General Education Curriculum Structure

Topics: Curriculum Development, Academic Planning, Academic Affairs

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This brief examines how institutions structure current general education requirements and evaluate potential shifts to competency based learning. It includes information on how institutions administer and review learning outcomes and disciplines of general education requirements. Additionally, the report outlines how a profiled institution implements new general education requirements.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Profiled institutions identify student learning outcomes to establish general education requirements.

    2. General education requirements focus primarily on the arts and sciences (e.g., biology, literature, math, fine arts).

    3. Institutions’ acceptance of transfer credits is often undefined beyond broad articulation agreements to allow committees and administrators to examine cases individually.

    4. Although no profiled institution fulfills general education requirements through competency based learning, prior EAB research suggests that competencies build on learning outcomes and replace general education courses directly.

    5. Profiled institutions rarely assess student performance against learning outcomes.