The State University of New York is charged with furthering human development and exploring and pursuing human potential in the broadest sense. In general, the university performs this function by acting as a center for the development and dissemination of knowledge, arts, and skills. In particular, it offers an opportunity for concentrated intellectual development and training. As part of the State University of New York, Fredonia pursues these goals with its own unique resources.
The university seeks to provide students with both a specialized and a general education. The specialized work prepares students in particular fields of knowledge for careers, professions, and other specific goals. But knowledge, like life, is a seamless fabric that cannot be cut into separate pieces. Any special area of knowledge requires a larger context to become fully meaningful. It is the purpose of general education to provide such a context, to help students find a sense of direction and become better able to cope with a changing world, regardless of their specializations.
The object of a general education is to further the development of a total human being who seeks to relate learning and living, ideas and actions. Seen in this way, general education seeks to provide the basis for responsible action and to develop the habit of questioning and using questioning as a creative tool.
The ability to discover and act upon their own values is a basic potential of human beings. In choosing the values by which they live, rather than having values thrust upon them, individuals create themselves. However, the freedom to choose and create comes into being only for people who have developed self-awareness, an ability to think, a minimal body of knowledge, and aesthetic sensitivity. General education seeks to help students develop all of these. General education should help students understand human society and their relationship to it. But it should also enable students to develop as individuals with a fundamental philosophy or basic world view that is consciously personal, yet based on an awareness of culture, history, and society. Consequently, general education seeks to facilitate the development of a conscious philosophy or world view and to develop the skills by which such fundamental beliefs can be articulated clearly.
Students complete the minimal general education requirements at SUNY Fredonia within the framework of the General Education Program as prescribed by the State University of New York..