Essential Studies Course Approval

Required Information for Essential Studies Approval:

During the current implementation phase of Essential Studies, we are seeking Essential Studies Course Approval applications for courses at the Foundation and Essential Practice levels (Processes for Program-Integrated Practice, ESSE, and Capstone courses may differ, and will be further defined as we move forward.)

In order to ease the transition to Essential Studies, and provide predictability for students, departments, and programs, GEAC is soliciting Foundation and Essential Practice course approval applications only from courses that fulfill requirements in the prior general education framework. In a few limited cases, to build out course lists, ESLO committees may reach out to invite particular faculty and departments to submit applications.

To submit a course, provide the following information:

  1. A CPC New Course Request or Course Change form, if needed. (Note: An existing course with no changes to course title, description, credits or prerequisites does not require submission to CPC; rather submit items 2-4 directly to GEAC, by emailing them to Nellie Stewart. If CPC changes are required, attached the documents below to your CPC submission.)
  2. A Essential Studies Course Approval Form (see link at right) with chair and dean signatures
  3. A detailed course syllabus that includes (a) course outcomes, (b) identification of appropriate ESLO pathway(s). (Note: Make sure that the activities of the course integrate the outcomes as listed in the syllabus.)
  4. An assignment requiring student work appropriate for proficiency assessment in the identified ESLO.

Following submission for Essential Studies approval, a course undergoes a review process involving GEAC and the associated ESLO committee.

Notification of Approval or Request for Revision

Following review by GEAC, faculty will receive notification of approval or request for revision for courses they have submitted. In an effort to make the process timely,if a submission doesn't align with the criteria, the ESLO committee will reach out to the submitter and discuss what modifications might be needed to the documentation or the course to align with outcomes.

Deadlines for Course Submission

​The General Education Advisory Council (GEAC) will review courses for Essential Studies approval each term. We commit that courses submitted by the end of week 2 of any academic term (Fall, Winter, Spring) will receive full review during that academic term.

NOTE: To facilitate initial program mapping in Fall 2016, we are asking faculty to submit courses by the end of week 3.

Essential Studies Forms

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FAQs

If a course is on a list for the previous general education model, does it need to go through approval for Essential Studies?

Yes; GEAC must approve all Essential Studies courses. While the prior general education lists placed heavy emphasis on course prefix, the Essential Studies model relies on a course’s alignment with the Essential Studies Learning Outcomes (ESLOs), and needs to be reviewed based on the specific ESLO criteria.

Is there only one chance to submit courses for Essential Studies Approval?

The opportunity to submit courses for Essential Studies approval always exists. To facilitate initial program mapping in Fall 2016, we are asking faculty to submit courses by the end of week 3. However, courses may still be submitted at any point after this. We commit that courses submitted by the end of week 2 of any academic term (Fall, Winter, Spring) will receive full review during that academic term.

How do I figure out which outcome and level apply best to my course?

Begin by looking at the one-page overview of Essential Studies criteria. Expanded versions of these criteria can be found on each ESLO webpage, and the criteria at the bottom of each ESLO webpage, and the developmental rubrics for each ESLO help you place your course at the Foundation, Essential Practice, or Capstone levels.

Can I submit a course for multiple Essential Studies outcomes?

Yes. Any course can be tagged for up to two (“double-tagged”) Essential Studies outcomes. (However, note that, within the Essential Studies model, a student may only apply a course to one pathway at the foundational level. At the Essential Practice level, Students may apply a “double-tagged” course to two pathways, so long as the total requirement of 15 credits of Essential Practice courses is met.)

We have a course taught by multiple instructors and/or at multiple sites. Does every instructor or site need to submit materials for Essential Studies approval?

No. Essential Studies approval is for courses – only one approval is needed for all instructors and sections. By signing off on the Essential Studies Course approval submission, the department chair is certifying that they will work to ensure that equivalent Essential Studies standards are implemented every time the course is taught, just as they ensure that course content is equivalent. All instructors should incorporate the same course outcomes and an assignment that can be used to assess proficiency in the identified ESLO(s).

What will happen if my course is rejected for an Essential Studies tag?

Our goal is never to simply issue an outright rejection of a course -- GEAC and ESLO committees are fellow faculty with a passion for supporting our students, not heartless bureaucrats giddy with rubber stamps. If a course doesn’t align with the criteria, the ESLO committee will reach out to you and discuss what modifications might be needed to the documentation or the course to align with outcomes. If you're concerned about the alignment of a course with outcomes, please reach out to members of the relevant ESLO committee as you prepare your submission.

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