Area E Guidelines (GE 2020)

In the sections that follow, you will see the specific learning goals for each area. Together, we refer to these requirements as "Guidelines."

  • Generally speaking, "Educational Objectives" refer to what students will learn by completing that sub area while "Criteria" refer to how the course is designed to support that learning.

General Education Subject Area Guidelines

The General Education (GE) program is compliant with CSU requirements and is uniquely tailored to our comprehensive polytechnic education. At Cal Poly all curriculum, including General Education curriculum, is designed and taught by faculty with appropriate training and disciplinary expertise. Educational objectives are expectations for student learning, achievement of which can be periodically assessed. Course criteria are expectations for course design that will be used in the consideration of the course proposal, course modifications, and course renewal. Educational objectives and course criteria for General Education subject areas are included below. General Education class instruction includes the opportunity for skill acquisition, development, evaluation, and self-reflection.



Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-Development


To see the unit requirements for Area E, click here to view the GE template.

Click here to see a list of currently approved courses for Area E.


Source: AS-889-20 "Resolution on Subject Area Guidelines (II) for General Education 2020" (pdf).


This requirement is designed to equip students for lifelong learning and self-development as integrated physiological, psychological, and social beings. Courses in this area focus on topics such as student success strategies, human behavior, sexuality, nutrition, physical and mental health, stress management, information literacy, social relationships and relationships with the environment, as well as implications of death and dying or avenues of lifelong learning. Physical activity may be included, if it is an integral part of the study elements described herein. Courses in this area shall focus on the development of skills, abilities and dispositions. Courses in Area E shall be four units of lower-division foundational course work.

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Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-Development


Educational Objectives

Upon completion of a qualifying Area E course, students should be able to meet five or more of the following:

  • EO1 Explain the importance of maintaining physical, social, and mental health;
  • EO2 Describe the self as an integrated physiological, psychological, and social being;
  • EO3 Recognize themselves as individuals undergoing a particular stage of human development;
  • EO4 Practice appropriate social skills to enhance learning and develop positive relationships with others who have identities and experiences different from their own;
  • EO5 Develop a lifelong commitment to practices for personal growth, health, well-being, and societal responsibility;
  • EO6 Describe the commonalities and differences among people across the lifespan in social or cultural contexts;
  • EO7 Evaluate how well-being is affected by social systems and how they can facilitate their personal development;
  • EO8 Critically evaluate information sources and merit of claims on the basis of methods and empirical evidence.



The course proposal and expanded outline for lower-division Area E courses must clearly indicate how they meet all of these criteria:

  • CR1 Introduce the knowledge, skills and attitudes to engage in learning and personal development practices;
  • CR2 Examine the interrelation of physiological, psychological, and social-cultural factors on personal development across the lifespan;
  • CR3 Illustrate the physiological, socio-cultural, and psychological influences on the well-being of individuals and groups;
  • CR4 Examine the interaction of social institutions, culture, and environment with individual behavior.
  • CR5 Explore the importance of active engagement by individuals in their communities for the betterment of personal and public life;
  • CR6 Apply theories and methods to examine the self in various contexts and assess the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches;
  • CR7 Focus on lifelong learning and/or student success strategies (but not emphasize the logistics of progressing through a degree program);
  • CR8 Require disciplinary appropriate writing assignments that comprise at least 10% of overall course grade.

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