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  May 8, 2001

Proposal for General Education Requirements
At The University of Connecticut

The Curricula and Courses Committee of the University Senate was charged by the Senate last fall to study, evaluate and make recommendations regarding the Task Force Report on General Education.

The proposal published here in the Advance is the outcome of that assignment. It includes input from two public forums, and from each school and college through the deans.

It will be presented to the full University Senate on May 14 for further consideration.

"While this proposal does represent the considered opinion of the University Senate Curricula and Courses Committee, it should by no means be considered a finished document," says Gary English, professor and head of the dramatic arts department and co-chair of the Senate Curricula and Courses Committee. English adds that he expects the proposal to continue to evolve, as the full Senate considers action.

"We came up with a document that we felt best reflected the views of the entire University on general education," says English. "For those issues that continue to be controversial, the Senate is the best place to resolve them."

He says the biggest issue that has not yet been fully resolved is the writing requirement. A discussion paper on this issue by Robert Tilton, associate professor of English and a member of both the General Education Task Force and the Senate Curricula and Courses Committee, is published on page A4 of this special section of the Advance.

Senate action on the General Education Requirements is not expected until the fall. The Senate approved a resolution last semester that precludes taking action on the recommendations during the same meeting it receives them, allowing for them to be considered over a minimum of two Senate meetings. Because the last full meeting of the Senate this academic year is scheduled for May 14, no vote can be taken until the fall.

Implementation could take two to three years. Once the recommendations are final, the first step will be to establish the General Education Oversight Committee, which will set the criteria for General Education courses. Departments will submit their proposed courses to the committee for approval and a financial evaluation must be carried out to ensure sufficient resources. The new requirements must also be publicized to students before they can take effect.

"Any major change in the General Education Requirements of the University is a serious business," says English, "and should be undertaken only after a carefully considered period of study, reflection and debate. The Senate Curricula and Courses Committee now considers it appropriate to move that process to the Senate as a whole."

English urges the University community to keep an open mind and read the entire report. "We expect there to be many questions and points covered by the proposal that will be discussed further during Senate proceedings," he says.

Questions regarding the proposal may be addressed to members of the Curricula and Courses Committee. Ideas and suggestions about the proposal should be directed to Senate representatives.

University Senate Curricula & Courses Commmittee, 2000-2001
Derek Allinson, professor of plant science
Keith Barker, professor, computer science & engineering and associate vice provost for undergraduate education & instruction
Laurie Best, assistant registrar
Roger Chaffin, professor, psychology
Janice Clark, assistant dean, business
Harry Frank, professor of chemistry
Douglas Hamilton, professor, physics
Dean Hanink, professor and department head, geography

Chistopher Hattayer, undergraduate student
Peter Luh, SNET Professor of Communications & Information Technology and director, Booth Research Center
Robert Miller, professor and department head, music
Pamela Roberts, associate profesor, allied health
John Silander, professor, ecology & evolutionary biology
Robert Tilton, associate professor, English
Katharina von Hammerstein, associate professor, modern & classical languages
Altina Waller, professor and department head, history

Co-chairs: Gary English, professor and department head, dramatic arts
Jane Goldman, associate professor family studies

The Curricula and Courses Committee of the University Senate has reviewed the Task Force Report on General Education and numerous other documents and recommendations, most notably the alternative proposal from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Committee has debated the subject of General Education on a weekly basis since November, conducted two university-wide forums, invited and received feedback from each of the schools and colleges on campus, and met with several deans and their various staff, Vice-Provost Susan Steele, and Chancellor John D. Petersen.

While we find much in the Task Force Report that represents a significant contribution to the subject of General Education, we find that many of the recommendations do not enjoy the support of the university community. Likewise, the CLAS alternative proposal makes a strong case on several key points, particularly in the organization of content areas, but its recommendations are also not universally acceptable. The conflict between liberal education and general education is nowhere more evident than in the different responses that various schools and colleges have offered to the original Task Force Report, or in the differences between the Task Force recommendations and the CLAS response.

It is important to point out from the outset that we have taken the feedback we have received very seriously, and have made many substantial changes to the original Task Force Report. Many of these changes are consistent with the recommendations of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Our approach has been to identify what similarities exist that a substantial portion of the University can support, identify a method of implementation that is appropriate, and move ahead with a recommendation.

We live in a complex university setting that does not enjoy a single, clearly defined undergraduate vision. The result is a complex set of needs, sometimes defined by accreditation requirements , that differ significantly across the undergraduate landscape. These needs require as simple and uniform a solution as possible.

We therefore have opted for those portions of the Task Force Report that reduce the number of credits in General Education, while at the same time maintaining the discipline-based content divisions in group requirements as suggested by the CLAS alternative. We believe that this will continue to guarantee a broad, rigorous

intellectual experience for all university students.

Consistent with the Task Force Report and the original principles set forth by the Ad Hoc Committee on General Education in 1985, we agree with the following statement:

The purpose of general education requirements is to ensure that all University of Connecticut undergraduate students become articulate and acquire intellectual breadth and versatility, critical judgement, moral sensitivity, awareness of their era and society, consciousness of the diversity of human culture and experience, and a working understanding of the processes by which they can continue to acquire and use knowledge. It is vital to the accomplishment of the University's mission that a balance between professional and general education be established and maintained in which each is complementary to and compatible with the other.

There are several principles consistent with portions of both the Task Force Report and the CLAS proposal that the Curricula and Courses Committee believes should be incorporated within General Education. These include:

Universality. All students at the University of Connecticut should have the same General Education Requirements, irrespective of their major, school, or college. Schools and colleges may not limit students' choices within General Education or require certain choices.

Accessibility. All students at the University of Connecticut should have timely access to General Education courses and support services.

Transferability. Students must be able to transfer from one school or college to another without having to repeat General Education Requirements. A procedure should be established for the smooth transition of students who transfer into the University from other institutions.

Regular Faculty Participation. Where feasible, General Education courses should be taught by regular faculty; resources should be allocated to promote this practice.

Consistent with our approach to evaluating the Task Force Report, we are submitting our recommendation to the Senate divided into three parts:

Part One - Competencies
Part Two - Content Areas
Part Three - Oversight and Implementation

Part One - Competencies

The University of Connecticut places a high value on the ability of its undergraduates to demonstrate competency in five fundamental areas: computer technology, writing, quantitative skills, second language proficiency, and information literacy. The development of these competencies rests on establishing clear expectations for students both at entrance and upon graduation, and on constructing a framework so that our students can reach these competencies.

With the exception of information literacy, the structure of each competency involves two parts - one mandating the establishment of an entry-level expectation and the second mandating the establishmen t of a graduation expectation.

The entry-level expectations apply to all incoming students. The writing and quantitative expectations are consistent with our current entrance requirements. The expectation concerning second language proficiency is consistent with the current recommendati on that students complete three years of a single language in high school. The character of the baseline expectations in computer technology remains to be fully fleshed out, but it is clear that the majority of our students enter the University with skills in this area. Lacking a demonstration of the requisite entry-level competency, students will be given the opportunity to bring their skills to the appropriate level.

The exit-level expectations for all five competencies, on the other hand, will vary with each major.

It is unreasonable to place the institutional responsibility for developing these competencies solely on individual courses. Therefore, a plan has been developed to enrich the instructional environment through the establishment of a Learning Center, a place where students can come for asynchronous learning supported by tutors, advisors, teaching assistants, peer preceptors, and faculty, as well as through the use of technology.

Faculty members should begin undergraduate classes with a summary of the competencies and proficiencies that a student will need to bring to the subject matter. Students can avail themselves of the services within the Learning Center to bring their skill levels up to faculty expectations.

Skill Codes
The Curricula and Courses Committee has adopted the view that skill designations are inappropriate drivers of enrollment, with the result that many students take "W" or "Q" courses for no other reason than the skill designation. At the same time, however, we find the Task Force recommendations to eliminate all skill codes and to require all GER courses to include a writing component to be unduly burdensome. In addition, we view quantitative reasoning skills to be as important as written communication skills. We therefore propose that both writing and quantitative skills be embedded into the courses offered within the content areas of the GER.

Courses approved for the content areas of the GER must have a significant writing requirement or a component that deals with quantitative reasoning. Each GER course will be designated as either a "W" or a "Q" course. Each student will be required to take a minimum of two courses designated as "W" and two courses designated as "Q." The remaining two courses may be taken at the student's discretion. (Thus, a given student might take three "Ws" and three "Qs" or four of one designation and two of the other.) This allows for flexibility relative to the individual interests of the students.

Computer Technology
a. Entry Expectations
Baseline expectations will be established for entering students with regard to the use of computers. While we expect that many students will enter with skills at or above the baseline expectations, the University will have to be prepared to address the needs of those who do not. These needs may be met in a variety of ways (for example, during the First Year Experience). The GEOC will establish a sub-committee to determine in more precise terms exactly what these expectations will be.

b. Exit Expectations
Each major will establish expectations about the information technology competencies of its graduates and will build the development of these into the major curriculum. These departmental requirements must be approved at the college or school level, in the same way that new upper-division courses are approved.

a. Entry Proficiency - Freshman English
1. Placement options for first-year students at all University of Connecticut campuses:

AP Scores: Students who receive a 4 or 5 on the English Composition Advanced Placement exam or the Literature Advanced Placement exam receive four credits for freshman English, thereby fulfilling the requirement.

Honors: Honors students may choose English 250, a three-credit seminar taught by full-time faculty, to fulfill the freshman English requirement.

SAT Placement Scores: Students with a Verbal SAT (VSAT) score of 430 and below are automatically placed in English 104. There is no pre-class appeal. Student writing is evaluated after the first week of the term. In rare cases it is possible, based on that writing and with the approval of the director of freshman English, for a student to be moved into an English 110 or 111 section.

Students with VSAT scores of 440-540 have the option to enroll in either English 104 or English 110 or 111. Student writing is evaluated after the first week of the semester and all inconsistenci es are brought to the attention of the director of freshman English. At this point a student may be placed in a course more appropriate to his or her writing competency. All students who remain in English 104 must pass that course in order to move on to English 110 or 111.

Students with VSAT scores above 540 may enroll in either English 110 or 111.

2. Connecticut community college transfer students:

There is an articulation agreement with each community college that prescribes which two three-credit community college courses fulfill UConn's freshman English requirement. (Four of these six credits count toward the four-credit freshman English requirement; the other two credits come in as elective.)

3. Transfer students from other Connecticut colleges and from out-of-state:

These students will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the director of freshman English.

b. Writing in General Education
The Curricula and Courses Committee considered carefully two fundamentally different approaches regarding writing: first, the proposal for a writing requirement to be embedded in the General Education curriculum, as suggested by the Task Force Report; and second, the maintenance of separate "W" requirements, as proposed by CLAS.

We agree with the Task Force Report that skill codes are inappropriate drivers of enrollments. It has been demonstrated many times that there have never been sufficient "W" seats available to UConn students. In addition, the current "W" designation often drives students into courses when they have no interest in the content. By all accounts, it is a system that is broken and not likely to improve.

We are unconvinced, however, that the "Writing Across the Curriculum" model as proposed by the Task Force is workable, or even appropriate in all areas of study. Therefore, we propose an alternative approach to "Writing Across the Curriculum" which includes a "W" component.

In each three-credit General Education course designated as a "W" course, there will be a minimum of 12 pages of writing. While instruction in writing need not be an intrinsic element of such courses, instructors will make clear their expectations that student writing meet a standard of performance based on the type of writing done in that field. In an effort to improve the students' writing and critical thinking skills, students will be expected to make use of feedback from their instructors, either through the revising and resubmitting of papers or through the completion of a number of short writing assignments (such as lab reports). In most cases the writing will be in English; when appropriate, some percentage of this writing may be completed in another language.

Because there will in all probability continue to be General Education courses with large enrollments, such writing instruction will demand administrative backing in order to provide the necessary instructional support. In such cases, an appropriate number of teaching assistants or graders must be supplied on all University campuses for meaningful evaluation of student writing to take place. The faculty member in charge of each course will be expected to inform the assistants of the writing expectations for that course and to monitor the grading of student assignments.

The Curricula and Courses Committee has serious concerns regarding implementation of this portion of the proposal, particularly with respect to the financial considerations implied in the assignment of graduate assistants.

c. Upper-Division Writing and Exit Expectations
Each school, college, and major will mandate writing for its upper-division students. This requirement can be met in a number of ways - for example, a discipline-based course with an intensive writing component, a senior research project or capstone experience, or the development of a writing portfolio based on writing assignments completed across the major courses. In all cases, the expectation is that students will graduate with the writing and critical thinking skills appropriate to their field.

d. University Writing Center
Any comprehensive restructuring of UConn's undergraduate writing requirements must include the creation of a University Writing Center. A tenured faculty member whose specialty is writing instruction will be appointed by the English department to run this center, which will be included within the Learning Center. The Writing Center will provide tutorial support for undergraduate and graduate students in every school and college.

The director of the University Writing Center will recruit and train graduate and undergraduate tutors from across the disciplines and, working with the linguistics department, will develop an English as Second Language Center to provide writing support for students and faculty members experiencing difficulties with writing English as a second language. All instructors will be able to refer undergraduate and graduate students with serious writing problems to the University Writing Center.

Quantitative Skills
a. Entry Expectations
The present admission requirement for quantitative skills is the satisfactory completion of second-year high school algebra and first-year geometry. Students are strongly encouraged, however, to take four years of mathematics in high school. This proposal does not modify current admission requirements. All entering students who have not demonstrated entry-level proficiency in mathematics with a math SAT score of 650 or higher, or who have not earned university credits in mathematics through a High School Cooperative Program course or an appropriate score on the mathematics AP exam, will be required to take a quantitative placement test. Students who do not attain a passing grade on the quantitative placement test will be required to enroll in Mathematics 101 to satisfy entry-level expectations in mathematics proficiency.

b. Quantitative skills in General Education
In each three- to four-credit General Education course designated as a "Q" course, there will be the expectation that a major component of the work will develop quantitative reasoning skills. This is not to be confused with a mathematics requirement, strictly speaking. In an effort to improve the students' quantitative abilities, the courses will incorporate issues such as problem-solving strategies, externalization using pictures, graphs, and charts, probability, statistical analysis, mathematical modeling, deductive reasoning, and hypothesis testing. A sub-committee of faculty appointed by the General Education Oversight Committee will be asked to set specific criteria for courses with a "Q" designation.

c. Exit Proficiency
All students graduating from the University of Connecticut will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in quantitative reasoning. Majors in particular schools and colleges may require proficiency at a more advanced level.

d. Learning Center
The University will provide resources for the support of tutors, advisors, and faculty well-versed in quantitative skills, as part of the Learning Center.

Second Language
a. Entry Expectations
The present admission requirement for second-language skills is two years of study in a second language in high school or the equivalent. Students are strongly encouraged, however, to take three or more years of the same second language by the time they complete high school. This proposal does not modify current admission requirements.

b. Exit Proficiency
By the time of graduation from the University, students must have achieved language proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing consistent with three years of second-language study in high school. This may be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  • an AP score of 3 or higher, or a score of 4 or higher on the BYU Computer Adaptive Placement Examination - no additional course work is required to meet the university requirement, although some degree programs may specify more advanced work;
  • completion of the second semester of elementary language study, which may be taken for credit;
  • a minimum of one semester study abroad in a language program approved by the appropriate language department as the equivalent of second-semester skill level.
  • American students who are native speakers of languages other than English (including American Sign Language) will be evaluated by the appropriate department. International students who are native speakers of languages other than English may fulfill the second language requirement through proficiency in English.

Many majors expect students to attain a higher level of second-language proficiency than the minimum for graduation. Each school or college will determine the level of proficiency; the demonstration of proficiency should not be tied exclusively to seat-time.

All students are strongly encouraged to integrate their second language with their major or other studies, and departments are strongly encouraged to develop such opportunities for their students. Mechanisms for doing so will be developed and overseen by the student's major department, in collaboration with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Students may link their second language to their major, to elective courses, or to co-curricular interests. Such mechanisms may include, but are not limited to, the following: Linkage Through Language courses, research involving use of the second language, internships and other work experience, travel, immersion courses, or study abroad.

All students who meet a level of language proficiency beyond the minimum needed for graduation will have that level noted on their transcript. In addition, students who have successfully integrated language with other elements of their education will have this noted on their transcript.

Because a demonstration of second-language proficiency is a change from the current situation, a transition period is necessary. For the next two years, students will be required either to take the AP test before entrance or to take the BYU test at entrance, with the goal of gathering data on their proficiency. These data will measure the impact of the proposed change and will also allow the University to pass information about the results of language instruction to the high schools. Before the new requirements are permanently adopted, an assessment of their impact will be made and the units delivering language instruction will certify that they can handle the changes.

The University acknowledges that second-semester proficiency in a language is not optimal. Our long-term goal is to produce graduates who can use a second language to accomplish career or personal goals. This will require, however, that there be more attention to second-language study in elementary and secondary schools. Thus, we encourage the University to work with the appropriate organizations to improve K-12 second-language instruction. When this collaboration improves the language abilities of incoming students, third- or fourth-semester proficiency should become the standard.

Information Literacy
The Committee has agreed that information literacy implies a general understanding of and competence in three integrally related processes:

  • Information generation - an understanding of how information is created, disseminated, and organized;
  • Information access - an understanding of and a facility with the tools required to tap into knowledge communication processes;
  • Information evaluation and integration - an ability to evaluate, synthesize, and incorporate information into written, oral and media presentations.

Exit Expectations
Our graduates will be competent in information generation, information access, and information evaluation and integration. The University Libraries will create a series of interactive learning modules that will equip students with the information competencies they need to succeed at the University. These modules will be integrated into the orientation program, the First Year Experience program, and/or the first-year composition courses. They will also be available for asynchronous learning at any time in Homer Babbidge Library, the Learning Center, and at the regional campuses.

Each major program will consider the information literacy competencies required of its graduates and build those expectations into the upper-level research and writing curricula of the major. The subject-area specialist at the library will provide support.

Part Two - Content Areas
There will be three content areas:
Group One - Arts and Humanities. Six credits.
Group Two - Social Sciences. Six credits.
Group Three - Science and Technology. Six to seven credits.

The Curricula and Courses Committee agrees with the CLAS proposal that this organizing principle is advisable for the following reasons:

  • It is discipline based, and does not require the development of a substantial number of new courses.
  • It establishes a mechanism for monitoring General Education instruction within presently available academic structures.
  • Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science and Technology are recognizable content areas, similar to the current groupings.
  • It reduces the required number of GER courses from 10 to six.

All courses offered for the General Education Requirements must be approved by the General Education Oversight Committee. (See Part Three.)

The Curricula and Courses Committee believes that the General Education curriculum should entail a breadth of academic experience for all students, while at the same time providing an intellectually rigorous and challenging set of courses.

There must be a significant commitment to several principles:

1. Multiculturalism and Diversity
In this increasingly interconnected world, our students must be able to understand, appreciate, and function in cultures other than their own, whether "their own" is defined on a local, regional, national, or continental basis. The Curricula and Courses Committee seriously considered the proposal for creating a "D" skill designation to be required as part of the GER. However, we concluded that a "D" designation would separate - indeed isolate - rather than integrate the broad array of multicultural and diversity-related topics.

Our conclusion is that diversity-related issues are of sufficient importance that they must be embedded across the General Education curriculum. However, understanding the different emphases among the courses in the three content areas, the Curricula and Courses Committee recognized that issues related to diversity, multiculturalism , ethics, and social bias can be addressed in different ways in different courses. (For example, in some Group Three courses the focus may be on the social ethics of scientific inquiry and the relationship of public policy to scientific and technological practice.)

As a guideline toward the development of an awareness of and appreciation for diversity, the committee identified the following four themes: (a) recognizing that there are varieties of human experiences and perceptions; (b) developing an awareness of social power; (c) understanding that interpretive systems and social structures are cultural creations; and (d) appreciating the commonalities that cut across differences.

2. Introductory courses
All courses approved for the GER should be at an introductory level. They can include both discipline-based and interdisciplinary courses.

3. Universality
Each department or school may propose courses for any of the three content areas. All courses approved for the GER must be valid for all the schools and colleges of the University of Connecticut. This in no way inhibits the various schools and colleges, departments, or programs from setting up additional internal requirements.

4. Other operating regulations and procedures will include:

  1. All students will be required to take a minimum of two courses from each group for a minimum of six credits. Normally the six credits required as a minimum for each group will be met by two three-credit courses. However, in Group One, one-credit performance courses may be constructed. Students may use no more than three credits of such courses to meet the requirement. In addition, each one-credit performance course must have a four-page writing requirement, so that a three-credit performance sequence would maintain the 12-page writing requirement of a three-credit "W" course.
  2. As part of General Education, all students will be required to take six unencumbered elective credits. These credits cannot be used to fulfill a student's major, programmatic, or General Education content area requirements.
  3. No more than one course (with the exception of one-credit performance classes) may be taken within the same department or program.
  4. Content area courses may be counted toward the major. However, no more than one course from any department or program may be counted toward the GER.
  5. In Group Three, one of the courses must be a laboratory course of four or more credits. However, this laboratory requirement is waived for students who have completed a laboratory science course in the biological, physical chemical, or behavioral sciences.
  6. Any Articulation Agreement graduate of a GEOC-approved community college degree program would have satisfied all General Education requirements.
  7. General Education courses should be delivered by faculty members. Whenever possible, class sizes should be limited, to permit direct interactions between students and faculty.
  8. All courses offered for GER credit must be approved by the GEOC. There will be no roll-over of existing course offerings. Procedures for course approval are listed under Part Three.
  9. INTD courses may be offered for inclusion in General Education. Each INTD course must be approved by the GEOC, and must be placed in only one of the three content areas. No more than six credits with the INTD prefix may be elected by any student to meet the General Education Requirements.
  10. No school or college may set enrollment bars or priorities for their students for any GER course.
  11. Undergraduate students with bachelor's degrees from accredited institutions are exempt from the GER.
  12. Courses approved for the GER may have no prerequisites (with the possible exception of other General Education courses).

While many courses may require both quantitative reasoning and writing, and indeed the Curricula and Courses Committee applaudes the efforts of those faculty who create such courses, for the purposes of order and clarity there will be no multiple designations. This in no way should inhibit departments from requiring writing in their "Q" offerings or quantitative analysis in their "W" courses.

Part Three - Oversight & Implementation
The curriculum in degree programs remains vibrant and alive because faculty members constantly attend to it. They debate what is essential and what is optional; they assess how the character of individual courses contributes to the whole; and they consider whether courses are properly sequenced relative to one another. If a General Education curriculum is to avoid almost instantaneous ossification, it requires a similar level of faculty involvement and ongoing attention. Given the responsibilitie s of the Senate Curricula and Courses Committee, it is unreasonable to expect this body to add such oversight to their charge.

Therefore, the Committee proposes the creation of a General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC), a faculty group appointed by the Senate and representative of the schools and colleges. This committee will monitor the General Education curriculum. This will require a change in the University By-Laws.

The creation of a Senate-appointed committee recognizes the policy control of the Senate in matters relating to undergraduate education. This committee will work in association with the Office of the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education and Instruction, because this office has university-wide responsibility for the health of undergraduate education and the fiscal resources to address emerging issues. A member of the Vice-Provost's office will be a non-voting member of the committee. Financial support for the activity of the GEOC will come from the Office of the Chancellor.

The GEOC will be charged with:

  • reviewing the university-wide General Education program to ensure that its goals are being met;
  • developing policy regarding the delivery of the university-wide General Education program;
  • determining the resources necessary to deliver the new GER (the number of seats per content area per year, etc.);
  • setting the criteria for entrance and exit requirements for the competencies;
  • setting the criteria for approving course proposals for the content areas;
  • approving and monitoring the courses offered in the GER.

New courses, once they have been approved by the GEOC, will be submitted to the Senate Curricula and Courses Committee for formal approval and submission to the Senate. Existing courses, once they have been approved by the GEOC, will be submitted directly to the Senate for final approval.

The membership of the GEOC should be broadly representative across all the schools and colleges, consistent with current nominating committee practice; faculty who are central to the delivery of GER courses should be appropriately represented. There should also be undergraduate student representation. While its members will be appointed by the Senate, the process of consultation should include the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education and Instruction.

Terms of appointment to the GEOC would be two years, except in the case of student members, where one-year terms may be more appropriate. In addition, one half of the first group of GEOC members shall be appointed for one year to ensure some overlap in membership from year to year. Normally no member shall serve more than two terms of two years each, without taking at least two years off from the committee.

Although General Education courses serve a university-wide audience, at the moment no university-level administrative structure is in place to attend to them. The faculty members on the GEOC will attend to broad policy issues, but they do not have the time to ensure the implementation of their decisions. We propose the creation of a director for general education to be chosen by the Chancellor from a list of candidates approved by the Senate Nominating Committee.

The director of general education will provide leadership to the GEOC, will work with the GEOC on identifying issues and concerns, and will take care of the administrative details surrounding the general education curriculum. It is desirable to give the faculty chair of the GEOC a 50 percent-time directorship, as well as administrative support. The director will serve a three-year term, not to be renewed.

Faculty members involved in General Education have different pedagogical challenges from those facing instructors in major or graduate courses. These faculty members should be brought together on a regular basis to collaborate on issues concerning the delivery of these courses. This can be accomplished by the director of the GEOC, who will organize their regular meetings. These meetings will provide the kind of ongoing discussion necessary to keep this part of the curriculum vibrant and vital.

Beginning in fall 2001, pending approval by the University Senate, the GEOC will be formed to begin the process of implementation. The following steps should take place in order to facilitate a smooth transition to the new GER.

The GEOC shall establish a set of faculty sub-committees to determine and to review on a continuing basis the entrance and exit expectations for each of the five skill areas.

The GEOC shall establish three faculty sub-committees to establish the criteria for all courses to be approved for each of the content areas. Membership of each of these sub-committees must be representative of all the schools and colleges, and should be limited to a workable number.

Once the criteria for each of the content areas are developed and accepted by the GEOC, they must be submitted to the Senate for final approval.

Once criteria are approved by the Senate, courses may be submitted to the GEOC for approval and listing in one of the three content areas. After one year of course submissions and approvals have taken place, the GEOC will submit the entire menu to the University Senate for final approval.

Upon submission of this menu, there shall be an evaluation made by the Budget Committee of the Senate to determine:

  • if sufficient seats and resources exist to handle the undergraduate enrollment;
  • if academic resources are available to meet enrollment demands;
  • if the Learning Center has been adequately funded to support the GER.

    If these conditions are met, the new GER will be introduced to incoming freshmen the following fall semester, or as soon as deemed possible for the purposes of publication and scheduling.

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