Old Core vs New GER

Click here for a comparison between the old core, the new proposal, and the Board of Regents regulations.

Old Core New GER
38-39 credits, plus 9 upper-division credits 34 – 43 credits, plus 9-12 upper-division credits
Two Natural Science courses One Natural Science course, one Quantitative Literacy course
One Mathematics course One Mathematics course
ENGL 111 and (ENGL 211 or ENGL 213) ENGL 111 and (ENGL 211 or ENGL 213)
COMM 131 or COMM 141 COMM 131 or COMM 141
ANTH F100X/SOC F100X and (ECON F100X or PS F100X) two courses marked Social Sciences
HIST F100X and ENGL/FL F200X two courses marked humanities
HUM F201X or
one course in the arts, combining theory and practice
BA F323X or
COMM F300X or
JUST F300X or
NRM F303X or
PS F300X or PHIL F322X
One course Alaskan and arctic issues
One course Civic Engagement
One course Intercultural Competence and Diversity
May be taken as an overlay; need not add additional credits to the total
Successful completion of library skills competency test or (LS F100X or LS F101X) prior to junior standing library and information research included in ENGL 111 and 211/213
Two upper-division W courses, one upper-division O course Three upper-division C courses; one capstone course (which may be a C)

4 Replies to “Old Core vs New GER”

  1. I’m sorry, but I must say this again and I will keep on saying it: PLEASE include an option in the Mathematics section that allows students to complete this requirement who are not mathematically inclined and are not going to need anything beyond good strong arithmetical skills … the kinds needed to balance a cheque book, read a financial statement, understand measure their front door to see if the new furniture they have purchased will fit, develop a decent budget … in other words the general arithmetical skills that we all need to get by in life.
    IF students are going into a STEM profession their advisor is going to make sure they are going to take the kinds of math they need … but if they are not headed that way let us stop trying to force them into a box where they do not fit. If this is going to cause a problem with Science courses regarding math prerequisites then let us do something truly innovative: add one or two science courses that do not require a math prerequisite … I took three of those as an undergraduate that served very well to give me a general overview … they were interesting, stimulated lots of further research on my part and I still use materials from them in courses I teach today.
    Perhaps at some point in the future we are going to come to a place where all the students we enroll come directly out of high school and are all ready to go right into Math 131 … and obtain a passing grade … but we are not there now … we serve a very wide range of students some of whom have been out of school for many years and many of them are excellent students in every area but math. Why are we forcing them to put so much effort (sometimes as many three DEVE courses before they can get into the required class) into something if they are never going need that level of expertise?
    We have some excellent courses on our books that could be included in the Math and Science choices that provide general competency and I really believe if we want to increase retention and meet the UAF mission to serve Alaskans we need to broaden our horizons and accept the high value that non STEM professions bring to our society and embrace and support those who are trying to enter them.

  2. “…in other words the general arithmetical skills that we all need to get by in life.”
    You can say that about all the requirements. How much art theory do I need to just get by in life? Zero. Not to pick on art, but a liberal arts education is not intended to just enable someone to just get by in life.

    • Yes, I realize that some people are being required to take an Art course who would rather not, or see no point, but they are not, to my knowledge, being required to take two, or three, or maybe even four developmental courses before they can access that required Art course. The problem with the Math requirement is the number of courses some students have to take before they can even access the required course. Yes, if they are going to need this in their future career, they should do that, but if they are not then there really should be a better way to let them obtain a general understanding of the field if that is what the general education requirement is about, and then continue with their studies without so much extra expense and time.

  3. Library Faculty Response to GERC Core Curriculum Proposal:

    The Library faculty do not support the Core Curriculum proposal that integrates LS 101 and Eng 111 at this time.

    We appreciate the work done by GERC; however, the proposal was made without representation from Library faculty, and we find it does not adequately encompass the learning objectives fulfilling the Information Literacy requirement currently taught in LS 101.

    We would not be opposed to finding a common ground in integrating LS 101, however we believe that to be truly effective at a research institution, Information Literacy should be a component embedded across the curriculum, with Library faculty working with colleagues to determine appropriate objectives and learning outcomes for their respective discipline.

    We further propose that a Library faculty member be appointed to GERC in order to facilitate discussions of integration in an inclusive manner.

    Rationale for LS 101 to remain separate from the English 111:

    While the Library faculty generally agree that the Information Literacy skills learned in a combined LS 101 / Eng. 111 course would be of value to students, we are concerned by the possibility of narrowing the scope of Information Literacy instruction to a Humanities only focus, and writing assignments. Furthermore, these assignments are determined by the teaching faculty member and vary greatly by class; this makes preparation, assessment and outcomes of core learning objectives taught currently in LS101 impossible.

    The Elmer E. Rasmuson Library faculty provides multi-disciplinary Information Literacy instruction through its LS 101 course and would be unable to continue to do so if integrated into the English 111 writing program. It is essential that students receive multidisciplinary Information Literacy instruction so that they may be able to successfully acquire and evaluate knowledge sources in all formats and disciplines, and LS 101 ensures these skills are developed. As Alaska’s only research institution, Library Faculty are the experts in the development of curriculum to include focusing on in-depth retrieval and analysis of data and resources that prepares our students for work in any course throughout their university career, as researchers and life-long learners.

    Lastly, LS 101 fulfills the NWCCU standards for accreditation for Library and Information Resources –

    2.E.3 Consistent with its mission and core themes, the institution provides appropriate instruction and support for students, faculty, staff, administrators, and others (as appropriate) to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness in obtaining, evaluating, and using library and information resources that support its programs and services, wherever offered and however delivered.

    Any future integration of instruction combining LS101 with any other course must have clear teaching objectives and learning outcomes to ensure the standards criteria can be met and assessed appropriately. If UAF agrees to change the Core to merge LS 101 into other teaching opportunities, then it is imperative that Library Faculty participate in that process, and the Information Literacy component be integrated across disciplines in the appropriate courses, with Library faculty working with colleagues to determine the appropriate learning objectives and outcomes in this field.

    What is Information Literacy?:

    In a 2010 EDUCAUSE article, Weiner states information literacy is a neglected core competency that is essential for lifelong learning and plays an important role in higher education. But what is information literacy?
    Information literacy, a skill which spans across all academic disciplines, learning environments, and levels of education, may be defined as the ability to access, evaluate, and effectively use information (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2014). UNESCO (2008) breaks information literacy into eleven stages and defines information literacy as:
    “the set of skills, attitudes and knowledge necessary to know when information is needed to help solve a problem or make a decision, how to articulate that information need in searchable terms and language, then search efficiently for the information, retrieve it, interpret and understand it, organize it, evaluate its credibility and authenticity, assess its relevance, communicate it to others if necessary, then utilize it to accomplish bottom-line purposes.”
    Information literacy is not how to find books and journal articles. It is a form of literacy that relies on critical thinking and synthesis of information.


    Association of College and Research Libraries. (2014). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2014, from https://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency#ildef

    Horton, F. W. J. (2008). Understanding information literacy: A primer. UNESCO. doi:https://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001570/157020E.pdf

    Weiner, S. (2010). Information literacy: A neglected core competency. EDUCAUSEreview Online, Retrieved Feb. 4. 2014, from https://www.educause.edu/ero/article/information-literacy-neglected-core-competency

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