Proposing a Course

Choose Category and Identify Learning Outcomes

Review the General Education Program

Choose a General Education Category

  • Determine the level of your proposed course: Foundations (100-200); Cultures (100-400); or Issues (300-400).
  • Choose a General Education category. 

Identify Knowledge Outcomes and Skills Outcomes

Requirements to Remember

  • Double Dipping. GE courses can double dip (exist in two GE categories), but only in the following combinations: Foundations + Cultures OR Issues + Cultures. GE courses may NOT double-dip as Foundations + Issues OR in 2 Foundations courses (e.g., Philosophy and Literature AND Historical Analysis). 
  • Prerequisites. Issues courses must have junior standing. Other allowable prerequisites include the completion of a particular Foundations course, though most students complete all Foundation courses prior to beginning Issues courses. GE courses may not be restricted to particular majors or minors. 
  • Minimum Credits. All Foundations courses must be 3 or more credits. If courses with fewer credits are bundled together to fulfill a Foundation requirement, all courses must teach the same skills associated with the category. All Cultures and Issues courses must be 3 or more credits.

Skills Outcomes by Category

Foundations (2 Skills)

Skill 1 (choose one)

Skill 2 (choose one)

Skill 3

Arts

Critical Thinking
Written Communication

Collaboration
Oral Communication

 

Historical Analysis

Written Communication
Critical Thinking
Oral Communication

Collaboration
Problem Solving

 

Life Sciences

Information Literacy
Quantitative Literacy

Collaboration
Problem Solving

 

Mathematical Sciences

Critical Thinking 
Quantitative Literacy

Collaboration
Problem Solving

 

Philosophy and Literature

Written Communication
Information Literacy

Oral Communication 
Ethical Reasoning

 

Physical Sciences

Written Communication 
Quantitative Literacy

Oral Communication
Problem Solving

 

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Critical Thinking
Quantitative Literacy
Information Literacy

Problem Solving
Ethical Reasoning
Oral Communication

 

Writing

Written Communication

Information Literacy

 

Cultures (2 Skills)

Skill 1 (choose one)

Skill 2 (choose one)

 

U.S. Diversity

Written Communication 
Information Literacy

Oral Communication
Ethical Reasoning

 

Global Perspectives

Critical Thinking 
Information Literacy

Collaboration 
Oral Communication

 

Issues (3 Skills)

Skill 1 

Skill 2 

Skill 3 

 

Collaboration

Problem Solving

Integration

Submit Course via SAIL

Detailed Guide to SAIL (PDF)

Setting up a New Course 

  • Log in to SAIL with your GVSU username and password.
  • Select New Proposal from the top navigation bar. Then select New Course (or Change Course) from the Start New Proposal menu.
  • Complete the new course information and submit. 
  • Select the blue Edit button to add more details about the new course (full title, transcript copy, prefix number, etc.).
  • Be sure to select General Education checkbox under Course is proposed as.
  • Complete the New Course form and select submit. You should now see the General Education form.

Completing the General Education and Syllabus of Record Forms

  • Complete the General Education form, selecting the appropriate category and SLOs (Skills and Knowledge Outcomes). 
  • Complete the Syllabus of Record form. 

Course Review Process

  • To appear in the General Education Catalog for the following fall, courses must be through the entire curriculum process by February 1.  Most reviewing bodies ask for amendments. The review process is as follows: 
    • Faculty Member
    • Unit Head
    • Library/IT (If online/hybrid, then Online Education Council) 
    • College Curriculum Committee 
    • Dean 
    • General Education Committee 
    • University Curriculum Committee 
    • Provost 

Special Topics Proposals

Special Topics courses are designed to let you “test drive” a course before you propose it for a permanent course number in SAIL. These courses can be numbered 180, 280, 380, or 480 and be Foundations, Cultures, or Issues courses. Courses may also double dip (exist in two GE categories), but only in the following combinations: Foundations + Cultures OR Issues + Cultures. GE courses may NOT double-dip as Foundations + Issues OR in 2 Foundations courses.  Please fill out the form below and email it to [email protected]

Tips for a Better Course Proposal

  • Write for a non-specialized audience. Most members of the above reviewing bodies are not in your discipline. Please explain discipline-specific ideas and terminology in clear, accessible language. Use examples to clarify.
  • Distinguish between teaching and assessingTeaching is something you do or initiate (e.g., facilitating a discussion, explaining the rubric, teaching students how to collaborate). Assessing is measuring what students have learned (e.g., exam, presentation, paper).
  • Plan to teach the Skill SLOs directly. It is not enough to have students give an oral presentation, write a paper, do problem solving, or work in a group. You have to teach them how to do it. Plan to review the appropriate GenEd Skill SLOs rubric in class and to show or discuss successful and unsuccessful examples. 
  • Plan assessments carefully. You must use the GenEd Skill SLO rubric to assess students individually. Grades are not an acceptable means of assessment for this process. Remember to assess all of the objectives for each Skill SLO.


Page last modified January 23, 2024