General Studies Program Implementation
NAU has re-designed its general education program. This site serves as an information portal to support this effort.
What? Accordion Open
What is NAU’s general educational program?
General Education is a key distinguishing characteristic of Baccalaureate Programs within the United States. To accomplish a Baccalaureate Degree in the U.S., all students must complete requirements to obtain a breadth of knowledge across disciplines and skills, as independently defined by each institution. Since 1999, NAU’s General Education program has been called the Liberal Studies Program. Over the last two years, NAU has revised its program and is launching a new general education program: the General Studies Program.
Why? Accordion Closed
Why are we changing NAU’s general education program?
In AY18-19 the Liberal Studies Program completed its second Program Review, with input from external reviewers. In the summer of 2019, ABOR drafted its first General Education Policy 2-210.
Throughout AY19-20 and AY 20-21, a Task Force was convened to re-envision the Liberal Studies Program to address input from the external review and align with ABOR’s Policy 2-210.
After institution-wide discussions and multiple revisions, a proposal was approved by the Faculty Senate April 2021 with 91% approval, with the caveat that our implementation approach/schedule would be influenced by results of a feasibility study to be conducted the summer of 2021.
How? Accordion Closed
How will NAU implement the new General Studies Program?
NAU will conduct a sequenced implementation plan with Phase I in Fall 2022 and Phase II in Fall 2024
An implementation plan for the new program, developed by a Faculty Senate-charged Curriculum and Assessment Coordinating Committee, was approved by the Faculty Senate on September 27. As we teach out our current program, we will simultaneously begin offering courses in the new program.
Phase I: In Fall 2022, students will have an opportunity to take classes that will become part of the new General Studies Program. Many courses in our current program, and newly developed courses, will have a designation in both programs. This transition-focused approach will afford us time to build our capacity to fully implement the new program by shifting resources, hiring expertise, and pivoting offerings to meet the enrollment needs in a predictable manner for our students.
Students who enroll at NAU through AY23-24, will enter under our current Liberal Studies Program and will be able to fulfill those requirements through graduation. We will continue to offer the necessary courses for our current students to complete the existing Liberal Studies Program requirements.
Phase II: Starting in Fall 2024, incoming students will be required to meet the requirements of the new General Studies Program. Transfer students, as designated by current policy, will have the option to continue under the previous Liberal Studies Program or enter with the new General Studies Requirements.
When? Accordion Closed
What is the timeline for implementation?
|March to April 2021||• Academic Units completed their Course Census, identifying how their current courses would migrate to the new program|
|May to June 2021||• Conducted a feasibility study to compare capacity needs to historical classes/seats|
|June to August 2021||• Updated the Summer Faculty Senate on the findings from the feasibility study
• Summer Faculty Senate requested a modified Curriculum & Assessment Coordinating Committee (CACC) work on the implementation plan
• Developed and gathered feedback on seven potential implementation plans in preparation for the CACC’s engagement
|September 2021||• General Studies Program Proposal approved by ABOR’s Academic Affairs and Educational Attainment Committee
• CACC examined and discussed three promising implementation plans; selected the plan titled “Build Capacity” for presentation to Faculty Senate
• Presented the recommended implementation plan from the CACC to the Faculty Senate
• Received Faculty Senate approval of the implementation plan titled “Build Course Capacity”
|October 2021||• General Studies Program Proposal approved by Arizona Board of Regents at October 1 meeting
• Begin work to add “Course Attribute” to all courses in both programs so that we track courses/classes/seats and build capacity
Topic-specific Work Groups will begin:
• Transfer Impacts Group
• Resource Models/Metrics Group
• Faculty-to-Faculty Course Design Resource Groups
• Functional Team (cross-Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Marketing Group)
• Technical Team (ITS/PeopleSoft/Technology Group)
• DCC/LSC Coordinating Group
|November 2021 to February 2022||• Academic units work on all course proposals
• Academic units examine their degree programs in relation to the new requirements, draft changes in curriculum paperwork
|February 18, 2022||• All Course Proposals Due to the Curriculum Proposal Process
• All Degree Program Revisions Due to the Curriculum Proposal Process
|February 18, 2022 to December 2022||• Committee Review and Vote on Curriculum Proposals|
|January 2023 to May 2024||Rebuild all Student-Facing Advising and Scheduling Support:
• Academic Advising Reports
• Degree Progression Plans
• Schedule Planning Tools
• Transfer Articulation Rules
|January 2023 to May 2024||Develop and implement Marketing Strategy for students entering in AY24-25|
|AY24-25||General Studies Requirements in place for the first student population entering in AY24-25|
Outline of University-wide Work to Complete in AY21-22
Throughout this academic year, members of the university community will be working to launch the new General Studies Program.
- Faculty will submit course proposals, particularly prioritizing the following new content areas:
- American Institutions
- Indigenous Peoples
- Intersectional Identities
- Social Science for Scientific Literacy or Methods
- Curriculum Committees will be reviewing and providing feedback to faculty on these proposals, supporting their revision and eventual approval
The Faculty Senate-Charged modified Curriculum and Assessment Coordinating Committee will continue to coordinate the implementation of the program. The groups they will engage are as follows:
- Faculty-to-Faculty Course Resource Design Groups will be convened to:
- Provide faculty-to-faculty expertise in course design for new content areas
- Develop a website of self-serve materials to support faculty in course design
- A Resource Model/Metrics Group will be working with departments and colleges to begin considering how to shift resources, hire expertise, pivot offerings and provide predictable classroom seats for our students
- A Transfer Impacts Group will be examining transfer policies, and communicating and engaging with our community colleges to ensure a smooth student transition
- The Office of Curriculum & Assessment will be working with Chairs, Directors and Faculty teaching in degree programs that have greater than 70 units in the major to examine course requirements and assist with designing approaches for integrating General Studies requirements for smooth student progression
- The new Ethics Institute will be partnering with General Studies to distribute a survey to determine how units are approaching the Ethics Requirement and identify resources for ethics from across campus. This data will assist in determining how best to engage units in the implementation of the Ethics Requirement.
Who? Accordion Closed
Who is impacted?
Most NAU students, faculty, and staff are impacted by the General Studies Program:
- all undergraduate students must fulfill requirements in the program (even if only the Junior Level Writing and Capstone requirements),
- ~1,000 part-time and full-time faculty teach classes in the program, and
- -almost all academic units have submitted courses that fulfill designations in the program.
This endeavor strongly impacts areas beyond faculty and students, including advising, transfer articulation, PeopleSoft technology, course scheduling, as well as marketing and enrolling our undergraduate students in the program.
As such, the Faculty Senate has identified a modified Curriculum & Assessment Coordinating Committee to work through key decisions that impact such a large set of stakeholders.
In addition, the Faculty Senate-charged CACC has identified the following groups to conduct specific work to support the implementation of the program. Each group and its purpose is provided below:
|Faculty-to-Faculty Course Design Resource Groups||To develop faculty-to-faculty course design support and consultation for faculty proposing courses to the new program.
• American Institutions
• Indigenous Peoples
• Intersectional Identities
• U.S. Ethnic Diversity
Pedagogies focused on Themes and Skills:
• Equity Matters
• Information Literacy
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
if you would like to create a group, or be part of a group.
|Degree Program Impacts Group||To examine all degree programs requiring >70 units in the major and identify approaches to assist in student progression through degree requirements in a timely manner.|
|Transfer Impacts Group||To provide insights, feedback and guidance on the implementation of the General Studies Program to ensure a smooth progression and experience for our Transfer students.
• Review of policies related to transfer students to ensure smooth progression and experience; identify changes to policies, and draft these changes for submission to appropriate groups for approval
• Identify updates to transfer rules and articulation, define timelines for this and coordinate changes with Arizona Transfer/Kelly Robles’ Team
• Develop and coordinate communications to the Community Colleges about our General Studies Program implementation
• Review degree programs accepting >64 units in transfer credit to:
- Ensure we have courses that fulfill transfer students’ educational needs
- Ensure we have adequate classes/seats/capacity so that students can progress smoothly to degree completion
|Resource Models/ Metrics Group||To build our capacity to fully implement the new program by shifting resources, hiring expertise, and pivoting offerings to meet the enrollment needs in a predictable manner for our students.|
|Communication Planning Group||Conduct communication planning to ensure communications align the organization to the endeavor|
|Functional Team||To connect cross-operational areas in the timeline and implementation of the General Studies Program, including Registrar’s Office, Curriculum & Assessment, Schedule of Classes, Advising, Admissions, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Faculty Professional Development, Academic Affairs Business Analysts, and Marketing.|
|Technical Team||To implement the designations of the new General Studies Program in our Student Information System-PeopleSoft.|