Proposing a Course for GE CLAS Core Status

Faculty members from any UI college are invited to participate in the CLAS Core by submitting proposals for GE status for courses with their administrative home in the instructor's college. 

Deadlines and Other Essential Information

NEXT DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 17, 2024. 

EMAIL proposals as a single PDF to:

GE CLAS Core proposals are due at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. We will accept late proposals but cannot guarantee their review. Approved courses will be granted GE status for the following semester or academic session. 

Please submit proposals as one PDF file with continuous pagination, including the appendix to Dr. Matthew (Matt) Shadle, CLAS Academic Assessment Coordinator at

The General Education Curriculum Committee (GECC) reviews submitted proposals; approved proposals are moved to the Undergraduate Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (UEPCC) for a discussion. If approved, CLAS asks the Registrar to add the GE status to the course. If GE CLAS Core status is approved, the course could be listed with this status as early as the following semester.

Successful proposals show an understanding of the GE goals, the GE comprehensive student learning outcomes, the GE area learning outcomes related to the proposal, and the required GE course attributes. Please review this information carefully:

  • A cover letter is required for each proposal.
  • There are three required sections to the proposal narrative.
  • The cover letter and first two required sections should be no more than 5 pages (single spaced) total.
  • The proposer must also submit an appendix with a syllabus that is prepared for the semester during which the course will first be taught with the new GE status and examples of assignments, assessments and rubrics, and activities.


This section should be no more than one single-spaced page.

A cover letter must be included and should include the following information:

  • The number, title, and short description of the course proposed for GE status, with the typical class size, the first semester to be offered if approved with GE status, and the course’s expected rotation by semester/sessions. (Note: CLAS Core courses must be taught at least once every three years to maintain their CLAS Core status.)
  • The GE CLAS Core areas requested (such as International and Global Issues or Sustainability with Values and Culture)
  • Any course prerequisites and if the course is or will be required for a major, minor, or certificate
  • Any plans to add, renumber, or retitle the course if approved for GE status (Note: for currently existing courses that are applying for GE status in Sustainability, it may be necessary to change the course number to distinguish the revised course from the original course.)
  • A brief description of the role of this course in the departmental curriculum
  • The contact information for and signature of the proposer
  • The DEO should approve the proposal by also signing the cover letter


This section should be no more than 2 pages, single-spaced.

Discuss how students will achieve each of the learning outcomes of the CLAS Core area:

For each area outcome, be sure to give specific examples that highlight how students will achieve these learning outcomes, referring when appropriate to materials in the appendix.


Students taking a Sustainability GE CLAS Core course will complete both the GE requirement in Sustainability AND in a selected GE companion area. Please choose one of the following approved GE companion areas:

(1) Natural Sciences with or without Lab (NS, NSL),

2) Quantitative or Formal Reasoning (QFR),

(3) Social Sciences (SS),

(4) Historical Perspectives (HP),

(5) International and Global Issues (IGI),

(6) Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts (LVPA), or

(7) Values and Culture (VC)

Sustainability outcomes are listed in the GE area outcomes: When applying for a course to have Sustainability status, the proposal should discuss how the course provides opportunities for students to achieve the learning outcomes of the two integrated GE areas (Sustainability AND the selected CLAS Core GE companion area). The discussion should include:

  • The definition or concept of Sustainability that is being used in this course;
  • How students in the course will meet both sets of learning outcomes;
  • How the integration of these areas will help students to make connections across disciplines using multiple perspectives;
  • If the course has been taught previously, please describe the major ways in which the course (including the syllabus) has been changed to include the Sustainability learning outcomes.


This section should be no more than two pages, single spaced.

For each of the following key attributes, please provide a short justification. See this page for an explanation of each attribute.

  • Academic expectations are clearly defined.
  • Students receive early and frequent evaluation of their work.
  • A range of teaching and assessment strategies are used.
  • Assignments in the course will build in complexity.
  • Students practice writing and communication in methods appropriate to the discipline.


Please use continuous pagination for the entire proposal, including the appendix; all materials for the proposal must be submitted as one file.

The appendix may be of any length; however, the committee members appreciate a thoughtful selection that best supports the two main narrative sections of the proposal.

Include these materials in the appendix:

  1. A course syllabus that follows the collegiate course syllabus template
  •  The syllabus must use the actual dates from the semester when the course will first be taught (if approved) with the new GE area status, showing breaks such as for Thanksgiving or Spring Break.
  • The syllabus should have a calendar of course topics and due dates for readings, exams, activities, and any other items.
  • The syllabus should reflect the fact that the course assumes no prior student knowledge in the course content.
  • The syllabus should discuss academic integrity from the position of community obligation, trust, and learning while also reminding students of the consequences for academic misconduct. A best practice is to provide examples of the kinds of academic misconduct that are appropriate for the discipline.

    2. A selection of assignments, quizzes/exams, activities, and/or rubrics and any other related materials that demonstrate how the course meets the area outcomes (Proposal Section II) and the CLAS Core attributes (Proposal Section III).

If you have questions, please contact Cornelia Lang or Matt Shadle (