General Education Implementation

Ohio State’s current General Education (GE) curriculum was established in 1988 and reviewed in 1996, 2002 and 2007 without substantial revision. A new review commenced in 2017 with broader ambitions. In March 2018, the 16-member review coordinating committee released a draft proposal to restructure the GE, incorporating significant input from the university community.

Once endorsed by each of the colleges and campuses with undergraduate students, the final, revised proposal was unanimously approved by the Council on Academic Affairs on April 17, 2019, and endorsed by University Senate the next day. The next objective is a detailed implementation plan marking the path to the anticipated Autumn Semester 2021 launch of the new GE.

Graphic depicting the basic structure of the new General Education program.

Opportunities to Engage

Throughout the process, the implementation committee and its subcommittees will solicit input from the 12 undergraduate-serving colleges, the four regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Newark, Ohio, and the Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) in Wooster.

Subcommittees will tackle specific issues that arose during the approval process, including but not limited to:

  • Bookend courses and the relationship of the first bookend course to the Survey course
  • The open theme(s)
  • Regional campus issues
  • High-impact practices
  • Advising
  • Policies/procedures
  • Embedded/cross-sectional components: writing, data analysis, technology, international
  • Guiding the Expected Learning Outcomes for each component of the new GE

Current Feedback Needs

The Open Themes Subcommittee requests university-wide feedback through Wednesday, November 27, on the proposed process for accepting and reviewing New Theme proposals. In particular, we solicit feedback on:

  1. The proposed submission period of December 9, 2019, through January 10, 2020.
  2. The proposal review process with a review committee consisting of representatives from each of the 12 colleges for the sole purpose of reviewing the initial New Themes proposals.
  3. The number of courses that must be available to identify by the time a proposal reaches the second round.

Feedback may be shared online via the Questions and Comments form or via email to Wendy Smooth, chair of the Open Themes Subcommittee, at

Past Feedback Needs

The subcommittee on the bookend courses created an initial draft of the plan for the first bookend course. This draft was shared with the university in hopes of getting feedback that helps the subcommittee develop a stronger and more detailed plan. Feedback was received for two weeks concluding Friday, October 18, using the Questions and Comments form.

The Expected Learning Outcomes subcommittee welcomed feedback on its draft of the goals and expected learning outcomes (ELOs) for the overarching General Education program and each of the foundations, and the broad ELOs for the themes as a whole, for two weeks concluding Monday, October 21. Of top concern were the clarity and specificity of the language and how the goals and outcomes will inform course proposals and revisions. Feedback was solicited via the online Questions and Comments form or via email to co-chairs Adam Andrews or Alan Kalish.


Stay up-to-date on the General Education Implementation process by subscribing to the committee's newsletter, which is distributed approximately every two weeks.


Vice Provost for Academic Programs

W. Randy Smith

The co-chairs and other representatives of the General Education Implementation Committee have visited a number of meetings, groups and leaders across campus during the implementation process. These include:

  • September 10, 2019 - Associate deans for curriculum of the College of Dentistry, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and the College of Social Work.
  • September 20, 2019 - Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • September 23, 2019 - Undergraduate Student Government cabinet
  • September 24, 2019 - College of Arts and Sciences Senate
  • October 3, 2019 - Faculty Council, University Senate
  • October 8, 2019 - College of Arts and Sciences Chairs and Directors Meeting
  • October 15, 2019 - Think Beyond Summit: Reimagining Teaching and Learning
  • October 21, 2019 - Diversity Committee, University Senate
  • October 22, 2019 - Division of Arts and Humanities Chairs and Directors Meeting
  • October 23, 2019 - College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Committee on Academic Affairs Meeting
  • October 24, 2019 - Council of Graduate Students
  • November 5, 2019 - College of Nursing Undergraduate Studies Committee
  • November 5, 2019 - College of Pharmacy faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

The expected learning outcomes in the first Goals and ELOs draft are meant to guide the entire set of themes. The Implementation Committee plans to develop ELOs that differentiate the themes from one another in collaboration with faculty steering groups currently being recruited.

The bookend courses will be graded as S/U.

During the curriculum development stage, the Bookend Courses Subcommittee will collaborate with Survey instructors to reduce any possible duplication of content and activities and to create opportunities for curricular alignment between the courses on specific topics.