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GEC to GEF

The current General Education Curriculum (GEC) has been in effect since 2005, with no major revision.  Given the current push, external and internal, to reduce total hours to degree completion to 120 (down from 128 for most majors), decreasing the total number of hours in general education requirements is critical to student success.  The new set of areas is called the General Education Foundations (GEF), and was approved by the WVU Faculty Senate in May 2014.

Rationale

The WVU General Education Foundations Program recognizes the importance of preparing students for success in their personal and professional lives, encouraging them to explore a variety of disciplines beyond those in their major area of study. Higher education promotes precisely such openness to new fields, ideas, and courses. Similarly, our GEF Program is open to all instructors whose courses advance intellectual, personal, or academic growth; we are eager for all faculty to engage in teaching GEF courses to foster faculty-student contact and academic development, mentoring, and experimentation. We maintain a large number of courses within our GEF Program not only to enhance the options open to students and encourage them to take advantage of the wide range of offerings, but also to inspire faculty to think creatively and embrace academic innovation. The GEF can be a gateway to a minor or a second major, and can open us all to new ways of viewing our curricula.

Expectations of a GEF Course

Courses within the GEF provide opportunities for students to achieve the overall goals of the GEF and are available to all WVU students. The following guidelines will be used by the GEF Committee when reviewing courses for inclusion in the GEF.
 

  1. GEF courses must normally be open to all students. Specifically, a course cannot be restricted to majors, programs, or colleges unless a rationale for how the course meets the spirit of the GEF is provided and approved.
  2. All prerequisites for GEF courses must be open and available to all WVU students.
  3. Normally, GEF courses should be at the 100, 200, or 300 level. 400-level courses are allowed into the GEF only when these courses are BOTH:
    1. available/open to a large population of interested students
    2. provide appropriate academic and intellectual breadth
Background

The General Education Curriculum (GEC) had been in effect since 2005, with no major revision.  Given the current push, external and internal, to reduce total hours to degree completion to 120 (down from 128 for most majors), decreasing the total number of hours in general education requirements is critical to student success.  The new set of areas is called the General Education Foundations (GEF), and was approved by the WVU Faculty Senate in May 2014 .

Description of new system
  • The GEF has adopted the following areas in which its courses are arranged (a full list of the courses in the GEF and the areas to which they have been tentatively assigned is available here):
  1. English
  2. Science and Technology
  3. Mathematics and Quantitative Skills
  4. Society and Connections
  5. Human Inquiry and the Past
  6. Artistic Expression
  7. Global and Diversity Studies
  8. Special Focus Area: See the Registrar's GEF page for an explanation of Focus Areas
  • The GEF incorporates important skills for 21st-century graduates by taking the AACU's Liberal Education America's Promise (or LEAP) learning outcomes as its organizing principles. The GEF is designed to involve innovative teaching and engage students in a challenging and diverse academic environment. The LEAP initiative's Essential Learning Outcomes and accompanying Value rubrics are the basis for the assessment tools by which the GEF guarantees its students the best contemporary liberal education.
  • The new system reduces the number of hours required to complete the WVU General Education plan from 128 to 120 hours.
  • The GEF has improved clarity for students and advisers as each course only counts for one GEF area.
  • By eliminating the University-wide Writing Requirement, programs can now tailor communications curriculum, skills, and learning outcomes to those needed by their graduates to succeed.