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lower level guidelines

Guidelines for Preparing a Syllabus for General Education Lower Level Courses


  1. Proposed course syllabi should be written in language that is as relatively free of  professional jargon as possible.  Course titles should convey the true nature of the course and in some way reflect the liberal education intent. 
  2. Course descriptions must meet the twenty-word limit by the Registrar's office, excluding credit hours and prerequisites.  Use of the phrase, “an introduction to," implies that the course has been developed for purposes other than General Education.  
  3. Textbook citations should provide complete bibliographic information. 
  4. The section on BASIS FOR STUDENT EVALUATION should specify the number and kind(s) of examinations indicate minimum numbers of requirements rather than "Some." and should conform to university policy, which does not allow attendance to affect directly on the course grade. 
  5. The cover sheet for General Education courses should be consistent with the justification statements in the text of the syllabus; i.e., the level of emphasis should be the same in both places.  
  6. Justification for the objectives should have separate headings for each course component (Content, Teaching Strategies, Student Assignments, and Student Evaluation).  In addition, each objective for which the level of emphasis is listed as significant should be clearly identified in the course objectives and the course outline.  Parenthetical references could be used to identify the specific objective to be met at a particular point in the syllabus course description or outline.  It is not essential that all objectives be met in a significant manner (nor even a majority) but, in the opinion of the curriculum committee, significant emphasis is essential for Objective 1, 2, and 3. Needless to say, the other objectives cannot be totally ignored but should be addressed to the degree that is appropriate for a given course and the justification for the level of emphasis explained. 
  7. Specific criteria are as follows: 
  • In order to meet this objective in a significant manner, specific instruction in the use of library accessing tools relative to the discipline(s) must be included in the statement for this objective.
  • Significance here requires that both analysis and synthesis must be addressed explicitly in the statement of justification.
  • If oral reports are required and evaluated, faculty will be expected to provide instruction and guidance for giving such reports.
  • For significance in this objective, attention must be given to the historical context of the subject matter and identified in the justification.
  • Explicit reference must be made to various cultures and the relationships between the various cultures with justification.
  • Explicit reference must be made to various disciplines in addition to integration within a discipline.
  • Significance here involves the requirement that students be given the opportunity to assess the basis and nature of their existing values and then be given the opportunity to develop the ability to identify valuing issues in a dilemma.  The emphasis should be placed on the process by which a decision is reached, not on the decision itself.  The degree to which students are able to identify valuing issues is appropriate for evaluation.
  • If one makes appropriate connections in liberal education, one can address aesthetics in all disciplines.
  • Although demonstrating natural, political, and social responsibility may be difficult in a classroom and laboratory setting, efforts should be made to develop and assess the potential abilities associated with this objective.

All syllabi should be thoroughly screened by the departmental units and passed by the respective college council before being submitted to General Education for consideration as a General Education course.  That is, the copy submitted must be a final, approved draft. 

Beginning with the fall semester of 1989, a deadline of 15 October will be set for submission of lower level course proposals to General Education for those courses to be scheduled in the following fall semester.  Similarly, a deadline of 15 March will be set for submission of lower level course proposals to General Education for those courses to be scheduled in the following spring semester.



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