Spring on the York College campus

Generation Next

A unique, well-rounded general education curriculum for York College students.

At York College, we recognize that you are so much more than your major. You probably chose a specialized area of study based on your interests, natural talents, and career goals—but that doesn't mean you have to focus on just one thing for the rest of your life. In fact, we know that employers value well-rounded professionals and individuals with adaptable skill sets. 

Generation Next is YCP's approach to general education, or gen ed. GenNext allows you to explore a variety of academic areas, so you can learn more about topics of personal interest as you develop a breadth of knowledge that complements your major. The series of classes you'll take is highly personalized and customizable, giving you the opportunity to align your coursework with your ambitions. You'll graduate ready, with experience in multiple fields and a strong foundation for lifelong learning.

Four students walk along the sidewalk path on the campus quad as springtime flowers bloom in the foreground.

The four phases of Gen Next

  • First Year Seminar

    First Year Seminar header

    What it's about: The purpose of the York College First Year Seminar (FYS) is to prepare new students for the creative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous modes of inquiry that characterize a York College education as is expected in major and non-major (general education) courses. 

    Why we think it's important: The FYS will get you off to a fast start in college, help you make new friends, give you a boost in your approach to taking on college academics, and give you an idea what we have to offer. Learn more First-Year Seminar - and the more than 20 challenging, innovative courses - here.

    What you have to take: 3 credits


  • Foundations Courses

    Gen Next Foundations header

    What it's about: Foundations courses in Communication, Advanced Communication, Quantitative Fluency, American Citizenship, and Global Citizenship serve as the initial and essential building blocks for higher level learning, knowledge, and skills in these key areas of a YCP education.

    Why we think it's important: This is where you start building the skills that will be the basis of what you learn throughout college and beyond. Courses in the Foundations range will let you dive into your major, but we think you'll find what you learn in Foundation courses also will serve you well in other areas.

    What you have to take: 6-12 credits

    • The second Advanced Communication requirement, the Quantitative Fluency requirement, and the American or Global Citizenship requirement may be satisfied by major program requirements.
    • Programs may choose to require additional Foundation courses at their discretion
  • Disciplinary Perspectives

    Gen Next Disciplinary Perspectives

    What it's about: Disciplinary Perspectives courses demonstrate the ways that knowledge is constructed in various academic disciplines. The courses taken within Disciplinary Perspectives introduce students to concepts and methodologies of that particular broad disciplinary realm. These courses use the content to expose the methodologies that disciplines use to arrive at that knowledge. Provided with such an understanding, students are better prepared to take on more in-depth work in a variety of disciplines, and apply other disciplinary approaches to their own major-specific work.

    Why we think it's important: This is where you get the broad knowledge and understanding needed to better make connections in your learning, such as taking a science class and learning how to use a methodology to arrive to a conclusion, and then use elements of that approach to better approach a project in the student's own major. We believe you'll be better prepared to take on more in-depth work in a variety disciplines.

    What you have to take: 9-12 credits

    • Taken in Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Science, and/or Natural and Physical Sciences
    • One of the four Disciplinary Perspective areas may be satisfied by major requirements
    • Programs may choose to require additional Disciplinary Perspective courses at their discretion
  • Constellations

    Gen Next Constellations header

    What it's about: Constellations are groupings of courses around broad themes that can be addressed using multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives. Constellations build upon the skills acquired in the Foundations courses and the base of knowledge and learning methods acquired in the Disciplinary Perspectives courses. Constellations will allow you to apply higher-level thinking and communication skills while increasing the breadth and depth of your education. The Constellations are designed to give you an intentional, noticeable benefit of bringing in ideas from across several academic areas. 

    Why we think it's important: This set of courses will allow you to see the connections between what you have learned in different general education courses, as well as help you make connections between the general education curriculum and your major. It's the answer to that age-old conundrum of college students of years past, sitting in a general ed course wondering what this has to do with what they want to do in life. We see the Constellation courses bringing it all together.

    What you have to take: 9-12 credits

    • Students will take 4 courses drawn from a minimum of three disciplines
    • One of the 4 courses may also serve as a major program requirement
    • Constellation themes are: Big Ideas!, Children and the Family, Community, Creativity and the Arts (formerly Aesthetics and Creativity), Diversity, Environmental Sustainability, Globalization, Health and Wellness, Leadership and Professional Development (formerly Professionalism, Leadership and Entrepreneurship), Media and Popular Culture, Peace and Conflict, & Science and Technology.

    Useful Resources

Student ePortfolios What you should know about ePortfolios

What it’s about: An eportfolio is an online collection of carefully selected texts, images, and videos that demonstrate your personal skills, knowledge, and experiences. It enables you to show others “the big picture” of your life journey so far, highlighting the unique strengths you alone possess.

What We Think You'll Get Out of a Generation Next Experience

Gen Next Skills & Abilities

  1. Broad Knowledge: Knowledge of human culture and the physical and natural world. Such knowledge is necessary for competent functioning in professional, personal, and civic life.
  2. Critical and Analytical Thinking: The ability to explore questions, issues, ideas, and alternative perspectives, and base conclusions upon evaluation of evidence.
  3. Creative and Interdisciplinary Thinking: The capacity to apply perspectives, knowledge, and methodologies derived from multiple disciplines to engage in original or imaginative/aesthetic work and/or innovative problem-solving.
  4. Quantitative Fluency: The ability to analyze, interpret, and employ quantitative, graphic, or visually-represented data for the purpose of understanding issues, addressing problems, and/or answering questions in a variety of academic and everyday settings.
  5. Communication: Written, oral, and visual communication abilities are characterized by use of accepted standards and conventions for production of various kinds of writing, oral, and visual work, adapted to multiple audiences and communication modes and environments.
  6. Citizenship and Intercultural Competency: An understanding of citizenship responsibilities at the community, national, international, and global level; comprehension of connections and interactions between local and global contexts; an ability to connect disciplinary and professional concerns or issues to wider personal, community, national, or global issues; and an ability to function positively as an individual and professional in an informed manner in diverse contexts, from the local to the global.
  7. Academic and Professional Standards: Use of appropriate interpersonal communication skills in diverse settings and modes of communication; awareness of individual ethical and organizational responsibilities; the ability to work productively and constructively on a variety of tasks in a timely fashion as an individual or as part of a group; the maintenance of an appropriate professional identity; and technological competency, including the ethical and responsible use of technology to communicate and convey information.
Contact Us
Generation Next
Kay McAdams, Ph.D., Director of General Education
Humanities Center, Room 103
Phone: 717.815.1917
Contact for appt.

The Registrar's office handles all needs regarding student registration, schedule of classes, off-campus study approvals, class rosters and other student-related information.

Find information about the Registrar.