Gen Ed Course Review and Reapproval Process

To ensure that Gen Ed courses are well aligned with the program’s mission and goals, the March 2016 faculty legislation establishing new Gen Ed requirements mandated that the Standing Committee on General Education review courses and consider them for reapproval at regular intervals.  

Review Criteria  

In its reviews, the Standing Committee on General Education focuses on fit with the program’s mission and goals, as well as rigor in grading and workload. The committee specifically considers how well the following are accomplished: 

  • Courses address urgent problems or enduring questions
  • Courses are geared towards non-specialists
  • Courses are not introductions to a scholarly discipline or draw on multiple disciplines
  • Courses connect the classroom with the world and student lives beyond
  • Courses are rigorous (i.e. have sufficient workload, reasonable grade distribution, and synthetically and cumulatively assess student work)
  • Instructors interact meaningfully with teaching staff and students and promote interaction among students
  • Courses meet category goals or fit comfortably within the category 

In its reviews, the committee considers the following materials:

  • Faculty & TF reflections
  • Syllabus
  • Assignment prompts
  • Course evaluations
  • Grade distribution
  • Enrollment
  • Committee feedback to date

Review Process 

The committee has determined that all courses should be reviewed after their first offering in the new program and all courses should be reviewed for continued inclusion in the program after three additional offerings, if there are no significant concerns raised during the initial review.  

When courses are considered for continued inclusion in the program, the committee will make one of the following decisions:

  • The course is approved for 5 more offerings or 6 years (whichever comes first) if the committee does not have substantive concerns. Faculty will be asked to provide an interim update after 2 more offerings, describing any changes they have made to the course over these two offerings.
  • The course is approved for only 1 more offering if the committee has substantive concerns. The course will then be reviewed again for continued inclusion in the program. At that point, faculty will be expected to have made significant changes to the course in response to committee feedback. The committee will then either approve the course for 5 more offerings or 6 years, or not approve it for continued inclusion in the program.
  • The course is not approved for continued inclusion in the program if the committee has acute concerns.  

The committee may elect to review a course more frequently if the prior review or offering raised significant concerns, or if the course has more than 200 students, earns low Q scores or has a change in instructors.  

The committee views the review process as a way to improve the courses and endeavors to give as much constructive feedback as it can to faculty.