The purpose of the Tennessee Board of Regents' general education core is to ensure that college students have the broad knowledge and skills to become life-long learners in a global community that will continue to change. Because courses in general education should emphasize breadth, they should not be reduced in design to the skills, techniques, or procedures associated with a specific occupation or profession. As a fundamental element of the baccalaureate degree, essential for full completion of all majors and minors, the general education core is included in lower division courses, but universities may add general education courses at the upper division as well.
General education provides critical thinking skills for analysis to continue to seek truths, to discover answers to questions, and to solve problems. Specifically, educated people practice and are literate in the various methods of communication. They recognize their place in the history, culture, and diverse heritages of Tennessee, the United States, and the world. They appreciate the web of commonality of all humans in a multicultural world and are prepared for the responsibilities of an engaged citizenship. They recognize the ethical demands of our common lives. They demonstrate the skills and knowledge of the social and behavioral sciences to analyze their contemporary world. They are familiar with the history and aesthetics of the fine arts. They understand and practice the scientific and mathematical view of the world.
Finally, Tennessee's general education core provides for its citizens the means to make a better living. It also, perhaps above all, enables its citizens to make a better life.