Updating Ohio State's General Education Curriculum

The Ohio State University is committed to educating students broadly for life as well as educating students for their future careers and professions. The commitment to educating students broadly is realized through Ohio State’s General Education (GE), a foundational element of the undergraduate educational experience at the university.

The GE is important to every student and to every academic unit. The GE enhances the undergraduate experience and complements the student's major program of study. Commitment to these core principles remains a foundation of the effort to update Ohio State's General Education curriculum.

Students taking a test

Overhauled Gen Ed program to begin autumn 2021

The University Senate has overwhelmingly approved the first major overhaul of Ohio State’s General Education curriculum since its creation more than 30 years ago. The university will now begin working on detailed implementation plans so that the new GE program can launch in Autumn Semester 2021, providing a cohesive academic foundation for a generation of future Buckeyes.

Read about the new GE program

Why Review General Education?

Late in 2016, the University Senate’s Council on Academic Affairs (CAA), based on a report from the University-Level Advisory Committee (ULAC) on the General Education (GE), recommended a review of the current GE program. The recommendation is based on ULAC’s insights through its continuous monitoring of the GE over the past decade, as well as its recent discussion about several contemporary issues that have aligned to prompt such a review. Please review the full report for more details.

In February 2017, a 16-member GE Review Coordinating Committee, co-chaired by Professors Lawrence Krissek (School of Earth Sciences) and Catherine Montalto (Department of Human Sciences), was established to conduct the review. The process was staffed by the Office of Academic Affairs through Vice Provost W. Randy Smith.

GE Review Process

The GE Review will proceed through four broad phases.

  • In February 2017, “Listening Sessions” were held throughout the university community to solicit input from constituencies. All members of the university community were encouraged to contribute ideas to the process.
  • The GE Review Coordinating Committee met through Summer of 2017 and used input from the “Listening Sessions” and the related literature and research to outline goals and possible template(s) for the GE.
  • During Autumn Semester 2017 “Listening Sessions” were again conducted in order to share the proposed goals and template and to solicit input and feedback from constituencies.
  • In March 2018, the Final Report was distributed. Each of the colleges and campuses with undergraduate students, with adherence to its established curricular approval processes, reviewed the report.
  • All 12 undergraduate-serving colleges and all campuses endorsed the GE structure before a revised proposal was presented to University Senate.
  • The Council on Academic Affairs (CAA) unanimously approved the final, revised proposal for a new General Education curriculum on April 17, 2019.
  • University Senate voted to approve the proposal on April 18, 2019.
  • A university-wide implementation committee will be formed to address implementation issues; throughout that process it will inform the colleges and campuses of its ongoing work; and then report its final decisions, at which time each of the colleges can formally adopt the new program.
  • Implementation of the new GE program will take place in Autumn Semester 2021.

Updates from the Committee

Over 25 listening sessions have been held, reaching over 800 faculty, staff and students. Sessions were held with OAA Academic Program Advisory Committee; ASC Senate; ASC Undergraduate Studies Chairs; ASC Arts & Humanities Chairs and Directors; ASC Curriculum Committee; ASC Executive Dean’s Faculty Advisory Committee; University Senate Diversity Committee & DISCO representatives; College of Engineering GE Oversight Committee; College of Social Work & John Glenn College of Public Affairs; College of Nursing; College of Pharmacy; College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences; College of Public Health; College of Education and Human Ecology; Fisher College of Business.

Each session was arranged with guidance from the respective Curricular Associate Dean(s) regarding meeting structure and attendees. Listening sessions have also been held at OSU-Lima, OSU-Mansfield, OSU-Marion, and OSU-Newark, as well as two open listening sessions in Arts and Sciences. A listening session with academic advisers has also been scheduled.

All Chairs and Directors have been invited to submit written departmental/school input to the GE Review process.

Coordinating Committee

Contacts

Lawrence A. Krissek
Professor, Earth Sciences
krissek.1@osu.edu

Catherine P. Montalto
Associate Professor, Human Sciences
montalto.2@osu.edu

W. Randy Smith
Vice Provost for Academic Programs
smith.70@osu.edu