Creating a Syllabus

A successful General Education syllabus will accomplish several things:

  • Be informative
  • Explain how the course engages proposed learning objectives
  • Involve students and welcome their assessment
  • Celebrate the value of the Gen Ed experience

Your syllabus should:

  • Clearly identify the designation(s) that the course holds, and the number of credits it's offered at 
  • Explain in detail how the course achieves the overall Gen Ed learning objectives and the specific learning objectives of the curriculum area designation of the course
  • Clearly link learning activities with these objectives
  • Review the Exemplary General Education Statements for examples of how to work gen ed language into your syllabus and communicate learning objectives to students

In addition, the following elements are required of all syllabi per Academic Regulations and Faculty Senate

  • Course objectives
  • Expectations and requirements such as papers, lab reports, or exams 
    • Please note: All courses holding a Social World designation must have a minimum of 10 pages of writing required.  
  • Attendance policies 
  • Grading criteria and the approximate weight of each course requirement in the final grade 
  • Examination schedule and any make-up rescheduling policies 
  • Policies on academic honesty 
  • Policies on course accessibility and accommodations (e.g. Disability statement)
  • Office, phone, and mailbox numbers for instructor(s)

Faculty who design a course as a Gen Ed should also consider its relation to other courses, both those within the faculty member’s department and within the Gen Ed curriculum areas as a whole. For example, in some cases, courses may count as prerequisites. In others, intellectual links may be forged between a community of Gen Ed faculty.

It is recommended that instructors follow four stages in creating a syllabus and moving it towards the formal approval process:

  1. Review the Learning Objectives for all Gen Ed courses.
  2. Review the Curriculum Areas and Designations to determine the category best suited for the course
  3. Construct a syllabus
  4. Consult the Course Approval Process for instructions on submitting the proposal

For further information, contact the General Education Council.