GE CLAS Core Proposal Checklist

All materials should be submitted electronically as ONE document to Kathryn Hall. A clear title must be on the file and should include the course number, title, and requested area status (ANTH_1234 _DI). Thank you.

Deadline
Proposals may be submitted in either the fall or spring semester, with a due date of August 21 or January 16 (i.e., the first day of the fall or spring semester). The committee makes every effort to make a decision on each proposal during the semester it is received. Any remaining proposals will be held for the following semester. 

Please confer with Kathryn Hall about the proposal and approval process as questions arise.

How to Propose GE Core Status for a Course

1. COVER LETTER 

Write a brief cover letter of no more than three paragraphs addressed to the General Education Curriculum Committee (GECC) containing the following information. Please follow these guidelines.

  • Paragraph One

Give the number, title, and a description of the course proposed for GE status, with the typical class size, semesters to be offered, and instructor information. If you will renumber or retitle the course if approved for area status, please include that information, giving both the current and the proposed new number and course title. Indicate the GE area of status sought, such as Social Sciences; Values and Culture; or Diversity and Inclusion. 

  • Paragraph Two

Briefly describe any course prerequisites, the audience level, and the purpose of the course within the existing curriculum, such as whether or not the course is required for a major, minor, or certificate. 

  • Paragraph Three

Indicate approval of the proposal by the departmental DEO and the Director of Undergraduate Studies and/or by the departmental curriculum committee

The DEO's and the person writing the proposal must sign the cover letter. Please include your contact information below the signatures.

2.  PROPOSAL SECTIONS. Submit a proposal that addresses A, B, and C, listed below.

A.   REQUIRED GE COURSE ATTRIBUTES

Describe how the course meets the required GE CLAS course attributes, listed below.  That is, GE courses are generally student-centered and interactive, with students actively participating in their own and their peers' learning. The course structure supports this learning experience through its various attributes. For example, "early" feedback generally occurs by the first three-weeks of the semester, and the committee would like to see this  on the syllabus as well as discussed in section A of the proposal. 

TIP: Arrange this section by examples of activities or assignments etc. that speak to multiple attributes at the same time. This will help the proposal to avoid repetition. Given this organization, three examples are usually adequate as long as it is clear that each of the required attributes are used.

Show how the course

  • Offers early and frequent evaluation of student work.
  • Builds from simple and/or informal assignments to more complex and/or formal ones.
  • Uses models and/or rubrics to define academic expectations.
  • Uses a wide variety of teaching and assessment strategies throughout the semester (i.e., not just tests).
  • Integrates the instructor’s research within the course when feasible.
  • Encourages students to learn from each other whenever possible.
  • Uses technology as a supplemental tool to support learning when feasible.
  • Discusses academic integrity.

B. GE COMPREHENSIVE LEARNING OUTCOMES

Explain how the course gives students multiple opportunities to meet the comprehensive learning outcomes of the GE CLAS Core, listed below. 

TIP: This section of the proposal is generally no more than five paragraphs. Items 1 and 2  are often approached with students through discussion or dialog and do not need to be assignment based. For example, are there certain times in the semester when you directly address the learning process? When and how? Does any of the course content suggest how learning transforms individuals and society and if so, does this become a point in discussion or lecture? Items in 3 (bulleted) are closely related and are generally addressed together through the discussion of a single assignment or course activity. Be sure to include activities and assignments from the discussion/lab sections if these are part of the course. 

The GE Comprehensive Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students become more aware of the learning process since GE courses discuss what students are learning, why, and how it is being learned, the various ways it relates to other knowledge presented in the course, and resources students might want to use.
  2. Students have a better understanding of the ways that learning can transform the individual and motivate change within society.
  3. Students practice the following specific skills, methods, and modes of inquiry.
  • Students use the skills, methods, and modes of inquiry central to the area of study represented by the course and by its GE status area within the GE program.
  • Students think critically, using analysis, deduction, inference and/or other analytical strategies to complete assignments and other course activities.
  • Students write and speak informally and/or formally about matters related to the course, while also using other methods of communication appropriate to the course content.

C. GE AREA OUTCOMES (such as Natural Sciences; Diversity and Inclusion; Social Sciences; Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts etc.)

Describe how the course gives students ample opportunity to achieve the outcomes of the specific GE Core area in which status is sought (such as Natural Sciences or Quantitative or Formal Reasoning).  Below, for example, are the area outcomes for Diversity and Inclusion. (All area outcomes may be found at this link).  

TIP: Focus on each bullet point in a separate paragraph. Each outcome must be addressed and should have equal space and importance given to it; the committee views each outcome as essential and as important as the others. The key questions asked by the committee are as follows: "Do the students have adequate opportunities to achieve these outcomes given the course content, structure, and assignments/activities/exams etc? As an instructor, how do you decide IF students are indeed learning what you hope they are learning? How will you know, in terms of the outcomes below?"

Diversity and Inclusion

Courses develop students’ recognition of their positions in an increasingly pluralistic world while fostering an understanding of social and cultural differences. Courses in this area are generally discussion based.

Outcomes

  • Students explore the historical and structural bases of inequality.
  • Students learn about the benefits and challenges of diversity.
  • Students reflect critically on their own social and cultural perspectives.
  • Students increase their ability to engage with people who have backgrounds or ideas different from their own.

3.  REQUIRED APPENDIX

Include the following materials in an appendix to the proposal. (Please make sure each item is clearly labeled, such as syllabus; group project; class debate; field trip.)

TIP: Choose materials for the appendix that correspond to the examples you have used in the sections above.

Syllabus

A syllabus is required.  

TIPS:

  1. It is helpful to the committee if you use the actual semester dates on the syllabus for the semester when the course will first be taught with GE status (if approved), taking into account vacation days etc. NOTE: Old syllabi from past years that do not reflect assignments discussed in the proposal are returned for revision.
  2. The syllabus should include a semester-length calendar with due dates of assignments, exams, readings, projects, presentations etc.
  3. The syllabus should show an awareness that the course discussed is a GE course in a particular area with relevant outcomes. Use the GE area outcomes!
  4. Topics discussed each week or other relevant information included in the calendar as a weekly heading is very helpful.
  5. The syllabus should conform to all CLAS requirements and should include the related policy statements required.

Activities, Assignments, Quizzes, and Exams

  1. Include in the appendix around 5 representative activities and assignments that align with and support student learning of the outcomes that have been discussed in the proposal. These do not need to be graded assignments and may include informal activities as well as formal ones. 
  2. Please include an exam or other assignment used to make a final evaluation of the student's work in the course. Note: GE CLAS Core courses do not require final exams but some kind of final evaluation of students’ work is needed, as with all CLAS courses.

As noted above, all materials must be submitted electronically as ONE document to Kathryn Hall. A clear title must be on the file and should include the course number, title, and requested area status (ANTH_1234_DI).