Guidelines for Preparing a Syllabus for General Education Upper Level Interdisciplinary
- A proposed course syllabus should be written in language that is as free of professional
jargon as possible.
- The course title should convey the true nature of the course and in some way reflect
the iberal education intent.
- The course description must follow the University practice of a twenty-word limit
excluding credit hours and prerequisites.
- Textbook citation(s) must provide complete bibliographic information.
- The section on BASIS FOR STUDENT EVALUATION must specify the number and kind(s) of
examinations, indicate minimum numbers of requirements rather than 'some" and conform
to University policy, which does not allow attendance to directly affect the course
- The cover sheet for a General Education course should be consistent with the justification
statements in the text of the syllabus; i.e., the level of emphasis must be the same
in both places.
- Justification for the objectives should have separate headings for each course component
(Content, Teaching Strategies, Student Assignments and Student Evaluation). In addition,
each General Education objective for which the level of emphasis is listed as significant
must be explicitly identified in the course objectives and the course outline. Parenthetical
references are to be used to identify the significant General Education objective(s)
met by a particular course objective and at a particular point in the course outline.
It is not essential that all or even a majority of the General Education objectives
be met in a significant manner; however, significant emphasis is necessary for Objectives
2 and 6. 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 level of
- The nine General Education objectives emphasize students' ability to demonstrate various
skills and abilities. Therefore, the justification for significant emphasis of a
General Education objective must include Student Assignments.
The following additional criteria must be met in order for each General Education
objective to be met significantly.
Students must be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate:
- The ability to access and use resources appropriate to the disciplines.
- The critical thinking skills appropriate to the disciplines. Examples of specific
skills and the activities that are to be used to achieve these skills must be described
in the syllabus.
- The ability to communicate effectively. Faculty members must provide oral or written
guidelines for communication projects. In 400-level courses, both written and oral
communication assignments are required.
- The ability to describe and explain the historical context of the subject matter.
- The ability to identify how culture has affected the subject matter and how the subject
matter has affected culture.
- The ability to integrate subject matter of the disciplines. At the 400 level, this
ability must be demonstrated in the research project.
- The ability to identify the values explicit in the subject matter, to describe the
issues and values involved in complex dilemmas and to provide rational solutions to
the dilemmas posed.
- The ability to describe and assess the order, organization or unity that the subjects
under study bring to the concerns of humanity or its most profound ideas. For example,
in a course that combines Social Systems, Literary Expression and Development of a
Major Civilization, the student would be expected to demonstrate the ability to integrate
the order or organization that those ways of seeing bring to understanding the human
- The ability to make responsible decisions regarding the natural, political, and social
NOTE: The dates of approval of all departments and all colleges must be noted on the
cover sheet of all proposed courses.