DRAFT General Education Curriculum Component SLOs and Other Requirements


GERC submitted a curriculum proposal to the curriculum committee on March 27, 2017.  This document contains the requirements and SLOs for the components below that were revised for this proposal: https://sites.stedwards.edu/seugened/files/2017/03/curriculum.components-1j756bo.pdf

SLOs and Other Requirements

During the Fall of 2016 over 80 faculty and key staff worked in Requirement Development Committees (RDCs) to propose Student Learning Outcomes and other requirements for each of the components of the new general education curriculum.  GERC then gathered two main forms of feedback on these requirements.  Each dean provided feedback, questions, and concerns relevant to particular departments and schools.  Additionally, all faculty and key staff received individual feedback surveys.  GERC shared feedback from the SEU community with the appropriate RDC groups and, when appropriate, asked for revisions.  The revised SLOs and other requirements for all curriculum elements except Mission Markers and Interdisciplinary Concentrations were supported by Academic Council as guidelines for course development in April of 2017.

Below are DRAFTS of the requirements for each curriculum component. Click on the link to jump to each component or scroll down.

In February 2017 GERC surveyed all faculty and key staff on these draft SLOs and other requirements.  The survey results can be found  here: requirements.survey.results.Report-1ynzxya.

Freshman Seminar

Proposed SLOs:

PROPOSED GOAL: Students will join a community of learners and actively engage in academic and cocurricular exploration. As they do so, they will develop critical thinking skills necessary to become successful students and lifelong learners by meaningfully confronting questions of social justice through the course materials and co-curricular experiences.

 To achieve this goal students will:

  1. Develop an emerging awareness of assumptions by engaging a variety of perspectives.
  2. Interpret and then evaluate issues/evidence/sources central to course content.
  3. Communicate effectively about multiple perspectives explored during the course.
  4. Reflect on and apply knowledge developed in the classroom and co-curricular experiences.

We have left the SLO’s deliberately broad, as this is an interdisciplinary course that encourages broad participation from across the campus.

Proposed Other Requirements: 

Freshmen should be required to pass this course. (Note from GERC: at first glance, this may seem like an unnecessary requirement–don’t students need to pass all required courses?  Unfortunately, this is not the case–there is a loophole in the current Freshman Studies that means that students do NOT have to pass it.  If they fail, they fulfill the requirement with an elective.  This RDC committee is proposing to close this loophole and make sure that students who fail have to then retake the course.  The committee notes that Freshman Seminars can be offered in the fall and spring semesters.)


Quantitative Reasoning

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. Interpretation: … demonstrate interpretation of quantitative information presented in mathematical, statistical, and/or computational forms such as equations, graphs, diagrams, figures, tables, data, patterns, structures, models, input or output from computer programs or software, and words.
  2. Computation: … perform mathematical, statistical, and/or computational calculations and operations to solve problems and/or convert quantitative information from one form to another using technology such as computer programs or software when appropriate.
  3. Application: … make and communicate decisions and conclusions based on mathematical, statistical, and/or computational analysis of quantitative information and evidence subject to assumptions and estimations inherent in such analyses, methods, and/or models.

Proposed Other Requirements:

Students must use mathematical, statistical, and/or computational methods to analyze and solve problems involving quantitative information to make and communicate conclusions based on such analyses.

Modern Language

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. Presentational competence (speaking, writing): …be able to present meaningful information, concepts and viewpoints on familiar and some unfamiliar topics from across disciplines using writing processes and presentation strategies.
  2. Interpretive competence (reading, listening/viewing): …be able to comprehend and interpret information in authentic messages and informational texts using listening, reading and viewing strategies.
  3. Interpersonal competence (speaking, listening/viewing, reading and writing): …be able to interact with others using culturally appropriate language and gestures to employ requests, negotiate meaning through clarifications and implement conversation strategies on familiar and some unfamiliar topics. Students can express preferences, feelings, emotions and opinions about familiar and some unfamiliar topics.
  4. Cultural Competence (reading, listening/viewing, writing, speaking): …demonstrate a basic understanding of cultural behaviors within a global context. They will compare and assess values and social practices from their own culture relative to those from another culture, allowing them to challenge, confront, and disrupt misconceptions and stereotypes that lead to discrimination.

Proposed Other Requirements:

  1. All students will fulfill their 3-6 hour modern language requirements during their freshman year. Those who need to take 6 hours will therefore enroll in a modern language class in their first and second semester consecutively.
  2. Students who take the modern language placement test in French, Spanish, Chinese and German during orientation will enroll in the course level indicated by the placement test result. There is no formal placement test for Arabic and Japanese. However, students enrolled in these courses will be placed in them by their instructor by way of an exam.

Oral Communication

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. Organization and Message…construct a clear, cohesive outline in service of a specific and well-articulated purpose; appropriately employ knowledge of organizational patterns, introductions, conclusions, and transitions. The central message is clearly and precisely stated and frequently reinforced.
  2. Language…communicate the central message and use all organizational elements thoroughly, consistently, and memorably  through insightful word choice and the thoughtful, creative selection of appropriate rhetorical devices.
  3. Delivery…deploy a constellation of occasion-appropriate techniques  and use posture, gesticulation, movement, volume, vocal expressiveness, rate of speaking, and eye contact to engage the audience through the authentic demonstration of confidence, control, and command of material.
  4. Supporting Material…offer abundant, varied, and relevant forms of evidence (e.g., narratives, explanations, examples, illustrations, statistics, analogies, and direct quotations) and correctly attribute citations, all in a manner that firmly establishes and reinforces the presenter’s credibility.

Proposed Other Requirements:

 Every class must require at least 3 major presentations.

Writing 1

Proposed SLOs: 

(1) Students will be able to read and use texts to support their writing goals. This outcome can be achieved through any of the following pathways:

  1. The student will reflect on useful strategies for reading difficult texts.
  2. The student will reflect on the ethical choices inherent in the relationship between reading and writing.
  3. The student will identify and explain the rhetorical moves common to texts.
  4. The student will reference research-based texts in strategic ways (including the use of summary, paraphrases, or quotes).

(2) Students will adapt their writing and their writing practices for various writing contexts to respond to varied rhetorical situations. This outcome can be achieved through any of the following pathways:

  1. The student will analyze writing processes using a vocabulary that includes terms like audience, purpose, rhetorical situation, reflection, and revision.
  2. The student will demonstrate awareness of their own position within the rhetorical situation.
  3. The student will experiment with various heuristics for composing.
  4. The student will demonstrate how social, rhetorical, and technological contexts shape writing conceptions, processes, rules, and conventions.

(3) Students will demonstrate substantial and successful revision by creating successive drafts that show global improvement and an ability to respond to substantive issues raised by instructor and peer feedback. This outcome can be achieved through the following pathway:

  1.  The student will demonstrate awareness that choices about conventions and genre expectations are shaped by the rhetorical situation: by the particular purpose of a text, its occasion, and the audience.

Proposed Other Requirements: None

Writing 2

Proposed SLOs: 

(1) Students will build on and expand their use of resources to support research-based writing goals. This outcome can be achieved through any of the following pathways:

  1. The student will analyze and assess genre, discourse conventions, rhetorical situation, and argument strategy in complex texts.
  2. The student will find, analyze, and evaluate research- and evidence-based sources for appropriateness, timeliness, and validity within writing context.
  3. The student will examine the ethical choices associated with being a member of various discourse communities.

(2) Students will adapt their research practices according to varied rhetorical situations. This outcome can be achieved through any of the following pathways:

  1. The student will use acquired vocabulary to talk about research and writing processes, continuing work with audience, purpose, and rhetorical situation in light of discourse community and genre.
  2. The student will demonstrate awareness of their own position within the rhetorical situation as a member of a targeted discourse community.
  3. The student will experiment with various heuristics for researching and writing long-term, research-driven projects.
  4. The student will produce research-based writing relevant to ongoing conversations.
  5. The student will choose genre and conventions appropriate for purpose and audience.

(3)  Students will demonstrate substantial and successful revision by creating successive drafts that show global improvement and an ability to respond to substantive issues raised by instructor and peer feedback. This outcome can be achieved through the following pathway:

  1. The student will choose genre and conventions appropriate for purpose and audience.

Proposed Other Requirements: None

Natural Sciences

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. …differentiate between scientific and non-scientific questions and investigations as reported in available literature. Furthermore, they will distinguish effectively among conflicting claims allegedly based on scientific investigation.
  2. …articulate the role of science in society. In particular, they will be able to identify and explain scientific bases for national policies. Examples of policy topics include: energy and water resource development, management, and consumption; climate change; globalization; human physical and mental health, etc. These specific areas should be updated on a one-year to five-year basis.
  3.  …describe the interconnected relationships between technology, innovation, and science in the 21st century. In particular, they will be able to give an example of how rapidly evolving advances in technology impact the scientific enterprise and how these advances impact the role of science in society.
  4. …demonstrate the ability to suggest and/or test possible solutions and evaluate the outcomes of those solutions to authentic, real-world problems through scientific investigations in the classroom, laboratory, or field.  Embedded activities such as case and problem-based studies, guided inquiry, simulations, experiments or other experiential learning opportunities should be used to frame this component.  
  5. …communicate about science in an evidence-based way verbally and in writing.  Examples include written reports and/or oral or poster presentations.  

Proposed Other Requirements:

Experiential learning is any learning that supports students in applying their knowledge and conceptual understanding to real-world problems or situations where the instructor directs and facilitates learning. The classroom, laboratory, or field can serve as a setting for experiential learning through embedded activities such as case and problem-based studies, guided inquiry, simulations, or experiments (definition adapted from Wurdinger & Carlson, 2010).

Diverse American Perspectives (note: the committee is proposing a change of name from Reexamining America)

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1.  describe the various factors that contribute to the construction of social identities in American society.
  2.  analyze struggles over freedom, equality, equity, justice, and power within American society.
  3.  critically examine the historical context of significant issues and events in America.

Proposed Other Requirements: none

Global Perspectives

Proposed SLOs: Through the study of a combination of cultural, political, historical, societal, technological and/or economic legacies, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge about an area of the world, country, or region within a country and place it within a global context involving individual, societal, cultural, economic and/or political relationships (Knowledge);
  2. Demonstrate the ability to compare, analyze and evaluate diverse perspectives, including their own, to experiences and legacies within a global context outside of their own society (Perspective and Comparison);
  3. Demonstrate the ability to identify issues of global concern and then apply critical, moral and ethical analyses drawing on multiple perspectives such as inequality, economic status, identity, gender, class, ideology, ethnicity, and power relations (Application).

Proposed Other Requirements: None

Exploring Expressive Works

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. Analyze expressive works through inquiry-driven critical interpretation.
  2. Recognize and interrogate the relation between an expressive work and its historical and cultural context.
  3. Integrate knowledge and draw connections between expressive works and contemporary social issues.
  4. Articulate, dialogue with, and evaluate multiple points of view relating to an expressive work.
  5. Use the critical vocabulary and analytical framework of appropriate scholarly discourses when analyzing expressive works.

Proposed Other Requirements: None

Creativity and Making

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. Develop a tool kit within the specified creative discipline, learning to identify craft vocabulary, techniques, and ways of experimenting with the invention of forms, processes, actions,
    or ideas.
  2. Generate a body of original creative work by applying appropriate discipline-specific techniques and strategies.
  3. Articulate conceptual understanding of creative practices via reflection on a body of creative work produced throughout the course.
  4. Analyze and evaluate their own work and the work of peers and professionals through the application of discipline-specific vocabulary in written and/or verbal analysis and critique.

Proposed Other Requirements:

  1. More than 50% of coursework must be devoted to the production of a body of creative work. While the creative process may require the viewing, interpretation or analysis of existing works, course activity must be weighted towards students participating in producing original creative work within the discipline they are studying. A significant amount of class time should be devoted to workshopping, critique, studio time, practice, or creative exercises.
  2. Assignments must emphasize the creative process in an iterative manner via the creation, attempts at improvement, and reflection on multiple versions of an artifact or technique. Coursework must reinforce the foundational process of iteration, recognizing that professional creative work is derived from recursive methods and not singular transactions. This may manifest in multiple ways, for example: a major assignment that requires the formal submission of two or more drafts/versions of an artifact; small exercises designed to contribute to refining a technique/process to be applied in a major assignment; one complex artifact/project broken up into multiple smaller stages or components over the course of the semester.
  3. Coursework or course discussion must encourage students to make connections between the creative process in this discipline and other facets of the students’ education and vocation. As a general education requirement, instructors should recognize that students in the course will likely not pursue the creative discipline as a vocation. Therefore, to make the coursework truly valuable, instructors must be vigilant about explicitly aiding students in identifying opportunities where the creative process learned in this course might transfer to activity in their respective majors.
  4. Students must participate in the local creative community via attending one or more events related to the discipline being studied. Co-curricular programming allows students to enrich their creative process by experiencing professional examples within the discipline they are studying, and provides opportunities for critique, comparison, and analysis in the classroom. These may include,: attending a performance, lecture, reading, exhibition, etc.


Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. …demonstrate working knowledge of contemporary or historical philosophical ethical theories and ideas
  2. …critically analyze, compare, and contrast philosophical ethical theories and ideas.
  3. …articulate how ethical reasoning informs their moral beliefs, decision making, and values.

Proposed Other Requirements: None

Studies in Theology and Religion

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the historical and cultural development of ideas and beliefs as expressed within a religious tradition or traditions.
  2. critically analyze expressions of a religious tradition or traditions using key disciplinary categories and interpretative methods of theology and religious studies.
  3.  demonstrate an ability to integrate their study of a religious tradition or traditions with societal or personal questions of significance.

Proposed Other Requirements: No

Culminating Experience

Proposed SLOs: The student will:

  1. …pose an open-ended question to be answered or problem to be solved
  2. …use discipline-appropriate processes to answer open-ended questions/solve open-ended problems
  3. …evaluate the results of the inquiry process
  4. …communicate project outcomes in discipline-appropriate ways
  5. …reflect and explain in writing how the curriculum and co-curriculum contributed to the development of knowledge, skills and habits of mind essential to answering discipline-specific questions/solving discipline-specific problems
  6. …reflect and explain in writing how their undergraduate experience prepared them to achieve their vocational goals

Proposed Other Requirements:

  1. The CE course (or course sequence) must include a project and a reflection component.
  2. Reflection must be written and contribute substantially to the course grade.
  3. Project results must be communicated in discipline-appropriate way.
  4. Project must involve problem-solving—interpreted broadly.
  5. Reflection must be completed by students individually but the CE project itself may be a collaborative effort.

A Note on Pathways and Integrations

Requirements for Pathways and for Integrations (Writing, Experiential Learning for Social Justice, and Social Identities) are currently being discussed and refined.  Look for updated Pathways and Integrations requirements at a later date.

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