General Education Program
Welcome to the UWSP’s General Education Program. Established in 2012, this curriculum provides the foundation, both in skills and knowledge, necessary for advanced coursework and professional training, regardless of major, for each and every UWSP student. Housed in University College, the GEP is one of the pillars of a student-centered college that brings academic curricula together with the educational services that students need to succeed in advanced university education and beyond.
The GEP at UWSP is not a single curriculum, nor is it merely a collection of requirements that one needs to check off a list. Rather, our General Education Program is a comprehensive framework designed to ensure that graduates from UWSP have the tools that are essential for success. Students are challenged to think globally and recognize their responsibility toward civic engagement and environmental sustainability. This critical foundation of our university degree allows students to build toward more advanced and specialized work in every major, minor and certificate program. Educational professionals and business leaders from all across the nation recognize the value of this type of broad-based education. It allows for intellectual flexibility and personal and professional growth.
UWSP’s General Education Program is just the beginning of life-long learning. We are here to help each and every student get started.
Nancy LoPatin-Lummis, PhD
Associate Dean, General Education, University College
What is General Education?
It's the part of a liberal education curriculum that is shared by all students. It provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines and forms the basis for developing important intellectual, civic, and practical capacities. General education can take many forms, and increasingly includes introductory, advanced, and integrative forms of learning. It's also:
- Developmental. There is a logical progression from the early stages of the GEP to the most advanced stages of work, tied to the student’s major. This provides students with multiple opportunities to develop critical knowledge, skills, and dispositions;
- starting at the Foundation Level where critical ideas are introduced,
- moving into the Investigation Level where additional content and application of skills are explored,
- and ending with the Integration Level, where more complex connections are made and advanced skills applied.
- Integrative. Aspects of general education are incorporated into majors and disciplinary studies. For example, students now learn to write and communicate orally in ways professionals in a major area of study do. This makes the writing students are required to do more meaningful, with practical applications readily apparent.
- Less Credit-Intensive than Other Programs. As a result, students can begin to study in their chosen major earlier than before, allowing students to pursue additional majors or minors while adding less time to degree.
In short, the new GEP is not something to “get out of the way”; it is woven throughout the student’s entire course of study, thereby helping them understand that liberal education is not separate from disciplinary and professional training, but part of the unique and valuable experience of a university education.