General Education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences (Gen Ed)
What is it?
The General Education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences (Gen Ed) curriculum replaces the LAE beginning with the 2015-2016 Academic Catalog. This new Gen Ed has 13 categories instead of the LAE’s 15, and includes significant improvements to category and course requirements. The total hours required to complete the Gen Ed have been reduced by 8-9 credits and the options for completing certain categories have been expanded.
When does it take effect?
The Gen Ed goes into effect in the fall of 2015. Students who started at Muskingum prior to the Fall of 2015 must request to come under the new requirements or else request to switch to the 2015 Academic catalog in order to fall under the new Gen Ed requirements.
Who is affected by these changes?
Students falling under the new Gen Ed requirements include:
- Incoming freshman who start in the Fall 2015 semester.
- Students who officially request to switch to the new Gen Ed requirements.
- Students who officially request to switch to the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Academic Catalog.
Please note that not all students are permitted to switch to a more recent catalog due to outside licensing agency requirements (ex: Nursing and Education). Students should consult with their advisors before attempting to switch either to the new Gen Ed or to a new Academic Catalog.
Why change the LAE now?
Even before the Gen Ed was approved, the LAE was under constant change with a few courses added or removed from the LAE requirements each year. Students often did not notice these small changes because their requirements were governed by their catalogs of entry, and not by the most recent LAE changes. This change is no different, except for the fact that the number and type of changes are more significant this time around. Students are still governed by their catalogs of entry unless they decide either to switch to the 2015-2016 Academic Catalog, or else request to switch to the new Gen Ed requirements,.
What should I do?
Existing students who will be undergraduates in the Fall of 2015 have 3 options.
Option 1: Do nothing.
Students who started at Muskingum prior to Fall of 2015 are not required to make any changes whatsoever. By default they will remain under the major, minor, and LAE requirements of their catalogs of entry.
Option 2: Change only to the new Gen Ed requirements.
Students who wish to remain under their catalog of entry for major and minor requirements, but who wish to use the new Gen Ed requirements in place of the LAE requirements from their respective Academic Catalogs may do so. All they must do, after consulting with their advisors, is complete a Change of Catalog or Gen Ed Form indicating that they want to change to the new Gen Ed requirements only, and submit it to the Registrar's Office.
Option 3: Change to the new 2015 Academic Catalog.
For students who are not in a program leading to licensure (mainly Nursing and Education) they may decide to switch entirely to the new 2015-2016 Academic Catalog. Doing so places students under all of the requirements of the new catalog, including all major, minor, and LAE requirements. All they must do, after consulting with their advisors, is complete a Change of Catalog or Gen Ed Form indicating that they intend to switch to the 2015-2016 catalog, and submit it to the Registrar's Offce.
This decision will depend upon many factors.
- Students who have completed most or all of their LAE may not find much benefit in switching either to a new catalog or even just to the new Gen Ed requirements.
- Students who have completed part of their major requirements and part of the their LAE requirements might benefit from switching to the new Gen Ed requirements, or they might be better off switching to a new catalog altogether, but they should discuss these options with their advisors very carefully before deciding to switch.
- For students who are farther along with completing major, minor, or LAE requirements, switching their catalog or to the new Gen Ed may not be a good choice. Because switching to a new catalog entails coming under all major, minor AND Gen Ed requirements, - and because some of those requirements may have changed with the new catalog – all students need to review their transcripts in light of the new catalog’s requirements before deciding to switch to the newer catalog.
For any student wishing to check into their options regarding the new Gen Ed requirements, the place to start is with their advisor. In preparation for meeting with advisors, students should 1) download the Gen Ed checklist from the Registrar’s webpage, along with 2) an unofficial copy of their transcript, available from Muskie Link.
When will the new 2015-2016 catalog come out?
While the new Gen Ed categories and course requirements are now available online, the rest of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog will not be available until later in the summer. This means that while students can now see how their LAE courses would count under the new Gen Ed, they cannot yet see for certain how their major/minor requirements would change under the new catalog. In most instances students’ advisors should be able to help them with such determinations.
How do I switch to the 2015-2016 catalog or just to the new Gen Ed??
There is a simple four-step process. Before making any changes a student should first:
- Meet with his/her advisor.
- Decide in consultation with his/her advisor whether it is best to do nothing, to switch just to the new Gen Ed requirements, or to switch to the new 2015-2016 Academic Catalog.
- Wait until the Fall 2015 Semester begins to make the change. This is because that catalog does not take effect until August 31st, 2015.
- Notify the Registrar’s Office by completing a Change of Catalog or Gen Ed Form.
Where can students find more information?
As with all matters of academic advising, students should meet first with their advisors. Advisors have access to the new Gen Ed requirements, and they can help students determine which of these options is best for them.
To compare the current LAE with the General Education requirements going into effect in 15/FA, see the following documents:
2015-2016 Gen Ed