The Human Community is the core academic program of James Madison University. It is required of all students regardless of their major or professional program. The Human Community seeks to educate students in ways that have been fundamental to higher education and to thinking people for centuries. The philosophy of the program promotes the cultivation of habits of the mind and heart that are essential to informed citizens in a democracy and world community. The program is committed to helping students develop their ability to reason and make ethical choices; to appreciate beauty and understand the natural and social worlds they live in; to recognize the importance of the past and work towards a better future. 

 

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.

James Madison University’s General Education program is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive academic environment for all persons. We affirm that equity advances understanding and is integral to a liberal arts education. We acknowledge the history of exclusion and inequity nationally and at James Madison University. We embrace the process of making JMU’s General Education program accessible, affirming, and action-oriented.

By placing inclusion and equity at the center of our mission, we seek to implement strategies and diversity policies that reimagine the relevance of a liberal arts education. We challenge our community of students, faculty, and staff to engage in personal and collective reflection, development, and action.

Goals
Students understand the historical and contemporary distinctions and interconnections among people, institutions, and communities that create, preserve, and transmit culture and knowledge in the arts, sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities.

Students become skilled in questioning, investigating, analyzing, evaluating, and communicating.

Students participate in a variety of aesthetic and civic experiences reflecting human concerns and values that transcend the limits of specialization.

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