Coker UniversityAcademic Programs & DegreesGeneral Education Pillars
General Education Pillars

General Education Pillars


Typically taken during your first and second years, these courses are part of your degree beyond your specialized area or major.

Almost every four-year college or university has general education requirements that students must meet in order to graduate. These courses are not always related to your major, but provide you with a strong foundation of knowledge across multiple disciplines and subject areas. At Coker, we want you to explore what it means to be a critical thinker and an engaged citizen, and to do so our general education is based on the Student Covenant or The Pillars.


Integrity, Respect, Scholarship, Sustainability, Service, and Contribution.

Coker’s student covenant is an agreement among the campus community to dedicate ourselves to scholarship and community engagement. As the guiding principle of our general education, the covenant principles (or Pillars) encourage lifelong learning, personal growth, and service to others. By incorporating the Pillars into your general education, you have the opportunity to develop skills toward becoming a flexible employee, an engaged citizen, and a lifelong learner.


You’ll pick two Pillars and take three classes from each, but consult with your advisor so to align your Pillars with your major.

Choose two Pillars (one from the Integrated Knowledge area and one from Engaged Learning area) and complete three courses within each chosen pillar (a total of six).  Within your two chosen pillars, take at least one course in each of the following knowledge areas: Arts, Behavioral Science, Humanities, and Science.


Integrity:  How do you define a meaningful life?  Explore the diversity of personal and professional codes of conduct by investigating complex concepts such as authenticity, responsibility, and wellbeing.

Respect:  How can you get along with and learn from people who aren’t like you?  Build critical skills in understanding conflict and practicing respect by exploring the rich variety of humanity through culture, religion, and creative works.

Scholarship:  What does it mean to be a scholar?  Explore the breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts tradition, and develop intellectually sound standards for evaluating data and information necessary to produce scholarly, societal, and professional work.


Sustainability:  How do we impact the natural world?  Discover the complex ways humans affect and are affected by their social, economic, and natural environments.

Service:  In what ways am I a part of my community?  Participate in courses that encourage “real world” relevance, engage problem-solving, and build understanding toward complex community relationships.

Contribution: What is my place in the world as a global citizen? Address fundamental questions of human existence through courses that encourage comparative analysis, connections with others, and a sense of continuity about the human condition around the world.


Your Capital Course, which you’ll take after completing at least five pillar classes, will help you unify your general education experiences.

In the Capital Course, you will bring together experiences and knowledge from your general education Pillar courses. You will be able to take what you’ve learned and apply it to the world around you. This required course provides an opportunity for you to reflect on the progress of your education and imagine your future undergraduate and professional goals.

Please note…
A maximum of one course taken to fulfill the General Education Pillars requirement may also be counted towards your major. Any courses taken to fulfill the General Education Pillars requirement may also be counted towards a second major/minor/specialization.

In addition to the Covenant Pillars, Coker’s general education program also includes:
*Foundational prerequisites (English and Math) – placement exemption available.  
*Intellectual foundation – essential skill areas required for lifelong learning such as English, Math, Public Speaking, and a foreign language.
*College Success Courses – building pragmatic skills for navigating Coker University 

Download your General Education Pillars program guide