General Education revision (updated 5-15-19)

NEW General Education Program Proposal (DRAFT 04112019)

The first draft of the new 42-credit General Education program is available for feedback.


We have taken our current program and modified it to include the following:
1. The FYS100 class was added (approved by Faculty Senate to be required of all New Students and Transfer Students with less than 30 credits starting in Fall 2020).
2. Course groupings (Ethical Perspectives and Environmental Perspectives) were added that focus on ethical decision making and global stewardship (language that was included in the Mission and Goals statement approved by Faculty Senate in Fall 2018).
3. An internationalization emphasis was included via a category called "Integrative Global Perspectives" due to the growing emphasis for Internationalization on campus. 

4. The remaining categories/groups are very similar to how our current GE program is structured. 

In response to feedback from campus over the past year, we are also trying to carefully define the various groups to provide guidance to faculty and GEC when determining the "best fit" for courses. We want these definitions to be broad enough to allow courses to be included from various departments, but not so broad that they lose meaning. SLOs will be added to this proposal over the summer, and the SLOs will also help define the "spirit" of each course grouping.


Feedback is requested primarily in three areas (although any feedback is welcome):
1. Are there items in the Mission and Goals that seem to be missing?
2. Are the definitions too narrow so as to preclude more than one or two departments from offering courses that are appropriate?
3. Is there a natural "home" for a course that you now offer and want to continue offering, with the understanding that you may need to modify the content slightly to fit the new model?

Feedback can be provided directly to us via the web site or email or an in-person conversation. Feedback can also be funneled through Chairs as we will be attending the end-of-semester chairs meetings that are coming up (CLS-April 22; CSH- May 3; CBA- May 8).

The link to the proposal can be found here. Thanks for your continued interest as we try to remodel the program to make it better for our students!

New General Education Mission Statement/Program Goals

After a summer of work by the GE Working Group, and three open fora and two rounds of Qualtrics surveys to elicit feedback, the Faculty Senate approved the new General Education Mission Statement and Program Goals on October 4, 2018. Thank you all for your help and feedback in this process so far!

The next step for the working group is to continue working with campus to develop assessable program outcomes and a structure for the GE coursework. Please look for requests for help on this part of the project in 2019.

General Education Working Group (GEWG)

Current* Membership expanding section
  • Colin Belby** (Geography & Earth Science; recent GEC chair)
  • Sam Cocks** (Philosophy; recent GEC member)
  • Natalie Eschenbaum (English; SEC, Senate Chair)
  • Anne Galbraith (Biology; recent Senate Chair, current GEC member)
  • Tav Hawkins** (Physics; SEC)
  • Shelley Hay** (Global Cultures & Languages)
  • Adam Hoffer (Economics)***
  • Heather Hulett (Mathematics & Statistics)
  • Kenneth Shonk (History; SoE affiliation)  

Previous members: Lauren Mason-student, Fa17; Aaron Bhatoya-student, Sp17; John Nunley- Economics, Fa17; Laurie Miller- Economics, Sp18; Nadia Carmosini-Chemistry and Biochemistry, Sp18

*Current membership as of June 2018

**Members who attended the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Institute on General Education and Assessment in Chicago (Sp17).

***Joined January 2019

Advisory Groups to the GEWG expanding section

The development of three Advisory Groups to the GE Working Group was approved by Faculty Senate in '18-'19: an Assessment Advisory Board, a Logistics Advisory Group, and a Student Advisory Group. (Student Association also approved the development of the Student Advisory Group). 

The Assessment Advisory Board has convened to begin discussion of assessment strategies and development of SLOs for the draft proposed model, with the knowledge that the proposed model is a draft, and therefore still quite fluid. Work will continue over Summer 2019, both independently and at times together with the GE Working Group. The membership of the AAB includes:

  • Patrick Barlow (IRAP)
  • Natalie Solverson (IRAP)
  • Megan Morey (GEAC)
  • Cordial Gillette (GEAC)
  • Chad Vidden (GEC)
  • Anup Menon Nandialath (GEC)
  • Bryan Kopp (FYS)
  • Darci Thoune (FYE)
  • Alternate: Karen Hart (GEAC)

The other two groups will not convene until Fall 2019. Membership will be posted at that time. 

GEWG '18-'19 Timeline for Phase II ("the categories")

April 2019



Bring GE program draft structure to campus- get feedback from GEC, Deans, Department Chairs, web site

Use feedback to continue working on structure while Assessment Advisory Board works closely with GE Working Group to develop SLOs

Seek campus feedback on structure/SLOs via web site, open sessions (Dates and times TBD)

October 2019



Modify structure and SLOs as needed

Get feedback from campus

Repeat as needed

Bring final structure/SLOs to Faculty Senate for approval


Informational Readings

  1. Gaston, P. L., & Gaff, J. G. (2009). Revising General Education - and Avoiding the Potholes. Association of American Colleges and Universities.
  2. Hanstedt, P. (2012). General Education Essentials: A Guide for College Faculty. John Wiley & Sons. In particular the first two chapters: Structuring General Education and Some Examples of Integrative Curricular Models.
  3. Rising to the LEAP Challenge 
  4. PowerPoint AAC&U High-Impact Practices that focuses on general education.
  5. Resources made available from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).
  6. General Education AAC&U Action Team Overview, Summary and Notes.
  7. GEC Report on Size and Purpose of UWL General Education Program, Spring 2017