The CUNY Pathways Common Core

The Pathways Common Core is a 30-credit general education core that is a required part of all A.A. and A.S. degrees at QCC. The Pathways core is common across the City University of New York and provides all CUNY students with well-rounded knowledge, a critical appreciation of diverse cultural and intellectual traditions, an interest in relating the past to the complex world in which they live today, and the ability to help society create a fresh and enlightened future. General education allows students to explore knowledge from various perspectives and to develop their critical abilities to read, write, and use language and other symbol systems effectively and creatively. It is also intended to develop students’ intellectual curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning.

The 30-credit Common Core is transferable from any one CUNY college to any other CUNY institution. Courses in the Common Core are arranged according to the “required” and “flexible” core categories below and, within each category, have common learning outcomes. Following the learning outcomes is the complete listing of Common Core courses offered at Queensborough Community College.

A.A.S. degree program require a lesser number of common core credits, typically 20-24. Please see the individual A.A.S. degree program requirements for details.

I.  Required Core (12 Credits)–Learning Outcomes

A.   English Composition: 6 Credits

A course in this area must meet all of the following learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.

  • Write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ texts.

  • Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.

  • Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.

  • Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

B.  Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning: 3 Credits

A course in this area must meet all of the following learning out- comes. A student will:

  • Interpret and draw appropriate inferences from quantitative representations, such as formulas, graphs, or tables.

  • Use algebraic, numerical, graphical, or statistical methods to draw accurate conclusions and solve mathematical problems.

  • Represent quantitative problems expressed in natural language in a suitable mathematical format.

  • Effectively communicate quantitative analysis or solutions to mathematical problems in written or oral form.

  • Evaluate solutions to problems for reasonableness using a variety of means, including informed estimation.

  • Apply mathematical methods to problems in other fields of study.

C.  Life and Physical Sciences: 3 Credits

A course in this area must meet all of the following learning out- comes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a life or physical science.

  • Apply the scientific method to explore natural phenomena, including hypothesis development, observation, experimentation, measurement, data analysis, and data presentation.

  • Use the tools of a scientific discipline to carry out collaborative laboratory investigations.

  • Gather, analyze, and interpret data and present it in an effective written laboratory or fieldwork report.

  • Identify and apply research ethics and unbiased assessment in gathering and reporting scientific data.

II.  Flexible Core (18 Credits)–Learning Outcomes

Six three-credit liberal arts and sciences courses, with at least one course from each of the following five areas and no more than two courses in any discipline or interdisciplinary field. All Flexible Core courses must meet the following three learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Gather, interpret, and assess information from a variety of sources and points of view.

  • Evaluate evidence and arguments critically or analytically.

  • Produce well-reasoned written or oral arguments using evidence to support conclusions.

A.   World Cultures and Global Issues

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring world cultures or global issues, including, but not limited to, anthropology, communications, cultural studies, economics, ethnic studies, foreign languages (building on previous language acquisition), geography, history, political science, sociology, and world literature.

  • Analyze culture, globalization, or global cultural diversity, and describe an event or process from more than one point of view.

  • Analyze the historical development of one or more non-U.S. societies.

  • Analyze the significance of one or more major movements that have shaped the world’s societies.

  • Analyze and discuss the role that race, ethnicity, class, gender, language, sexual orientation, belief, or other forms of social differentiation play in world cultures or societies.

  • Speak, read, and write a language other than English, and use that language to respond to cultures other than one’s own.

B.  U.S. Experience In Its Diversity

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods  of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring the U.S. experience in its diversity, including, but not limited to, anthropology, communications, cultural studies, economics, history, political science, psychology, public affairs, sociology, and U.S. literature.

  • Analyze and explain one or more major themes of U.S. history from more than one informed perspective.

  • Evaluate how indigenous populations, slavery, or immigration have shaped the development of the United States.

  • Explain and evaluate the role of the United States in international relations.

  • Identify and differentiate among the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government and analyze their influence on the development of U.S. democracy.

  • Analyze and discuss common institutions or patterns of life  in contemporary U.S. society and how they influence, or are influenced by, race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, belief, or other forms of social differentiation.

C.  Creative Expression

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring creative expression, including, but not limited to, arts, communications, creative writing, media arts, music, and theater.

  • Analyze how arts from diverse cultures of the past serve as a foundation for those of the present, and describe the significance of works of art in the societies that created them.

  • Articulate how meaning is created in the arts or communications and how experience is interpreted and conveyed.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the skills involved in the creative process.

  • Use appropriate technologies to conduct research and to communicate.

D.  Individual and Society

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring the relationship between the individual and society, including, but not limited to, anthropology, communications, cultural studies, history, journalism, philosophy, political science, psychology, public affairs, religion, and sociology.

  • Examine how an individual’s place in society affects experiences, values, or choices.

  • Articulate and assess ethical views and their underlying premises.

  • Articulate ethical uses of data and other information resources to respond to problems and questions.

  • Identify and engage with local, national, or global trends or ideologies, and analyze their impact on individual or collective decision-making.

E.   Scientific World

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring the scientific world, including, but not limited to: computer science, history of science, life and physical sciences, linguistics, logic, mathematics, psychology, statistics, and technology-related studies.

  • Demonstrate how tools of science, mathematics, technology, or formal analysis can be used to analyze problems and develop solutions.

  • Articulate and evaluate the empirical evidence supporting a scientific or formal theory.

  • Articulate and evaluate the impact of technologies and scientific discoveries on the contemporary world, such as issues of personal privacy, security, or ethical responsibilities.

  • Understand the scientific principles underlying matters of policy or public concern in which science plays a role.