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General Education

The university launched a revised General Education program in fall 2022. The revised program provides students a rigorous academic experience and prepares them to see the events of the world in a broad perspective and to bring reasoned approaches to the challenges they may face.

The core is organized in a hybrid model that combines required courses and classic course distribution set. The program consists of 42 credit hours spread across four broad areas of study that are designed to expose students to issues, ideas, and methods across broad disciplinary contexts. Information about the knowledge areas and requirements is published in the catalog.

The program includes clearly defined learning outcomes for all UCM graduates, regardless of academic program of study.

General Education Learning Outcomes

The following ten student learning outcomes frame UCM’s general education program:

  • Global Learning - Students will examine and analyze current and historical phenomena that shape both local and global communities.
  • Intercultural Knowledge - Students will identify, analyze, and evaluate diverse cultural perspectives.
  • Ethical Reasoning - Students will identify, analyze, and evaluate diverse ethical perspectives.
  • Civic Responsibility - Students will demonstrate knowledge of civic responsibility and capacity for active participation in a democratic society.
  • Written Communication - Students will demonstrate clear and effective expression of ideas in writing using multimodal channels.
  • Oral Communication - Students will demonstrate proficiency in oral discourse across settings, purposes, and audiences.
  • Information Literacy - Students will demonstrate the ability to locate, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources to make informed decisions.
  • Quantitative Literacy - Students will apply quantitative reasoning to analyze problems and draw reasonable and appropriate inferences.
  • Inquiry & Analysis - Students will demonstrate critical and creative thought and/or expression with sensitivity to context.
  • Scientific Inquiry - Students will examine and apply the scientific methods to analyze and explain natural phenomena.

Although coursework  for the core is spread out across four areas of study, we view General Education as a unified program. 

General Education Learning Outcome Leads

Each General Education learning outcome has a designated faculty lead. The Lead serves as the point of contact for faculty teaching courses that fulfill the outcome. Additionally, leads work with faculty within the outcome area to reflect upon assessment findings to identify improvement actions.

Click here to contact your general education learning outcome faculty lead

General Education Assessment Framework

The general education assessment plan follows an annual process of collecting and analyzing student achievement data to determine the extent to which students are meeting defined learning outcomes. The plan has ongoing program improvement as a central goal, and it relies primarily on course-based artifacts used for assessing student achievement of course-and program learning outcomes.

The general education learning outcome rubrics are designed to facilitate programmatic assessment. The rubrics are modified versions of the AAC&U VALUE rubrics. Faculty apply outcome rubrics as the primary means of gathering data for general education assessment. Each rubric contains criteria for the relevant learning outcome and performance descriptors demonstrating progressively higher levels of learning.

The General Education assessment plan requires meaningful faculty engagement, with oversight provided by the Faculty Senate General Education Committee and the Faculty Senate University Assessment Council.

All instructors of General Education Courses are required to identify a primary learning outcome for their course and assess student achievement of that outcome each time the course is taught. Sampling procedures are utilized for large enrollment courses. 

The General Assessment Coordinator aggregates and complies student achievement data from all courses in each outcome area. These data are analyzed and reviewed by faculty teaching courses within the outcome area to determine actions for continous improvement. An annual General Education Assessment Report is developed and distributed to the Faculty Senate General Education Committee, the Faculty Senate University Assessment Committee, and posted on the assessment website. Program assessment data are "rolled up" by outcome area each term and published in an interactive General Education Data Dashboard

General Education Data Dashboard 


The General Education Assessment Retreat

The General Education Assessment Retreat is an annual event that is intended to provide assurance of the general education program’s effectiveness. The retreat convenes faculty teaching the curriculum to evaluate a random sample of student artifacts. The reviewers use the same rubrics faculty use in their courses. The retreat follows a rotation allowing for a review of all learning outcomes for the general education program.

General Education Learning Outcomes Assessment Rotation


General Education Assessment Review Year Outcomes Assessed
May 2023 Written Communication
Information Literacy
Scientific Inquiry
May 2024 Global Learning
Ethical Reasoning
Intercultural Knowledge
Civic Responsibility 
May 2025 Inquiry & Analysis
Quantitative Literacy
Oral Communication



The retreat is three-day event and begins with norming sessions designed to calibrating scorers to achieve consistency in the application of outcome rubrics. Scorers then review student artifacts independently. Each artifact is assigned two reviewers, with a third reviewer is assigned where scores disagree.

Data from the retreat are compiled into a report and presented to the Faculty Senate University Assessment Council and the Faculty Senate General Education Committee to inform improvement actions. The report is also posted to the assessment website.

AY 2022-2023 Summary Gen Ed Retreat Report


Indirect Measures

Indirect measures are tools that provide evidence of student achievement of program-level learning outcomes. These measures focus on a variety of indicators related to student learning including perceived gains or confidence in specific skills or knowledge, quality of education learning opportunities, and satisfaction with educational experience. As a result, indirect measures serve as proxies of student learning.  

UCM participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) every three years. The survey provides a rich data set on student learning and engagement in educationally meaningful activities. Several items in the NSSE instrument provide indirect evidence of student achievement of UCM general education learning outcomes including communication skills, information literacy, quantitative reasoning, scientific inquiry, civic engagement, and intercultural knowledge.

Data from the NSSE survey supplement our direct, course-based measures for general education assessment and help us identify areas for institutional attention to enhance the student experience.

Click here to view the most recent NSSE results 

 New Course Proposals & Recertification Information 

The Faculty Senate General Education Council reviews new course proposals and recertification applications on a rolling basis. Applications are submitted through the Curriculog course management system. Once you submit your course, it enters an approval workflow. Your course proposal form may be returned to you at any point in the workflow if additional information is required.  Please check the comments and make necessary corrections before resubmitting the form. 

Guidelines for Recertification of General Education Courses

New course proposals must be submitted at least one full semester in advance of the term in which the course will be offered to allow for review and administrative processing.  

Criteria for General Education Courses

  • With few exceptions, the core is limited to lower division courses that are broad and open to the widest audience of students
  • Courses may have no more than one prerequisite and that prerequisite should be open to all students
  • Courses must be offered at least once a year
  • Each general education course must align with and clearly address at least one general education learning outcome

For questions regarding Curriculog, contact the Registrar's Office: 




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