM 144 Understanding Movies


Language & Cultural Perspectives (3 crs.)
Choose one intermediate level language course
AMSL 115 American Sign Language
AMSL 116 Intermediate Sign Language
FREN 116 Communicating in French
ITAL 116 Communicating in Italian
SPAN 116 Communicating in Spanish
SPAN 225 Spanish for Community Services
SPAN 275 Beginning Spanish for Business
FORL 499 Upper Level Language, or any other foreign language including: CLEP, DANTES and NYU proficiency exam.


Scientific Perspectives (3 crs.)
BIOL 110 Introduction to the Human Biology
BIOL 111 Introduction to Human Genetics
BIOL 112 Environmental Science
BIOL 113 Evolution
BIOL 116 Plants and People
BIOL 117 Nutrition
BIOL 122 Foundations of Biology
BIOL 130 Human Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 131 Human Anatomy & Physiology II
BIOL 190 Honors Biology
BIOL 200 Medical Terminology
BIOL 222 Pathophysiology
BIOL 226 Elements of Biochemistry
BIOL 265 Microbiology
CHEM 110 Introduction to Chemistry
CHEM 160 General Chemistry I
CHEM 161 General Chemistry II
PHYS 110 Introduction to Physics
PHYS 160 General Physics I
PHYS 161 General Physics II
PHSC 110 Introduction to Geology
PHSC 111 Introduction to Astronomy
SINC 110 The Principles of Science I


Ethical Perspectives (3 crs.)
PHIL 110 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 112 Logical Thinking
PHIL 207 Business Ethics
PHIL 190 Honors Philosophy
RELG 109 Introduction to Religion
RELG 111 Judaism, Christianity, Islam
RELG 112 Far East Religions


Mathematics Requirement (3 crs.)
MATH 115 Math for Liberal Arts
MATH 116 College Algebra
MATH 190 Honors Math
MATH 201 Pre-Calculus


Mathematics & Information Technology (3 crs.)
CISC/MATH 120 Introduction to Computers and Application Software (or take the Challenge Waver Exam)


Historical and Global Perspectives (3 crs.)
HIST 101 European History to 1500
HIST 102 European History since 1500
HIST 105 American History through 1877
HIST 106 American History since 1877
HIST 117 Introduction to Asian History
HIST 118 Introduction to African History
HIST 119 Intro to Latin American History
HIST 195 Honors History
POLS 101 Political Power in America
POLS 190 Honors Political Science


The Arts (3 crs.)
ARTT 107 Art and Culture
ARTT 190 Honors History of Art
MUSI 107 Music Appreciation
MUSI 218 History of Jazz
MUSI 260 The Influence of African Americans on American Popular Music
MUSI 271 The World of Baroque Music
MUSI 272 Music of the Classical Era
MEDA 209 Film and Culture
MEDA 145 Media in America
MEDA 211 The Language of Film


Social Perspectives (3 crs.)
PSYN 101 Intro to Psychology
PSYN 195 Honors Psychology
SOCL 101 Intro to Sociology
ECON 115 The Economy: Jobs, & You SOB
ECON 120 The World of Business
ECON 190 Honors Economics


Additional Liberal Arts (18 crs.)
Choose additional 100-200 level liberal arts courses.