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General Studies renovation finalized

Newly developed learning outcomes are built for student success.

By Keah Schuenemann

May 1, 2019

Venn Diagram of learning experience and growthThe Faculty Senate General Studies and Curriculum committees have approved the first phase of recommendations proposed by the General Studies Renovation Task Force. The renovated General Studies program will help students better understand why they are taking the courses and help full- and part-time faculty understand why they are teaching them. 

Among the most significant changes, Social and Behavioral Science I and II categories will be combined in the 2020 catalog. Students will pick two courses from a combined list instead of one of each. Faculty, students and advisors requested the change because of previous confusion around the distinction between the two categories. The rest of the categories will remain the same.

Additional updates were made to the General Studies mission statement, and descriptions were developed for categories. Categories also now have revised Student Learning Outcomes for new and existing courses, as General Studies Program Assessment will be completed under the new SLOs. All existing courses will be grandparented in to the new SLOs, and the course-proposal process has been revised.

Courses that have not undergone General Studies designation in seven or more years are up for redesignation in the fall. If nonsubstantive changes are made, the redesignation form in Curriculog will bypass the college curriculum committees and go straight from departments to the Faculty Senate General Studies Committee. 

The new Student Learning Outcomes are built for student success. Faculty are encouraged to watch for collaboration opportunities and workshops that will encourage brainstorming around how they might achieve the new outcomes in their courses. Specific questions can directed to Keah Schuenemann, Ph.D., associate professor of meteorology and natural- and physical-science lead for the Task Force.

Task Force members would like to thank all faculty and staff who participated in discussions and forums around the General Studies renovation. More details on the process are available at

Topics: Academics

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