Revision of the General Education Program
The CSUSM General Education Program is governed by (1) the CSUSM Mission Statement, (2) Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 40405, General Education-Breadth Requirements; (3) Executive Order No. 1065, General Education-Breadth Requirements; and the constitutional framework of the California State University Systemwide Administration and the California State University San Marcos.
In September of 2011, the Chancellor's Office released Executive Order 1065 which supersedes the previous Executive Orders (EO 595 and EO 1033) governing General Education. A number of years ago, the Academic Senate of the CSU charged the General Education Advisory Committee at the Chancellor's Office to study GE policy as described in EO 595. Based on input from faculty, general education leadership, administrators of undergraduate education, directors of admissions and records, and articulation officers across the CSU, Executive Order 1033, and more recently 1065, clarified the requirements for meeting GE standards across the five areas (A, B, C, D and E). Additionally, it mandates that all campuses articulate and conduct assessments of general education student learning outcomes. Moreover, it states that:
"Each CSU campus shall define its GE student learning outcomes, to fit within the framework of the four "Essential Learning Outcomes" drawn from the Liberal Education and American Promise (LEAP) campaign, an initiative of the Association of American Colleges and Universities."
At present, the GEC is actively engaged in a reexamination of the GE program at CSUSM. The original GE Philosophy Statement was written in 1994 and was based on the Mission Statement that was in effect at that time. Since then, the document has had minor amendments to various pieces, but has never undergone a thorough examination, even after the University's Mission Statement was rewritten. Given that the GE Program needs to rest upon the University's current Mission Statement as well as the new executive order, the GEC has committed to studying and revising the GE policy and relevant documents to provide a consistent, accurate description of the GE program. Our goal is to communicate clearly to the campus community the intent, content, and requirements of our GE program.
To this end, the GEC is promoting campus discussion of and assistance with the articulation of GE learning outcomes (GELOs) and the LEAP initative at CSUSM. These goals and GELOs will be incorporated into a revised statement on the philosophy of the GE program at CSUSM. We welcome the input of all those involved in the education of students. We encourage the campus community to learn about current revision efforts and participate in the process be it through attendance at campus forums or small-group area meetings, submitting ideas to GE committee members, and/or monitoring the progress of the effort through these web pages.
LEAP Goals for General Education:
Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World
- Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences,
humanities, histories, languages, and the arts
Focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary
Intellectual and Practical Skills, Including
- Inquiry and analysis
- Critical and creative thinking
- Written and oral communication
- Quantitative literacy
- Information literacy
- Teamwork and problem solving
Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of
progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance
Personal and Social Responsibility, Including
- Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
- Intercultural knowledge and competence
- Ethical reasoning and action
- Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges
Integrative and Applied Learning, Including
- Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and
Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and
responsibilities to new settings and complex problems
Philosophy Statement Revision:
The GEC has spent the past two years examining the existing Philosophy Statement for the GE program. This document actually contains (1) the Philosophy Statement and (2) information for Lower Division GE courses in areas A through E and (3) Senate Resolutions regarding the GE program. Given the mandate to bring CSUSM's GE program in line wiht the LEAP initiative, the GEC is working on the creatiion of a GE Handbook that will consist of (1) The revised GE Philosophy Statement, (2) GELOs for the lower division GE program, (3) upper division GELOs (once the issue of a model for UDGE has been adopted), (4) GE forms (revised to reflect the GELOs), (5) matrices to show how the GE Program fits within the LEAP framework. At present, the revised philosophy statement is at the Academic Senate awaiting approval.
Current Drafts of General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs):
The GEC has completed its work on the lower division General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs) that have been developed in consultation with area faculty. These outcomes were created by examining Title V, EO 595 (the previous Executive Order governing GE in the CSU), EO 1033 (the first Executive Order requiring that learning oucomes be created), EO 1065 (the executive order that currently governs GE in the CSU), and CSUSM's original and current philosophy statements. This information, in addition to input from faculty (via Town Hall meetings and faculty meetings in the respective GE areas), were used to develop GELOs for CSUSM's GE program. The most current working drafts of these documents are linked below:
- Area A: Basic Skills
- Area B: Scientific Inquiry and Mathematical Reasoning
- Area C: Arts and Humanities
- Area D: Social Sciences
- Area E: Life-long Learning and Self-Development
The GEC thanks the faculty for its input on the development of these learning outcomes. We are currently soliciting feedback on the GELOs being proposed for the upper division GE program. Please consult your Department Chair, Scott Greenwood or Allison Carr (GEC Co-Chairs) or Sharon Hamill (GE Assessment Coordinator) if you would like to contribute your ideas for this effort.
For more information on the LEAP initiatve, see the AACU website.