Review of General Education Courses:
Course Outlines (syllabi)
- Course outlines (syllabi) for courses that meet General Education requirements shall include the following:
- a statement of the specific General Education requirement(s) that the course meets.
Departments are encouraged to add a statement that clarifies for students that courses offered by the department of the student's major may NOT be used to fulfill the requirements in categories III or IV, with the exception of categories offering choices from only one department.
For example, SOCI 351: "This course fulfills GE category III.C.2, Implications and Explorations and Participatory Experience in the Social Sciences, except for Sociology majors."
- an inclusion of the learning goals for the General Education category or categories in which the course carries credit; and
Courses under recertification review will be encouraged to include on the course syllabi linkage to learning goals as detailed on the nine questions so students will better understand how the course satisfies the General Education learning goals.
- an indication of the way in which the General Education writing requirement shall be met, assessed, and reflected in the final course grade.
Course syllabi must specifically and in detail address paragraph four of 411.201, which states: “…general education courses will include student writing assignments appropriate to the course. Writing assignments in General Education courses should involve the organization and expression of complex data or ideas and careful and timely evaluations of writing so that deficiencies are identified and suggestions for improvement and/or for means of remediation are offered. Assessment of student’s writing competence shall be used in determining the final course grade.” (p.1).
The syllabus should reflect the opportunity to provide students with timely feedback and evaluation of their writing skills.
- Courses will be approved for only one GE category, with the exception of courses approved for category V (Cultural Diversity).
- Courses submitted in the Implications and Explorations categories shall have as a prerequisite the completion of the relevant introduction GE category. Changes in course prerequisites will require filing a Course Change Form with the Office of Academic Programs.
- GE courses cannot be used on graduate study plans. Since UPS 411.100 defines 400-level courses as appropriate for graduate study plans, the GE committee will require that any 400-level course now in GE convert to the 300-level course. This will require filing a Course Change Form in the Office of Academic Programs.
- Courses designed for and primarily serving a department’s major normally will not be approved for GE. Enrollment data on the actual number of majors and non-majors taking the course is helpful in gauging the audience of the course.
Learning Goals and Assessment Strategies
In addition to listing the learning goals for the category of GE, the syllabi must reflect how they will be assessed.
- Do not simply paraphrase the learning goals in UPS 411.201 for a particular GE category. Instead, link the learning outcomes to the specific course under review.
- Courses approved for Cultural Diversity must address all of the learning goals for this category.
- Cultural Diversity courses are approved in three GE categories: Implications and Explorations in the Arts and Humanities, Implications and Explorations in the Social Sciences, and Lifelong Learning.
- Courses that are awarded the star (*) for Cultural Diversity shall have cultural diversity as a primary focus.
- Unlike many other areas of GE, the learning goals for this category stipulate that a course must meet all of the stated learning goals. Courses proposed for Cultural Diversity requirement must link each individual learning goal in GE category V to their specific course. Do not simply paraphrase the learning goals.
- The learning goals for Cultural Diversity are
- To understand that culture is socially constructed and fundamental to social interaction.
- To appreciate the complex relationships that gender, ethnicity and class bring to a discussion of society and culture.
- To understand that because we live in an inter-connected world, we need to understand the diversity and relationships within and among cultures.
- To recognize and evaluate how one’s cultural history affects one’s sense of self and relationship to others.
- Working interpretation of cultural diversity learning goals:
Goals 1 and 2: Cultural diversity courses should contribute to the enhanced appreciation of the importance of factors of culture, gender, ethnicity and class.
Goal 3: Cultural diversity courses should enhance knowledge of comparison and contrasts between specific cultures and enhance knowledge of specific features of cultural (gender, ethnicity, and class) groups.
Goal 4: Cultural diversity should enhance appreciation of how one’s sense of self and relationship to others has been affected by or reflected in the contributions of various ethnic and gender groups to United State history, political institutions, and values, within contexts of cultural accommodation and resistance.
Review by the General Education Committee
New Course Proposals (approved May 23, 2003)
- Review of new course proposals by the GE Committee shall occur in two phases. In phase one, all new course proposals will be distributed to members of the GE Committee at least ten working days prior to placement on the agenda as a discussion item. During the discussion of the course, committee members will have an opportunity to review and ask questions which may require further consultation. Phase two commences when such course is placed on the agenda as an action item."
General Education Committee Communication (approved September 26, 2003)
- All written communication pertaining to actions or statements of policy taken by the General Education Committee shall be reviewed by that body prior to further distribution.
Policy Statement Regarding the Implementation Timeline for Newly Approved GE Courses (approved October 10, 2003)
- Students may not use a course to satisfy a GE requirement until the course has been approved by the GE Committee and published in the class schedule. Changes to the approved list of General Education courses (additions, deletions, changes in category) are effective as of the term the change appears in the fall, spring or summer schedule of classes. In most cases, this means that a course approved for GE in the fall will not appear as an approved GE course until the following summer or fall schedule is published. Courses approved for GE in the spring usually appear as an approved GE course for the first time in the following spring schedule. Exceptions can be handled by memo from the Office of Academic Programs or by individual students utilizing the petition process.