General Education Advising FAQs


Help reviewing requirements

Q: Who is responsible for waiving, substituting and reviewing General Education requirements?

A: The General Education Director receives petitions related to General Education requirements and disseminates them to the General Education Committee for review.

Q: Why don’t Divisions and Departments determine whether a General Education course should be waived?

A: The General Education requirements align to the General Education Learning Outcomes, not to individual disciplinary fields. All academic divisions are represented on the General Education Committee to provide their input on decision-making around General Education requirements.

Q: What is the process for petitioning a General Education requirement? 

A: Students can petition to waive a General Education Requirement or substitute a non-articulated General Education course by using the Academic Petition form online. More information on the petition process can be found at wou.edu/gened/petitions

Q: Can students use WOU courses that have not been approved for General Education to meet a General Education requirement? 

A: WOU courses that have not been reviewed and approved via the Faculty Senate curriculum process for inclusion in General Education should not be considered as available to meet General Education requirements. 

Q: Can a student use a General Education course in more than one category, depending on what they still need to fulfill? 

A: No. General Education courses are only approved to fulfill one category based upon the alignment to content criteria and learning outcomes. They cannot be used in multiple categories. 

Q: Can a student use a transfer course that articulates as a General Education course in one category that they’ve already met in a different General Education category?

A: No. The General Education program accepts transfer courses into General Education categories based upon the course articulation. Courses cannot fill multiple General Education requirements. 

Q: If a transfer student has a transfer course that they would like to count both toward General Education and to another academic program, what should they do?

A: If the major program determines that a course should permanently articulate as a WOU course, then it will articulate to the same General Education requirement as well. Thus, the student should first confer with the major program. If it is determined that the course does not articulate, the student can still request review to meet General Education requirements. If the student is unsure, they can consult with the General Education Director, who will facilitate review of the course by the necessary academic units.

Q: What if a student has a two-year degree that is not clearing their General Education requirements? 

A: The General Education Committee will review two-year transfer degrees for alignment to General Education. Contact gened@wou.edu to request a review or submit a petition (wou.edu/gened/petitions). 


First Year Seminars

Q: Do students have to take First Year Seminars in order?

A: FYS 107 is Writing-Focused Seminar and FYS 207 is Quantitative-Focused Seminar. Students can take their First Year Seminars in any order. Neither is a prerequisite for the other.

Q: Will a student be prevented from taking a First Year Seminar if they are no longer a first year student?

A: Sophomores may also register for First Year Seminars, if for some reason they are unable to complete this requirement on time.

Q: Can a student retake a First Year Seminar?

A: Students are able to retake First Year Seminars. Even if the theme or topic is different, they can replace a low or failing grade in either FYS 107 or 207 with another term of the same FYS course.

Q: Are students allowed to take both First Year Seminars in the same term?

A: Students can take their First Year Seminars in the same term; in some cases- as when the First Year Seminars are part of a learning community – they will have to take them in the same term.

Q: Do students who change catalog years have to take First Year Seminars?

A: Students who change catalog years from the LACCs to the new General Education program with more than 30 credits do not need to take First Year Seminars. This requirement does not automatically waive if the student started with us as a First Time Freshman to prevent new students with lots of high school dual credit from mistakenly opting out of First Year Seminars. Contact the General Education program at gened@wou.edu to get this exception applied for a catalog changing student.   

Q: Do transfer students have to take First Year Seminars?

A: Students who transfer in with 30 or more credits of college-level work have sufficient experience with collegiate expectations to have met the spirit of the First Year Seminars. They will meet the requirement, but will not earn those 8 credits, which may be applied as electives.

Q: Students with running start or other accelerated learning credits can start with over 30 credits. Do they have to take First Year Seminars? 

A: The goal of First Year Seminars in the General Education program is to help students who are new to college gain a sense of community and agency in supporting their own success. For this reason, students with running start and other high school to college credits are take First Year Seminars. 


Catalog Year Changes

Q: Does a student who changes their catalog year, but has already completed one or more year at WOU have to take a First Year Seminar?

A: Students who started at WOU prior to 2019-20 Academic Year and completed 30 or more credits of college-level work before changing catalog years have sufficient experience with collegiate expectations to have met the spirit of the First Year Seminars. They will meet the requirement, but will not earn those 8 credits, which may be applied as electives.

This requirement does not automatically waive if the student started with us as a First Time Freshman to prevent new students with lots of high school dual credit from mistakenly opting out of First Year Seminars. Contact the General Education program at gened@wou.edu to get this exception applied for a catalog changing student.   

Q: Can a student change their catalog year for General Education requirements only?

A: Yes. If a student changes their catalog year to 2019-20 or later for the General Education requirements they do not have to change their catalog year for major or minor program requirements. They will meet their baccalaureate requirements by completing General Education and their major coursework.

Q: What should we do if we changed the requirements for our major in the 2019-20 catalog and those no longer align with the BA/BS ADGRs for students who change catalog years for their major but not for General Education. 

A: The General Education Committee will review requests to address the BA/BS ADGRs if a student is now taking a major that contains BA or BS requirements. Contact gened@wou.edu for assistance. 

Q: Can a student change their program catalog year without changing their catalog year for General Education requirements?

A: Yes. If a student changes their catalog year to 2019-20 or later for their major they can complete the LACC requirements, but will also need to meet the additional graduation requirements for a B.A. or B.S. as part of the pre-2019 General Education.

Q: How will the LACC requirements apply if a student switches to new General Education requirements?

A: For the most part, many of the LACC requirements also apply to General Education requirements. See https://wou.edu/gened/gened-comparison/ for details. In the cases where LACC requirements that students completed in good faith do not articulate, the student should contact the General Education Director for assistance.


LACCs and AGRs

Q: Can a student change their program catalog year but still keep their catalog year for LACC and BA/BS requirements?

A: Yes. If a student changes their catalog year to 2019-20 or later for their major they can complete the LACC requirements, but will also need to meet the additional graduation requirements for a B.A. or B.S. as part of the pre-2019 General Education.

Q: Should we continue to ask for help with LACC and AGR requirements from the Departments that offer those courses? 

A: To save students time and energy and to ensure consistency, the General Education program is now handling requests for LACC and ADGR requirements. 

Q: For students who are still in pre 2019-20 catalog years, how do we find courses that are W, D, or Q? 

A: The easiest way is to use the attribute search on the real time course schedule search and select Writing Intensive, Cultural Diversity, or Quantitative Literacy. 

Q: What should we do if we changed the requirements for our major in the 2019-20 catalog and those no longer align with the BA/BS AGRs for students who change catalog years for their major but not for General Education. 

A: The General Education Committee will review requests to address the BA/BS AGRs if a student is now taking a major that contains BA or BS requirements. Contact gened@wou.edu for assistance. 


Transfer questions


Q: If a transfer student has a transfer course that they would like to count both toward General Education and to another academic program, what should they do?

A: If the major program determines that a course should permanently articulate as a WOU course, then it will articulate to the same General Education requirement as well. Thus, the student should first confer with the major program. If it is determined that the course does not articulate, the student can still request review to meet General Education requirements. If the student is unsure, they can consult with the General Education Director, who will facilitate review of the course by the necessary academic units.

Q: If a transfer student already has over 180 credits but hasn’t quite finished their General Education requirements, can we request to have them waived or substituted with a non-General Education course? 

A: Excess credits do not constitute a sufficient rationale to waive General Education requirements. General Education petition review will rely on whether or not a student has met the spirt of the requirement. 

Q: Do transfer students have to take First Year Seminars?

A: Students who transfer in with 30 or more credits of college-level work have sufficient experience with collegiate expectations to have met the spirit of the First Year Seminars. They will meet the requirement, but will not earn those 8 credits, which may be applied as electives.

Q: Which General Education requirements are met by students with a two-year degree?

A: Students who have an AAOT, ASOT, or OTM will fulfill the General Education requirements. Vocational Degrees and Associates of Science degrees may wish to explore the AB Liberal Studies option to complete a Baccalaureate degree aligned to General Education requirements with upper division coursework. Students who have an out-of-state two-year degree that is not recognized, should contact the General Education Director for assistance.

Q: What if a student as a two-year degree that is not clearing their General Education requirements? 

A: The General Education Committee will review two-year transfer degrees for alignment to General Education. Contact gened@wou.edu to request a review or submit a petition (wou.edu/gened/petitions). 

Q: If a student has a core Transfer Map, which requirements will they fulfill?

A: The Core Transfer Map meets Foundations: Mathematics, 4 credits of Foundations: Writing, and all of the Exploring Knowledge requirements. See https://wou.edu/gened/transfer-students/ for details.

Q: How do Advanced Placement scores affect General Education requirements?

A: If a student has an Advanced Placement test score that articulates as credit for a course in WOU General Education, the student will earn the credits for that course and meet that requirement in the General Education program.


Specific requirements


Q: What General Education Requirements should students try to complete in their first year?

A: Students should complete their First Year Seminars in their first year, along with their Foundations: Writing and Foundations: Mathematics requirements.

Q: Can CS 121 be used for Critical Thinking? 

A: CS 121 does not align to any General Education content criteria or learning outcomes. This course is not eligible for General Education credit. 

Q: Can PE 131 and an activity course meet Health Promotion as with the LACCs? 

A: During the teach out of the LACCs, while PE 131 is still offered, it can together with an activity course and activity course together meet the spirit of the requirement. 

Q: Can General Education requirements also fulfill program requirements?

A: Students can fulfill requirements in General Education and in other academic programs with the same course. However, major and minor programs may not require specific General Education courses to be taken as “hidden requirements” to maintain a program under 90 credits.

Q: Is the Biology 234-5-6 for Human Anatomy & Physiology sequence allowable for Scientific Perspectives? 

A: BI 234-5-6 at WOU are not currently approved for General Education in Science Perspectives. There are some students who have unique situations where they were recommended to take those for LACC in a specific major like Community Health, or transferred from a school where those courses were recommended as AAOT courses. These requests have to be handled on a case-by-case basis with a petition request. 

Q: How do the new General Education requirements integrate with B.A./B.S. requirements?

A: Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, B.A. and B.S. requirements are built into each academic major program. There are no additional graduation requirements for baccalaureate degrees beyond the General Education requirements and the University requirements (180 total credits, 60 upper division credits, 45 of most recent 60 taken at WOU).

Q: If a student demonstrates Writing or Mathematics proficiency (through a placement test, for example) to meet a General Education requirement do they also earn credit?

A: A student who demonstrates proficiency via the ALEKS placement test, or writing proficiency through the WOU writing placement challenge exam may meet the requirement, but not earn credit.

Q: Can a student complete their Foundations: Communication and Language requirement with a successful TOEFL or IELETS score?

A: No. There are many different courses that align to the learning outcomes and content criteria for the Foundations: Communication and Language category. Foreign-language proficiency does not meet this requirement.  

Q: Do students have to have to take courses with two different High Impact Practices to meet their Integrating Knowledge requirement?

A: No. Students do need to take at least one course in each Integrating Knowledge category, but it is okay if both feature the same High Impact Practice. Students wishing to complete the WICHE passport block for teamwork and collaborative learning must take at least one Integrating Knowledge course that features collaborative group projects as a High Impact Practice.


Alternate course delivery

Q: Is there an online pathway through General Education?

A: While there is no fully online pathway through all of the General Education requirements, most requirements have at least one online or hybrid option available. Students can search for options using the real time course availability platform, or review their options at https://wou.edu/gened/alternate/.

Check out the General Education Advising materials!

Advising guide

Requirements overview 2020-21

General Education requirements tracking sheet

Fall First Year Seminar Topics

* The courses identified here are those available in the current catalog. Current Students (and their advisors) should be aware that courses added in future catalog years will meet their General Education requirements!

Getting Ready for SOAR advising? Here are some tips to help you out.

Download a pdf of the SOAR-advising tips


First Year Seminars

  • Students should take these their first year, and we encourage as early as possible.
  • Students take both:
    • FYS 107 (Writing-Focused Seminar)
    • FYS 207 (Quantitative-Focused Seminar)
  • FYS can be taken in any order or even in the same term.
  • Students may select any topic that interests them and fits their schedule for an FYS.
  • SEP students must take at least one SEP-aligned topic section, and can take both FYS on an SEP-aligned topic section if they choose. SEP aligned topic sections are offered every term in both FYS 107 (Started at the Bottom: Now We’re Here) and FYS 207 (Getting Woke to Being Broke).


Foundations

  • Students should complete their Foundations requirements as early as possible (during their first year is recommended) particularly their Writing and Mathematics requirements to build skills that will serve them well throughout their college career
  • Foundations: Mathematics
    • Many majors require math courses as major requirements which students can use to fulfill the General Education requirement.
    • Any student may also meet their Foundations: Mathematics requirement when they score 61 or higher on the WOU ALEKS Math Assessment in a timed and proctored environment. Students may submit a request for a proctored exam after taking an ALEKS test with an initial practice score of 61 or higher. For more information, go to: https://wou.edu/math/aleks/aleks-gen-ed/
  • Foundations: Writing
    • All students must complete or demonstrate proficiency for WR 121 and WR 122.
    • WR 121 proficiency can be earned with a score of 560-800 on the writing portion of the SAT and/or a score of 21-30 on the writing portion of the ACT.
    • Students may also request a Writing placement exam to demonstrate proficiency for WR 121 or WR 122. https://wou.edu/english/first-year-writing/  
  • Foundations: Communication & Language courses include but are not limited to Foreign Language. Students may not “test out” of this requirement with a TOESL or CLEP score as with the previous BA requirement.


Exploring Knowledge

  • These courses are also meant to be approachable to students early in their college career and may also be taken in the first year.
  • Students may find an Exploring Knowledge that also meets a major requirement and can use the course to meet both requirements.
  • However, students cannot be required to complete a specific course in general Education as part of the major and the Exploring Knowledge courses present a great opportunity for students to explore content and ideas that interest them.


Integrating Knowledge

  • We expect that students will take these interdisciplinary courses later in their college careers to build on their work in the Foundations and Exploring Knowledge categories. Some of these courses have a prerequisite that may be met in an earlier General Education category. Students can plan ahead if they like by choosing courses in Foundations or Exploring Knowledge that will prepare them.  

Important Catalog Year Information for General Education:

A catalog year for degree, general education, and program requirements is assigned to students according to their first term of enrollment. Students may choose a catalog year greater than their term of admission, but in no case shall a catalog year be more than seven years old. The assigned or chosen catalog year for university and general education requirements may differ from the catalog year assigned or chosen for major/concentration/minor/certificate requirements. 

link to updated catalog rule proposal

Students who began their General Education coursework prior to 2019-20 and wish to shift to the updated requirements should be able to effectively apply courses they took to fulfill LACC and BA/BS requirements to the General Education categories. The General Education office will review petitions for exceptions to requirements in the few cases where LACC or additional General Education requirements do not align to General Education or major requirements. Students with more than 30 credits of coursework at the time they change catalog years to 2019-20 will not be required to take First Year Seminars.   

Compare pre 2019-20 requirements to 2019-20 General Education requirements

 

 

 

 
General Education

CONTACT US

503-838-8348 | or e-mail: gened@wou.edu  | Location: AC 129

 


General Education

CONTACT US

503-838-8348 | or e-mail: gened@wou.edu  | Location: AC 129