Teaching GenEd

Teaching GenEd at QC

“The most successful teacher is he who makes himself superfluous by developing in his students the ability to educate themselves.” —Dr. Paul Klapper, 1939

For faculty, General Education is an opportunity to pause and to think: How is the college experience also a transformative experience – an awakening – for students? How are the courses I teach part of a student’s development? How can I create a general education course that embodies the liberal arts tradition in a way that will stay with students long after they graduate?

As faculty, you can create that unique class by:

  • Proposing a Pathways course (see below)
  • Proposing a Writing course
  • Contributing to the General Education conversation

Proposing a Pathways Course

Participation in General Education allows you to collaborate with other faculty, connect your research to your teaching, and design innovative pedagogies. The process begins by preparing a proposal (see below), which gets submitted to the Special Assistant to the Provost for Curriculum, who reviews it to make sure it conforms to the Student Learning Outcomes for its category . The Senate’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) then has to approve it, at which point it goes to the Academic Senate for their approval. College Option Courses go into effect once approved by the Academic Senate.  CUNY Common Core Proposals must be further approved by the CCCRC (CUNY Common Core Course Review Committee). Once they approve it, it has to be submitted to the CUNY Board of Trustees for final approval, and once they do so, it gets entered into CUNYfirst and becomes official.

Committee acronyms:
GEAC: General Education Advisory Committee
UCC: Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
CCCRC: CUNY Common Core Review Committee
BOT: CUNY Board of Trustees

Preparing a Proposal

To prepare a proposal:

  1. Pick the one designation you are going for. You’ll need to look at the Pathways Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs).
  2. Review the syllabus for the course to make sure course activities support claims that the course will achieve the required set of Pathways SLOs for the designation. Be sure to indicate how students will be assessed for various course activities, and be sure the syllabus states how course grades are computed. Templates for each of the Pathways RDs can be found here. Adjust the syllabus as necessary. Note that this syllabus is considered a sample for the course.
  3. Strategy: don’t explain how important the course is, tell how the students will achieve the SLOs, cross-referencing the syllabus in meaningful ways. (“The {assignment, activity, or test} will be graded on how well students demonstrate {assessment criterion}.”). There should be one assessment per Student Learning Outcome at a minimum, and it should be readily apparent from the proposal and the syllabus which outcomes are met by which assignments, and how they are assessed.
  4. Submit the proposal to the Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs,
    Maria DeLongoria (maria.delongoria@qc.cuny.edu).

Timeline for approval:  Proposals are first submitted to Drew Jones, who reviews them on a rolling basis.  Proposals approved and forwarded to the UCC by the first of every month will be reviewed at that month’s UCC meeting, and, if approved, considered by the Senate the following month.  The CCCRC meets twice per semester, and Common Core Proposals are forwarded to them after Senate approval.  The approval process takes several months—Common Core courses initially proposed in a given semester will likely not get full approval until the following semester, with implementation the semester following that.  If you propose a course in fall, full approval will generally be possible only for courses offered the following fall.