College degrees at the undergraduate level have three components: general education, the major, and electives. Each of these components makes an important contribution to a student's education. Courses in general education contribute to the development of knowledge and intellectual skills that all college graduates should possess, regardless of their degree. They also add breadth of study by including disciplines outside the major. Courses in the major contribute to the development of knowledge and intellectual skills that are specific to the discipline chosen. Finally, elective courses permit a student to round out a degree based on his or her individual interests. The purpose of this website is to describe general education for students who enter Indiana University Southeast in the fall semester 2007, or thereafter.

General education at IU Southeast includes both campus-wide requirements, which apply to all baccalaureate degrees, and requirements that are specific to each degree. Some degrees have extensive general education requirements of their own, whereas others have relatively few requirements beyond those established by the campus.

The General Education Assessment Committee (GEAC) is responsible for oversight of assessment of student learning in general education at IU Southeast. The committee has established an assessment model cycle that ensures student learning in all major goals of general education is continually assessed while formally reporting in consistent time periods.

The process the committee uses to carry out assessment is faculty driven. Through required consultation with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) faculty choose, customize, and implement assessment measures. OIE aids with collection of assessment data and summarizes the data on an annual basis, providing data and summaries to both the faculty coordinating the General Education courses and to the GEAC at the time of review. The GEAC reports to the Faculty Senate at the end of the evaluation year, evaluating progress and recommending improvements based on the data. This model for collaboration was approved by the GEAC during the 2010-2011 academic year. The roles and responsibilities for program coordinators, faculty members, and OIE are explicated in Roles and Responsibilities.

Visit the Faculty Senate website for the current General Education Committee list.

General Education Information

In 2006, the committee adopted the following guidelines for assessment projects:

  • Use authentic student work as the basis for assessment. This generally means using work students have completed for credit in one or more courses.
  • Use sampling techniques to make the task manageable.
  • If there are too many outcomes to handle at once, select those that seem most important and only assess them at first.
  • Build on existing efforts at assessment in programs and/or in general education that are relevant to assessment of your goal and outcomes.
  • Assure the anonymity of both instructors and students who provide work that is used in assessment. The purpose is improvement of instruction in the general education program, not evaluation of individual students or instructors.
  • Work with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness from the beginning through the end of your project.
  • Recognize that General Education has two major components: (a) the required 100 and 200-level approved courses, and (b) the reinforcement of General Education goals within major programs. During the first year of assessment, it may be necessary to simplify the task by assessing point (a) alone because a good portion of the developing assessment strategies will involve a first-time learning experience for faculty.
  • Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

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