Jun 18, 2024  
Spring 2022 Catalog 
Spring 2022 Catalog FINAL VERSION - Closed for Revisions

Associate Degree General Education


Paul Whitaker, Associate Degree Coordinator
Main: Room 500, ALB
Wausau: Room 285C
Phone: 715 261-6284
Email: pwhitake@uwsp.edu


The Associate Degree General Education categories provide the basis for all Associate Degree options.

General Education Breadth Requirements

You must complete general education coursework in a variety of different disciplines based on breadth categories established by the UW System shared learning goals. You must complete coursework in six different breadth categories. Each course is limited to only one breadth category.

Knowledge of Human Cultures (HC) (AAS: 9-12 credits; AS: 9 credits)

Knowledge of Human Cultures (HC) courses focus on analysis of the human condition, culture, and society. This typically includes coursework that requires you to engage with and analyze human interaction and culture, social organization and institutions, historical contexts, and/or complex interdependent systems. The HC requirement typically includes coursework in social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and world languages. If you are in HC courses you can expect to:

  • Describe and evaluate existing knowledge of human cultures
  • Interpret and analyze data, texts, and/or artifacts; and/or
  • Apply concepts across disciplines.

Knowledge of the Natural World (NW) (AAS: 9-12 credits; AS: 12 credits)

Knowledge of the Natural World (NW) courses focus on concepts and applications related to the natural and physical sciences and mathematics. The NW requirement typically includes coursework in the sciences and mathematics. If you are in NW courses you can expect to:

  • Describe and evaluate existing knowledge of the natural world
  • Interpret, analyze and communicate data, results, and conclusions; and/or
  • Apply concepts across disciplines.

Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) (AAS: 3 credits; AS: 6 credits)

Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) courses extend your ability to analyze issues and produce responses that are both systematic and innovative. The CCT requirement can be fulfilled with qualifying coursework in any discipline. If you are in CCT classes you can expect to:

  • Identify and investigate problems;
  • Execute analytical or creative tasks; and/or
  • Combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in ways that result in a unique and identifiable product.

Effective Communication (EC) (AAS: 6 credits; AS: 6 credits)

Written and Oral communication courses support and assess your development of reading, listening, speaking, information literacy, and /or writing proficiencies. This requirement is similar to the Foundation level Written and Oral Communication requirement in the General Education Program (GEP). Satisfied by:

  • ENGL 150 or ENGL 202 (3 credits) with a grade of C or higher.
  • Three (3) additional credits of EC coursework.

Intercultural Knowledge and Competence (IK) (AAS: 3 credits; AS: 3 credits)

Intercultural Knowledge and Competence (IK) courses prepare you to live and work in diverse contexts. Courses with this degree designation focus on building cross-cultural communication, interaction, and empathy with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The IK requirement typically includes coursework in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, world languages, and ethnic studies. If you are in IK courses you can expect to:

  • Develop cultural self-awareness in the context of diverse human cultures; and/or
  • Develop strategies for effectively and appropriately negotiating intercultural interactions

Individual, Social, and Environmental Responsibility (SER) (AAS: 6 credits; AS: 6 credits)

Individual, Social, and Environmental Responsibility (SER) courses provide the foundation for lifelong learning and the intellectual tools for engaging ethically as members of society. The SER requirement can be fulfilled with qualifying coursework in any discipline and often includes high impact teaching practices or other active learning strategies. If you are in SER courses you can expect to:

  • Engage in active learning to explore ethical, social, and/or environmental issues; and/or
  • Apply knowledge and skills for the purpose of civic engagement.

Depth Requirement (AAS: 2 courses of 3 or more credits each; AS: 2 courses of 3 or more credits each)

The UW System Associate Degree Standards require each student to complete “a two-course sequence in which the first course provides the foundation for the second.” You fulfill this requirement by taking a disciplinary depth sequence identified by an academic department or program. One or both courses may be transferred in from another institution.

Sets of courses in a depth sequence must meet the following criteria:

  • Both courses are at least three credits.
  • Learning from one course lays a foundation for learning in the other course. However, the foundation course does not need to be a prerequisite for the second course.
  • The depth requirement does not include skills courses that lay a foundation for academic literacy (developmental education, non-degree ESL, and ENGL 101) or lecture forum courses.

Quantitative Literacy (QL-AD) (AAS: 0-3 credits; AS: 0-3 credits)

You must fulfill at least one of these requirements:

  • Complete at least three credits of quantitative literacy coursework (or an equivalent transfer coursework) with a grade of C or higher.
  • Complete a mathematics course that has an QL-AD course as a prerequisite with a grade of C or higher, or
  • Have a math placement of PC, TRIG, or CALC. See the Mathematical Sciences department page for more information on placement testing.

You may take more than one course to complete the required three credits. Quantitative literacy courses may fulfill breadth and depth degree requirements.

Quantitative literacy is knowledge of and confidence with basic mathematical/analytical concepts and operations required for problem-solving, decision-making, economic productivity and real-world applications. Such skills are essential for citizens living in today’s global society. All Quantitative Literacy courses have a prerequisite of MATH 90 or higher.

Upon completing this requirement, you will be able to:

  • Select, analyze, and interpret appropriate numerical data used in everyday life in numerical and graphical format.
  • Identify and apply appropriate strategies of quantitative problem solving in theoretical and practical applications.
  • Construct a conclusion using quantitative justification.

Laboratory Science (LS) (AAS: 1 course; AS: 1 course)

You must complete at least one laboratory science course. LS courses are typically natural or physical science courses that fulfill another general education breadth requirement. If you are in LS courses, you can expect to::

  • Use scientific methods and tools for investigation, experimentation, and/or observation; and/or
  • Analyze and interpret data, using scientific/quantitative methods to solve a problem or answer a question, and draw appropriate conclusions.

Ethnic Studies (ES) (AAS: 1 course; AS: 1 course)

You must take one ES course. Courses fulfilling the ES requirement have a substantial emphasis on cultural diversity issues and ethnic minorities within the United States.