General Education Revision (effective Fall 2021)

Concurrent with the College’s implementation of Guided Pathways, the Cross-Divisional Curriculum Planning Group (CDCP) began having focused discussions about general education from its inception in June 2017. The General Education Task Force (GETF), an extension of the CDCP, is a working group that took on the task of revising the general education requirements, using transfer requirements, data related to employer expectations, surveys, and the results of focus groups as a basis for the work. The collaborative process used to develop the revised general education curriculum is the result of almost three years of regular meetings and conversations and has included the participation of more than 150 faculty from across the disciplines as well as other members of the College community.

Description of Changes

A key aspect of the general education revision is the move from disciplines to skills. In 2009, the College created a three-layer general education system that includes major areas of learning (standard academic disciplines) as well as major academic approaches and core competencies. The revision effective Fall 2021 eliminates the major areas of learning, the major academic approaches, and the core competencies as the foundation for general education and replaces them with a general education framework based on six Essential Skills: 

  1. Oral Communication/Creative Expression 
  2. Quantitative Reasoning 
  3. Scientific Reasoning 
  4. Technological Competency 
  5. Cultural Analysis and Interpretation 
  6. Writing, Research, and Information Literacy 

The Essential Skills are in alignment with Middle States Commission on Higher Education Standard III criteria updated in 2015. The move from disciplines to skills forms a bridge between general education requirements and general education skills and includes more faculty from across the disciplines in the general education revision. Goals of the revision included increasing faculty’s sense of ownership of and/or connection to general education at the College, providing more coherent curricula, and improving student outcomes. 

For more information, please read the proposal and supporting documents or visit the General Education Requirements page.

Where We Are in the Process

The general education revision proposal went through governance and received its final approval from the Institution-Wide Committee on May 18, 2020. Since then,  

  • 145 existing courses went through a multidisciplinary course review, revision, and approval process to meet one of the six Essential Skills 
  • 11 courses were created to meet one of the six Essential Skills
  • 51 degree programs were updated with the new general education requirements
  • 3 new programs were created with the new general education requirements
  • The new General Education Requirements web page has launched
  • A student video and student web page are in development
  • General education assessment planning for implementation in Fall 2021 has begun.


For more information, please contact Amy Birge-Caracappa at