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General Education & Gateways

Students in a classroom with one student raising their hand.At Illinois Wesleyan, our strong General Education program is all about exploring new ideas, perspectives and areas of study. These courses provide opportunities for students to ask questions, think critically and learn about the world in fun and engaging ways. With a mix of classroom learning and hands-on experiences, students will develop important skills like critical thinking, creativity and empathy for others.


Gateway courses are small, discussion-oriented classes for first year students, designed to develop students' skills in writing in college and public discourse. Although each course investigates its own issue or question, all focus on writing as a major component of intellectual inquiry. Gateway courses seek to:

  • introduce students to the process of intellectual inquiry and develop students' critical thinking skills
  • develop abilities to evaluate competing ideas and experiences
  • develop skills in the conventions and structures of presenting knowledge in written academic and public discourse, and on strategies for effective revision
  • engage students in learning activities that prepare them for academic life in the university

To read descriptions of each course, check out the Course Catalog in Banner