During the 2012 legislative session, the Florida legislature passed House Bill 7135, amending Section 1007.25 of the Florida Statutes. This law changed the General Education Program (GEP) for all Florida colleges and universities. The changes included the creation of a list of up to five courses in each of the five content areas of General Education (communication, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences). Students are required to take at least one course from each area on this list, which will be the same across the State University System (SUS) and the Florida College System (FCS).
Florida Gulf Coast University used the 2012 legislation as an opportunity to review and revise its GEP. Below is a timeline summarizing our three-year revision process:
10/17/2012-10/28/2012, Campus Surveys: In consultation with the General Education Council (GEC), the Director of General Education developed two surveys designed to elicit feedback from all members of the campus community about FGCU’s GEP and to generate ideas for moving forward with Program revision.
11/6/2012, 11/7/2102, and 11/13/2012, Campus Town Halls: The Director of General Education and members of the GEC shared results of the campus surveys, and participants worked together to address key questions related to the intent and structure of FGCU’s GEP. (Notes: 11/6, 11/7; 11/13.)
11/30/2012, GEP Stakeholder Meeting: Department chairs, program leaders, and course coordinators who have oversight of GEP courses discussed 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. (Notes.)
1/11/2013, Faculty Senate Presentation: The Director of General Education summarized the state-level draft recommendations on subject area competencies and core courses, provided a brief review of activities in the fall 2012 term, a projected a spring 2013 timeline and a preview of upcoming meetings. (Presentation.)
1/31/2013, FGCU Institutional Feedback, Final Report: The Provost submitted FGCU’s Institutional Feedback Report on the draft recommendations for the state-mandated subject area competencies and core courses. The first draft of the report, written by the GEC Chair and the Director of General Education, was sent to all the college deans on 01/24/2013, and chairs and program leaders solicited additional feedback from faculty to refine the summary points. Additional channels for feedback included GEC representatives, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the Director of General Education, and an LMS discussion forum.
3/27/2013, Call for Mission Revision Feedback: The GEC Chair invited the campus community to review a draft of the revised GEP mission statement. The GEC produced the draft in several spring 2013 meetings.
General Education Council Summer Team: The GEC met over the summer to refine the GEP mission based on collected feedback, to develop a statement of purpose for the program, and to develop draft models for a revised Program.
9/4/2013 and 9/6/2013, GEP Mission and Purpose Town Halls: The GEC hosted two campus-wide town hall meetings to discuss a draft of the revised mission and purpose and to discuss the idea of a team that would coordinate GEP assessment. (Presentation.)
12/6/2013, Council of Deans, Faculty Senate Presentation, GEC Approval of Mission and Purpose: The GEC Chair presented a draft of the final GEP model. The GEC approved the revised GEP mission and purpose.
1/15/2014, 2/7/2014, and 3/31/2014, Competency Assessment Advisory Team (CAAT) Approval and First Meeting: The GEC approved the formation of the CAAT, which is responsible for developing and coordinating GEP assessment. The GEC Chair presented details about the CAAT to Faculty Senate. The CAAT had its first meeting at the end of March.
5/5/2014, Course Competency Inventory Survey: The GEC Chair invited department chairs and program leaders to inventory their GEP courses according to relevant GEP competencies, which will be assessed under the 2015-2020 GEP assessment plan.
10/1/2014 and 10/7/2014, General Education Competency Town Halls: The CAAT hosted two campus-wide town halls to get feedback on the assessment of four proposed GEP competencies: written communication, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and civic identity (later changed to "intercultural knowledge" in response to campus feedback). (Presentation; Notes.)
10/17/2014, Faculty Senate Presentation: A GEC representative and the Director of General Education updated the Faculty Senate on the status of GEP revision.
12/9/2014, General Education Council Approval of Revised GEP Competencies: The GEC voted to approve written communication, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and intercultural knowledge, and their associated learning outcomes, as GEP competencies. (Final competencies.)
1/12/2015, Undergraduate Curriculum Team Approval of New GEP: The UCT approved the new General Education Program.