2023-2024 Student Catalog 
    Apr 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education

Since 1984, Niagara County Community College has embraced General Education through which all students acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies that will help students succeed in whatever educational or career path they choose to follow, regardless of their degree program.  These General Education goals have undergone revisions through years of inquiry regarding best practices in the delivery of effective learning in general education to meet the evolving needs of our society.

The most recent revision aligns the SUNY General Education Framework adopted on November 9, 2021 (Resolution 2021-48). Effective in the Fall 2023 semester, all incoming students will be required to complete a specific number of General Education credits distributed over a certain number of knowledge and skills areas based upon the student’s chosen degree.  All degrees offered by Niagara County Community College will have these requirements infused seamlessly within the degree allowing the student elective options where possible.

Upon completion of these infused General Education requirements, a graduate will have greater mobility and seamless transfer to other SUNY institutions. In addition, graduates will be equipped with the foundational capacities fostered through a broad liberal education to prepare them for further study, work, life, and global citizenship.


SUNY General Education Requirement (GER)

Students entering Niagara County Community College in the Fall 2023 or later semesters enrolled in an Associate in Arts degree (AA) or an Associated in Science degree (AS) must earn 30 credits selected from approved general education courses distributed over seven (7) knowledge and skills areas.

Students entering Niagara County Community College in the Fall 2024 or later semesters enrolled in an Associate in Applied Science degree (AAS) must earn 20 credits selected from approved general education courses distributed over four (4) knowledge and skills areas.

These general education courses are posted on the college website:  General Education Approved Courses.  The ten (10) Knowledge and Skills Areas are as follows:

Required of all AA, AS, and AAS degrees:

Communication - Written and Oral (COMW & COMO)
Mathematics (and Quantitative Reasoning) (MATH)
Natural Science (and Scientific Reasoning) (NSCI)
Diversity: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (DVRS)

Required of all AA and AS degrees. Courses in 3 of the following 6 Knowledge and Skills areas:

Humanities (HUMN)
Social Science (SOCS)
The Arts (ARTS)
US History & Civic Engagement (USCV)
World History & Global Awareness (GLBL)
World Languages (WLNG)

Students must meet the two SUNY Competencies of Critical Thinking and Information Literacy along with the single Middle States Competency of Computer Literacy by completing courses embedded throughout their curriculum.

Note:  If you entered Niagara County Community College prior to Fall 2023, you may elect to continue your academic career under the older general education guidelines located here.


Once a student has completed General Education requirements at NCCC, those requirements will be accepted as completed at any SUNY college. Students should be aware that the transfer college may have additional graduation minimum degree requirements that are also labeled as General Education. Please refer to the college catalog of the transfer college. Students, who have transferred to NCCC from another college or university, should submit their transcripts to the College for evaluation. Part of that evaluation will include an analysis of courses for the General Education requirement.

Additional General Education Information

Courses That Count In More Than One Knowledge and Skill Area: Several courses can qualify in two Knowledge and Skill areas. For example, SOC 101 meets both the Social Science and the Diversity requirements satisfying both areas. If a student elects to take a course that meets two Knowledge and Skills areas, they must still complete a total of 30 credits of SUNY GE.

Waiver Criteria: Some requirements may be waived or modified based upon standardized tests.  Waiver information is located below.

General Education Requirement Waiver Criteria

Skills Area

AP Scores of
3, 4 or 5

(Minimum Score)

Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning


Calculus (AB)
Calculus (BC)


Calculus w/Elementary
Functions (50)
College Algebra (50)
College Algebra w/Trig (50)

Natural Science & Scientific Reasoning

Exams in Biology, Chemistry,
Physics (B or C)

General Biology (50)
General Chemistry (50)

Social Sciences



Exams in

Political Science


Amer Government (50)
Intro to Psychology (50)
Intro to Sociology (50)
Prin. Microeconomics (50)
Prin. Macroeconomics (50)

U.S. History & Civic Engagement

Exam in
American History

Amer. Government (50)
Amer. History to 1877 (50)
Amer. History to 1865+ (50)


Exams in Art History (B)

American Literature (50)
English Literature (50)

The Arts

Exams in Art Studio (A),


World Language




College French I (50)
College French II (62)
College German I (50)
College German II (63)
College Spanish I (50)
College Spanish II (63)

Communication - Written






420 or higher on CLEP

General English Exam:
College Composition (50)



General Education Student Learning Outcomes

Communication - Written & Oral

Students will

  • research a topic, develop an argument, and organize supporting details;
  • demonstrate coherent college-level communication (written and oral) that informs, persuades, or otherwise engages with an audience;
  • evaluate communication for substance, bias, and intended effect; and
  • demonstrate the ability to revise and improve written and oral communication.

Critical Thinking

Students will

  • clearly articulate an issue or problem;
  • identify, analyze, and evaluate ideas, data, and arguments as they occur in their own or others’ work;
  • acknowledge limitations such as perspective and bias; and
  • develop well-reasoned (logical) arguments to form judgments and/or draw conclusions.

Diversity: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

Students will

  • describe the historical and contemporary societal factors that shape the development of individual and group identity involving race, class, and gender;
  • analyze the role that complex networks of social structures and systems play in the creation and perpetuation of the dynamics of power, privilege, oppression, and opportunity;
  • and apply the principles of rights, access, equity, and autonomous participation to past, current, or future social justice action.


Students will

  • demonstrate knowledge of the conventions and methods of at least one of the humanities; and
  • recognize and analyze nuance and complexity of meaning through critical reflections on text, visual images, or artifacts.

Information Literacy

Students will

  • locate information effectively using tools appropriate to their need and discipline;
  • evaluate information with an awareness of authority, validity, and bias; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of the ethical dimensions of information use, creation, and dissemination.

Mathematics & Quantitative Analysis

Students will

  • demonstrate mathematical skills and quantitative reasoning, including the ability to
  • interpret and draw inferences from appropriate mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables, or schematics;
  • represent mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically, or verbally as appropriate; and
  • employ quantitative methods such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, or statistics to solve problems.

Natural Science & Scientific Reasoning

Students will

  • demonstrate scientific reasoning applied to the natural world, including
  • an understanding of the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of data analysis or mathematical modeling; and
  • application of scientific data, concepts, and models in one of the natural sciences

Social Sciences

Students will

  1. describe major concepts and theories of at least one discipline in the social sciences; and
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the methods social scientists use to explore social phenomena.

The Arts

Students will

  • demonstrate an understanding of at least one principal form of artistic expression and the creative process inherent therein.

US History & Civic Engagement

Students will

  • demonstrate understanding of United States’ society and/or history, including the diversity of individuals and communities that make up the nation;
  • understand the role of individual participation in US communities and government; and
  • apply historical and contemporary evidence to draw, support, or verify conclusions.

World History & Global Awareness

Students will

  • demonstrate knowledge of a broad outline of world history and/or the development of the distinctive features of at least one civilization or culture in relation to other regions of the world; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of the structures, systems, and interrelationships among civilizations and cultures within historical and/or contemporary contexts, and their impact on wellbeing and sustainability.

World Language

Students will

  • exhibit basic proficiency in the understanding and use of a world language; and
  • demonstrate knowledge of the distinctive features of culture(s) associated with the language they are studying.

Approved Courses - December 2023

Faculty and students should use this chart when selecting NCCC courses that satisfy General Education requirements

NSCI - Natural Science

ARTS - The Arts