Council establishes general education forum

Emily Pagel

Northern Michigan University and the General Education Council are working toward a new way of viewing the general education program.

Jill Leonard, General Education Council Chairwoman, said changing the general education program has been in process for a long time.

“Northern’s been interested in reforming and updating general education for at least the last four years,” Leonard said. “This is just the newest iteration of that and hopefully we’ll get it all through and get it passed. It may seem quick to some people, but it really isn’t, we’ve been digging at it for quite a while.”

According to Leonard, the last major revision to the general education program was over 30 years ago.

“The last major revision was in the 1970s,” Leonard said. “There were some changes that were done in the 1990s but they were relatively small. One of the things that we do is that our accreditation requires us to look at our curriculum more regularly and that’s one of the things that will be coming out of this. It’s not like we will be making dramatic changes all of the time, instead, we want to have a much clearer system  where it gets looked at and we make sure that its right for our students as it goes along.”

Kim Rotundo, NMU Registrar and council member for GEC, said the council is focusing on creating a better liberal studies program for students.

“The main focus of the council right now is to create measurable learning outcomes for our general education program and to create a framework for that program,” Rotundo said. “So right now its defining it pretty broadly as far as what we want students to learn and get out of the program once they’ve completed without actually looking at what those classes will be. Its pretty broad as far as structure goes right now.”