General education courses in the Division of Arts and Sciences are instrumental to realizing UoPeople’s institutional learning goals. Mastering the basic tenets of a liberal arts education, students focus on learning critical thinking, analysis, communication skills, quantitative and scientific literacy, civic engagement, citizenship, and understanding of ethical dimensions of behavior. At UoPeople, students encounter and explore these principles within the framework of a diverse and growing set of courses, all developed intentionally for a truly global audience.
General education courses meet the educational needs for student success regardless of the major being pursued. These courses are intended to add both depth and breadth to each student’s overall educational experience by providing opportunities to make interdisciplinary connections between concepts and ideas, as well as an environment to contemplate their meaning and significance. As common learning experiences, general education courses also create a foundation for students to articulate their thoughts with one another, and to inspire new ideas.
General education courses also develop general intellectual skills and understanding to support life-long learning and educated citizenship in our changing world. The basic skills include language and communication skills, computer and information processing skills, and critical thinking skills. General education courses also provide an understanding of the methods and concerns of traditional branches of knowledge, the arts and humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences, as well as historical perspective and appreciation of diversity across time, culture and national boundaries.
Dr. Dalton Conley, Dean of Arts & Sciences
Dr. Dalton Conley is the Dean of Arts & Sciences at University of the People. Dr. Conley holds a B.A. from the University of California – Berkeley, an M.P.A. & a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University, and an M.S. & M.Phil. in Biology from NYU. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biology at the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at NYU, studying phenotypic capacitance and socially regulated genes.
In addition to his work with University of the People, Dr. Conley is also Dean for the Social Sciences, as well as University Professor at New York University. He holds faculty appointments in NYU's Sociology Department, School of Medicine and the Wagner School of Public Service. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Community Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Conley’s research focuses on the determinants of economic opportunity within and across generations. In this vein, he studies sibling differences in socioeconomic success; racial inequalities; the measurement of class; and how health and biology affect (and are affected by) social position.
Dr. Conley has received impressive awards. In 2005, he became the first sociologist to win the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, given annually to one young researcher in any field of science, mathematics or engineering. He is also a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow; has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation; a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award; an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Conley has been elected to permanent membership in the Council on Foreign Relations and selected as a Young Leader by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations as well as by the French-American Foundation. He has also been named one of nine “innovative minds” by SEED Magazine.