2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

VTSU Connections General Education Program

General Education Mission Statement

The Connections General Education Program promotes the development of curious, thoughtful, and engaged global citizens with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the intellectual, social, and professional skills to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world.

General Education Program Goals

  • Develops essential academic skills that students will use in critical analysis and communication;
  • Engages students in an intentional and meaningful way in a wide range of disciplines;
  • Encourages students to experience the transformational power of integrating learning in their general education, co-curricular activities, and major or professional program;
  • Fosters student commitment to the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Promotes responsible, informed, and engaged citizenship in the university, local, and global communities;
  • Cultivates curiosity and stimulates a commitment to life-long learning.

General Education Program Requirements

The Connections General Education program is comprehensive and requires students to complete each of the elements described (I - III). 

General Education credit requirement
Bachelor’s degree students must complete a total of 40 General Education credits while associate’s degree students must complete a total of 20 General Education credits.

I. Connections General Education Breadth Areas of Exploration

Bachelor’s degree students are required to take at least one course in each of seven Breadth Areas of Exploration. Associate’s degree students are required to take one course in each of six Breadth Areas of Exploration and may omit either the Arts and Aesthetics or Humanistic Perspective categories.

A list of courses fulfilling each category is provided.

  • Written Expression (3 cr.)
  • Digital Literacy and Computing (3 cr.)
  • Mathematics (3 cr.) 
  • Arts and Aesthetics (3 cr.)
  • Humanistic Perspective (3 cr.)
  • Natural Science (3-4 cr.)
  • Social Science (3 cr.)

II. Connections General Education Seminars

A set of three longitudinal Connections seminars connect students to the University, their campus and its community, and to their General Education and chosen academic programs. Seminar 1 focuses on connecting first-year students with students, faculty, staff, and the resources available to them and prepares them for both academic and personal success. Seminars 2 and 3 ask students to reflect upon their educational journey and the relationship of the General Education program to their chosen academic fields and to their own lives. Once fully developed, the Connections seminars will require students to create, develop, and produce an ePortfolio to document their reflections on their educational experiences and a series of events and activities that will complement and expand their academic work and personal growth.

  • Connections Seminar 1 (1 - 4 cr.)
    A variety of courses are available to first-semester students. Students in particular programs may be advised into major specific Connections 1 seminars.  Connections 1 seminars are often specially designated sections of standard first-year courses indicated with the letters CNX in the title.
    Students transferring in with an associate’s degree or > 30 credits will not be required to take this course.
  • Connections Seminar 2 (3 cr.)
    Options: CNX-2020 Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum or ENG-2080 Technical Communication 
    Students transferring in with > 30 credits and an intermediate writing course will not be required to take this course.
  • Connections Seminar 3: CNX-3010 Culminating Connections Seminar 3 (1 cr.)

III. Graduation Standards

  • Quantitative Reasoning
    Completion of MAT 1085, Principles of Quantitative Reasoning (3 cr.), or passing the Quantitative Reasoning Assessment exam. The quantitative reasoning assessment is a 90-minute assessment given remotely in a Canvas course. It covers basic topics such as fractions, percentages, ratios, interpreting tables and graphs, linear equations, units of measure, and averages.

Phased implementation of the complete Connections General Education Program

The Connections General Education program is unfolding across all VTSU programs over the next few years. All VTSU students enrolling in the 2023-24 academic year will create an ePortfolio in their Connections 3 seminars in their third or fourth years, though students in some academic programs will begin ePortfolios earlier. Activities and events that support and enhance the Connections General Education program will be offered at one location starting in Fall 2023 and at all locations by the 2026-27 academic year.

Breadth Areas of Exploration, Seminars 1 and 2
x x x x x
Inclusion of DEI outcomes   x x x x
e-Portfolio requirement     x x x
Seminar 3     x x x
Events and activities       x x


General Education courses

Written Expression courses

ENG 1061 English Composition is required of all students.

Digital Literacy and Computing courses

Arts and Aesthetics courses

Humanistic Perspective courses

Social Science courses

Connections Seminar 1 courses

Connections Seminar 3 courses