Instructional Policies

Level of courses and numbering
Approval in one GE Area Only
Comparability and consistency of offerings
Frequency of offerings
The role of teaching assistants
Proposing a Course for GE CLAS Core Status

Level of Courses and Numbering

GE CLAS Core courses are numbered below the 3000 level and often below 2000. Some courses approved for the program have prerequisites, but the prerequisites must also be approved GE Core courses. 1000-2000 level courses are generally appropriate for first-year students. 2000-2999 level courses are generally appropriate for second-year students. Because part of the program's goal is to help students transition to UI and "to learn how to learn," courses are not approved at the 3000 and above level; these courses are best suited for students well into the major and also allow graduate student enrollment.

Approval in one GE Area Only

Courses proposed for GE status are now granted such approval in only one GE area, such as in Social Sciences or in Values and Culture, but not in both.  In the past, some courses were given status in more than one GE area in part because area descriptions and outcomes overlapped.

The GE Sustainability area is an exception to this policy, with this GE requirement always counting for the completion of a second GE requirement selected from a list of approved GE area when the course is proposed for GE status.. 

Other courses with more than one status were approved in the past and are often in different GE programs with different requirements depending on when the student entered UI. Students are held to the program in place during the year they entered UI, and these requirements appear on the student's degree audit.

For more policies related only to students, see the CLAS web page for Current Students.

Comparability and Consistency of Offerings

Courses in the program must offer consistency of instruction and focus. When a department or instructor substantially changes a course’s content, instructional design, size, or other central elements, the course must be reviewed as a new offering by the General Education Curriculum Committee.

Departments renumbering or renaming a CLAS Core course should first discuss the change with the CLAS Associate Dean to see whether or not a new proposal for Core status is required.

A GE course may be offered in any mode and still maintain its GE status, including being offered as a face-to-face large lecture or as a small discussion course or even as an online course or in a hybrid format. All modes, however, must show that they are comparable and consistent to each other and fulfill the CLAS Core outcomes; use the required course attributes; and uphold the related GE policies.

Frequency of Course Offerings

Courses approved for the GE CLAS Core should be readily available to students and must be an integral part of  the CLAS course offerings. Ordinarily, courses offered less frequently than once every two years will be removed from the program.

The Role of Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants are assigned to teach sections of courses when it is not only desirable but necessary to keep the class size small—for instance, in elementary language instruction classes and in Rhetoric, Interpretation of Literature, and in lab or discussion components of lecture courses, for example.

When teaching assistants are involved with these courses, the department has a special responsibility to oversee the consistency of methods, outcomes, and content in the related sections taught by teaching assistants. The efforts of all instructors in multiple-section courses must be coordinated by the faculty who also must ensure that teaching assistants are adequately mentored and supervised.