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General Education Course Designation
Content Criteria

Designation Content Criteria

The application requires you to select the designation for which you are applying and address questions about the content of the course. Content criteria refer to the materials and experiences that students will be exposed to in the course.

General Education Breadth Content Criteria

 

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Fine Arts

Courses in the fine arts introduce students to ways of experiencing and understanding a variety of artistic concepts, structures, and forms by focusing on big questions, both contemporary and enduring. Such courses explore the world through diverse aesthetic viewpoints and practices and seek to foster critical and creative interpretations of artistic expression. These courses help students develop critical, creative, and interpretive skills needed to function in an increasingly diverse world and contribute to society as educated and informed citizens.


How is the course useful to student who are not majoring in the fine arts?

How does the course introduce students to a range of artistic concepts, structures, and forms?

How does the course lead students to appreciate varying aesthetic viewpoints?

How does the course lead student to develop thoughtful interpretations of artistic expression?

 

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Humanities

Courses in the humanities support students in developing a critical understanding of human thought, culture, and society through the study of big questions, both contemporary and enduring. These questions are explored through philosophical, literary, religious, historical, and language-based perspectives. These courses strive to foster analytic, interpretive, and creative abilities. Students develop intensive, interactive communication skills needed to function in the university and to contribute to the larger community as educated and informed citizens.


How is the course useful to students who are not majoring in the humanities?

How does the course use the perspectives of the humanities to lead students to understand human thought, culture, and civilization?

How does the course lead students to develop analytic, interpretive, and creative methods typical of the humanities?

How does the course lead students to develop writing and speaking competencies as valued in the humanities?

 

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Life Science

Courses in the life sciences acquaint students with fundamental concepts, theories, and methods of analysis used in the life sciences by focusing on big questions, both contemporary and enduring. They introduce students to the scientific method by illustrating the interplay between observation, theory, experiment, deduction, and application. The connection between scientific and technological progress and the moral and ethical foundations of society are studied and students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through the application of skills and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.


How is the course useful to students who are not majoring in the life sciences?

How does the course introduce students to fundamental concepts, principles, and theories of the life sciences?

How does the course introduce students to the primary methods of analysis used in the life sciences?

How does the course introduce students to the tensions between scientific progress and the ethical foundations of society?

 

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Physical Science

Courses in the physical sciences acquaint students with fundamental concepts, theories, and methods of analysis used in the physical sciences by focusing on big questions, both contemporary and enduring. They introduce students to the scientific method by illustrating the interplay between observation, theory, experiment, deduction, and application. The connection between scientific and technological progress and the moral and ethical foundations of society are studied and students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through the application of skills and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.


How is the course useful to students who are not majoring in the physical sciences?

How does the course introduce students to fundamental concepts, principles, and theories of the physical sciences?

How does the course introduce students to the primary methods of analysis used in the physical sciences?

How does the course introduce students to the tensions between scientific progress and the ethical foundations of society?

 

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Social/Behavioral Science

Courses in the social and behavioral sciences introduce students to institutions, cultures, and behaviors by focusing on big questions, both contemporary and enduring. Such courses acquaint students with fundamental concepts, theories, and methods of analysis used in the social and behavioral sciences. They enable students to think critically about the diversity of human behavior and society as well as demonstrate their knowledge through the application of skills and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.


Explain how course content will pose pertinent and thought provoking for students across disciplines, including those outside of the social and behavioral sciences.

Explain how the content of the course introduces students to institutions, cultures, and behaviors by focusing on fundamental concepts, theories, or principles used in the social and behavioral sciences.

Explain how the content of the course introduces students to the primary methods of analysis used in the social and behavioral sciences.

Baccalaureate Degree Content Criteria

 

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Experiential Learning

The Experiential Learning (EL) requirement reflects the University’s commitment to ensuring that all students have access to experiential learning opportunities in their first sixty credit hours at the institution. For the purposes of this EL requirement, experiential learning is understood as a process of deep engagement, critical reflection, and connection with broader systems. Courses that carry the EL designation provide opportunities for students to engage with the material, each other, instructors, and the broader campus or surrounding community, reflect on this engagement, and identify points of connection. All students in courses with this designation will have explicit curricular opportunities to develop their skills in connecting course material to lived experiences and will deepen connections to others.

Although many courses in the curriculum employ experiential pedagogies, the goal of this requirement is to ensure students’ access to experiential learning early and at a critical time in their enrollment and to build a foundation for their continued participation in experiential opportunities. Research demonstrates that participation in experiential learning supports persistence and completion. This requirement, together with other curricular and extra-/cocurricular experiential learning opportunities, signals to students and the surrounding community the University’s commitment to equity, access, and success for all students. Courses with this designation are not the only experiential learning that occurs at the University but are ones in which experiential learning is a primary process for achieving learning outcomes.


Describe what you and your students will do in your course in terms of engagement, reflection, and connection. Be clear about how this cycle is an ongoing/regularly occurring and central feature of your course.

How does the experiential learning process provide students with multiple opportunities to make sense of or apply your course material?

Describe how your course is designed to ensure students can participate fully and succeed, regardless of resources (including but not limited to money, time, transportation, etc.).

What steps will you take in this course to ensure students are aware of other experiential learning opportunities at the U, both curricular and extracurricular experiences?

What resources or support do you need to be most successful providing meaningful experiential opportunities for students?

 

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Diversity

The diversity requirement reflects the University’s commitment to proactively and consistently support a positive campus climate in regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Courses that fulfill this requirement provide opportunities for students to critically explore society and culture in the United States — its norms, laws, public policies, cultural practices, and discourses — in the context of the rich and varied cultural diversity that has shaped it. All students in courses fulfilling this requirement will grapple with theoretical approaches to discrimination, privilege, and social justice. Race, ethnicity, sex, gender, socioeconomic status, age, religion, ability status, or sexual orientation will be the crux of these classes.

Students will also critically reflect on their own identities and relationships with institutions that maintain and/or challenge the status quo. The goal of this requirement is to extend cross-cultural understanding; to interrogate current and historical narratives of equality, justice, progress, and freedom; to open possibilities for meaningful communication across social boundaries; and to allow students to consider ethical and social decisions from multiple perspectives. This requirement, together with other institutional practices, also signals to students that their distinctive traditions, opinions, and insights enrich our community and are valued at the University.


How does the course focus on the culture, history, or current circumstances of one or more groups of people in the U.S. who have experienced sustained systemic discrimination (e.g., institutional racism, homophobia, sexism, ageism, ableism, or classism)?

How does the course critically examine and grapple with one or more factors supporting and sustaining the systemic discrimination of groups of people in the U.S. (e.g. institutional racism, homophobia, sexism, ageism, ableism, or classism)?

How does the course incorporate disciplinary methods for analyzing and/or applying real-world strategies of moving toward a more equitable society and challenging patterns of sustained systemic discrimination?

How does the course challenge students to reflect on their own identities (including both the places where they hold privilege and the places where they experience sustained systemic discrimination) in order to apply the concepts of inclusion, equity, and social justice to their interactions?

 

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International

The international requirement provides students with a broad base of knowledge about global issues and perspectives in a comparative context by exploring big questions both contemporary and enduring. It will introduce students to international frames of reference so that they may think critically about long-standing and newly emerging international issues. These courses will help students accept and appreciate the interdependence of nations and the viewpoints of other nations and give them the ability to communicate with people across international borders.


How does the course focus on international, transnational, or comparative issues? How does the course include significant content from non-U.S. perspectives and authors?

How does the course focus on cross-border phenomena (i.e.borders conceived in the broadest sense such as language, cultural, economic, political, etc.)?

How will the course be relevant to students in the major or discipline?

 

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Upper Division Communication/Writing

The upper-division communication/writing requirement provides students with advanced instruction in speaking and writing with the understanding that these skills will continue to develop throughout the educational program while completing their degree. This requirement prepares students to communicate clearly and effectively within the standards and conventions established by a specific discipline, to incorporate feedback and criticism into multiple revisions, and to tailor written or oral communication to the needs of particular audiences. Because research and national best practices strongly suggest that enrollment in CW courses not exceed thirty students, these courses should maintain appropriately small enrollments.


How does the course provide direct instruction in how to write and/or communicate according to disciplinary standards or genre-specific conventions?

How does the course require students to use multiple forms of writing and/or communication in ways that are adapted to the particular needs of different audiences?

How does the course require students to use feedback to revise their work for at least one writing assignment?

Clearly identify how at least 50% of the final grade is dependent upon students’ ability to write and/or communicate.

 

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Disciplinary Inquiry

Courses carrying the disciplinary inquiry designation build students’ abilities to develop questions, design investigations, collect and analyze information, and report findings in a compelling fashion using methods germane to a particular discipline. As a result, students will not only become better-informed interpreters and evaluators of information, they will also learn how to apply newly acquired analytical skills and methods in ways that address practical issues, solve real-world problems, or model phenomena, according to disciplinary standards and conventions.


What methods of inquiry are covered in the course?

How do they build students’ abilities to develop questions, design investigations, collect and analyze information, and report findings in a compelling fashion?

How will the course provide experiences in solving practical problems or addressing real-world issues, or model phenomena, according to disciplinary standards and conventions?

 

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Quantitative Intensive

Courses carrying the quantitative intensive designation build upon students’ prior quantitative foundations by further developing analytical reasoning skills and deepening knowledge of quantitative methods that are specific to a particular discipline. As a result, students will not only become better-informed interpreters and evaluators of quantitative data, they will also learn how to apply newly acquired quantitative skills and methods in ways that address practical issues, solve real-world problems, or model phenomena according to disciplinary standards and conventions.


What quantitative methods are covered in the course and how do they build on quantitative skills learned in lower division quantitative coursework?

How will the course provide experiences in solving practical problems or addressing real-world issues?

How will the course be relevant to students in the major or discipline?

Last Updated: 1/8/24