Hutchins Lower Division General Education Program

General Education Program - Lower Division and FLC

The Hutchins School of Liberal Studies Lower Division General Education Program is a first year learning community and so much more! Rather than covering just two GE areas in a year-long course like a typical FLC, the Hutchins GE Program covers ALL SSU lower division GE requirements with the exceptio of B4 mathematics. Students take four courses, one each semester during their first and second years at SSU. These nine unit courses integrate three GE categories per semester by taking an integrated, thematic approach focused on topical issues and classic themes. The Hutchins GE course sequence is as follows:

  • LIBS 101: The Human Enigma (9 units, first year fall): covers GE A1, A2, C1
  • LIBS 102: In Search of Self (9 units, first year spring): covers GE C2, D, E
  • LIBS 201: Exploring the Unknown (9 units, second year fall): covers GE A3, B1, C2
  • LIBS 202: Challenge and Response (9 units, second year spring): covers GE B2+B3, and 6 units of D
    • Total = 36 units of GE

First year Hutchins GE Program students also take a transition course, LIBS 103 (1 unit), fall and spring semester. Students who choose the writing support option on the GE A2 Directed Self-Placement survey enroll in LIBS 100 (2 units) during their first year fall semester.

Hutchins GE Program courses are organized into small seminar sections of 14-15 students that meet twice weekly with their instructor to discuss readings, films, presentations, and do other assignments. All seminar sections meet together in a weekly symposium for group activities, lectures, guest speakers, films, field trips, and more. Students develop a strong sense of membership in a learning community within their small seminars and across the entire group cohort. Our curriculum emphasizes excellence in written and oral communication and does not use testing to assess students. Rather, students are assessed based on their reading, writing, listening and speaking, creativity and critical thinking.

Students from any SSU major may join the Hutchins GE Program cohort. In addition, Hutchins offers an optional accelerated Blended Program (Track 3) which allows first year students to complete both a BA in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subjects Elementary Teaching Credential in four, rather than the typical five, years. Contact the Hutchins department for information on our programs.

Freshman and Sophomore Coursework Descriptions

LIBS 101: The Human Enigma (9 units)
"The Human Enigma" focuses on the drawing on material about small-scale societies, ancient Greek culture, and contemporary civilizations, this course concentrates—within a comparative framework—on the development of cultural values, the concept of human nature, the growth of self-awareness, and the emergence of scientific and abstract thought.

LIBS 102: In Search of Self (9 units)
"In Search of Self" focuses on the individual, exploring how personal history, unconscious processes, and political and historical environments shape the concept of self. This course develops a fuller understanding of these influences through scientific investigation, historical exploration and creative expression, employing materials drawn from biology, psychology, sociology, literature, history, politics and art.

LIBS 201: Exploring the Unknown (9 units)
"Exploring the Unknown" is an investigation of the meaning and limits of knowledge with respect to the nature of the mind and physical reality. These issues are pursued through several different but interrelated fields of study, including literature, art, philosophy, comparative religions and science. The course considers Newtonian and quantum mechanical theories of physical reality, the religions of various cultures, and the functions of myth and religious language. The term includes a section focusing on the nature of human creativity.

LIBS 202: Challenge of Response in the Modern World (9 units) 
"Challenge of response in the Modern Word" course is an examination of modern accomplishments and problems that have derived from several sources: the 18th century mechanical models, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, and rise of modern economic theories. Asking how it is possible in the 21st century to live a moral life, the course examines the rise of individualism, the tension between personal and social values, the problems of poverty and the distribution of wealth, and the multiple consequences of modern technology.

GE laboratory requirements will be fulfilled by the completion of four semesters in Hutchins' freshman and sophomore program.