Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Catalog

Undergraduate General Education Requirements



To General Education Students at WNMU,

As with many students, you may question why you are required to complete our General Education Program, seeing it as a series of courses that lack relevance to your interests and life. But, to the contrary, it is the most important part of your university education. Here are reasons why:

WNMU’s General Education Program forms the foundation for your education. Think of it as an intellectual house constructed of knowledge, skills, and values you can live in for the rest of your life. The skills you acquire and learn to practice - communication; critical, creative, and integrative thinking; problem-solving; technology; adaptability to change; working with others; knowing how to learn - are basic to your freedom as an individual and essential to your success in the workplace.

These skills apply directly to knowledge in the academic disciplines. Knowledge from the humanities (literature, history, philosophy), the social sciences (anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, sociology) the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, geology), and mathematics (algebra, trigonometry, statistics) fill multiple but connected rooms in our intellectual house with the learning we humans have accumulated from the beginning of our history to now, from the Big Bang to the exploding digital world of virtual reality. Experiencing these various ways we create, discover, collect, use, interpret, and distribute knowledge you become part of the great journey to make sense of ourselves and our place in the universe in relation to the natural world and the worlds we make-social, political, economic, environmental, personal.

As you spend time in these various rooms several things are intended to happen. You begin to see knowledge as a connected web. Your own cultural world view comes up against other cultures helping you define better your own values and who you are, widening your horizon to include awareness, understanding, and tolerance of diversity as well as the common human conditions of peoples across the globe. While gaining a broad understanding of the various ways we humans seek “truth”- artistically, scientifically, philosophically-you also are developing the habits to think critically about the complex issues that affect you personally and society as a whole with increased potential to be an active, reasoning, and ethically engaged citizen, capable of democratic values, inquiry, and vision. Using reason to question your own assumptions strengthens the values by which you live. Knowing how our world came to be the way it is gives you a basis to think about how it should be. And if you have not chosen a major, you have multiple opportunities to decide your interests and direction you want to take in further studies.

Thus, General Education at WNMU, as a house of the mind, is not a list of inconsequential requirements or an impediment to getting to your “major.” It is essential, providing the knowledge, skills, and values that form the foundation for future success in your advanced studies, your career, and for a self-fulfilling life as an educated, thinking, creative, ethical human being. It is the intellectual shelter you can always come home to. Welcome! Nuestra casa es su casa.

Western New Mexico University recognizes its obligation to insure that each student acquires the foundation necessary to function fully in our complex and evolving society. The University believes the development of the educated person goes beyond the foundation and must include an appreciation and understanding of broad aspects of human knowledge. Through the General Education Program the University encourages each student to explore the world in which he or she lives from a variety of perspectives. The University seeks to develop each student as a whole person capable of contributing to society and appreciating its diversity.

The goals of the General Education Program at the University are as follows:

  1. Provide each student with opportunities for critical thinking and reasoning, communication of ideas and information to others, numerical analysis and decision-making, and insure personal and emotional well-being;
  2. Ensure that graduates of the University possess the skills necessary to interact positively and productively in society;
  3. Develop personal, social, and cultural awareness that values cultural diversity and recognizes the commonalities that bind peoples of the world;
  4. Instill an appreciation for the variety of perspectives that are used to interpret the world in which we live and that provide the foundation for solving the problems that confront society.

Based on these goals, the following objectives are incorporated into the General Education Program, with emphasis placed on integrating an appreciation of cultural diversity throughout the curriculum:

  1. Critical thinking;
  2. Creativity;
  3. Communication (written, oral, and visual);
  4. Multicultural perspectives;
  5. Social responsibility and cooperation;
  6. Literacy of all types (reading, numbers, consumerism, technology);
  7. Intellectual curiosity and wonder (continued learning);
  8. Environmental responsibility.

The General Education Program requirements are university requirements and cannot be waived at the departmental level. Due to the foundational nature of the General Education Program, students are urged to complete these course requirements early in their undergraduate careers. Specific majors or minors may require specific courses, which may be counted in that major or minor. Some of the supporting courses may be counted for General Education Requirements. No course may be counted for more than one General Education requirement. All students must complete the requirement for writing-intensive courses. Please refer to departmental sections of the catalog.

The New Mexico General Education Requirements

General Education at WNMU provides all students with a broad foundation and common framework upon which to develop knowledge and skills, social consciousness and respect for self and others, thus enabling them to function responsibly and effectively now and in the future.

Transfer Students from Quarter hour system:

- a 5 quarter hour course (or combination course and lab) that converts to 3.34 semester hours will be deemed to fulfill a 4 hours General Education requirement such as in the Laboratory Science area;

- a 4 quarter hour course that converts to 2.67 semester hours will be deemed to fulfill a 3 hour General Education requirement;

- a 1 quarter hour course that converts to 0.67 semester hours will be deemed to fulfill a 1 hour General Education requirement.

All students should familiarize themselves with other degree requirements listed in the Undergraduate Degree Requirements section.

Arizona Transfer

Arizona transfer students who complete any one of the three Arizona General Education Curriculums will be deemed to have fulfilled WNMU’s General Education with the exception of COMM 1130  or COMM 1140  or COMM 2140  and ALAS 1810 , ALAS 1820 , and ALAS 1830 .

New Mexico Public Post-Secondary Education General Provisions - Transfer of General Education Courses:

  1. For each general education course approved by New Mexico Common Articulation Committee, its credits shall transfer as fulfilling general education curriculum requirements at any institution to which they are transferred.
  2. A student who has completed the 31 credit hours of the general education curriculum for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and transfers to a different institution to continue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree shall have all previously completed general education courses accepted by the receiving institution as fulfilling the general education curriculum for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
  3. A student who has completed the 15 credit hours of the general education curriculum for an associate’s of applied science and transfers to a different institution to continue an associate’s of applied science shall have all previously completed general education courses accepted by the receiving institution as fulfilling the general education curriculum for an associate’s of applied science.
  4. If a student transfers and has not completed the 31 credit hours of the general education curriculum for an associate’s degree, other than an associate’s of applied science, or bachelor’s degree, the courses taken as part of the general education and the content areas fulfilled shall be noted on the transcript.
    1. Courses that have been taken within the fixed 22 credit hours will transfer as fulfilling the content area for which they are approved.
    2. Courses taken within the flexible nine shall transfer as meeting the receiving institution’s flexible nine general education requirement.
    3. Transfer students who have not completed the flexible nine will be subject to the receiving institution’s flexible nine policy for the remaining credits that must be completed to fulfill the flexible nine.
  5. If a student transfers and has not completed the 15 credit hours of the general education curriculum for an associate’s of applied science degree, the courses taken as part of the general education and the content areas fulfilled shall be noted on the transcript.
    1. Courses that have been taken within the fixed 12 credit hours will transfer as fulfilling the content area for which they are approved.
    2. Courses taken within the flexible three shall transfer as meeting the receiving institution’s flexible three general education requirement.
    3. Transfer students who have not completed the flexible three will be subject to the receiving institution’s flexible three policy.
  6. When making decisions affecting transfer students, receiving institutions should assure that transfer students are treated equally to those students originating their post-secondary studies at the institution.

[5.55.6.13 NMAC - N, 06/12/2018]

In accordance to state law (Post-Secondary Education Articulation Act), the New Mexico Higher Education Department has established a state-wide model for General Education. Within the General Education model, is nine credits of electives that will be determined at an institutional level. The current approved WNMU General Education courses are listed below under each of the six general education areas.

ALAS/General Education Transfer Policy

Students entering WNMU as first‐time undergraduate students are required to take 9 credits (3 3‐credit hour classes) of the ALAS core as part of their General Education curriculum.  Students are allowed to choose which ALAS course(s) to take from the selection provided on the degree plan.

This policy is designed to assist the Registrar’s office and student advisors in determining how many ALAS courses will be required for students transferring to WNMU with credits and/or degrees.

For transfer students pursuing an A.A., an A.S., or a bachelor’s degree:

Transferring
degrees/certifications/credits
from other institutions
Number of General
Education credits
(regardless of area)
Completion of
WNMU General
Education
required?
# of ALAS core
course credits
required
Bachelor’s degree     0
A.A. or A.S. or their
equivalent (in New Mexico or
state with agreement)
No 0
General Education
certification (NM or state
with agreement)
No 0
A.A.S. (in state or out of
state)
15 Yes 9 (all 3 courses)
Out of state A.A. or A.S. (or
equivalent) or GE transfer
credits without a degree
15 Yes 9 (all three
courses)
Out of state A.A. or A.S (or
equivalent) or GE transfer
credits without a degree
16-27 Yes 6 (2 courses)
Out of state A.A. or A.S (or
equivalent) or GE transfer
credits without a degree
28+ Yes 3 (1 course)

If a student completes General Education and/or an A.A. or A.S. degree (or its equivalent) from a New Mexico institution of higher learning OR an equivalent degree from an out of state institution with an MOU with WNMU, then that student’s General Education core is considered complete and they are waived from taking ALAS courses.


If a student transfers up to 15 credits of general education courses from an accredited institution of higher learning without completing General Education, the student must fulfill all WNMU general education requirements that are not met through transfer credits and must complete three ALAS core courses.


If a student transfers up to 16‐27 credits of general education courses from an accredited institution of higher learning without completing General Education, the student must fulfill all
WNMU general education requirements that are not met through transfer credits and must complete two ALAS core courses.


If a student transfers 28+ credits of general education courses from an accredited institution of higher learning without completing General Education, the student must fulfill all WNMU general education requirements that are not met through transfer credits and must complete one ALAS core course.


For transfer students pursuing an A.A.S. degree:
Students who transfer 15+ credits of general education credit will be exempt from the 3 credit hour ALAS requirement for that degree.


General Education


Area I: Communication (6 Hours)


Courses:


Students must take ENGL 1120 and may choose one of the three COMM courses.

Area II: Mathematics (3-5 Hours)


Area III: Laboratory Science (4 Hours)


Area IV: Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 Hours)


Area V: Humanities (3 Hours)


Area VI - Creative & Fine Arts (3-4 Hours)


Applied Liberal Arts and Sciences (9 Hours)


Students enrolled in the A.A.S. programs are required to only select one of the ALAS courses.

Communication in Written English

Prior to enrollment in any upper division course, students must have passed Composition & Rhetoric I and II (ENGL 1110  and ENGL 1120 ) or their equivalent with a grade of C or better. Academic departments may designate specific courses that are exempt from this requirement. Nursing students are allowed to take upper division classes as required and/or approved by the program without the requisite ENGL 1120 .

Nine credits of writing-intensive courses are required for graduation. These courses are designated as WI in the semester class schedules. ENGL 1110  and ENGL 1120  do not count as writing-intensive.

Writing Intensive Courses will require fifteen to twenty-two pages of typed text or the equivalent (4,000-6,000 words). Some of these writing assignments will be graded; graded writing assignments will constitute a significant component of a student’s course grade. The assignments can include both informal and formal writing (i.e., blogs, journals, written discussion, papers, reports, and essay exams). Some of these assignments will allow revision, the precise number being up to the instructor. Individual departments, and the individuals teaching within those departments, will further determine their specific policies concerning writing-intensive courses. They may set higher standards and flexibly adjust the mix of graded, non-graded, and revisable writing to target their teaching goals.

Education Majors

The Teacher Education Program has the following state general education requirements beyond the campus wide general education hours: English - 3 credit hours, History - 6 credit hours, History of New Mexico - 3 credit hours, and Lab Science from three separate disciplines: Life Science, Physical Science and Earth and Space Science - See School of Education section of catalog. Also, Special Education and Elementary Education majors will take MATH 2132  and MATH 2133  for the B.S. degree requirements.

Please see the specific degree plans in the School of Education section of this catalog for additional detail on courses required by each education major.

Complaint Procedure for Transfer Credit Appeal

All New Mexico public post secondary institutions are required to establish policies and practices for receiving and resolving complaints from students or from other complainants regarding the transfer of course work from other public institutions in the state. WNMU’s complaint process is as follows:

  1. File a written appeal with the Office of the Registrar providing the prefix/number of the course(s) in question, semester and year the course was taken, the name of the course and the course description from sending institution’s catalog;
  2. If the request is denied, the student may continue the appeal process to the Office of the Provost and must do so no later than 30 days following the notification of denial;
  3. The Provost’s Office, in concert with the appropriate college and/or content area, will review applicable materials and render a final decision.

If the course or courses in question are part of a state approved transfer module, the student may make further appeal to the Higher Education Department in Santa Fe by contacting:

Deputy Secretary for Academic Affairs
New Mexico Higher Education Department
2048 Galisteo Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505-2100

If a student’s articulation complaint is upheld at that level, and the student was required to repeat the course, the receiving institution shall reimburse the student the complete cost, including tuition, books, and fees.

State Wide Articulation of Lower-Division Common Core

Student Responsibility

New Mexico’s colleges and universities have collaborated to produce guides to assist students who plan to transfer before completing a program of study. Course modules are designed to help students select courses carefully so that they may transfer with little or no loss of credit. However, planning for effective transfer with maximum efficiency is ultimately the student’s responsibility. Responsible transfer planning includes consultation with the intended degree-granting institution to assure that all pre-transfer coursework will meet the requirements of the desired degree.

Lower-Division 60-hour Transfer Modules

Students who have selected a field of study but have not yet selected the college or university where they wish to earn their baccalaureate degree are advised to take courses during their freshman and sophomore years outlined in one of the Lower- Division 60-hour Transfer Modules. For students enrolled at any other public institution in New Mexico, these courses are guaranteed to transfer to any public institution in New Mexico and to apply toward bachelor’s degree program requirements. Students should consult advisors at their current institutions regarding which specific classes fit these categories.

Lower division transfer modules presently exist for:

  Business Criminal Justice Early Childhood Education