Skip to Content

### Overhaul of General Education Initiated by Oakland University Senate

Photo credit: Oakland University

The Oakland University Senate committee is currently in the process of reviewing and revamping Oakland University’s general education program, which represents the first major revision in about twenty years.

The General Education Program Revision Committee (GEPRC) commenced this initiative in the fall of 2023 in response to guidance from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to modernize the existing structure.

Oakland University’s general education program currently operates within a distributive framework.

Under the current setup, students must complete courses across various categories such as social science, natural science, and technology in a checkbox format, as highlighted by GEPRC Co-Chair Laila Guessous. She mentioned that many universities across the country have shifted away from this model.

Comprised of representatives from advising, the College of Arts and Sciences, all professional schools on campus, and more, the committee is conducting a campus-wide “listening tour” to gather insights and feedback. This includes engagements with the Oakland University Student Congress planned for early March.

Furthermore, some committee members are attending the Institute on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessments to explore different general education approaches.

GEPRC Co-Chair Maria Paino stressed the importance of updating the general education model to provide Oakland University graduates with adaptability in their academic and professional endeavors. Paino emphasized the need for a modern and relevant general education curriculum that equips students with transferable skills applicable to various job opportunities.

The goal is to create a dynamic and interactive curriculum that encourages exploration and skill enhancement, preparing students for a wide range of career paths while fostering adaptability and a culture of continuous learning.

However, anticipated changes are not expected to be implemented for at least another eighteen months due to the project’s complexity and the need for a smooth transition for students.

Paino expressed optimism that proposals would be presented to faculty for review and refinement during the summer, with a potential program pilot projected to begin at least one academic year later.

While acknowledging the typical timeline for general education reforms, GEPRC Co-Chair Guessous emphasized the committee’s dedication to efficiently yet thoughtfully navigating the revision process to meet the evolving needs of students and the job market.

To gather student viewpoints, upcoming surveys and focus groups will be conducted to allow students to contribute feedback. Interested students can also contact committee members in their respective fields or directly reach out to Paino or Guessous to share their input.

“We value the student perspective,” Guessous stressed, recognizing the crucial role of student feedback in shaping the future of the general education program.