General Education

General Education Assessment Plan

The current General Education assessment plan was developed between 2016 and 2018 by the University Faculty Senate Standing General Education Assessment Committee, and is a working document. As the assessment progresses, modifications may be necessary.

Current General Education Assessment Plan

General Education Assessment Results

2019 General Education Student Survey Results

Standing Joint Committee on General Education Assessment

On April 19, 2017, the General Education Committee was charged by the Faculty Senate to establish the Standing Joint Committee on General Education Assessment (Recommendation 1).  The committee was established to continue progress on assessing the approved General Education Learning Objectives, including key learning objectives, domain learning objectives and foundation learning objectives. The committee was also charged with fulfilling recommendations 2 and 3 listed below. 

The new standing joint committee should recommend the development of datasets to inform general education assessment. Such datasets should include, but are not limited to:

  1. A General Education Curricular Inventory that shows patterns of course offerings, student enrollment, and student grades by major and location.
  2. General Education curriculum mapping that shows the relationship between General Education and undergraduate majors.
  3. General Education course objective mapping that shows the relationship to General Education learning objectives.

The new standing joint committee should collect and use data in an ongoing way to examine student outcomes, such as (1) student success (e.g., time-to-degree, graduation rate, and other institutional data); and (2) student learning (e.g., course work, engaged scholarship projects, and other factors that provide evidence of learning).

The data should also be used to inform curricular improvement, including but not limited to: (1) decisions about the General Education curriculum, including questions about the efficacy of pathways to support integrative thinking; (2) effective assessment practices and processes, especially those that can be shared across disciplines; and (3) decisions about availability of General Education curricular components across the University, including gaps and trends. The goal should be to develop an analytic assessment plan, supported by data that informs curricular improvement and evolves over time.

Additionally, the committee should review the establishment of the Integrative Studies requirement, including Linked and Inter-domain courses, the new 6-credit requirement in General Education for all students. Particular attention should be paid to determining whether enough courses and sections are being offered to allow students to fulfill this new requirement.

Standing Joint Committee for General Education Assessment Membership

Co-Chair, Associate Vice Provost for Learning Outcomes Assessment: Suzanne Weinstein (OPA)

Co-Chair, Professor, Political Science; Co-Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee: Brandi Robinson

Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education: Jeff Adams

Associate Professor, Engineering Penn State Brandywine: Asad Azemi

Associate Professor, Chemistry Penn State Lehigh Valley: Roger Egolf

Assistant teaching professor, Department of Psychology: Joyce Furfaro

Associate Dean for Learning Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campuses, University Libraries: Rebecca Miller

Professor of Physics: Richard Robinett

Professor, Business Penn State Shenango: Ira Saltz

Associate Professor of Art, College of Arts and Architecture: Keith Shapiro

Director of the Office for General Education: Margaret Slattery


Student-CCSG Representative: Chelsey Woods

Learning Objectives

General Education enables students to acquire a diverse array of skills, knowledge, and experiences for living in an interconnected world. An effective General Education curriculum facilitates achievement of seven key objectives. To learn more about these seven key objectives visit the Penn State General Education website.

  1. Effective Communication
  2. Key Literacies
  3. Critical and Analytical Thinking
  4. Integrative Thinking
  5. Creative Thinking
  6. Global Learning
  7. Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning