GE CLAS Core Proposal Checklist

How to Propose GE Status for a Course: For all Proposals Except Sustainability

During the fall semester, GE CLAS Core proposals are due by September 3; proposals for the spring semester are due by January 16.

The committee is happy to accept late proposals but cannot guarantee they will be discussed in the same semester as submitted; the committee does, however, make every effort to make a decision on each proposal during the semester it is received, with any remaining proposals discussed in the next semester. The committee does not meet in the summer or over winter break and generally begins meeting in fall or spring by the third week of the semester.  

  • All proposals must be submitted by email with all related documents combined into one file and with the file title indicating the course subject acronym, the course number, and the GE area status requested (eg, MATH_XXXX_QFR).
  • Please number the pages in this combined file consecutively (the first page after the cover letter is generally numbered as page 1).
  • Proposals should be sent by email to Jennifer Eimers.

Thank you. Following the above requests and the outline below helps the committee to spend more time discussing the content of each proposal.

Proposals not approved by the committee may be revised and submitted again by the deadline. The committee is happy to review any proposal and accepts them from all CLAS departments or programs and from any UI college.

Please review GE policies, areas, and outcomes before writing the proposal:


Please write a brief cover letter of no more than three paragraphs addressed to the General Education Curriculum Committee (GECC) containing the following information:

Paragraph One

  • Indicate the GE CLAS Core area of status sought, such as Social Sciences; Values and Culture; or Diversity and Inclusion. 
  • Give the number, title, and a description of the course proposed for GE CLAS Core status, with the typical class size, semesters to be offered, and instructor information.
  • If this is an anticipated course not yet in existence, please include the proposed number, title, and description as well as the other required information.  If you will renumber or retitle the course if approved for GE status, please include that information, giving both the current and the proposed  number and title. If no changes are anticipated to the course number or title, there is no need to mention this information.

Paragraph Two

  • Briefly describe any course prerequisites, the audience level for the course, 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; if the unit has Curriculum Committee, please indicate the committee's thoughts on the proposal.
  • Please include your contact information.
  • The committee appreciates the DEO's signature and the signature of the person writing the proposal at the end of the cover letter. If these are not available, electronic signatures are fine.


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


    Explain how and when the course proposed for GE status will give students the opportunity to meet the comprehensive learning outcomes of the GE CLAS Core. Be sure to include activities and assignments from the discussion/lab sections if these are part of the course.

    TIP: Use different examples (or different aspects of those examples) from ones discussed in other parts of the proposal.

    TIP: This section of the proposal is generally no more than 3-5 paragraphs. Items may be grouped together for discussion, such as awareness of the learning process and students' writing and speaking in the class.

    The GE Comprehensive Learning Outcomes

    • Students become more aware of the learning process since GE CLAS Core 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.
    • Students have a better understanding of the ways that learning can transform the individual and motivate change within society.
    • Students practice the following specific skills, methods, and modes of inquiry. 
    1. Students use the skills, methods, and modes of inquiry central to the area of study represented by the course. Please briefly define the primary mode of inquiry as defined by the course’s area of study while discussing students' application of it..
    2. Students think critically, using analysis, deduction, inference and/or other analytical strategies to complete assignments and other course activities.
    3. 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.


    Describe how the course gives students ample opportunity to achieve the outcomes of the specific GE CLAS Core status sought, such as Natural Sciences; Quantitative or Formal Reasoning ;or Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts, for example. (All GE area outcomes are this link.)  

    TIP: Focus on each bullet point as a separate paragraph but in any order that best supports the proposal.

    TIP: The committee views each outcome as essential and as of the same importance as the others.

    TIP: The key questions asked by the committee are as follows: "Do the students have adequate opportunities to achieve the GE learning outcomes given the course content, structure, and assignments/activities/exams etc? As an instructor, how do you know if students are indeed learning what you hope they are learning? How will you know, in terms of the outcomes, below?"


    All GE courses are student-centered and interactive, using best practices for student engagement, with students actively participating in their own learning.  The course attributes are thus required to ensure a student-centered approach to teaching; instructors are encouraged to find innovative strategies for using these attributes that complement course content.

    TIP: Combine the topics listed below, such as the first three bullet points since these are closely linked.

    TIP: Plan on including sample assignments and an appropriate sample rubric for some of these items in the appendix.

    TIP: The committee needs to see course attributes on the syllabus calendar of activities and assignments as well as discussed in this section of the proposal.

    • Offers early and frequent evaluation of student work; "early" feedback generally occurs by the third week of the semester.
    • 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 exams) that promote engaged student learning.
    • Integrates the instructor’s research or related experiences within the course as feasible
    • Encourages students to learn from each other whenever possible.
    • Uses technology as a supplemental tool to support learning as feasible.
    • Discusses academic integrity at key points in the semester and helps students to understand that learning and the discovery of knowledge and creation of artistic works depend on integrity. The definition of this will vary by discipline, course, and instructor. 


    • Include the following materials in an appendix. Please label each item.

    TIP: Choose materials that correspond to the most important examples you used in the sections above.

    3A. Syllabus

    • The syllabus must include the required CLAS syllabus information; the grading scheme including course goals and a brief summary of content; course expectations; grading information about how points and percentages are related to individual assignments and/or participation and or/attendance and the final grade, with clear indications of letter grade equivalences to points or percentage; a calendar of due dates for assignments, readings, activities, exams, final exam reminder of date and time; classroom etiquette; academic misconduct policy; SDS accommodations and others. The syllabus, in other words, should conform to all CLAS requirements and should include the related policy statements required.
    • 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 are returned for revision and are not acceptable as part of a proposal.
    • The use of the curve is not required by CLAS.
    • The College encourages the use of rubrics to measure a student’s individual achievement without comparison to the work of other’s achievement or lack of it. GE courses require the use of rubrics.
    • Topics discussed each week or other relevant information included in the calendar as a weekly heading is very helpful.

     3B.  Required Sample Activities, Assignments, Quizzes,  Exams, and Rubric

    • Include in the appendices around 6-8 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. 
    • Please include the item used to make the final evaluation of the student's work in the course. GE CLAS Core courses do not require final exams but some kind of final evaluation of students’ work through an assignment, project, performance etc is required for any CLAS course.
    • Be sure to include at least 1-2 rubrics.