General Education Pathway | ACTC

General Education Pathway

KCTCS Dual Credit Pathway to the Associate Degree in Arts or Science

General education courses are foundational courses in Written Communication, Oral Communication, Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning, and other areas of study such as Foreign Languages. These courses develop strong communication, critical thinking, collaboration and other skills needed to succeed in one’s career and as a global citizen.

General education coursework provides the first two years of a university experience, leading to an Associate’s degree in Arts (AA) or Science (AS) (or Fine Arts at some colleges). Some general education courses are also required for the Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS). The coursework transfers to the receiving university and becomes part of the student’s permanent university record.

The dual credit general education pathway has been designed to help students earn credits toward the 33 credit hours of KCTCS General Education Core courses within an AA or AS degree. These core courses are accepted directly towards the first two years of a bachelor’s degree (60 total credit hours in the AA/AS and 120 total credit hours in the bachelor’s degree) and will be accepted by any public Kentucky university per Kentucky’s General Education Transfer Policy. The
General Education Transfer Policy is in place between all public colleges and universities in  Kentucky and facilitates a smooth transition as students move from college or university to another institution. Most universities located in contiguous states will also directly accept these courses. Note that students in Early or Middle College programs or other limited access  programs will follow program of study guidance from their College-assigned advisor.

Students who plan to pursue the AA/AS at KCTCS and/or transfer to a university should complete the 33 credit hours of the General Education Core dual credit courses before any other general education courses. A student may take additional general education courses for dual credit that meet the KCTCS AA/AS requirements once they have completed the initial 33 credit hours in Block I. Working with a college advisor or their transfer university advisor will help ensure that the student does not take dual credit courses that would not be accepted by their preferred
university or would limit their ability at university to take the specific coursework leading to their desired degree.

The KCTCS Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees are 60 credit hours, divided into three blocks:

  • BLOCK I: 33 credit hours of General Education Core courses
  • BLOCK II: 6 credit hours of requirements specific to the AA or AS degree –it is recommended students choose these hours to satisfy pre-major requirements at the institution to which they plan to transfer:
    • For the AA: hours must be selected from Arts and Humanities and/or Social and Behavioral Sciences and/or Foreign Language.
    • For the AS: hours must be selected from Quantitative Reasoning and/or Natural Sciences
  • BLOCK III: 21 hours of electives –it is recommended students choose these hours to satisfy pre-major requirements at the institution to which they plan to transfer.
  • Within the AA/AS students must:
    • Complete at least one cultural studies course, indicated by (CS) next to the course in the table below.
    • Demonstrate computer/digital literacy skills, either through completing a course or passing a test.
    • Complete a First Year Experience (FYE) as determined by their College (currently charged at full tuition rate if an FYE class is required). 

General Education Core Courses

Below is a list of general education courses that are eligible for dual credit from each KCTCS institution, provided the institution offers the course as dual credit and there is a credentialed faculty member to teach it for dual credit at the college or high school. It is up to each KCTCS College to determine where and if the dual credit course is offered.

Individual KCTCS institutions may offer other general education courses for dual credit to meet specific local transfer agreements with partner regional universities. However, the courses below are “high priority” courses in BLOCK I as they are core courses that meet Kentucky’s General Education Transfer Policy. 

Core Requirement AA Requirements AS Requirements

Dual Credit Course Offerings

Courses are 3 credit hours unless indicated after the
course listing below

Written Communications  6 credit hours 6 credit hours
  • ENG 101 Writing I
  • ENG 102 Writing 2
Oral Communications 3 credit hours 3 credit hours
  • COM 181 Basic Public Speaking OR
    COM 252 Intro to Interpersonal Communication

Arts & Humanities

1 course each in Humanities and Heritage. (CS) denotes a class meeting the Cultural Studies requirement.

Note: most universities and all KCTCS Colleges will not accept more than one civilization/history course in this block. Any other courses taken will transfer as elective credits and reduce the available elective credits needed by the program of study.

3 credit hours 3 credit hours
  • HIS 101 World Civilization I (CS)
  • HIS 102 World Civilization II (CS)
  • HIS 108 History of the U.S. Through 1865
  • HIS 109 History of the U.S. Since 1865
  • HIS 240 History of Kentucky
3 credit hours 3 credit hours
  • ART 100 Intro to Art
  • ENG 161 Intro to Literature
  • HUM 120 Intro to Humanities
  • MUS 100 Intro to Music
  • PHI 100 Intro to Philosophy: Knowledge & Reality
  • REL 101 Intro to Religious Studies
  • REL 130 Intro to Comparative Religion (CS)**
  • THA 101 Intro to Theater: Principles & Practices

Natural Sciences

One course must include a laboratory experience,  indicated by (L) next to the course.

3-6 credit hours 6 credit hours
  • AST 101 Frontiers of Astronomy
  • BIO 112 Intro to Biology
  • BIO 113 Intro to Biology Lab (1) (L)
  • BIO 120 Human Ecology
  • BIO 121 Intro to Ecology Lab (1) (L)
  • BIO 135 Basic Anatomy & Physiology w/Lab (4)(L)
    BIO 137 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (4) (L)
  • BIO 139 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (4) (L)
  • CHE 140 Intro General Chemistry
  • CHE 145 Intro General Chemistry Lab (1) (L)
  • PHY 171 Applied Physics (4) (L)

Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

KCTCS has six QR pathways, each tailored to allow students to take the math that is relevant to their field of study (see table below for listing). Students, with an advisor, should choose from the QR pathway below that best fits their plans for their college education

3-6 credit hours 6 credit hours
  • MAT 141 Liberal Arts Mathematics OR
    MAT 146 Contemporary College Mathematics
  • MAT 150 College Algebra
  • MAT/STA 151 Introduction to Applied Statistics
  • MAT 154 OR 155 Trigonometry (2 or 3 credits)
  • MAT 161 Statistics and Algebra
  • MAT 171 Precalculus (5 credits)
  • MAT 174 OR 175 Calculus I (4 or 5 credits)
  • MAT 184 OR 185 Calculus II (4 or 5 credits)
  • STA 220 Statistics

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Two disciplines must be represented and different from those in the Arts and Humanities category. (CS) denotes a class meeting the Cultural Studies requirement


9 credit hours 6 credit hours
  • ECO 101 Contemporary Economics Issues OR
    ECO 201 Principles of Microeconomics
  • GEO 152 Regional Geography of the World (CS)
  • POL 101 American Government
  • PSY 110 General Psychology
  • REL 101 Intro to Religious Studies (CS)
  • REL 130 Intro to Comparative Religion (CS)**
  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
Subtotal General Education Core


33 credit hours  

*Students are required to take a minimum of 3 credit hours of Quantitative Reasoning and Natural Sciences and 3 more credit hours in either one of those categories for a total of 6 for the AA track.

**Students may use REL 130 to satisfy only one of the Arts and Humanities OR Social and  Behavioral Sciences requirements.

QR Pathways Entry Course
Business/Management MAT 161
Education/College Algebra  MAT 150
Liberal Arts Mathematics  MAT 141
Statistics  MAT/STA 151
Technical  N/A for AA and AS

Note that students in the 12th grade who assess/place into the option may take an English, Reading or Mathematics corequisite course with a supplemental course if offered by their KCTCS College. The supplemental course provides additional support for the corequisite course and will count as an elective when transferred to a four-year institution.

Additionally, a student may take any Foreign Language courses in a single language if it is offered as dual credit by the KCTCS institution. All foreign language courses are designated cultural studies courses.

General Education Courses Available for the Associate in Applied Science Degree Pathway

Students in an AAS pathway may need other general education courses specific to the technical program of study to earn the AAS degree. Students will be advised on these courses by their delivering KCTCS institution. 

In effect March 1, 2019