Skip To Main Content

General Education for Students and Faculty

Ohio Northern’s general education plan is based on learning outcomes that specify the abilities that ONU expects each student to cultivate through general education. Beginning with matriculation and continuing through their educational experiences at ONU, our students will demonstrate:

  1. Effective written communication
  2. Effective spoken communication
  3. Critical and creative thinking
  4. Knowledge of the physical and natural world
  5. Knowledge of mathematics and statistics
  6. Knowledge of human thought and culture
  7. Knowledge of human society and the interactions between society and individuals
  8. Knowledge of the principles of aesthetics
  9. Knowledge of the principles of civics or ethics on a professional, community, or global level
  10. An understanding of diverse cultures

The link to the General Education Plan is below:

ONU General Education Policy (November 2016)


ONU’s learning outcomes are embedded in a curriculum that includes the following:

1. Transitions Experience

This course facilitates the student’s transition from high school to college life. Students can receive credit only once for a transitions experience. Other attributes of this course shall be:

  • Mandatory for all undergraduate students during their first semester of study as a degree-seeking student. Transfer students with 24 credits or more as a degree-seeking student may be waived from this course at the discretion of the student’s respective college of enrollment.
  • Demonstrates ties between General Education and the major or potential major.
  • Addresses the General Education learning outcome on Critical and Creative Thinking.
  • Designed and delivered by the individual colleges.
  • The Transitions Experience course may satisfy other requirements of degree programs that the colleges establish.


2. Writing Seminar

This course emphasizes English-writing skills. Other attributes of this course shall be:

  • Mandatory for all undergraduate students during their first year of study unless the English department approves transfer credit from another institution of higher education.
  • Addresses the Effective Written Communication general education learning outcome.
  • Class size shall be restricted to 20 students per section.
  • The student must successfully complete the Writing Seminar course with a grade of “C” or better.
  • The Department of English shall administer this seminar.
  • The Writing Seminar may satisfy other requirements of degree programs that the colleges establish.

3. Diverse Cultures Seminar

Courses approved as supporting an understanding of diverse cultures will be offered in a seminar format with high-impact learning pedagogy. These courses will be limited to 18 students and will require students to produce a substantive written assignment with revision. Faculty who would like to have their course identified as meeting this learning outcome should submit the diversity seminar form to Dr. Hurtig or one of the other members of the General Education Committee for committee review.

4. Additional Courses

Academic courses supporting the general education learning outcomes may satisfy other requirements of degree programs that the colleges establish.

The student must successfully complete all other approved academic courses according to the grading standard that the student’s college determines.

More than 250 courses are now part of this general education program. A list of the courses that support each learning outcome can be found in the student’s Degreeworks audit under the “ONU General Education” block. A master list of these courses is available via the link below.

ONU General Education Master List of Courses (May 8, 2019 updated)


ONU's general education plan from 2011-16 was based on seven learning outcomes. Beginning in 2016-17, ONU's general education plan has 10 learning outcomes. This new plan requires students to complete 10 courses plus the capstone sequence. The writing seminar, transition experience and the seminar course are part of these requirements. General Education assessment will be completed by the faculty instructors of gen ed courses instead of using an electronic portfolio like Taskstream.  

Students who began their studies at ONU in 2016-17 are on the new general education plan automatically. Students who began their studies at ONU prior to 2016-17 will be transitioned to the new general education plan as described in the document below.

Transition Rules from the 2011-16 Gen Ed to the 2016-17 Gen Ed

Students are encouraged to view the personalized general education plan requirements in Degreeworks and to work with a faculty advisor if they have any questions. Gen ed questions can also be directed to Dr. Hurtig at


Students and faculty can direct their questions to Dr. Julie Hurtig, director of the general education program, or to any of the general education committee members.

Registrar's Office

Melanie Hough

Fax: 419-772-2627
Lehr Memorial Building Room 106
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
8 a.m.-5 p.m.