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JMU’s General Education Program

Program Philosophy

General Education: The Human Community is the common core academic program of James Madison University, in which students come to understand how distinct disciplines look at the world from different vantage points. Courses in The Human Community are organized into five clusters, each emphasizing unique tools, rationales, and methodologies. Taken together, courses in a student's chosen major and The Human Community complement and complete each other. Both are integral and essential components of a student's full and proper education.

Mission

In the Liberal Arts tradition, General Education: The Human Community aspires to create informed global citizens of the 21st century. We challenge our community of students and faculty to engage in personal and collective reflection, development, and action.

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Connection to CARS

The current Five Cluster General Education program at JMU was initiated in 1997. Throughout the years, CARS has provided consistent and stable support for the development and refinement of Cluster goals and objectives. One of the most important roles of CARS is to work with Dr. Linda Halpern, Vice Provost of University Programs; the five Cluster Coordinators and committees; and faculty to design ways to assess General Education at JMU.

CARS faculty are liaisons and active members to each Cluster Committee and the General Education Council. After Assessment Day and other data collection events, CARS generates reports for JMU's internal use as well as for external stakeholders such as the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV).