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General Education Council

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Revisions to the Statewide General Education Requirements

During the 2012 Florida legislative session, the Florida legislature voted to:
  • Reduce the general education course requirements from 36 semester credit hours to 30 semester credit hours, beginning with students initially entering a Florida College System institution in 2014-2015;
  • Require 15 semester credit hours of general education core courses consisting of one course from five options in each of the subject areas of communication, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences, plus an additional 15 semester credit hours to be determined by the individual institutions;
  • Require a student to complete one course in each of those areas;
  • Require that associate in arts degree students demonstrate competency in a foreign language; and
  • Require the chairs of the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors to jointly convene faculty committees to identify statewide general education core course options.

    For more information on Section 1007.25 Florida Statute General Education courses; common prerequisites; other degree requirements and the General Education Steering Committee, please visit: www.fldoe.org/articulation/hb7135gep.asp.  


    The General Education Council is a standing council of the USF Faculty Senate and receives authority for its actions through that body.


    The General Education Council is responsible for the ongoing development, implementation, and assessment of an effective general education program. Responsibilities include the evaluation and approval of courses for the liberal arts curriculum, a well as the periodic evaluation of the general education policy. The council shall advise the President, the Provost, and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies on the development of future general education programs at the university and provide continuous assessment of the general education.


    The council shall develop its own operating procedures, subject to approval by the Provost, which shall include:

    1. Provision for establishment of a collegial process that encourages the widest possible faculty participation in the development and delivery of general education courses;

    2. Provision for approval (certification) of courses following the criteria established in the Quality Enhancement Plan;

    3. Provision for the development of additional general education courses, especially in areas where options for students are limited;

    4. Provision for review of approved courses on a periodic basis (e.g., every three years) to ensure that the courses continue to satisfy the established criteria;

    5. Provision for continuous assessment of the general education to ensure that the expectations established by the Quality Enhancement Process are met.


    1. Faculty members will be appointed for staggered three-year terms, one-third retiring each year. Members may serve two consecutive terms, after which they must retire from the council for one full year before seeking reappointment. Retiring members may not be reappointed during the year following the last year of their terms unless appointed to a vacancy on the council.

      The membership shall consist of two representatives from each college offering an undergraduate program, plus an additional representative from any college having more than 250 full-time faculty members plus a fourth representative from any college having more than 400 full-time faculty members, one member from each of the regional campuses, and one member from the Library.

    2. Three undergraduate students to be appointed for one-year terms; may be reappointed. Students are full members of the council with voting privileges.

    3. Registrar (ex officio and nonvoting) or designee

    4. Chair of the General Education Council from the preceding year (ex officio and nonvoting)

    5. Dean of Undergraduate Studies (ex officio and nonvoting)

    6. Chair of the Undergraduate Council (ex officio and nonvoting)

    7. Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ex officio and nonvoting)

    If a member of the General Education Council accumulates three unexcused absences per year from regularly scheduled meetings, that person shall automatically cease to be a member of the council and shall be replaced promptly according to the standard procedures for nomination and appointment. Excused absences may be granted by the Chair/Coordinator of Vice Chair/Coordinator of the General Education Council and shall not exceed four in number per year.


    All subcommittees and ad hoc committees shall report to the full membership of the General Education Council and may only make recommendations to the council. Such recommendations will be voted upon by the full membership of the General Education Council.


    The Provost will appoint the members of this council.


    A Chair or Coordinator for General Education, selected from the tenured faculty, will be appointed by the Provost and will chair the Council. The Chair/Coordinator will not be a voting member of the Council except to break a tie vote.

    Date of Adoption: 02/16/05

    Revised: 03/21/07; 07/11 (new appointment process); 11/11 (membership section for consistency; removed regional campuses representation); 10/12 Director of ATLE added

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