General Education Council

Co-Chairs: Claire Hamilton (cehamilt@educ.umass.edu), Jeff Beaulieu (beaulieu@math.umass.edu)

Membership

Minutes

Reports

More information on the General Education Program at UMass, including directions on how to submit and IE proposal or propose a course for Gen Ed designation can be found at the General Education Website.

The General Education Council will meet on the following dates during the 2018-2019 academic year:

Fall Semester    
September 28
October 26
November 30
December 14

Spring Semester
February 1
February 22
March 29
April 26
May 17

All meetings will begin at 2:00 p.m. and take place in the Chancellor's Board Room, Whitmore 370, unless otherwise indicated.

Charge:
The General Education Council shall oversee that part of the University curriculum which is required of all undergraduate students. It shall:
(a) Review and recommend proposals and policies concerning General Education requirements;
(b) Establish guidelines and criteria for all courses which satisfy General Education requirements; review the courses proposed for General Education and existing distribution requirements and make appropriate recommendations to the Faculty Senate; (
c) Review courses previously approved to fulfill General Education requirements (or distribution designations) within five years of their approval (and within every five years thereafter) in order to recommend their re-approval to the Faculty Senate;
(d) Serve as an advisory body to the Deputy Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education on matters relating to General Education; and
(e) Serve as an advisory body to curriculum committees in schools and colleges on matters pertaining to General Education and other requirements (excluding requirements for the major).

Membership:
Its membership shall be:
(a) Twenty Faculty members or Librarians (with at least one from each School/College headed by a dean and one Librarian);
(b) A Representative from the Commonwealth Honors College Council, appointed by the Chair of the Commonwealth Honors College Council;
(c) The University Registrar or a designee, serving ex officio;
(d) The Director of Transfer Affairs or a designee, serving ex officio;
(e) The Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education or a designee, serving ex officio;
(f) The Vice Provost for International Programs or a designee, serving ex officio;
(g) The Director of the University Writing Program or a designee, serving ex officio;
(h) The Assistant Provost for Assessment and Educational Effectiveness, serving ex officio;
(i) The Associate Director for Faculty Development, serving ex officio;
(j) The Five College Coordinator or a designee, serving ex officio;
(k) The Dean of Commonwealth Honors College or a designee, serving ex officio;
(l) The Chairperson of the Academic Matters Council or a designee, serving ex officio;
(m) The Secretary of the Faculty Senate or a designee, serving ex officio;
(n) Two Graduate Teaching Assistants/Associates; and
(o) Three Undergraduate Students.

The General Education Council shall establish a committee on Variance consisting of: the University Registrar, the Director of Transfer Affairs, the Provost's designee, and at least three faculty members. The committee Chair shall be a member of the General Education Council, appointed by the Chair of the General Education Council. One or more members of the Variance Committee, who also serve on the General Education Council, shall be appointed as (Co)- Chair of the Variance Committee by the Chair of the General Education Council. The Committee shall review all student petitions for variances from the General Education Requirements. The following conditions and procedures shall apply:
(a) such petitions shall be made through the student's Academic Dean, with an accompanying letter from the Dean, and forwarded to the Registrar's Office by the Dean for consideration by the Committee. This written rationale from the Academic Dean will state explicitly whether he or she supports, does not support, or is neuteral on the student's appeal, along with the reasoning for his or her decision,
(b) all requests for variance from the General Education requirements based on an allegation of misadvising shall include a statement verifying such misadvice by the academic advisor or dean involved,
(c) requests for the use of a non-General Education course to fulfill a specific General Education designation requirement must be accompanied by faculty documentation that supports the appropriateness of the General Education designation for the non-General Education course being substituted. Such faculty support will include evidence that the non-General Education courses address all the requirements for the General Education designation being requested. This evidence will be based upon the criteria for the General Education designation as described in the Curriculum Areas and Designation information on the General Education website. In addition, the student petition should outline his or her reasons for appeal, including why it would be a severe hardship to take another course with the needed General Education designation, and
(d) a student may register an appeal to the committee's decision only with a written rationale from his/her initiating Dean, to be submitted to the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate and Continuing Education for consideration.

The General Education Council shall establish a subcommittee on the Integrative Experience consisting of the Chair or designees of the Academic Matters, General Education, Program and Budget and Undergraduate Education Councils, in addition to three or more members of the General Education Council, or other full time teaching faculty not on the General Education Council, approved by the Chair of the General Education Council. The subcommittee Chair shall be appointed by the Chair of the General Education Council. Staff support to the Integrative Experience Subcommittee shall be provided by the Office of Institutional Planning and Assessment.

From Chapter 5 Section 8 of the Faculty Senate Bylaws.