General Education

GE/2021 Summary of Changes

EM 19-021, "General Education Program, Revision of EM 18-005," was approved by the Academic Senate on May 2, 2019, and by President Gayle E. Hutchinson on July 30, 2019. Please note, especially, that

"During [the implementation] process, no courses that currently have GE status, including 'experimental courses,' will forfeit their status, and courses with current GE status can change their title and/or Pathway focus without forfeiting GE status.  Specifically, all courses with lower-division Subject Area or Subarea GE status and all courses in upper-division GE Pathways on the date when this EM is signed will maintain their status unless a department chooses to change the status of the course." (from EM 19-021)

The main changes, which will take effect in Fall 2021, are summarized below: 

Upper-Division Pathways

The term "Pathways," which will continue to signify courses connected in an intellectually cohesive course of study that explores an issue or subject from multidisciplinary perspectives, will relate only to courses at the upper-division: students must choose one upper-division Pathway for the completion of upper-division courses in GE Areas B, C, and D.

Upper-division Pathways must include all GE Program Learning Outcomes and Values, and should include as many Global Cultures (GC), US Diversity (USD), and Writing (W) courses as possible.

GE Minors

GE Minors will have the same name as the Upper-Division Pathway.  To receive a GE Minor, students will take nine units of designated courses in an upper-division Pathway, and an additional nine units of designated lower-division courses.

GE Minors shall ensure that students completing the minor will satisfy the USD and GC requirements, as well as at least one upper-division W course.

Lower-Division Courses

Lower-division courses will no longer be in "Pathways," but some lower-division courses will be in GE Minors.  Some lower-division courses in Areas A, B, C, D, or E could be designated courses in GE Minors, but others will not. This change also removes the distinction between "Foundations" (A and B) and other lower-division GE courses. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Formerly "Student Learning Outcomes," the "Program Learning Outcomes" for GE will reduce in number from ten to five (Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning, and Information Literacy). The remaining Outcomes are reflected in newly defined GE Values (Intellectual Curiosity, Civic Engagement, Sustainability, Diversity, Creativity, and Global Engagement).

All GE courses will clearly identify one or more of the GE Values and at least one GE Program Learning Outcome.  Upper-division Pathways must include all GE Program Learning Outcomes and Values.

CAB (Curriculum Advisory Board)

The committee membership will increase to include an additional student representative and adding ex officio, non-voting, members: one from Academic Advising Programs, one from Academic Publications and Scheduling Services, one from Curriculum Services, one from First-Year Experience, one from Graduation Advising (Registrar), and one Provost designee. 

The committee will assess one GE Program Learning Outcome per year, will review all courses every five years for EO 1100 subject area compliance, and will review upper-division Pathway and GE Minor courses every five years for thematic coherence. 

Once a year, in consultation with Academic Advising, the Enrollment Management Advisory Committee, and college deans, CAB may recommend a call for new GE course proposals in one or more areas based on programmatic needs and historical and projected student demand data.

Additional Changes

  • A stated commitment to equity
  • Foreign language courses and sign language courses continue to fulfill the C2 requirement but will not count towards every GE Minor
  • Foreign language courses will fulfill GC and sign language courses will fulfill USD
  • No courses with GE status will forfeit their status during the implementation period