2006-2008 University of Hawai`i at Mānoa


Below are the initial Hallmarks proposed by the Foundations Board and General Education Committee. In October 2001, faculty were asked to provide feedback on these draft hallmarks. The feedback was taken into consideration and the Hallmarks were revised. See the December 2001 version for the revisions.


Excerpts from General Education Plan adopted by the Faculty Senate and Board of Regents. Draft hallmarks proposed by the Foundations Board (10/2001).

Foundations Requirement (12 credits)

Adopted by the Manoa Faculty Senate,12/08/99 and approved by the Board of Regents, 07/21/00.

Foundation courses are intended to give students skills and perspectives that are fundamental to undertaking higher education. To promote student understanding of connections across fields of inquiry, foundations courses will ordinarily be linked and require co-registration. Foundations courses may be offered as components of learning communities that also include courses fulfilling major or diversification requirements. Accommodations will also be made for part-time and transfer students. However, courses taken to fulfill the foundations requirement may not be used to fulfill requirements in other categories. 

All full-time UHM students are expected to fulfill foundations requirements before achieving sophomore standing.


Written Communication (English 100): 3 cr.

Adopted by the Manoa Faculty Senate,12/08/99 and approved by the Board of Regents, 07/21/00

Students will be introduced to the rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic demands of writing at the college level; courses give instruction in composing processes, search strategies, and composing from sources. This course also provides students with experiences in the library and on the Internet and enhances their skills in accessing and using various types of primary and secondary materials.

Written Communication 

Draft hallmarks proposed by the Foundations Board

To satisfy the Written Communication requirement, a course will:

  • provide students with guided practice of writing processes: planning, drafting, critiquing, revising, editing

  • introduce students to different forms of academic writing, and guide them in the production of at least 25 pages of finished writing in several papers with differing purposes and audiences

  • help students learn to make effective use of written and oral feedback--from the faculty instructor and from peers--in revising their drafts

  • help students to develop information literacy by teaching search strategies, critical evaluation of information and sources, and effective selection of information for specific purposes and audiences

  • help students to read texts that are part of an academic community's intellectual conversation, and to make use of those texts in expressing their own perspectives and opinions in writing

  • teach students how to incorporate information from a variety of sources into their own writing, acknowledging sources and providing citations in appropriate ways.

Symbolic Reasoning: 3 cr.

Adopted by the Manoa Faculty Senate,12/08/99 and approved by the Board of Regents, 07/21/00

Courses fulfilling this requirement will expose students to the beauty and power of formal systems, as well as to their clarity and precision; courses will not focus solely on computational skills. Students should understand the concept of proof as a chain of inferences. They should be able to apply formal rules or algorithms. They should also be able to engage in hypothetical reasoning. In addition, the course should aim to develop the ability of students to use appropriate symbolic techniques in the context of problem solving, and in the presentation and critical evaluation of evidence.

Symbolic Reasoning 

Draft hallmarks proposed by the Foundations Board

To satisfy the Symbolic Reasoning requirement, a course will: 

  • explore the difference between formal argument, which is not susceptible to refutation, and other forms of argument 

  • focus on the ability to abstract from a hypothetical or real-world situation to a formal, symbolic representation (with or without numerical evidence), to analyze the formal representation, and to draw consistent conclusions from this analysis 

  • help students understand symbolic reasoning; this includes recognizing the elements, structure, and standards of rigorous arguments, and the ability to distinguish between correct and incorrect reasoning

  • require students to construct symbolic arguments, to properly incorporate the elements of such arguments, to correctly apply and follow the rules of the formal system, and to translate their underlying intuition into the formalism 

  • address the impacts of formal or symbolic reasoning, such as its applications to other disciplines, and its historical place in civilization as a whole

Explanatory Notes

The objective of the symbolic reasoning requirement is to enhance the student's appreciation of abstraction and formal systems of analysis. It is to foster an understanding of the power and intrinsic beauty of formal systems--their clarity, precision, elegance and universality. Additionally, symbolic reasoning should elevate students' power of critical thinking, logical analysis and the use of evidence. This can be enhanced through mathematics, deductive logic, and statistics through emphasis on formal and rigorous argument. Courses will not focus solely on computational skills.

Global and Multicultural Perspectives: 2 courses, 6 credits

Adopted by the Manoa Faculty Senate,12/08/99 and approved by the Board of Regents, 07/21/00

Global and Multicultural Perspectives courses provide thematic treatments of global processes and cross-cultural interactions from a variety of perspectives. Students will gain a sense of human development from pre-history to modern times through consideration of narratives and artifacts of and from diverse cultures. At least one component of each of these courses will involve the indigenous cultures of Hawai'i, the Pacific, and Asia.

Global and Multicultural Perspectives

Draft hallmarks proposed by the Foundations Board

To satisfy the Global and Multicultural Perspectives requirement, a course will: 

  • provide a coherent analysis of the world's major societies and their evolution through time

  • consider the political, social, economic, and cultural development of the world's major societies

  • examine processes of cross-cultural interaction, exchange, conflict, and cooperation that have linked the world's societies

  • consider the evolution of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific societies

  • engage students in the study and analysis of writings, artifacts, and perspectives of different societies.

  • one course will focus on the pre-modern world (up to about 1500 C.E.), the other on the modern era (from about 1500 C.E. to the present).

Explanatory Notes

The intent of the two GMP courses is to provide students with a global perspective on the development of human societies. These courses will analyze the alternative ways that the world's peoples have organized their own societies and interacted with peoples from different societies. Through these courses students will broaden their knowledge about human societies which will help them better understand their own society and the larger world in which they live.

These courses may be sequential or stand-alone. Students will be expected, however, to take one course which deals primarily with an early time period (pre-history to 1500) and one from a later one, (1500 to modern). This in no way suggests that proposals for courses that span a wider time period will not be accepted. This will allow students to take either a sequential 6-credit course, or a combination of two 3-credit courses.