General Education Resources

Emailed to Dean's and unit head's on Friday, February 24, 2012


Dear unit heads:

The proposed revision to General Education passed through UAS on January 27. The proposal adds four skills goals to the GE program and replaces the Themes component of the program with a new upper-level component called Issues.

In Fall 2012, the GEC will call on units offering Foundations and Cultures courses to revise their Course Assessment Plans (CAPs) to reflect the redistribution of new and existing GE skills goals for the purposes of assessment. By Fall 2013, all Foundations and Cultures courses will be responsible for following the new assessment plan.

The Issues courses will require a slower and more deliberate transition. Current students, as well as first-year students entering in Fall 2012 and Fall 2013, will continue to take Theme courses and then gradually have the option to take Issues courses in place of Themes. All first-year and transfer students entering in Fall 2014 will be required to satisfy the Issues requirement. The first-year students of 2014 will become juniors in Fall 2016, so that will be the first year the new program needs to be at full capacity.

Our intention is to begin offering Issues courses in Fall 2013 and build up the offerings each year. The purpose of this message, and of the attached documents, is to invite you and your faculty to consider developing one or more Issues courses this Spring/Summer for possible offering in the 2013-14 academic year.

Attached are two documents. First is an overview of the Issues requirement, including the content goals and skills goals associated with the courses. Please share this document with your faculty and discuss the possibility of developing one or more courses this summer. You may, of course, hold off and propose courses later. If you decide to develop courses now, keep these general guidelines in mind:

  •   Issues courses must be 300- or 400-level courses
  •   Issues courses must be generally open to all students—that is, while prerequisites are permitted, they should be limited and reasonable
  •   All courses—new courses, existing Theme courses, and other existing courses—must go through the curricular proposal process in order to become GE Issues courses

The second document is a brief spreadsheet that will help us select faculty for the Spring/Summer 2012 course-development process, which will offer individual faculty $1000 to participate in a four-stage process culminating in a finished proposal submitted for consideration by August 5, 2012. CCC, GEC, and UCC will begin to review these proposals after unit approval in an expedited process to ensure timely consideration. If you have faculty who would like to participate in the summer course-development process, please return the completed spreadsheet to by Monday, April 2, 2012. Funds are limited. The GEC will go through the spreadsheets in early April and contact faculty before finals week.

Thank you for your attention to this important implementation period. If you or your faculty have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to have a GEC representative or two visit your unit to discuss of any of these details, please send an email to

Roger Gilles, Chair
General Education Committee

Page last modified February 24, 2012