General Education

General Education at Hesston College

Hesston College offers students a well-integrated, comprehensive general education in the liberal arts. General education is the portion of the liberal arts curriculum in which all students engage. General education at Hesston College is at the center of a curriculum designed to examine what it means to be human. Different disciplines offer diverse perspectives on how humans construct meaning. The task of general education is to prepare students for purposeful participation within a rapidly changing world and church. The following areas of emphasis characterize general education at Hesston College:

  • Developing skills that mark an educated person
    General education courses teach students skills in close reading, creative and critical thinking, logical reasoning, effective written and spoken communication and mathematical and technological competence.
  • Engaging big questions of life
    General education courses offer opportunities for students to engage questions such as the following: Who is God? What is the basis for ethics and values? What does it mean to be human and to live in community? Who have we been, and where are we going? What is the nature and value of the physical world? How can we deal positively with paradoxical and diverse ideas?
  • Integrating knowledge, faith, service and community
    Required general education courses teach students the importance of lifelong learning and prepare them to practice choices for healthy living. The Hesston Experience involves a faith-based education within a community where worship, study, service and participation in the arts, athletics and recreation are all essential elements in students’ growth.


The education, curriculum, academic departments, divisions of staff and student life programs offer opportunities for students to develop as persons with intellectual and practical skills, persons who understand human cultures and the natural world, persons of individual and social responsibility, persons who understand faith through an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective and persons able to integrate and apply learning.

  1. Persons with intellectual and practical skills
    • Written, oral and visual communication
    • Quantitative literacy
    • Information literacy
    • Cooperation and collaboration

    Practiced extensively across the curriculum through progressively more challenging academic rigor

  2. Persons who understand human cultures and the natural world
    • Knowledge of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities

    Focused by engagement with life’s big questions, both contemporary and enduring

  3. Persons of individual and social responsibility
    • Self-reflection, self-awareness and self-care
    • Moral and ethical reasoning, decision-making and action
    • Civic knowledge, engagement and service on the local and global level
    • Intercultural competence and empathy

    Developed through active involvement with real-world settings and relationships within diverse communities

  4. Persons who understand faith through an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective
    • Examination of the Christ-centered biblical story
    • Exploration of Anabaptist-Mennonite faith and values
    • Awareness of one’s own faith perspective within the context of the local and global community

    Expressed throughout the curriculum and campus life

  5. Persons able to integrate and apply learning
    • Critical and creative thinking and problem solving, utilizing inquiry and analysis
    • Synthesis and application of knowledge, skills and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems
    • Preparation for the next step and a life of learning

    Facilitated through modeling and mentoring by the Hesston College community

Plan of Courses in General Education

Hesston College aims for coherence in the general education curriculum through two simultaneous approaches:

  • A group of common courses that introduce students to the experience of academic community while reflecting on subjects central to Hesston’s vision and values
  • A distribution of courses from the broad stream of the liberal arts, such as history, literature, the biological and physical sciences, humanities and the social sciences

Academic Degrees Offered at Hesston

Hesston College’s general educational program is designed to meet a variety of student needs. Hesston offers Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.) and Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.) degrees for students interested in the first two years of a liberal arts program, various pre-professional programs and other fields of study requiring four-year degrees.

Students with specific career interests may choose to pursue one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree with a major in Business Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.).
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with majors in Aviation – Professional Pilot and Engineering – Mechatronics Track.
  • Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences (A.A.A.S.) with a major in Aviation – Professional Pilot.
  • Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences (A.A.A.S.) with a major in Aviation – Air Traffic Control.

Transferring Hesston College Courses

Hesston College prepares students for engagement in lifelong learning opportunities. Many Hesston College graduates transfer to four-year accredited institutions, although other programs or levels of education may be their educational destination. Hesston College is committed to continual assessment and improvement of academic programs and to maintaining and developing articulation agreements with four-year institutions to which our students typically transfer.

Catalog 2022-23