General Education at UIC: An Overview
General Education is an important part of every undergraduate degree program. It provides students with a breadth of exposure to the academic disciplines that are essential for becoming well-educated college graduates and citizens. Over the last twenty years, several campus groups were charged with reviewing and reworking UIC’s General Education system. Faculty groups and task forces met to discuss General Education and its purposes. In academic year 2002-2003, the Task Force on General Education and the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) charged the LAS Educational Policy Committee (EPC) with developing a new, purposeful General Education curriculum for the campus.
In developing the new program, the EPC provided enough structure to guarantee a certain level of intellectual breadth, while at the same time allowing students the opportunity to select courses or clusters of courses around areas of their own interests. Specifically, the program:
provides intellectual guidance by identifying six broad areas of knowledge that correspond to the kinds of experiences that a liberally educated person should have.
makes clear to students what they are taking and why.
is an open system that does not bind departments into one category. This model thus allows for the development of interdepartmental courses over time. It also allows students to gain interdisciplinary perspectives, which was one of the hoped for outcomes of revising General Education.
gives individual colleges some freedom to adjust the General Education requirements to suit their own needs. Although there is a campus wide minimum of one course from each General Education category, colleges may add additional course requirements.