General Education

Statement of Purpose

Endorsed by ETSU's General Education Advisory Council, May 3, 2000; revised December 7, 2011.

East Tennessee State University's faculty and staff believe every student should experience certain benefits of an undergraduate education, regardless of his or her chosen field of study. ETSU’s general education program aims to enable and encourage students to:

  • apply the standards of reasoned argument to what they read and hear, write and say;

  • engage in life-long learning and personal growth;

  • gain greater insight into their lives and the world in which they live;

  • resolve conflicts nonviolently and solve problems creatively, often in collaboration with others;

  • appreciate cultural diversity and respect people with viewpoints different from their own;

  • be responsible, enlightened, active citizens in their communities and the world beyond their communities;

  • find joy, meaning and fulfillment in their lives and help others do the same.

To gain these benefits, students need a foundation of skills and knowledge which they can apply at work, in their personal lives, and in their communities. By successfully completing ETSU’s general education requirements and other graduation requirements, students enhance their proficiency in oral communication, writing, information technology, critical thinking, and mathematics.  They become acquainted with ideas, information and modes of inquiry which they can draw upon in every area of their lives. In addition, students learn how to perceive relationships between different fields of study.