General Education Review Policy

General Education Review Policy


Office for Academic Affairs


Office for Academic Affairs





Effective Date:


Implementation History:


General Education

Background Information:

SUNY Empire State College (ESC) began a gradual implementation of General Education requirements on 1 September 2000. The College made this decision following passage of a SUNY policy that required campuses to incorporate such requirements into their curricula. Each campus was allowed some leeway in interpreting general education requirements. Currently, ESC associates and bachelor degree candidates must meet the mathematics and basic communications components and five additional components of their choice for a total of no less than 30 credits in their degree program of the ten general education requirements. See link to Guidelines for the Approval of State University General Education Requirement Courses below.



The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures for the submission, review, and approval of general education courses for the ESC course catalog before sending to SUNY for approval. The policy also contains provisions for constituting review committees, steps for appealing a committee's decision, and the role of evaluators in determining the general education designation of a prior learning request.

Process and procedures for the review and approval of general education courses require cooperation and trust. A review and approval process should be a structured dialogue that nourishes honest and fair communication across the college.

The college supports and remains open to innovative and creative approaches to meeting general education requirements while ensuring that students are being offered an academically rigorous program of study.



When faculty create courses that have been approved by a curriculum committee and wish to meet general education requirements, they submit the proposal to a General Education Evaluation Committee (GEEC). GEECs are formed by department chairs in order to review new courses proposals for fidelity to general education requirements. The department chair responsible for constituting each GEEC is specified as follows:

General Education Area         Department Chair

Mathematics                          Mathematics 

Natural Sciences                    Natural Sciences 

Social Science                       Social Science and Public Affairs

American History                   History

Western Civilization               History

Other World Civilizations         History and Social Science and Public Affairs

Humanities                           Literature, Communication, and Cultural Studies

The Arts                               Arts and Media

Foreign Language                  Literature, Communication, and Cultural Studies

Basic Communications           Literature, Communication, and Cultural Studies

Each GEEC should have three to five members, meet at least three times a year, if necessary, and rotate membership every two years. Faculty eligible to serve on a GEEC are those who have taught in the general education subject area, regardless of department affiliation(s). GEECs should be multi-disciplinary as appropriate.

OAA is responsible for maintaining a roster of faculty eligible to serve on a GEEC and publishing a schedule of meetings to ensure courses can be entered into the college catalog before the start of a semester.

A faculty member seeking general education status in more than one component for a single course must submit it to both GEECS.

Partial general education designations are not permitted, since two partials may or may not fully address the requirement. SUNY policy requires that a course that partially meets a general education requirement identify any remaining components to complete that general education area. ESC courses in the college catalog do not meet this standard.

Once a GEEC has agreed that the course fulfills the general education requirements, the course document will be sent to the provost's office, who will transmit it to SUNY for review and approval. Once SUNY has approved the course as meeting general education requirements, that course will be listed in the course catalog as doing so.

In the instance that a GEEC does not agree that a proposed course fulfills the general education requirement, the course is returned to its author with a written explanation of the explicit way(s) in which it does not address the requirements. The author may revise and resubmit or may appeal. The course author and GEEC should attempt to reach agreement through a dialog about changes and edits before an appeal is issued.

Each GEEC is responsible for transmitting a record of its meetings to the office of the associate dean of the division that includes the department whose chair convened the committee.

Appeals of ESC General Education Committee Decisions

A college-wide faculty appeals committee with representatives of each of the five academic divisions, the School of Nursing and Allied Health, and the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies will hear appeals from faculty members within 30 days of receiving the written appeal. This committee is required to provide a written explanation of its decision. In reaching its decision, it should weigh evidence from the GEEC and the course author. Each division/program will determine how people are nominated. The provost's office will notify the GEEC chair and the associate dean of the division where the course is housed when a college­wide committee overturns a GEEC decision. 

Revisions to General Education Courses

Any revision to a course description or outcomes requires re-submission of a course to the appropriate GEEC.

Approval of General Education Totally Individualized Studies (TISes)

TBD based on conversations with SUNY.

Designation of General Education for IPLA

IPLA evaluators designate one or more general education areas according to their assessment of student learning. The evaluator assessment is subject to faculty review in the degree planning assessment process.


Applicable Legislation and Regulations

"Guidelines for the Approval of State University General Education Requirements," Office of Academic Affairs and the Provost, State University of New York:

State University General Education Requirement (SUNV-GER)

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices