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General Education Program




(Update 5/5/14)

Dear Colleagues, 

Throughout this semester the General Education Council (GEC) and the General Education Competency Assessment Advisory Team (CAAT) have been working to develop a streamlined course review process for inclusion of existing courses in the new General Education Program (GEP), which starts in fall 2015.  The development of this process has been thoughtful and deliberate.

Both groups have been involved in a review and revision process for the existing competencies in the GEP (Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and Quantitative Reasoning), as well as for our new competency (Civic Identity).  As part of the streamlined process, a “Competency Form” has been developed that chairs and program leaders will use to propose existing General Education courses into the revised GEP.  That form is now ready, and available via this link:

If you would like to preview the form before making submissions, please click here: COMPETENCY FORM 

In this form the learning outcomes for each of the competencies have been revised in the following ways by the GEC and CAAT:

  • Learning outcomes have been streamlined to reflect more concise language
  • Learning outcomes have been brought into closer alignment with the QEP (which will assess writing and critical thinking)
  • Learning outcomes have been revised to make assessment more straightforward
  • The draft language for the outcomes currently reflects the spirit of the competencies, but will be finalized in consultation with faculty teaching in the General Education Program over the fall 2014 term.

In keeping with the 2008 General Education policy, and in the interest of a course inventory process, all courses must teach and assess a minimum of one competency.  Courses that are included in list of State core course options will automatically default to Critical Thinking and can also add an additional competency (or competencies) to teach and assess.  In this way, students will see the course as an option in several “categories” in their General Education choices.

Starting today, throughout the summer, and into the early part of the fall 2014 semester, chairs and program leaders should submit the Competency Form (via link above) for each General Education course they oversee, indicating which of the four competencies the course will teach and assess.

If a new course is being proposed for the General Education Program, it will need to go through the existing full curriculum review process that includes the Dean review, college curriculum team, the GEC, and then the university undergraduate curriculum team.   The only exception to this is for the new state core courses, which are part of an expedited review and approval process.

In the fall 2014 term, faculty teaching courses that fall within specific competencies will gather to finalize the learning outcomes and discuss options for authentic, faculty-driven assessment in the General Education Program.  A new assessment plan will be developed collectively by faculty through the leadership of the CAAT, the GEC, and the Director of General Education for the 2015-2020 assessment period.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


(Update 12/6/13)

Eric Otto, Chair of General Education Council, provided updates about the changes in General Education to the FGCU Faculty Senate during the 12/6/13 meeting.  The power point for that meeting can be found HERE.  This same information was shared with the Council of Deans on 12/4/13.


(Update 11/20/13)

The letter below was sent by Eric Otto, Chair of General Education Council, to all faculty and in a similar format by each of the representatives on General Education Council to their respective colleges on 11/20/13.  This letter provides the most current information about the General Education Revision, updates the campus community about how we reached this stage, and provides information for "the road ahead."


Dear Faculty,
Attached to this email you will find the General Education Council’s (GEC) proposed revision to FGCU’s General Education Program (GEP). (You will notice marginal notes throughout the file; these notes ask questions that still need to be answered, or they clarify elements of the program that might not be obvious.)  [PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE REFERENCED DOCUMENT]
Creating this revised program has been a very involved and exciting process for the GEC. We hosted a number of real and on-line feedback forums; consulted with individual faculty members and groups of faculty; researched and synthesized ideas; embraced as well as discarded possibilities in response to faculty enthusiasm and concern, respectively; and more. Thank you for your participation and patience!
We understand that faculty who hoped for bold changes in FGCU’s GEP will find our proposed program too conservative; and faculty content with the status quo will find it too radical. In the end, though, we believe that the proposed GEP effectively integrates the State-mandated changes to General Education in Florida, enhances student learning by highlighting both Subject Area experience and Competency experience, and strengthens the FGCU GEP assessment strategy by including more than three courses in GEP review.
The proposed GEP differs from our current program in the following ways:
·         It accounts for the state-mandated changes to General Education approved by the State of Florida in 2012’s HB 7135. This law requires students to take at least one course from a list of courses pre-selected in five subject areas—Communication, Mathematics, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. These courses are marked * in the attached document. (All but one current Mathematics offering will fulfill the State mandate, as will all Natural Sciences courses that have a State-mandated course as an immediate pre-requisite.)
·         It requires students to take at least 6 credit hours of courses listed as covering measureable Civic Identity content. (71% of the 98 faculty members who took the 11/8/13-11/15/13 General Education Program Competency Survey voted to include Civic Identity as an assessed Competency in the GEP; 29% had legitimate concerns that we hope to have addressed in the final model.) Programs will determine which of their GEP offerings deliver the Civic Identity Competency and then propose these courses as such to the GEC. These courses can be Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences courses, and we encourage programs also to propose them under the Critical Thinking Competency in order to guarantee a range of choices for students as they navigate the GEP.
·         It expands GEP assessment across courses offered in the entire GEP. Currently, assessment of Critical Thinking, Written Communication, and Quantitative Reasoning occurs in three General Education courses: HUM 2510, ENC 1102, and STA 2023, respectively. Since 2008, a policy has been in place to facilitate assessment of the GEP beyond these three courses, and this assessment strategy will finally be implemented when we roll out the new program in 2015.
The Road Ahead
The GEC would like to hear from you about this model before Wednesday, 12/4/13 so that we may consider your feedback and then move forward with approving the revised GEP as a Council by the end of the Fall term. (Please contact your GEC representative [listed below], or share your commentary on the CANVAS page.) After this, the GEC will keep you updated about the process for finalizing the new program, which includes faculty review at multiple other levels.
As the Spring semester begins, Competency Assessment Teams (CATs) will work to develop outcomes and rubrics for all four GEP Competencies as well as engage in assessment of the Competency areas after the new GEP rolls out in 2015. In Spring 2014, the GEC will convene these CATs. We invite faculty interested in serving on any of these assessment teams to contact your GEC representative as soon as possible.
The CATs will produce clear Competency Outcomes, which will then be forwarded to program and course leaders. Programs will review their GEP offerings and then submit Competency Proposal forms to the GEC, indicating which Competencies their courses best align with and why. (Again, the GEC encourages all or most Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences courses to be Critical Thinking courses, and then where appropriate, a selection of those courses to be Civic Identity courses.)
The Chair of the GEC will be presenting the attached GEP model to the Faculty Senate on Friday, 12/6/13.
We look forward to these next steps as we work toward finalizing FGCU’s revised GEP.
The General Education Council
Anne-Marie Bouche (CAS)
Greg McManus (CAS)
Eric Otto (Chair) (CAS)
Carolynne Gischel (COE)
Halcyon St. Hill (CHP)
Rachel Cooke (Library) 
Carrie Kerekes (LCOB)
Chris Geiger (WCOE)


(Update 08/07/2013)

  1. General Education Council (GEC) regularly met over the summer to refine the mission for our General Education Program (a draft was circulated in March of last AY), develop a statement of purpose for the program, and develop draft models for a revised General Education Program. 
  2. We will be sharing those in two steps early in the fall. One set of Town Halls will focus on the mission & purpose, and then two more (a bit later) will focus on the two models we developed.  The time in between these will help GEC make any changes based on feedback. 
  3. There is a Canvas page where GEC will be collecting feedback and hosting dialogues on the various aspects of Gen Ed revisions throughout the fall term.  

Look for updates on this website, contact Kris De Welde, Director of General Education (, Eric Otto, Chair of General Education Council (, and/or your GEC representative -- listed below -- with any questions.

Informational meetings

Town Hall Meetings (focused on Mission & Purpose drafts)

–      Wednesday, September 4th, 9:00am-11:00am, SRHM 114

–      Friday, September 6th, 4:00pm-6:00pm, SRHM 114

(Update 09/10/13) The power point presentation shared at these first two Town Halls can be found here.  This presentation contains the revised mission, statement of purpose, revised competencies, and preliminary ideas for the Competency Coordinating Committees.


Town Hall Meetings (focused on General Education Program models)

–      Monday, September 30th, 9:00am-11:00am, SRHM 114

–      Tuesday, October 1st, 4:00pm-6:00pm, RH 249


2013-2014 General Education Council

College of Arts and Sciences: Anne-Marie Bouche, Greg McManus, Eric Otto (Chair)
College of Education: Carolyn Gischel
College of Health Professions & Social Work: Halcyon St. Hill
Library Services: Rachel Cooke
Lutgert College of Business:  Carrie Kerekes
Whitaker College of Engineering:  Chris Geiger
Academic Advising Council (non-voting):  Marisa Ouverson




(June 2013 ) As explained in detail on the main "General Education Revision at FGCU" page, the Steering Committee has made final recommendations for the core courses in General Education.  The state legislature has passed revisions to the original bill that called for changes to General Education.  The Director of General Education is working with Science and Mathematics faculty to develop a list of related/more advanced courses to be submitted to the Steering Committee by August 1.  General Education Council is meeting regularly over the 2013 summer to develop a statement of purpose for our General Education Program, several models for a General Education Program, and preliminary ideas for assessment, all of which will be vetted, discussed, and eventually approved by the faculty during the 2013-14 AY.



On Wednesday, March 27th, the following email was sent by Dr. Eric Otto to all faculty and staff (via Tiffany Jackson).  General Education Council representatives are seeking input on the draft mission by Tuesday, 4/2/13.

(Update: June 2013) - The preponderance of feedback on the draft revised mission was very positive!  Some helpful constructive comments were discussed and slight changes have been made to this draft mission.  General Education Council is working from this to develop models for General Education Programs and a statement of purpose.  The mission will be further discussed, possibly amended, and eventually approved in the 2013-14 AY.

Dear Colleagues,
Your participation in the Fall 2012 forums on General Education (GE) at FGCU produced much valuable feedback, including advice to the General Education Council (GEC) to revise the GE Mission Statement before FGCU moves forward with changes to our GE program. Faculty members indicated that “We should focus on [the Mission of GE at FGCU] as the first step—clearly stating our assumptions and understandings” (
To draft the Mission Statement below, the GEC consulted the detailed feedback you provided during the Fall 2012 forums, responses to campus surveys, and several faculty emails and personal communications. In keeping with best practices for reviewing and revising GE programs, the GEC also strove to align the draft Mission with FGCU’s institutional Mission. The draft GE Mission reads,
Rooted in the tradition of liberal education, FGCU’s General Education Program provides students with unique opportunities to cultivate the curiosity, knowledge, and skills necessary for lifelong learning and responsible global citizenship.
I am writing to ask that you review this draft, keeping in mind that the GEC intends to follow this Mission Statement with a more detailed “Purpose” or “Goals” statement. Such a “Purpose/Goals” statement will both flesh out the terminologies in the Mission and articulate the path by which our students achieve General Education competencies. (There will be opportunities for faculty and staff to provide feedback on this longer “Purpose/Goals” statement.)
You may contact me or your unit’s GEC representative with your thoughts on the draft Mission Statement. The GEC values your input; we look forward to hearing from you!
Eric Otto
Chair, General Education Council


(Update 03/29/13)

The two current bills that contain revisions to General Education (HB 7057 and SB 1720) have passed unanimously out of committees.  The Senate Bill is expected to be heard on the floor 4/4/13.  The House Bill was referred to the House calendar on 3/29/13.

(Update 03/19/13)

The two current bills that contain the general education revisions (HB 7057 and SB 1720) have each passed through a chamber education and appropriations subcommittees.

(Update 03/08/13)

(1)  A bill was filed (HB 1235, links to pdf copy) that revises the general education requirements to include 6 semester hours of United States history at the lower-division level.  It hasn’t yet been referred to any committee.
(2)  The House Higher Education and Workforce Committee will be discussing on Wednesday a very large postsecondary education bill, the general education revisions are a part of this bill. PCB HEWS 13-01.  On Wednesday, 03/06/13 the HE and Workforce committee bill (with the proposed changes to Gen Ed) passed unanimously out of committee. This means it goes forward to legislators.  This bill does not include the proposal to require 6  hours in U.S. History.



(Update 02/26/13) Three documents have been generated and will be reviewed by the Steering Committee for possible changes to the Draft Recommendations:
      (a)  Institution feedback on the core recommendations from the SUS (summarized, and categorized by themes)
      (b)  Institution feedback on the core recommendations from the FCS (summarized, and categorized by themes)
      (c)  The proposed revisions to the portions of HB 1107 relevant to General Education - CLICK HERE

The Steering Committee will meet sometime in the next 4-6 weeks to develop a plan for how to proceed.  It is possible that the subject area faculty committees will reconvene, and based on charges from the Steering Committee make recommendations to revise select core competencies and select core course options accordingly.

Simultaneously, the House Higher Education and Workforce Committee has included the "glitch bill" provisions in a draft House bill, but which does not yet have a number or a sponsor. 



(Update 01/31/13)  Please click here for the final version of the report that reflects institutional feedback on the state mandated subject area competencies and core courses proposed by the Faculty and Steering Committees.  The draft and final versions of the report were written collaboratively by Eric Otto, Chair of General Education Council and Kris De Welde, Director of General Education.



(Update 01/25/13) After several weeks of soliciting feedback on the draft recommendations for the state-mandated subject area competencies and core courses that will eventually comprise 15 of our 30 hours in the General Education Program, General Education Council and the Director of General Education have developed a draft summary report (click HERE).
The report is in draft form, and was sent to all the college Deans on 01/24/13.  We are hopeful that chairs and program leaders will solicit additional feedback from faculty to refine the summary points made.  All of the feedback that faculty sent to their General Education Council representatives, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, or the Director of General Education and/or posted to the Angel discussion forums was collated and is available in the appendix of this report — unaltered, and with names removed.
Again, the most helpful feedback for this report is that which reflects concerns (or endorsements) at the program level, with recommendations for change, and rationale for such changes.
All additional feedback or commentary on this report should be sent to Kris De Welde ( by noon on Monday, January 28th.  She will work with the General Education Council Monday and Tuesday of next week to finalize the report, which will be sent to Provost Toll on Wednesday, for final submission to the Steering Committee by the deadline on Thursday, January 31st.



Please click here for the power point that was presented at Faculty Senate (01/11/13).  The presentation summarizes the state-level draft recommendations on subject area competencies and core courses, provides a brief review of activities in the fall 2012 term, a projected spring 2013 timeline, and a summary of upcoming meetings.



(Update 01/09/12) We now have the initial recommendations of subject area competencies and core courses that will comprise the 15 hours of General Education mandated by the state.  We have a short window of opportunity, as a campus, to provide feedback to the Steering Committee about these recommendations. Our feedback is due January 31.

We have developed an Angel Community Group (General Education Revision Feedback) to gather input from FGCU faculty, staff, and students on the draft recommendations.  For your convenience, each subject area has its own discussion forum, where the recommended subject area competencies and core courses are listed at the top of each page.  You can also find the summary recommendations just below, and the full report and timeline here:

Because our time frame is very limited, this site will be open until January 18th.  Shortly after the Angel site closes on January 18th, our Director of General Education will compile responses from the Angel forums, along with feedback provided to General Education Council representatives, and the state Faculty Committee representatives.  She will do this by subject area, and then circulate the responses to program leaders and/or chairs.  Ideally, they will review the individual concerns, questions, and recommendations with their program or department faculty by January 28th.  It will be most useful for programs to discuss the impacts of the recommended subject-area competencies and core courses and provide (consensus) input for the final report from FGCU, due January 31st.

This brief period that the BOG and Steering Committee have set aside for institutional feedback is crucial, and your engagement with this stage is very important.  Please utilize whatever means is most comfortable for you and for your programs to provide feedback on these matters. 

In addition to the Angel discussion forums, faculty, staff, and students also are welcome to provide additional feedback directly to their General Education Council representatives (, the state-level Faculty Committee representatives: Anne-Marie Bouche (Humanities), Rick Coughlin (Social Science), Chuck Lindsey (Mathematics), and Jim Wohlpart (Communication) and/or to the Director of General Education.


General Education Faculty Committee Initial Draft Recommendations -- General Education Competencies and Core Courses


Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively.

Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze communication critically.

 ENC X101            English Composition I



Students will demonstrate interpretive ability and cultural literacy.

Students will demonstrate competence in reflecting critically upon the human condition.

ARH X000             Art Appreciation

HUM X020            Introduction to Humanities

LIT X100               Introduction to World Literature

MUL X010            Introduction to Music Literature/Music Appreciation

PHI X010              Introduction to Philosophy



Students will determine appropriate mathematical and computational models and methods in problem solving, and demonstrate an understanding of mathematical concepts.

Students will apply appropriate mathematical and computational models and methods in problem solving.

MAC X105            College Algebra

STA X023             Statistical Methods

MGF X106            Liberal Arts Mathematics I

MGF X107            Liberal Arts Mathematics II


Natural Sciences*

Students will demonstrate the ability to critically examine and evaluate scientific observation, hypothesis, or model construction, and the use of scientific method to explain the natural world.

Students will successfully recognize and comprehend fundamental concepts, principles, and processes about the natural world.

 BSC X005            General Biology

CHM X020            Chemistry for Liberal Studies

PHY X020             Fundamentals of Physics

ESC X000             Introduction to Earth Science

EVR X001             Introduction to Environmental Science


Social Science

Students will demonstrate the ability to examine behavioral, social, and cultural issues from a variety of points of view.

Students will demonstrate an understanding of basic social and behavioral science concepts and principles used in the analysis of behavioral, social, and cultural issues, past and present, local and global.

 PSY X012            Introduction to Psychology

SYG X000             Principles of Sociology

WOH X040            20th Century World History

CPO X001             Comparative Politics

ANT X000             Introduction to Anthropology


*For the mathematics and natural science core course options, the following policy should apply (this is recommended language that the Steering Committee is proposing):

If a student completes a course in a subject area for which one of the general education core course options in the same subject area is a prerequisite, that student should be considered to have completed the portion of the core in that subject area. In some instances there may be courses similar in content in the general education program that are at a more advanced level, but do not include a core course as a prerequisite, in these instances the more advanced, similar course will be considered to have completed the portion of the core in that subject area. 




(Update 12/10/12)  25 chairs, program leaders, and course coordinators who have oversight of general education courses (along with Faculty Senate President Doug Harrison) met on Friday, November 30th to discuss the campus surveys, Town Hall meetings, and overall direction of recent conversations pertaining to the state mandated changes in the General Education curriculum as well as the changes on our campus.  After a brief presentation summarizing results of the surveys and Town Hall meetings, those present engaged in a discussion of the timeline for the revisions on our campus as well as the direction in which the conversations are going.  The consensus from this meeting was to focus on the General Education mission statement, and spend adequate time revising this with broad input from the university community.  The General Education Council will revisit the current mission statement, approved in 2004, and potentially revise the statement while reflecting on results of the information collected over this semester in the campus surveys and Town Hall meetings (fall 2012).  The resulting mission statement (and possibly a statement of purpose) will guide future conversations about the revisions to FGCU's General Education curriculum.

Click here for the Power Point shared at this meeting.  (Please find the transcript for this meeting here).



(Update: 11/21/2012) 20 faculty and staff attended the Town Hall meeting on November 13th.  That brings us to a total of about 70 people attending the Town Hall meetings (some individuals attended more than one). On the 11/13/12 meeting, after a brief presentation summarizing results from the general education campus surveys and previous two Town Hall meetings (November 6 & 7), attendees gathered in four small groups to discuss key questions in a "World Cafe" style dialogue.  This method allows participants to move between tables/questions after a specified amount of time.  The key questions were derived from the results of the surveys and previous town hall meetings.  These included:

  • What should be the intent or purpose of FGCU’s General Education Program (GEP)?
  • How could we facilitate greater connections between GEP areas and courses, and between the GEP and the majors?
  • In order to develop a “signature” GEP, which themes (and sub-themes) are most important for us?
  • How could FGCU’s GEP be linked to the mission, vision, and guiding principles of the university?

Click here for a detailed report from the 11/13 Town Hall meeting, and here for the Power Point slides.

The final General Education Revision meeting of the fall 2012 semester will be on November 30th where stakeholders in the GEP (Chairs, program leaders, and course coordinators that oversee courses in the GEP) will gather with the General Education Director to discuss ideas and questions that have emerged as significant over the last months in the surveys, town hall discussions, and General Education Council meetings.


(Update: 11/10/2012) Nearly 50 people attended the two Town Halls on November 6 & 7 (combined).  Results of the Campus Surveys were shared, and participants worked together in small groups on key questions related to the intent and structure of general education on the FGCU campus. Key themes emerged over these two days.  These included:

  • Clear and common understandings of general education need to be developed amongst faculty, and then communicated to all faculty and students.  This would include the purpose or intent of the GEP and its content.  There should be common understandings about the GEP, as well as common language/vocabulary for what we mean in the GEP, particularly with respect to competencies.
  • There need to be stronger links between the GEP and the majors – coherence and integration.  This needs to be deliberate and ongoing.  This could be accomplished by developing themes across the curriculum, and assessing them.
  •  Structuring our GEP by themes was a popular topic, and well-received.  Several small groups on day 2 (Wednesday) worked on what these themes might be, and how we might depict them visually.


Click here for a detailed report from the 11/6 & 11/7 Town Hall meetings, and here for the Power Point slides.

The third General Education Town Hall Meeting (November 13th) will focus on these points (with additional detail from the previous town hall meetings).



(Update: 11/10/2012)  Responses to the Campus Surveys were impressieve!  We had over 650 responses: 239 faculty, staff, and administrators, and 387 students. A summary Power Point presentation was devlivered to the faculty during the General Education Town Hall meetings, November 6th & 7th, 2012.  Click here for the presentation.  To review the survey questions, see the links below.

Raw data for the survey will be posted soon.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

(Update: 10/31/2012) In consultation with the General Education Council, the Director of General Education (De Welde) developed two surveys designed to elicit feedback from all members of the campus community about our general education program and generate ideas for moving forward.

The surveys were intended to gather as many diverse perspectives as possible from all members of the campus community.  Interested individuals did not have to be faculty teaching in the GEP, or students currently in general education courses.  The survey results will provide a context for upcoming "Town Hall" meetings (see "Upcoming Meetings" for additional details).

Two surveys were administered to 1) faculty, staff, and administrators and 2) FGCU undergraduate students. The survey was open from Wednesday, October 17th until Sunday, October 28th.   




The Florida Department of Education maintains a website with minutes from Steering Committee meetings, which you can follow here:

  • On 10/25/2012 Faculty Committees for each of the five areas in the General Education Program convened at the USF campus, Tampa FL.  All of our representatives attended.  Notes from this meeting are posted to the state website, and include preliminary recommendations for the General Elective Core Course Options.


As additional events unfold on our campus, updates will be posted here.