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How to Propose a General Education Core Curriculum Course

Introduction

Thank you for considering an addition to the Texas State University General Education Core Curriculum. In order to meet requirements established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the university has established a process to propose and approve General Education Core Curriculum courses. Faculty have primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the Texas State curriculum, so any new course must be proposed by faculty at the department/program/school level. This is a fundamental expectation of SACSCOC, the university's primary accreditor. 

Departments and schools must prepare a formal request using the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system via the CatsWeb Faculty & Staff Menu, including appropriate GEC documentation, in order for the GEC to consider an existing or a new course for inclusion in the General Education Core Curriculum. Curriculum Services provides a Curriculum Calendar that helps faculty see the timeline for course proposals.  In general, faculty may access the CIM year-round, but new General Education course proposals must be submitted for consideration prior to the end of September. The General Education Council then has until November 26th to review course additions, changes, and deletions.

Course Review Flow Chart

Course Review Flow Chart

Here is the route for internal/external reviews of the course proposal:

  • Department or school faculty propose a course for addition
  • Department or school curriculum committee
  • Department chair, program director, or school director
  • College Curriculum Committee
  • College Council
  • College Dean
  • General Education Council
  • General Education Chair
  • Other college deans
  • University Curriculum Committee
  • Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Provost
  • Texas State University System Board of Regents
  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

In the event that a course proposal receives a negative vote or is denied at any level, the proposal will be returned to the originating faculty for review and possible revisions. The proposal can be resubmitted for future consideration.

Objectives of the General Education Core Curriculum

When students complete their bachelor’s degree, they will be prepared not only for their major field of study, but also to be successful in a rapidly changing world as a result of completing coursework in six Core Objectives or Competencies:

  • Critical Thinking Skills (CT) - creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information
  • Communication Skills (COM) - effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication
  • Empirical and Quantitative Skills (EQS) - manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions
  • Teamwork (TW) - ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal
  • Social Responsibility (SR) - intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities
  • Personal Responsibility (PR) - ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making

Foundational Component Areas

There are nine areas of study called Foundational Component Areas included in the Core Curriculum. These are prescribed by Texas law, which means students at all public institutions in Texas take courses in these areas. Each of the Foundational Component Areas has a set of semester credit hours (SCH) required for completion:

  • Communication (6 SCH)
  • Mathematics (3 SCH)
  • Life and Physical Sciences (6 SCH)
  • Language, Philosophy and Culture (3 SCH)
  • Creative Arts (3 SCH)
  • American History (6 SCH)
  • Government/Political Science (6 SCH)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 SCH)
  • The Component Area Option (6 SCH)

The following table explains which objectives (competencies) are required in the Foundational Component Areas:

THECB Table of Foundational Component Areas

Proposing a Course

Questions within the CIM to be answered for course proposals to the Core Curriculum.

  1. Describe how this course will meet the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­______________Foundational Component Area description. [answer questions for YOUR Foundational Component Area]
  2. How does this course meet the Required Core Objective Outcomes for the ___________ Foundational Component Area?
  3. In relation to this course, how are the following categories of learning addressed in the course content? [additional information is provided in the CIM system]
  4. Describe the types of assessment that will be completed to assess student learning related to the component area and core objective outcomes in this course.
  5. For a course addition, what is the projected enrollment OR for a course change, what has been the enrollment for the last two semesters?
  6. For a course change, will the course have to be offered with increased frequency?
  7. What other courses may experience lower enrollments as a result of adding this course as a general education core curriculum requirement?
  8. Is this course required for a major?
  9. Is this course required for a minor?

Examples of successful course proposals can be found here.

 

Things to Consider Before Submitting Your Course Proposal

  • Learn more about curriculum services here:  https://www.txstate.edu/curriculumservices/
  • Please contact your General Education Council college representative or the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services (mc58@txstate.edu) as a resource.  GEC Members may be found here: https://www.avpas.txstate.edu/General-Education-Council/Roster.html
  • A core curriculum course must be foundational and must not be too narrowly focused.  Courses with specialized topics do not lay a broad foundation across time, space, cultures, and forms.  Introductory courses specific to a single discipline or career have a focus that is too narrow. A general education core curriculum course does not have a focus on the skill development of the individual. It has a focus on providing an academic foundation for all future learning.  Upper division courses that have corresponding lower division courses are not suitable, even if the institution itself does not have a lower division version of the course (from “Texas Core Curriculum Points of Consideration for Course Submission and Review,” April 2018).  Please see this document for additional information:  http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/reports/PDF/10283.PDF
  • Texas General Education Core Curriculum WebCenter:  www.thecb.state.tx.us/apps/tcc/
  • Examples of reasons a course may be turned down:
    • Much of the content in this new proposed course is already being taught through another course.
    • The proposed course was too “skills-based” and does not fit well with the purpose of General Education Core Curriculum courses as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
    • The proposed course focused on personal skills more so than the _________ components.  According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, courses in this category need to focus on ____________.
    • Some of the justifications you submitted were not seen in the learning outcomes.
    • Answers to the questions that were posed in the proposal were not incorporated into the actual course syllabus.
    • Outcomes did not align with competencies in area.
  • Questions to consider before submitting your course proposal:
    • Do the written responses adequately addresses the list of component area questions—that is, are the responses consistent with the component area, and NOT simply too generically covered?
    • Is it clear how the student will successfully meet the required competencies of the component area?
    • Are examples used to illustrate how competencies will be addressed?
    • Does the syllabus follow and include the required format and elements?
  • Attach syllabus in required GEC template:  https://www.avpas.txstate.edu/General-Education-Council/Syllabi-Templates.html
  • Please check the Curriculum Services Annual Course Calendar for the due date for course proposals (usually due at the end of September): https://www.txstate.edu/curriculumservices/course-info/course-calendar.html