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

General Education CLAS Core courses are numbered below the 3000 level and often below 2000. Some courses approved for CLAS Core status have prerequisites, but the prerequisites must also be approved for General Education.

Generally, 1000-2000 level courses are appropriate for first-year students while 2000-2999 level courses are 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

General Education status is approved in only one General Education area except in the case of the Sustainability requirement. For the guidelines on proposing a course in Sustainability and the reasons for this dual status, read these materials closely: 

In the past, some courses were approved for General Education status in more than one area in part because the GE area descriptions and learning outcomes overlapped.

Over the years, the General Education Curriculum Committee (GECC) has revised these specific learning outcomes for each General Education requirement so that categories are now more distinctive. These distinctions help to explain to students the purpose of specific CLAS Core requirements.

Some courses with more than one status still exist; these were approved in the past, with the second and older status relevant only for students who entered UI under those former requirements and were held to them. Most of these students have graduated and those older designations are no longer needed. Most courses that had approval in these older GE areas now have the equivalent status under a new designation.

Please do not submit proposals for more than one GE status except in the case of Sustainability.

For CLAS General Education policies related to students, see the CLAS web page for Current Students.

Comparability and Consistency of Offerings

Courses with General Education CLAS Core status must offer consistency of instruction and focus. When a department or instructor substantially changes a course’s content, instructional design, learning outcomes, or other central elements, a course proposal for GE status should be resubmitted.

If a General Education course is renumbered, the General Education status will no longer apply since status is track in the course data base using course numbers.  Departments renumbering or renaming a CLAS Core course should  discuss the change with the CLAS Associate Dean who will decide if a new proposal for GE CLAS Core status is required.

A GE course may be offered in any mode and still maintain its GE status; it may be offered, for example, 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, giving all students ample opportunities to accomplish the CLAS Core learning outcomes of the specific GE area requirement as well as the overall learning outcomes of the CLAS Core as a whole. All courses must continue to 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 three years will have their GE status removed. Please contact the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education with questions; departments will be notified before the removal of Core status is decided.

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.