Why did the GEP change?

The General Education Committee was required to complete a thorough review and propose changes in 2018. The vote by the General Education Committee and Common Council to make changes to the General Education Program came after two years of Gen Ed Committee analysis of assessment results, faculty feedback, listening sessions, and discussions with chairs and assistant deans in each college.

These decisions were grounded in a vision of General Education that aims to raise the expectation for high impact practices in all General Education courses, present a GEP that is easier for students to navigate, make the program more coherent and interconnected, and allow for necessary flexibility due to the broadening demographics of our incoming students.

 What changed in the 2020 GEP?

The Fall 2020 Catalog includes the full text of the changes, which you can read here. There are some cosmetic changes, such as new names for each of the broad GEP categories. For example, the “foundation” category is now “Foundational Skills and Dispositions.” Investigation is now “Human Cultures and the Sciences.”

There are no additional credits or courses required in the new GEP. While the names have changed, the requirements within the Foundation, Investigation, and Cultural and Environmental Awareness categories have not.

The most significant change has been at the Integration level, which is described in some detail further down this FAQ.


(A new General Education image is still being developed; the old image is pasted here for reference as the course categories are unchanged.)

 When will the changes to the GEP be put in place?

The start of the Fall 2020 semester.

 Do students or advisors have to do anything to move students to the new GEP?

No. The Registrar’s Office will waive any requirements that are no longer required. Students and advisors will be able to run new DPRs and see everything that is required to completed the GEP.

 Will all students be moved to the 2020 GEP?


 How was the Integration level changed in the GEP?

The most substantive change to the 2020 General Education Program is that the Integration level has been removed entirely, which will impact four types of GEP courses: Interdisciplinary Studies, Experiential Learning, Communication in the Major, and Capstone in the Major. Details for how each of these will be removed is explained below.


 How will the removal of the Interdisciplinary Studies requirement be put in place?

In order for your course to have a permanent new Gen Ed designation, you will need to submit the Gen Ed application form requesting that GEC approve your course for a different category.

However, recognizing that some departments need their Spring 2021 IS courses to have new designations immediately, the GEC will consider a one-time request to immediately change an IS course to a different designation. This change will be in effect only for the Spring 2021 semester. GEC asks that you email chair Samantha Kaplan and Shanny Luft and let us know which General Education designation you are requesting. Your request will be reviewed at the next available Gen Ed Committee meeting. If approved, your course will immediately be updated in AccessPoint for the Spring semester, only.

It's important to remember that after next semester, the course will have no Gen Ed designation unless you have submitted a new Gen Ed Application form.

 What will happen with the Experiential Learning requirement?

All students who have not satisfied the Experiential Learning requirement will have it waived for them.

 What will happen with the Communication in the Major and the Capstone Experience in the Major requirements?

Communication in the Major and Capstone Experience in the Major were simultaneously required at the Integration level of the GEP, as well as in every major. Since the Integration level has been removed from the 2020 GEP, these courses are no longer a part of the GEP. However, the Comm in the Major and Capstone Experience requirements are still part of every major’s requirement.

 Can departments remove the required courses that were associated with Communication in the Major and Capstone Experience in the Major? If so, how?

Departments can keep the required courses that were identified as “Communication in the Major” and “Capstone Experience,” or they can opt to remove these requirements from the major. The process for removing those required courses is the same as any other change to a major.

 Are "double-dipped" classes still allowed?

At the moment, yes. One course can satisfy a category within Human Cultures and the Sciences (Arts, Humanities, Historical Perspectives, Social Sciences, or Natural Science) simultaneously with one category from Social and Environmental Responsibility (Global Awareness, US Diversity, or Environmental Responsibility). However, Common Council in Spring 2020 encouraged the General Education Committee to revisit the issue of "double-category" courses, which they will be taking up during the next two years. In Fall 2021 all double-category courses will be assessed. See the General Education Assessment page for more information.

 Where can I ask questions or provide feedback on the changes to the General Education Program?

As always, you can email Shanny Luft, the Associate Dean of General Education and Honors. Shanny suggests phone calls as the fastest way to get a quick answer, especially at the start of the semester. Shanny can be reached at 715-346-4023. Shanny looks forward to hearing from you, even though he thinks it odd to write about himself in third-person.

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