Revision of the General Education Curriculum

Revision of the General Education Curriculum

The current General Education (GE) curriculum is thirty years old, and those who created it are no longer here. An undergraduate education is comprised of general, major, and elective courses. Over the years, the GE has grown while electives have fallen. In November 2016, the Council on Academic Affairs (CAA) initiated a review of the GE curriculum at the request of the University Level Advisory Committee for General Education (ULAC) with the goal of developing a modern, common General Education program for all undergraduate majors.

The GE Review Coordinating Committee conducted over seventy listening sessions, and visited with over 800 faculty, staff, and students for input during spring 2017. During the summer of 2017, the committee generated an initial model that was circulated widely in autumn 2018 for comment. In March 2018, a Final Report was released.

The Result

The end result is a cohesive, integrated program with clear learning objects that is integrated throughout a student's degree. Guiding principles include disciplinary breadth and the implementation of thematic components as a way of integrating higher level learning. The proposed structure has three components: foundations, themes, and bookends. For the themes component, all students will take courses from the Citizenship theme, and then choose one of the following additional themes: Sustainability, Transformative Ideas, Health and Wellness, and Places and Spaces. Many current GE courses may be modified to fit a theme, and themes also offer the opportunity to develop new courses.

The proposal produced by the committee highlights the attributes of a global, educated citizen, drawing attention to both the University motto (“Disciplina in civitatem“) and our land-grant mission. The proposal is currently under review by the undergraduate-serving colleges within the University. Once each college has weighed in on the proposal and modifications have been made, a final plan will advance to CAA and then to the University Senate. The plan and details about the process are available on the OAA website,