General Education Requirements:
Legislation to be proposed by the Undergraduate Council at the 5/27/04 Legislature meeting

The Undergraduate Council is proposing to modify Area E (Civilization and Thought) within the General Education program to remove the subdivision of Area E and to change the current General Education subarea E-1 into a one-course special subject requirement. This proposal is based on the recommendation of the Committee on Undergraduate Programs and Policy (CUAPP), which considered a series of recommendations from the 2003-04 General Education Workgroup, which the UCSB Faculty Legislature directed the Undergraduate Council to convene to review the 2001 and 2002 General Education Task Force reports, in which the recommendation was first put forward.

That original recommendation was modified after intensive campuswide discussion of a minority report accompanying the May 2001 Task Force report. A broad consensus emerged that the "Western civilization" requirement should not be abandoned altogether (as first proposed), but given parity with the current "non-Western" requirement. The intent of the current proposal is thus to equalize the emphasis that our GE program places on "Western civilization" and "non-Western cultures." Indeed, the 2003-2004 General Education workgroup unanimously endorsed the principle that "the Western Civilization and Non Western Civilization requirements be linked so as to be equally correlated within the GE Program". At the same time, we are proposing clearer and more balanced language for these requirements.

The language describing Area E and the two special subject requirements will be revised as follows:

Current wording

Proposed wording

Civilization and Thought

Objective: To provide a perspective on civilization through the study of human history and thought.

Culture and Thought

Objective: To provide a perspective on world cultures through the study of human history and thought.

Two courses "concerned specifically with Western civilization, presented in a historical framework."

European Traditions

At least one course that focuses on European cultures or cultures in the European tradition.

Non-Western Culture

At least one course that focuses on a non-Western culture.

World Cultures

At least one course that focuses on a culture outside of the European tradition.

We note that no courses in any part of the GE program need to be re-designated based on any of the changes in the requirement titles or descriptions. CUAPP states explicitly that no courses will be eliminated from the General Education program based on any of these changes. A total of three courses will still be required in Area E, and that all courses now in subarea E-1 will automatically be designated as fulfilling the European traditions requirement. Additional courses will be considered for the European traditions designation if and when their instructors or departments propose them for this requirement.

proposal finalized on 5/14/04; page created by H. Marcuse, May 17, 2004
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