DRAFT: Student Credit Hours (SCH) and General Education: A proposed policy
The General Education Committee has already developed a clear and coherent set of learning outcomes, representing a fundamental shift in thinking about general education. The new program must move from taking academia itself as the central focus, to a central focus on the college graduate situated in a complex society. The program’s structure, therefore, must move from an input model based on courses primarily distributed across the academic spectrum, to providing a process and structure that focuses on students' development toward a set of common goals and valued learning outcomes. The goal is an improved educational experience for students at UW-La Crosse.
Therefore, courses should be part of the General Education program only if they are truly focused on the learning outcomes and not because they are a means of producing SCH within a department, program, or college. In light of this, and since departments will be encouraged to develop innovative cross-disciplinary courses (through learning communities, interdisciplinary courses, multidisciplinary courses, or other integrated models), the General Education Committee proposes the following:
The university will move away from SCH “quotas” within individual units, and focus on the SCH produced as an institution. Units will not be penalized for generation of fewer SCH given that faculty in various departments may be asked to teach different courses, some courses will have smaller enrollments, and the GEC program itself may require fewer credits to complete. The university will be committed to insuring adequate access to General Education courses. Furthermore, faculty positions in departments and academic programs will not be lost due to changes in the General Education program. However, faculty are likely to be asked to modify courses and/or teach different courses than those currently in the program. Faculty development support will be provided as much as is possible to allow for the change in program focus.