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Volunteer Core

Volunteer Core is the general education curriculum for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It provides students with the foundation for successful academic study, lifelong learning, and active engagement in the duties of local, national, and global citizenship.

The Volunteer Core general education program focuses on Effective Communication, Expanded Perspectives, and Engaged Inquiries:

One hallmark of an educated person is the ability to think independently and communicate this understanding to others. Therefore, students must practice the ability to acquire, evaluate, and use information to express themselves effectively orally and in writing to a variety of audiences.

General education should help students understand their relationship to family, local, and global societies, and the natural world. To this end, general education should foster a commitment to respecting the diversity of personal, cultural, and scientific values. Students should be able to explain their own values and beliefs, as well as to understand the histories and cultures behind those values. Students should study the historical traditions and artistic works of other cultures, both within and outside the United States, and the fundamental principles and chief discoveries of the scientific disciplines. They should be able to solve problems using logical and critical reasoning.

Educated global citizens need to be able to apply knowledge and skills beyond the classroom. They should be able to work effectively in teams, be self-reflective, and think integratively. General education should help students develop habits of self-examination, strengthen their sensitivity to the dynamic nature of a multicultural world through interdisciplinary perspectives, and collaborate with others to apply what they know.

Resources for students and advisors