Shared Goals

Together, the Shared Goals—Diversity in the United States, Sustainability Literacy, Intensive Writing, Information Literacy, and Enriching Educational Experiences—form an essential part of the IU Bloomington GenEd Program. Unlike the Common Ground requirements, which are the same for all undergraduate students, the Shared Goals are program-specific and vary depending on major and school. For details, please consult the appropriate school bulletin.

The faculty of each undergraduate degree-granting unit must adopt a degree requirement appropriate to their curriculum that addresses issues of diversity in the United States. Adoption of a requirement that has a focus on the issues of diversity and cultural, racial, ethnic, class, age, ability, sexual orientation, religious, and gender discrimination within the context of the United States would be especially useful in achieving the objectives of enhanced understanding of diversity.

Sustainability Literacy is an integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of the interactions between people and the environment intended to improve well-being, ensure equity for present and future generations, and safeguard the planet’s life-supporting ecosystems. Students will be able to define sustainability and major sustainability challenges; understand carrying capacity of ecosystems; apply concepts of sustainable development to address global sustainability challenges; and evaluate actions through a systems perspective that acknowledges the interconnections between the economy, social institutions, and the environment.

Each degree program should articulate how undergraduate students fulfill this requirement within their degree program. Normally, the expectations for an intensive writing experience would be: taught by faculty in small sections or by individual arrangement; include a series of written assignments evaluated with close attention to organization and expression as well as to substance and argument; graded revision of assignments.

Information Literacy includes, but goes beyond, information technology skills, to introduce students to critical information resources that underlie the major field of study and introduce students to skills in utilizing information resources within that field. Students should be able to determine the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its sources critically, incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base, use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.

Meaningful educational experiences, some of which may be outside the traditional classroom, can enhance the overall undergraduate academic experience. These experiences may or may not be linked to specific courses. Each academic program should set forth the accepted options for fulfilling this shared goal. IUB recognizes the value of different types of enriching educational activities, such as a service-learning course, internship, community service and community-based action research, fieldwork, capstone project, student teaching, independent research/creative activity program, approved study abroad experience, honors thesis, show, recital, performance, or advocacy in your major. Such experiences provide opportunities to apply discipline-specific skills and knowledge to community issues and to examine issues of service and social responsibility that relate to the chosen career field.

Each undergraduate student is subject to the General Education requirements that were in effect at the time of matriculation as a degree-seeking student at Indiana University Bloomington.