PRP 3612 – General Education Requirements

PRP 3612 – General Education Requirements

Issued by: Ira K. Blake, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Effective Date: Fall 2012

Previous version

Notes: For all incoming freshmen; amended by the Bloomsburg University Curriculum Committee, September 19, 1990. Approved by BUCC 2/28/96. Presented to the University Forum April 3, 1996. Revised by BUCC 11/19/97. Presented to the University Forum February 11, 1998. Revised and approved by BUCC 4/18/01. Presented to the University Forum, May 2, 2001. Approved by BUCC 11/13/02. Presented to the University Forum, November 20, 2002. Revised and approved by BUCC 12/8/10. Presented to the University Forum 2/23/2011. Revised and approved by BUCC 4/11/12.

General Education Purpose

A general education is the result of the entire university experience. It should assure broad exposure to areas of study beyond the major to foster a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the world, its possibilities, and the individual’s part in it. The General Education program, based on acquiring skills, knowledge, and cultural awareness, will help develop each student’s ability to think critically and communicate clearly.

 

Goals for General Education Student Learning Outcomes

1. Communicate effectively in writing, oral presentation, and visual argument.
2. Find, evaluate, and ethically use information using appropriate technology.
3. Apply critical analysis, quantitative reasoning, and problem solving skills.
4. Apply knowledge from the humanities and other disciplines to analyze:
the implications of diversity among human groups,
their histories,
their cultures, and,
the plurality of human experiences.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of natural sciences principles, concepts, and methods.
6. Demonstrate knowledge of social sciences principles, concepts, and methods.
7. Apply knowledge from the arts and humanities to analyze, evaluate, or participate in the artistic and literary traditions of our diverse world.
8. Demonstrate basic communication skills in a second language.
9. Participate in physical activity and evaluate the consequences of health decisions.
10. Exhibit responsible citizenship.

Description of the Program

The important features are (with full description given later):

  • The General Education Program Requirements are based on the achievement of the ten goals for general education student learning outcomes.
  • Students meet the requirements of the general education program by earning General Education Points (GEPs). These GEPs are aligned with the general education goals.
  • GEPs are earned through successful completion of approved coursework and Co-curricular Learning Experiences (CLEs). Any approved course or CLE at the university can contribute its full or partial content toward one or more goals of general education, but it is not necessary that any given course/CLE participate in the general education program.
  • Courses and CLEs that contribute to the general education program are those that successfully complete the general education approval process (which includes the General Education Council and BUCC). GEPs may be distributed appropriately over the general education goals applicable to that course/CLE.
  • Courses that carry GEPs will be listed with each applicable general education goal and its respective number of GEPs. — Example: 52.100 Chemistry and the Citizen (3 credits; GEP 5-2, 3-1)
  • The number of credits each student earns toward each general education goal will be tracked electronically and will be readily available to students and academic advisors.
  • The minimum number of General Education Points required for each goal is shown in Table 1. Students may go beyond the minimum GEPs. Assessment is an integral part of the program.
  • Credits transferred as a BU course equivalent get the GEP distribution of the BU course.

 

Table 1
General Education Points applied to the Goals for General Education Student Learning Outcomes

MINIMUM
GEPs REQUIRED
GOAL FOR GENERAL EDUCATION STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
7 (1,2) 1. Communicate effectively in writing, oral presentation, and visual argument.
2 (2) 2. Find, evaluate, and ethically use information using appropriate technology.
5 (1,2) 3. Apply critical analysis, quantitative reasoning, and problem solving skills.
5 (2) 4. Apply knowledge from the humanities and other disciplines to analyze: the implications of diversity among human groups, their histories, cultures, and the plurality of human experiences.
5 (2) 5. Demonstrate knowledge of natural sciences principles, concepts, and methods.
5 (2) 6. Demonstrate knowledge of social sciences principles, concepts, and methods.
5 (2) 7. Apply knowledge from the arts and humanities to analyze, evaluate, or participate in the artistic and literary traditions of our diverse world.
2 (2) 8. Demonstrate basic communication skills in a second language.
2 (2) 9. Participate in physical activity and evaluate the consequences of health decisions.
2 (2) 10. Exhibit responsible citizenship.
(1) Subject to Foundation Courses rule (see below).
(2) Credits for Goal 1 must come from at least three disciplines; Goals 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 must come from at least two disciplines, Goals 2, 8, 9 & 10 must come from at least one discipline. Each course code (11, 12, … or in the new system CHM, MAT, …) defines a discipline unless a department decides that courses in the department should not be considered distinct disciplines.

Assigning General Education Points in courses

Essential Elements

  • There is no formula for assigning points, only guidelines.
  • The total number of points assigned should reflect the extent the course as a whole contributes to the overall goals.
  • A department or unit can divide the course credit hours into general education points (GEPs) to satisfy the goals for general education outcomes; not all approved courses must use all course credits as GEPs.
  • The total number of GEPs that a course provides will be distributed appropriately over one or more goals for general education outcomes. The number of points assigned to a goal should reflect the extent to which the course addresses the goal. The minimum assignment towards the goal is one full point.
  • Assignment and distribution of GEPs must be appropriately supported in the course proposal.
    • » All approved courses must have student learning objectives that link directly to at least one of the ten Goals for General Education Student Learning Outcomes and an assessment that can be aligned with one of the VALUE rubric elements.

Guidelines for Assigning GEPs – There is no set formula. These factors are to be considered in aggregate to assign GEPs.

  • Instructional Components
    • » Fraction of class time spent on outcome.
        — For example, if half of the course time is spent on specific knowledge and half is spent on analysis or problem solving using the knowledge, the points should be similarly proportioned.

      » Emphasis placed on the outcome within the course.

        — A qualitative determination.
  • Student work (Direct evidence of student performance)
    • » Student work appropriate to the goal or goals may include, but is not limited to, student lab work, writing, oral presentations, journals, productions, clinical experiences, field work, exhibitions, performances, and examinations.

      » Fraction of assignments dealing with outcome.

      » Weighting of goals within evaluations of student work.

        — For example, if a course focuses on writing instruction, and evaluation involves papers and a percentage of the evaluation counts for clarity of writing, etc., an appropriate number of points should be assigned to Goal 1.

VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education developed by the American Association of Colleges and Universities.
  • Student work appropriate to the goal or goals may include, but is not limited to, student lab work, writing, oral presentations, journals, productions, clinical experiences, field work, exhibitions, performances, and examinations.
  • Fraction of assignments dealing with outcome.
  • Weighting of goals within evaluations of student work.

    — For example, if a course focuses on writing instruction, and evaluation involves papers and a percentage of the evaluation counts for clarity of writing, etc., an appropriate number of points should be assigned to Goal 1.

  • Foundation Courses

    All students are expected to complete foundational courses in English Composition and Mathematics in their first year of enrollment. Students who are not eligible for credit by examination or transfer in these courses must be scheduled into appropriate courses within their first year of study, unless the student’s course of study has been approved as a program policy change for an exception to this policy. Students who need to complete developmental prerequisites will be scheduled into an appropriate foundational course in the semester following their completion of the developmental prerequisites. Students who receive a failing grade in a foundational course shall schedule a makeup within one year following the failed attempt.

    For English Composition, the foundational course is 20.101 Foundations of College Writing.

    For Mathematics, the appropriate foundational course will be determined by the student’s major with approval of the BUCC. To receive approval as a foundational mathematics course, the course need not reside in the Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics Department. Students who are undeclared, or whose programs of study do not specify a foundational mathematics course, will be scheduled into 53.101 Math Thinking.

    Foundational courses will earn General Education points as determined by the BUCC upon the recommendation of the General Education Council.

    Co-Curricular Learning Experiences

    Definition: An approved activity/experience that can generate GEPs for a student, but does not generate credit hours toward graduation.

    • Recurring — Campus organizations can propose recurring activities that must go through the approval and assessment processes for GEPs.
    • Ad Hoc — A student, under the aegis of a faculty member or staff person, may propose a worthy activity that will generate GEPs for a student.

    For the purpose of assigning GEPs, the number of hours devoted to the CLE by the student must be equal to or greater than the number of hours of in-class time spent for a course bearing the same number of credit hours. This equivalency may then be used to assign appropriate GEPs to a CLE.

    Approval Processes for Courses and Co-Curricular Learning Experiences

    Courses and Co-Curricular Learning Experiences are approved as described in PRP 3230 Course and Program Development.

    Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

    All official syllabi for courses and proposals for co-curricular learning experiences must include clearly written and assessable student learning objectives.

      Definition of Middle States Student Learning Outcomes (BU Objectives)
      Student learning outcomes: the knowledge, skills, and competencies that students are expected to exhibit upon successful completion of a course, academic program, co-curricular program, general education requirement, or other specific set of experiences (Middle States, Standard 14, page#36).

    All courses and co-curricular learning experiences submitted for General Education consideration must have appropriate direct measurement instruments to assess Student Learning Objectives. Direct evidence of student learning is tangible, visible, self-explanatory, and compelling evidence of exactly what students have and have not learned, when compared to the Student Learning Objectives.

    • Departments and divisions must use assessments that can be aligned with one or more elements of the
      VALUE rubrics (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) developed by the Association of American College and Universities.
    • Departments and divisions have the flexibility to select elements from the different VALUE rubrics or add elements to reflect unique student learning objectives. Departments and divisions may change the content of the rubric elements to reflect their individual disciplines.
    • Direct evidence of student performance can take many forms and must be documented using consistent instruments.
    • All assessment data must be collected and reviewed by the appropriate academic departments. Data must be submitted annually to the Office of Planning and Assessment.
    • The General Education Council, in collaboration with the Director of the Office of Planning and Assessment, determines the effectiveness of the General Education program and makes recommendations.

    General Education Student Learning Outcomes - Value Rubrics (AACU) Matrix *

     

    Recommended Linkages with Proposed Goals for General Ed and AACU Rubrics

    General Education Student Learning Outcomes
    Value Rubric
    1. Communicate effectively in writing, oral presentation, and visual argument
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Reading
  • Information Literacy
  • Page 28
    Page 30
    Page 32
    Page 36
    2. Find, evaluate, and ethically use information using appropriate technology
  • Written Communication
  • Reading
  • Information Literacy
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Page 28
    Page 32
    Page 36
    Page 46
    3. Apply critical analysis, quantitative reasoning and problem solving skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Reading
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Problem Solving
  • Page 24
    Page 26
    Page 32
    Page 34
    Page 40
    4. Analyze the implications of diversity among human groups, their histories, cultures and the plurality of human experiences
  • Inquiry and Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Integrative Learning
  • Page 22
    Page 24
    Page 44
    Page 46
    Page 50
    5. Demonstrate knowledge of natural sciences principles, concepts and methods
  • Inquiry and Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Problem Solving
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Integrative Learning
  • Page 22
    Page 24
    Page 34
    Page 40
    Page 46
    Page 50
    6. Demonstrate knowledge of social sciences principles, concepts and methods
  • Inquiry and Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Problem Solving
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Integrative Learning
  • Page 22
    Page 24
    Page 34
    Page 40
    Page 46
    Page 50
    7. Analyze and evaluate artistic and literary contributions of diverse cultures across time
  • Inquiry and Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Reading
  • Problem Solving
  • Integrative Learning
  • Page 22
    Page 34
    Page 26
    Page 32
    Page 40
    Page 50
    8. Demonstrate basic communication skills in a second language
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Page 28
    Page 30
    9. Participate in physical activity and evaluate the consequences of health decisions
  • Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Foundations, Skills for Lifelong Learning
  • Page 24
    Page 38
    Page 40
    Page 46
    Page 48
    Exhibit responsible citizenship
  • Teamwork
  • Civic Engagement
  • Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Foundations, Skills for Lifelong Learning
  • Integrative Learning
  • Page 38
    Page 42
    Page 44
    Page 46
    Page 48
    Page 50
      * Rhodes, T.L. (2010). Assessing outcomes and improving achievement: Tips and tools for using rubrics. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.