GE Program Review


                         GE Governance Board  

                         GE Program Review

                 Memos and Communications

                         GE Resolutions

                         Official Documents from CSU










GE Self Study 2015-16

Reports and Memos




Debra David  Vitae (PDF)
Student Engagement and Academic Initiatives and Partnerships
California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor
401 Golden Shore, 6th Floor
Long Beach, CA  90802
(562) 951-4775

Debra Humphreys  Vitae (PDF)
AAC&U Vice President for Policy and Public Engagement
1818 R Street NW
Washington, DC  20009
(202) 387-3760 extension 422

Richard Vaz  Vitae (PDF)
​Dean, Interdisciplinary and Global Studies
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA  01609
(508) 831-5344


Andrew Schaffner  Vitae (PDF)
​Statistics Department
California Polytechnic State University
1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0405
(805) 756-1545 (Statistics Department)


Site Visit January 28, 2016

Meeting Details:

GE Program Review Site Visit Meeting

Reviewers:  Debra Humphreys (AAC&U), Rick Vaz (Worcester Polytechnic), Debra David (CSU), Andrew Schaffner (Statistics)

GE Attendance:  Brenda Helmbrecht, Mary Pedersen, Josh Machamer, Gary Laver, Neal MacDougall, Katherine O'Claire, Clare Battista, Tal Scriven, Gregg Fiegel

​Discussion about the GE Program

The GE review team asked the GEGB the following questions:

1) What do you think is currently most valuable in GE?

2) Where do you think there is the most need for improvement?


  • We offer a variety of classes in GE, but we want students to choose classes with more intentionality.
  • How do we change the student perception about the value of GE?  Students tend to think that GE classes are a hindrance to their major.
  • We need to change the GE perception at the department level and at the course level.
  • Cal Poly students enter with a major, but their GE classes are diverse with students from all over campus.  We are committed to keeping this diversity of the student population.
  • The upper-division courses in GE provide interdisciplinary knowledge as capstone courses.
  • In the C2 Area (Philosophy), there is quite a bit of variety within the Great Books course choices.  These texts are listed in PASS.  
  • How can we maintain the quality of our lower-division and upper-division writing-intensive courses?  In order for these classes to be taught effectively with a "writing-intensive" component, there needs to be a cap on size of the class.  
  • We offer six 4-unit writing-intensive classes in A1, A2, C1, C2, C4 and D5.
  • How can we improve the writing instruction that student receive in GE?  In our past assessments, we have documented that students tend to plateau after taking their lower-division GE courses.
  • How can we ensure the quality of our GE courses?  Currently, there is not a course review process, and some of the GE courses have been on the books for 15 years.  GE is working on a course-revision process to improve this.
  • Our GE program has different area designations (example A1, A2) than the CSU. Transfer students sometimes take the wrong GE courses at community colleges because of this. 


Previous Program Review

In Fall 2006, GE had its first program review


  • Mary J. Allen, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Bakersfield (External Reviewer)
  • Trudy W. Banta, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor, Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis (External Reviewer)
  • Harvey Greenwald, Professor of Mathematics, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Internal Reviewer)

Program Review Report and Recommendations (Word Document)

We conducted a review of the General Education program based on the Cal Poly GE Self-Study and meetings with a variety of campus representatives. We were able to discuss the GE program with a diverse array of campus representatives, including:

  • Provost; Vice President for Academic Programs
  • CSM, CLA, and OCOB deans
  • CAGR and CLA associate deans
  • GE Director and Assistant
  • Members of the GE Governance and GE Area Committees
  • Representatives of Academic Programs
  • Student Academic Services
  • Institutional Planning and Analysis
  • Academic Records, and Evaluations
  • Students representing the Associated Students Incorporated

In addition, the campus hosted an open session for the university, and about twenty people representing both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs attended and shared opinions with us. We offer the following evaluation and recommendations, and we sincerely hope that the campus will find our conclusions useful.

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