General Education Program

Student Letter

The General Education Program will change for all students who graduate after Winter 2013. Themes courses are being phased out and replaced by Issues courses.  Issues courses let students from different disciplines work together to solve pressing problems that society faces.  We are very excited to start offering Issues courses in the Fall of 2013.  Go to the General Education webpage at to check out the 60 second videos from Faculty teaching the Issues courses. We will offer a transition to the new plan to let you take advantage of Theme courses that are already part of your degree plan.

If you graduate in April 2013, you must complete your original Theme requirement - two courses in the same Theme.
If you plan to graduate during Spring/Summer 2013 or later, you can complete your upper division General Education requirement in one of three ways.   
1.     Complete 2 Issues courses
2.     Complete 1 Issues and 1 Themes course
3.     Complete 2 Themes courses.
In each case, you must take 2 courses from 2 different disciplines and only 1 of the courses may be at the 100/200 level. As another option you may be able complete the upper division requirement through a study abroad experience (contact Padnos International Center at (616)331-3898 for more details).
1.     You do not need to choose a new catalog year. This change to the General Education requirements affects all catalog years.
2.     All Issues courses have a Junior-standing prerequisite.
3.     All of the Themes courses will now be merged. You will be able to select any 2 Issues courses, 1 Issues + 1 Themes, or 2 Themes courses.  
4.     All of the Issues and Themes courses can be found here:
5.     MyPath will not reflect the new General Education Program until mid-August 2013.  
6.     MyPath only reflects Theme courses you have taken from one Theme.  Since all the Themes will be combined, you might have met the requirement by taking courses from two different Themes. For graduation after April 2013, please compare  the courses you have taken with the list of courses found at the link in item 4 to determine whether you have already completed your Themes requirement.  
* For assistance with changing your schedule or evaluating whether you are ready to graduate, please contact your faculty advisor or the Advising Center for your academic program.  You can find a list of the college advising centers here:
* If you have questions about maintaining your eligibility for financial aid, please consult with the Financial Aid office, located at 100 Student Services Building.
* If you have questions about the new general education program, contact the General Education Program at or (616)331-8140

Page last modified May 20, 2013