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

    What are Constellations?

    Constellations are academic communities of students and faculty engaging in a theme that can be addressed using 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. You should mainly take Constellation courses in your junior and senior year (although this might vary by program). You declare a Constellation by 45 credits, and should discuss which Constellation with our academic adviser. Some majors have specific required Constellations, and others recommend Constellations that will augment your major program.

    Why Constellations Are Important

    Constellations allow you to personalize your path through the general education curriculum (Generation Next).  You will have the opportunity to explore a theme in depth and to make connections between Generation Next, your major, your minor, and your personal interests. The Constellation courses are your opportunity to bring together and integrate multiple aspects of your education.

    Constellation Course Requirements

    9-12 credits

    • Students will take 4 three-credit courses drawn from a minimum of three disciplines
    • One of the 4 courses may also serve as a major program requirement
    • Students may use courses for academic minors. Programs with required minors may have courses count for both the minor and the Constellation.
    • Students may also take TWO courses in the grouping of courses called High Impact Practice and Innovation (HIPI) courses, that focus on Study abroad, Project- or problem-based learning, Community-based learning, Interdisciplinary undergraduate research, Service learning. Students do not declare the HIPI grouping, but may take two HIPI-approved courses to take the place of theme-based Constellation courses.

    Constellation Themes

    • Transformation: Children, Families, and Development Across the Lifespan — Explore how individuals and families function and develop throughout the human life cycle.
    • Living Well: Understanding Human Health and Wellness — Investigate the importance and elements of holistic personal well-being over the lifespan and across cultures. 
    • Lead the Way: Leadership and Society — Explore the big ideas, practical considerations, and needed skills that guide individuals as they lead others and create change.
    • Creativity and Culture: How People Construct and Transform Society — Consider how the work of artists, designers, innovators, cultural influencers, and other creators shapes and is shaped by historical, social, political, cultural, and media contexts. 
    • The Common Good: Thriving Together in a Diverse World — Question how and why people and groups are similar, different, and interconnected; consider the consequences of our understanding of difference and diversity; and investigate systems and practices that support peace and human flourishing. 
    • Building a Better World: Sustainability, Science and Technology — Probe the ways science and technology affect human life around the globe and consider how we might continue to discover and create in ways that are ethical and sustainable.  

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.