General Education

Process for Course Proposal

Proposing or modifying a course for the Tennessee Tech General Education core

Courses to be added to the Tennessee Tech General Education core follow a special process within the university’s standard curriculum approval process. Any substantive changes to courses (e.g., new title, modified content, etc.) already in the core should also be approved by the General Education Committee prior to the standard course approval process.


For new courses intended primarily for General Education credit, or existing courses to be added to the General Education core:

  • The proposal is sent first to the department (or school) curriculum committee, and if approved, is sent by the department chair (or school director) to the Tennessee Tech General Education Committee (GEC), and is referred to the appropriate GEC subcommittee. Course developers are encouraged to contact the GEC chair and area subcommittee chair for assistance prior to submitting the course.
  • If the proposal is approved by the subcommittee and the GEC, it is referred back to the department to be submitted to the curriculum committee of the college in which the originating department is housed. Proposals that are not approved may be revised and resubmitted for later consideration by the GEC.

For new courses to be added to the General Education core, but not exclusively for that purpose:

  • The proposal is sent as usual first to the curriculum committee of the department or school, and then to appropriate college curriculum committee and simultaneously to the GEC chair, who refers the proposal to the appropriate GEC subcommittee.
  • Proposals approved by the college committee and the GEC are sent to the University Curriculum Committee. Proposals approved by the college committee but not by the GEC may be forwarded to the University Curriculum Committee but will not be approved for General Education.


Proposals must reach the GEC chair no later than two weeks before the next regularly scheduled meeting. Proposals to be considered at the September GEC meeting should be submitted before the end of the preceding academic year.


Proposals will follow the standard format for curricular proposals at Tennessee Tech. A proposal for a course (new or existing) to be added to the General Education core, in addition to a syllabus, must also include a checked list of outcomes to be met by the course, explaining in detail how each required outcome would be met. A cover memo from (or via) the department chair or school director with a rationale for adding the course to the General Education core, or for modifying an existing core course, is also expected.

Effective Date for Courses Added to the Core

New and existing courses proposed for addition to the Tennessee Tech General Education Core do not fulfill General Education requirements until fully approved at the university level. General Education requirements may not be met retroactively with credit earned in an existing course before its approval for addition to the core.

Criteria for evaluating a course (new or existing) to be added to the Tennessee Tech General Education Core:

  • Is the course proposal coherent and well designed?
  • Are the course description, syllabus, and assignments clearly aligned with the student learning outcomes specific to the general education area for which it is proposed?
  • Is the course consistent with the attributes of general education coursework as defined in SACSCOC CR 9.3 (see below)?
  • Does it address an area or topic not already substantially covered by a Tennessee Tech General Education core course?
  • Is there demonstrated (or probable) student demand for such a course?
  • Are there similar such general education courses at other universities – e.g., TBR, UT or other states?
  • Can the student learning outcomes proposed for the course be readily assessed?
  • Is the faculty member making the proposal qualified to teach such a course by academic degree, professional background, research emphasis, etc.? 

SACSCOC Core Requirement 9.3

Rationale and Notes

This Core Requirement establishes four key principles regarding general education courses:

  • General education courses are college-level and comprise a substantial component of each undergraduate degree.
  • In order to promote intellectual inquiry, general education courses present a breadth of knowledge, not focusing on skills, techniques, and procedures specific to the student’s occupation or profession.
  • General education is based on a coherent rationale.
  • The general education component constitutes a minimum number of semester hours, or its equivalent, and courses are to be drawn from specific academic areas.

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