Academic Catalog

General Education

Consistent with Millersville University’s mission to provide a high-quality education at an exceptional value, THE GATEWAY General Education Curriculum supports students in their transition to the university experience and promotes personalized pathways to academic success. Students will develop purposeful knowledge and gain critical skills across multiple disciplines, consider diverse points of view, and increase their capacities to respond to a diverse and technologically complex global community.

Students begin in the GATEWAY curriculum with critical classes that support early engagement in the Cornerstone stage; build toward critical thinking, effective communication, innovative and ethical practices and other domains in the Gateway stage; refine analytic and evaluative approaches to current cultural, environmental, and social contexts and problems in the Keystone stage. In the Keystone stage; and extend their reach by applying their skills in new settings within a Capstone experience. Additionally, students can choose to amplify their paths to informed citizenship and career success by earning as many as two interdisciplinary certificates through their general education coursework.

Adopted in 2024, the Gateway General Education Curriculum is anchored in the following “stages,” each with approved definitions and student learning outcomes. 


Cornerstone courses are four courses totaling at least 12 credit hours.  Courses in this group set the foundation for college success.

Cornerstone Descriptions and SLOs Approved


Definition: Quantitative Literacy courses utilize mathematics and/or statistics to formulate and/or solve equations and interpret numerical data. These courses incorporate critical thinking and problem-solving skills to help students develop an understanding of numbers to build a foundation for understanding mathematics and statistics in real-world contexts and solving more complex mathematics problems.


A student will be able to:

1. Explain information presented in mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words).
2. Convert relevant information into various mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words).
3. Make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on the quantitative analysis of data and/or mathematical models of phenomena or processes, while recognizing the limits of this analysis.
4. Make and evaluate important assumptions in estimation, modeling, and data analysis.
5. Express quantitative evidence in support of the mathematical/statistical argument or purpose of the work (in terms of what evidence is used and how it is formatted, presented, and contextualized.


Definition: First-Year Seminar (FYS) courses are designed to support students’ successful transition to university life. These courses use at least one high-impact educational practices to develop and foster skills that will lead to success in college, career, and personal life. Each seminar focuses on a different topic/theme of strong interest to faculty and students.


A student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate autonomy and competence in planning for personal and academic goals.
2. Identify resources and practice strategies to support personal and academic success.
3. Develop effective communication, critical thinking skills and dispositions, and information literacy skills to explore academic content.
4. Recognize the value of diverse perspectives as a citizen of the university community.


Definition: Oral communication courses focus on prepared, purposeful speaking designed to do one or more of the following: to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, to entertain and comfort audience members, to promote change in the listeners’ attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.


A student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of communication concepts, theories, and processes.
2. Appropriately research, analyze, organize, and synthesize a variety of reliable source materials into effective oral and visual presentations.
3. Demonstrate ethical responsibility and cultural sensitivity towards audiences by adapting oral presentation delivery and visual messages.
4. Utilize critical thinking and evaluative skills to assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of presentational strategies.
5. Manage public speaking anxieties to deliver effective and engaging oral presentations.


Definition: Introductory Writing courses facilitate the development of college-level proficiency in the use of writing processes, critical awareness when reading and writing, stylistic fluency, and technical accuracy.


A student will be able to

1. Identify impacts of the composing process on the final product.
2. Write persuasively by distinguishing and applying effective strategies of argumentation appropriate to a given rhetorical situation including audience, purpose, and context.
3. Generate conclusions about texts that arise from rhetorical analysis to inform their own choices as writers.
4. Produce texts that demonstrate ethical writing by effectively synthesizing sources and conscientiously using conventions of academic discourse including citation, format, and style.


Gateway courses are eight courses in seven categories totaling at least 24 credit hours.  The categories are: Creative Explorations, Ethical Action & Citizenship, Information Literacies, Investigations in Scientific Reasoning, Personal Wellness, Problem Solving, and Technological Competency. These courses develop critical thinking skills, core knowledge, flexibility of thought, and responsiveness to global needs.


Keystone courses are two courses across two categories totaling at least 6 credit hours. These courses develop communication skills to comprehend. The Keystone categories are Diverse Cultural Contexts and Advanced Writing.


The Capstone is one course totaling at least 3 credit hours. Students will apply knowledge from experiences and multiple disciplines to new, complex situations. 


Certificates are optional pathways for students which allow them to build personally relevant learning experiences through their general education curriculum by completing focused study around interdisciplinary themes and concepts. 

Students may earn a maximum of two certificates.  Certificates are a minimum of 12 credit hours across the Gateway Categories and an identified Keystone or Capstone course.