Approval of Courses

General Education Course Approval Process


To submit a request to have a course included in the general education model, fill out the appropriate form and e-mail it to the General Education Coordinator (if you are requesting to have the course cross-listed in two knowledge domains you will need to fill out the form for both domains). The links to the forms are listed below; the documents are in the Microsoft Word 2007 format (docx).

The following process is used when submitting a class for inclusion in the General Education Program:

  1. Course developed and approved at department level and signed by department Chair.
  2. Course submitted to college curriculum committee for review and approval (new courses only).
  3. Course submitted to the Dean of the College for approval and signature.
  4. Course submitted to Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) for review and approval (new courses only).
  5. Course submitted to General Education Committee (GEC) for review and certification.
  6. Course distributed as per Senate Circulation Process. (New courses submitted for consideration as General Education Courses that are approved by the UCC but not the GEC, may still be circulated for faculty review under the UCC).
  7. Course sent to Chair of Academic Senate for signature.
  8. Course appended to Academic Senate Agenda / Minutes.


Approved Policies on General Education Courses

One purpose of the General Education Requirements is to ensure that students are exposed to a diverse range of disciplines. Therefore, in general, upper-division courses will not count towards the General Education Requirements. However, the committee is cognizant that exceptions may need to be made in some cases (for example: accreditation requirements, situations in which the number of hours required for a program becomes excessive, or other extraordinary circumstances).


Criteria for approval:

Learning outcomes can be found at the General Education website.

Domain Courses (not including Interdisciplinary Social and Personal Awareness Courses) must:

  1. Clearly meet the learning outcomes of one of the domains.
  2. Be open to all students.
  3. Be at the 1500 or 2600 level.1
  4. Provide students with an introduction to an academic discipline or a primary subdivision of that discipline.
  5. Must service a significant number of students from multiple disciplines.
  6. Must clearly be at the college level.

Interdisciplinary Social and Personal Awareness Courses must:

  1. Meet the criteria for Domain Courses with the exception of item 4.
  2. Come from two or more distinct disciplines. Courses consisting of two or more sub disciplines of the same discipline are not permitted. Courses that are one discipline’s view of another discipline are not permitted.
  3. Be team-taught, co-taught or taught by a faculty member with sufficient expertise in the two or more disciplines. (By the YSU OEA contract, team-taught refers “ situations in which two (2) or more faculty members are simultaneously engaged in teaching an assigned course, and both or all assigned faculty attend substantially all assigned classes.” Co-taught refers to situations where the workload for the course is divided between two (2) or more faculty members.) Please note that team-taught courses have different workload considerations compared to traditional courses (See section 16.5 in the YSU OEA contract for details).
  4. Be as academically rigorous as a traditional domain courses.

Notes on Interdisciplinary SPA courses:

  1. Given that interdisciplinary courses are often dependent on particular faculty members and/or current events, the courses could be transitory in nature. Any changes in the availability of the course must be made know to the GEC.
  2. Given the higher cost structure of team-taught courses, course proposals that have this structure should provide evidence of support for the course from relevant chairs and deans.

Capstone Courses must:

  1. Clearly meet the capstone learning outcomes.
  2. Be a senior level course in the context of the major.

Math Courses must:

  • Clearly meet the Math learning outcome.


Notes on the approval process:

  1. To be considered by the General Education Committee, a course proposal must include a syllabus with a calendar. The syllabus should include the relevant General Education goals and learning outcomes.
  2. Ideally, the syllabus should give a clear indication that the assignments and materials used in the course are adequate to fulfill the appropriate learning outcomes.
  3. The course proposal should address all relevant criteria.
  4. If the course is cross-listed, there should be a course proposal form from both departments.
  5. The General Education Committee has formulated a rubric for domain courses* to help evaluate courses based on the relevant criteria. Departments are encouraged to self-evaluate their courses prior to submitting a proposal to the General Education Committee.
  6. In evaluating courses the committee will consider the frequency with which the course is included in the general education programs at other public universities in Ohio. This is done to evaluate transferability of general education courses within the state. Departments submitting courses to the General Education Committee should also indicate if there is a TAG or OTM designation available for the course.

    Be aware that under potential new guidelines from the state, “public institutions . . . must align their general education curriculum with the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) and with Ohio’s Articulation and Transfer Policy.”

  7. The General Education Committee is tasked with evaluating whether a course meets General Education learning outcomes. Given the interdisciplinary makeup of the committee, the criteria responses provided on a course proposal should be readable by someone who is not an expert in the field. The burden of proof is on the department submitting the course for approval.
  8. The course proposal should clearly convey the value of the course with regard to fulfilling the general education goals and learning outcomes.

1One purpose of the General Education Requirements is to ensure that students are exposed to a diverse range of disciplines. Therefore, in general, upper-division courses will not count towards the general education requirements. However, the committee is cognizant that exceptions may need to be made in some cases. For example due to accreditation requirements and situations in which the number of hours required for a program become excessive or other extraordinary circumstances.


General Education Course Submission Forms



Knowledge Domain Courses

Arts and Humanities*

Natural Science*

Social Science*

Social and Personal Awareness

Domestic Diversity*

Environmental Sustainability*

International Perspectives*

Well Being*