A program the size of GenEd is always changing and evolving. See what innovations are happening in the Gen Ed curriculum.

You can also stay up to date by contacting your representative on the General Education Council, chaired by Dr. Claire Lyons.

APR Follow Up and Program Renewal

In 2021, the General Education program underwent its third regular APR. JMU’s APR process requires that the unit prepare a formal action plan, which is now underway. The action plan is led by the General Education Council (Dr. Claire Lyons, chair).  

As an APR recommendation and precursor to GenEd Renewal, the GEC and the five faculty governance committees already voted last year to rename the five areas of the program to convey more clearly the skills and knowledge that students develop across the curriculum.

Please update your syllabi, department websites, catalog text and any other documents to remove the word ‘cluster’ and use the revised area names:  

  • Madison Foundations
  • Arts and Humanities
  • The Natural World
  • American and Global Perspectives
  • Sociocultural and Wellness Area

Renaming the areas is a step to refocus attention on the program’s 14 requirements as faculty consider revisions to the requirements, outcomes, or structure.

The GEC is working with the Provost’s Core Curriculum Appraisal Task Force (CCATF) to facilitate and support faculty and other stakeholder engagement with the renewal of JMU's General Education program.

Upcoming Fall 2023 “GenEd Conversations”
(Faculty emails include links to these webinars; recordings posted as they become available)

  • Sept. 27, Meg Mulrooney 
  • Oct. 27, Stephen Biscotte
  • Nov. 30, Natasha Jankowski 
Integrative 300-level courses Experiment 

This innovative project emerged from the 2012 GenEd APR and was reaffirmed as a worthwhile opportunity by the 2022 APR. Integrative learning was part of the JMU General Education program, The Human Community, that launched in 1997. At that time, integrated sequences of courses called packages were the chief approach. Today, integrative courses that allow students to connect their own learning are important components of many General Education programs, such as George Mason’s emerging Mason Apex courses.

To learn more (what they are, how to propose one, etc), visit the JMU Integrative Experiment webpage.

See some of the exciting Integrative courses that have been offered here.

Inclusive Excellence & Equity: The Equity Tag Project 

Developed over two years in collaboration with student and faculty groups, the tag initiative is a means for students to find courses that address diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, or accessibility (DEIJA) in an intentional way. Courses are tagged by section, with clear communication of the specific characteristics that embody the tag philosophy. Tagging is voluntary at the request of the instructor and upon successful completion of a concise application. Applications are reviewed by a committee acting on behalf of the General Education Council, which endorses the tag. It is expected that input from faculty offering early tagged courses will lead to further refinement and change of the project. 

Current criteria for the tag are: 

  • The instructor of a tagged course commits to work with students to create an inclusive classroom context, employ either equity pedagogy or relevant learning outcomes, and help to develop to the equity tagging program in collaboration with the General Education Program and other interested faculty (this criterion is required). 
  • Either Relevant DEIJA Pedagogy or DEIJA Content; a course may feature both, but a tagged course must have at least one of these.  A description of relevant pedagogy and content is provided in the attached overview. 
  • Ongoing engagement with fellow faculty and the General Education program to develop the system.  

Faculty: If you are interested in learning more or in applying to have a tag on your section, contact gened@jmu.edu.

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