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General Education Committee Guidelines


The committee serves as a standing committee of the Undergraduate Council to advise the Undergraduate Council on matters pertaining to general education. Specifically, the General Education committee will

  • Make and receive recommendations regarding the philosophy and requirements of the General Education component
  • Develop criteria and procedures for submitting, evaluating and approving courses that meet the University of Tennessee General Education requirement
  • Review and approve courses proposed for inclusion on the General Education list of courses
  • Recommend and implement policies and procedures for continual improvement of general education
  • Facilitate and encourage campus dialogue and communication regarding general education

The General Education committee will coordinate its activities with other committees of the Undergraduate Council (e.g., Curriculum, Academic Policy, and Academic Advising).

Membership Guidelines

The membership will consist of:

  • 6-8 elected members of the Undergraduate Council
  • the chair of each General Education subcommittee
  • a student member
  • Representatives from each of the following units as appointed each year by the Chair of the Undergraduate Council in consultation with the Directors/Deans of these specific units:
    • Undergraduate Council Advising committee
    • Institutional Research and Assessment
    • University Libraries
    • Office of the Registrar

Ex-Officio Members

One representative from each college (e.g., Associate Dean) will act as ex-officio members of the committee.


The chair of the committee is selected for a two-year term from among the faculty members at the last meeting of the Spring semester. The chair may serve multiple terms.

If the chair is not an elected member of the Undergraduate Council, the chair will serve as an ex-officio member of that body.

The chair will coordinate with subcommittee chairs the assessment of courses within the category on a rotating basis.


All members of the committee may vote. A quorum consists of more than 50% of the members of the committee. Votes will pass if agreed on by a majority (more than 50%) of those voting. Members are encouraged to send a proxy if they cannot attend a meeting.

Process for Proposing New Courses

Faculty or departments can propose a course for inclusion in one or more general education categories.

Proposals are submitted on the appropriate form to the chair and secretary of the general education committee. The submission of the proposal will be noted in the General Education Course Proposal Database.

The form will be sent to the appropriate subcommittee chair(s). The subcommittee(s) will review the proposal and then present their findings to the General Education committee as a whole. If the proposal is approved, it is then sent to Undergraduate Council for its approval. The votes and decisions will be noted in the General Education Course Proposal Database. The person submitting the proposal will be notified of the committee’s and undergraduate council’s decision.

Assessment of General Education Courses

Courses on the General Education list will be assessed on a rotating basis. The assessment process is outlined in the General Education Course Assessment document.

Expectations for Phasing out a General Education Course

A course that is on the General Education list has the following expectations:

Any course that is to fulfill a General Education requirement must be proposed to and approved by the General Education Committee and approved by the Undergraduate Council and Faculty Senate.

Courses on the General Education list in one year will be carried over to the next year’s catalog.

Once a course is approved for a General Education requirement, it must continue to be taught following the approved General Education characteristics anytime it is offered.

If a department wishes to drop the General Education designation for a course:

  • The Coordinator of Curriculum and Catalog must be informed of the intent to drop the General Education designation by October 1.
  • There will be a 6-year phase out period all courses dropped from the General Education list.
  • If still offered during the 6-year phase out period, a course must be taught following the approved General Education characteristics.
  • The department may choose not to offer a course if it does not wish to continue teaching it as a General Education course during the 6 year phase out period.
  • The General Education designation for a dropped course will be date- ranged in the Undergraduate Catalog (both on the General Education list and in the course description), on the list maintained on the web, and on students’ DARS reports.

Courses dropped from the Undergraduate Catalog will be dropped from the General Education list.

Archived courses (i.e., not listed in the UG Catalog but not dropped) will be temporarily dropped from the General Education list but will be added back when the course is taught again. Once reinstated, the course must be taught following the originally approved General Education characteristics.

If a course is dropped from the UG Catalog but is reinstated with a new number through an equivalency table, it would need to be resubmitted to the General Education Committee for approval in order to retain the General Education designation.

If a department wants to change the General Education category(ies) for a course, the old course number must be dropped and a new course must be proposed to the UG Council and to the General Education Committee.

Undergraduate Council Minutes – Page U3654 – February 23, 2016



There are twelve subcommittees, one for each of the following areas:

  • Communication through Writing (WC)
  • Communicating Orally (OC)
  • Applied Oral Communication (AOC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Arts & Humanities (AH)
  • Applied Arts & Humanities (AAH)
  • Global Citizenship US (GCUS)
  • Global Citizenship International (GCI)
  • Natural Sciences (NS)
  • Social Sciences (SS)
  • Engaged Inquiries (EI)
  • Cultures & Civilization (C&C)

The subcommittees serve in an advisory role to the General Education committee and are charged with management of the lists of courses to be included in the General Education requirement for their respective subcommittee. Specifically, subcommittees:

  • review and make recommendations for approving general education courses
  • review courses for continuation as general education courses
  • review student petitions for general education courses
  • coordinate with the chair of the General Education Committee to assess courses

Subcommittees correspond with departments proposing courses and consult with faculty in revising course proposals.

Selection of Subcommittee Members

Members of the General Education Subcommittees will be appointed by the Chair of the Undergraduate Council in consultation with the General Education committee and the Undergraduate Council.

Each subcommittee may range in size from 3-8 faculty members with representation from multiple colleges. Each subcommittee should have representatives with subject expertise in the general education category it represents.

Members will serve a 3-year term on a rotating basis and may serve multiple terms. The chair of each subcommittee will be appointed by the chair of the General Education committee and will be selected from the pool of members with at least one year of service on the subcommittee.

The chair of the subcommittees below will be selected as follows:

  • Communicating through Writing chair will be the Director of English Composition.
  • Quantitative Reasoning chair will be from Math.
  • Communicating Orally chair will be from Speech Communication.


Undergraduate Council Minutes – Pages U939-U940 – April 26, 2005
and Page U1411 – April 22, 2008