General Education Resources

September 1, 2011

Dear Colleagues:

In response to last year’s discussion of the draft proposal to revise the General Education program, the GEC and FTLC are co-sponsoring a round of workshops aimed at promoting discussion of three new goals under consideration: collaboration, ethical reasoning, and problem solving.

This past summer, teams of faculty worked to develop materials about each of the proposed goals. These materials, available at, include a one-page overview of each goal, an assessment rubric for the goal, several sample assignments, and recommended readings from the relevant academic literature.

One outcome of the summer work is that, on the recommendation of the faculty working on the goal, the GEC has removed "civic responsibility" from the list of new skills goals under consideration.

The goal may be recast as a knowledge goal, perhaps integrated into a revised upper-level component replacing Themes, but it will not be proposed as a skills goal for any Foundations or Cultures courses.

You should attend the September FTLC workshops for three reasons.

First, you can help shape our common understanding of each goal. The materials we have developed are draft materials, and we look forward to your input. Second, the GEC will follow up this round of workshops with another survey of each academic unit, asking which of these goals would be suitable for the unit’s current GE courses. The better you understand the goals, the better you can respond to our survey and help us settle on a final proposal. And third, we want all faculty to have a solid understanding of the goals in order to evaluate the final proposal, which we plan to submit to ECS/UAS by Thanksgiving.

Here is the schedule of workshops:

Tue 9/13 4:00-4:50 (Allendale)-Collaboration

Wed 9/14 11:00-11:50 (Allendale)-Problem Solving

Thu 9/15 11:00-11:50 (Grand Rapids)-Ethical Reasoning

Fri 9/23 11:00-11:50 (Grand Rapids)-Collaboration

Tue 9/27 11:00-11:50 (Allendale)-Ethical Reasoning

Fri 9/30 1:00-2:00 (Grand Rapids)-Problem Solving

See the GE website for specific buildings and rooms. Thank you for your continuing interest and participation in the revision process. We look forward to seeing you at these FTLC workshops.



Roger Gilles, Chair
General Education Committee

Page last modified September 2, 2011