General Education Procedures (recertification lists/dates)
The new General Education program was passed by the full faculty in the Spring of 2013. After asking for approval by individual departments about the placement of their certified courses, existing General Education courses were grandfathered into the new program. Certification of courses in the 5-year rotation cycle, according to the new outcomes, began in Fall 2013. All courses in the rotation cycle will now be certified according to the new procedures and new outcomes.
New courses that have passed through the Curriculum Committee and courses previously on probation will be certified according to the new outcomes.
UTC departments and faculty members may propose new or existing courses for inclusion in the general education curriculum at any time. If received and approved by the deadline (usually January 15) for catalog copy, these courses will be listed as such in the undergraduate catalog and on the UTC web site. Course proposals and approvals received after the deadline will be processed for inclusion in the next undergraduate catalog.
The General Education Committee cannot certify a new course until it has been approved by the Curriculum Committee. However, please submit your materials to the Curriculum Committee and the General Education Committee simultaneously.
If you would like to certify a new or existing course that is not on the scheduled rotation, please contact the General Education Chair to assure you are put on the certification calendar for this year. New course proposals are due to the University Curriculum Committee by Nov. 1. Please submit General Education materials simultaneously.
Current Courses Scheduled for Recertification
If a course is on the current rotation list, departments will be contacted by the General Education chair in early September and asked to provide all relevant materials and approvals by October 15.
- Departments need to examine and discuss the outcomes and forms for the General Education Category(ies) to which their course may be suited. Once the department discusses each outcome and how the course allows students to demonstrate competence, complete the online form for each category to be requested and upload any relevant documents. The committee has access to past syllabi so departments will only need to upload sample assignments, tests, homework, etc. to provide evidence for the discussion of each outcome.
- Forms and materials need to be uploaded into the Sharepoint system in time for both the department head and the dean to approve the application online before October 15. The committee will not consider or approve materials that have not been approved. (Directions for submitting through Sharepoint)
- A member of the General Education Committee will be charged with reviewing all of the documentation for the course and present the material to the committee. This committee member may contact the department with questions prior to the committee presentation. A second reader will review the materials if the first reader does not recommend approval. Additionally, the department can send a representative to the General Education Committee meeting to answer any questions or concerns the committee may have about the course.
- The General Education Committee will vote on the proposal and the chair will inform the department, faculty member and the Registrar’s Office of the decision (certified, denied, or returned for revision).
- Returned for Revision: During a certification cycle, a course proposal may be returned for revision or the committee may ask for additional materials. The materials must be provided in order for a vote on the course.
- Certification: The course is certified for 5 years until the next cycle.
- Denied/decertified: The course is no longer considered a part of the General Education Curriculum. However, the course will still be part of the program for a full year after being denied to accommodate students and departments. The department can revise the course and apply for certification the following year. Note: if denied, the course needs to consult the Walker Center for Teaching & Learning and the General Education chair as they revise.
- Probation: The course is still part of the General Education Curriculum, but will be reviewed the following year (or in a number of years fewer than five, as determined by the committee).
Recommendations for Certification
- Appoint a committee to work on the certification proposal. This allows for multiple readers and ensures that the certification process is a departmental process rather than the burden of one faculty member. One purpose of the certification rotation is for departments to regularly reevaluate their courses and pedagogy.
- Examine the sample proposals that have been approved by the committee.
- Work through the proposal form outside of the Sharepoint system before completing the online web form. You can save the form before submission, but it might be difficult to share the form materials as it is in progress.
- Remember that you are making an argument as to how your courses meet the General Education outcomes. As such, you need to demonstrate through the assignments how the class (and the students) meet the outcomes by pointing directly to passages, questions, or essays that do provide instructors with this evidence. The more specific and direct you are, the faster the committee can assess the proposal. Proposals without clear arguments about each outcome and specific examples are usually returned for revision.
Topics courses will be reviewed for recertification every three years rather than every five. Departments with multiple topics courses are required to have a department member on the General Education Committee. As the Honor’s Program consists, primarily, of topics courses, a member of the General Education Committee (preferably the Chair) will sit on the Honor’s College Councils.