2009-2011 College Catalog 
    Jun 14, 2021  
2009-2011 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Program

General Information:

Philosophy of General Education:

A well-structured general education at College of the Ozarks should produce graduates who are aware of the Western liberal arts tradition and understand a biblically informed Christian worldview. Implicit in the General Education program is the goal of cultivating the breadth of learning necessary to the ideal of well-roundedness. The General Education program ultimately should connect the various major/minor programs and the many co-curricular activities to create an undergraduate experience at College of the Ozarks that embraces the unique five-fold mission of the College and weaves itself from the freshman through the senior years.

An emphasis on the development of vital competencies purposefully complements the General Education curriculum. Required classes in composition, public speaking, and the fine arts reinforce the ability to communicate. Two required writing intensive courses within each major further reinforce writing skills. An emphasis on critical thinking skills across the curriculum helps develop the ability to solve problems and to gather, evaluate, interpret, and use information.

Beyond knowledge and skill competencies, students should find in the General Education program—and indeed permeating the entire “Hard Work U” experience—learning activities that foster attitudes and abilities difficult to measure but highly valuable to aspire to, attitudes and abilities that augment the meaning of “Christ-like character”:

  • Engaging the moral imagination in approaching problem-solving with understanding and compassion;
  • Listening with respect, patience and objectivity to views that may run counter to one’s own;
  • Fostering leadership that is just and creative;
  • Nurturing a lifestyle that protects resources for generations to come and values hard work;
  • Encouraging a positive sense of self-worth and civility towards others.

The distinction of an institution like College of the Ozarks is often defined by the complementary relationship between its qualitative, aspirational goals and its more quantitative, measurable goals. Together both types of goals positively shape the student and affirm the mission of the College.

Assessment of General Education Program:

Based on the five-fold mission of the institution and the General Education philosophy, the College has identified the following broad outcomes for students who complete the General Education program at College of the Ozarks:

  • Show an understanding of the Western liberal arts tradition;
  • Show an understanding of a biblically informed Christian worldview;
  • Show evidence of essential skills and competencies that mark a person as being educated, including:
    • the ability to communicate effectively in writing, speaking and other creative endeavors;
    • the ability to think critically in solving problems;
    • the ability to gather, evaluate, interpret, and use information.

These three outcomes are assessed and documented through a variety of artifacts, including student-developed portfolios, internal and external tests, and transcripts.

General Education Requirements:

English: 9 credit hours

One of the following: 3 credit hours

Fine Arts/Philosophy: 6 credit hours

History/Political Science: 6 credit hours

Information Management: 0-3 credit hours


** A proficiency test may be taken to meet this General Education requirement; however, passing the test will not result in credit for any of the courses.

Mathematics: 3-5 credit hours

  • Any Mathematics course in catalog except MAT 013  (3-5)

Natural Science: 3-4 credit hours

  • BIO, CHE, PHY, or SCI (3-4)

Social Science: 3 credit hours

Speech: 3 credit hours

Religion: 6 credit hours

Total General Education Program: 42-48 Credit Hours

BA/BS Distinctions: 6-8 credit hours

In addition to the above requirements, candidates for the B.S. degree will select a 3-4 hour course from two of the following six areas (6-8 hrs): Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Science, Mathematics (exclude MAT 013 ), Computer Science (excludes CSC 113  , CSC 123  or CSC 253 )

B.A. degree candidates will take two courses in one foreign language: 6 hours.

Minimum GPA for General Education program, including the BA/BS Distinction, must be 2.0

Optional General Education Character Curriculum:

The College also offers students the option of meeting certain General Education requirements by taking courses in its Character Curriculum. For example, students may elect to substitute Religion 103CC, Biblical Ideals of Character, for the REL 103 - Biblical Survey  requirement (see below for the five courses for which such substitutions are possible).

The Character Curriculum of College of the Ozarks is founded on the supposition that moral truths can be known and practiced. The virtues that define character—wisdom, justice, prudence, and courage—do not change with time; they are among what Faulkner has called the “eternal verities,” moral truths that have been engraved on the heart, the conscience, and the soul. Indeed, the definition of character in the original Greek is “an engraved mark.” Genuine character, therefore, is an interior disposition to do what is right. The ultimate example of character, of course, is found in Jesus Christ; as God became man, Jesus is the pattern for all Christians to follow. Only in Christ are we able to possess the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love. Consequently, faith is our best tool in knowing and practicing those eternal truths that define character.

Faith, however, has a mighty ally in reason. The greatest thinkers in history have all been concerned in one way or another with the question of character. What is true? Good? Just? What political order is best suited to the development of a good citizen? How do we know what is virtuous? Is there a natural law true for all people in all times, or is law simply a matter of convention? Honest reasoning guided and hedged by Scripture gives us reliable answers. Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and other philosophers and theologians have contributed to our store of knowledge, and all are trustworthy guides in discerning how we should live.

Faith, too, has an ally in the imagination: literature rightly understood reveals the role that character plays in human experience. When Nathan the prophet reveals to King David his sinfulness, he does not offer him a syllogism; rather he tells David a story. Great authors from Homer to Dante to Shakespeare present us with imaginative visions of the human condition, sweeping backgrounds against which we can see the significance of human decisions and the consequences of character. Great literature reveals to us who and what we are. Taken together, faith, reason, and imagination enable the student to know what character is, not merely as a set of precepts or rules, but as an inclination of the heart to nobility, integrity, and love.

Students who successfully complete four of the five character classes will receive a notation on their transcripts recognizing their participation in the program. Also, students who participate in the CALL—College of the Ozarks Academy for Lifestyle Leadership—will be required to take at least one course from the Character Curriculum.

The Character Curriculum includes:

The Keeter Center for Character Education:

Founded in 1997, The Keeter Center for Character Education at College of the Ozarks was created to provide programs and activities to enhance the development of character and good citizenship. In so doing, the Center reflects the principle upon which the College was established: that character in young people is best developed from an education of the head, the heart, and the hands.

The Center serves as the programmatic arm of The Keeter Center facility on campus. Both students and community members benefit from the wide variety of programs. The Gittinger Community Convocation Series has brought noted speakers to campus including Margaret Thatcher, Colin Powell, Franklin Graham, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Tom Brokaw.

The Center hosts a forum each spring with a theme that rotates among the topics of character, citizenship, and the work ethic. In addition to a group of the College’s students and those of visiting colleges and universities, cadets and staff from each of the U.S. Military Academies benefit from small group discussions and a question and answer session with each distinguished speaker. Spring forum speakers have included Tommy Franks, Ken Starr, Bob Dole, J. C. Watts, and Zell Miller.

The Center has taken a leadership role in launching a character education initiative called First PLACE! (Partners Linking Arms for Character Education). First PLACE! is a partnership among the homes, school, and communities of Stone and Taney Counties and focuses on intentionally teaching and modeling good character. Over 550 First PLACE! partners support the initiative which is present in every school building in both counties and is being used as a model around the state of Missouri.

The S. Truett Cathy Poverty Summit provides an opportunity for the College and the greater community to learn about the issue of poverty and gain valuable tools for helping people in poverty learn how to transition effectively into the middle class.

Other programs include the Focus on the Family Exchange, the College of the Ozarks Academy of Lifestyle Leadership, the Joan Kalimanis Citizens Abroad Program, Character Camp, the Bonner Community Service Program, and Camp Lookout.