General Education Program

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Welcome to Western!

We’re glad you decided to join us to continue your education.

We want to ensure that your General Education requirements transfer accurately and effectively.

For the full list of General Education requirements, check out the full list of General Education requirements and courses. If you’d like to know more about University transfer policies, check out WOU undergraduate admissions

New Students

I’m a new student who does not have any collegiate degrees! How do I get started?

1. Meet with an advisor

Find your advisor by department on the Advisor Contact Page. If you are exploring majors or need general advising assistance, make an appointment with Student Success and Advising (online through WCS, located in the WOU Portal). 

2. Decide a path

First Year Seminars

  • Students should take these their first year, and we encourage as early as possible. You should plan on adding an FYS to your Fall schedule so you can benefit from this opportunity to begin to build your foundational skills, connect with other students and faculty, and learn more about all the great things WOU has to offer.
  • 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. View the list of available Fall 2020 topics here: FYS ScheduleSome sections of FYS are labeled: SEP, which stands for the Student Enrichment Program which are designated for students in that program.
  • 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. Check your DegreeTracks or with your advisor to determine the math path for your major.
    • 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/
    • If you have a question about the ALEKS placement assessment, you can connect with the Mathematics Placement Advisor
  • 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 available 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.
  • 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 for these courses by choosing courses in Foundations or Exploring Knowledge that will fulfill the prerequisite requirement.  
3. Use Schedule Planner to build a tentative plan of classes and register when your registration time opens.

Schedule Planner is WOU’s schedule building tool. You can access it by logging into the WOU Portal, clicking on the WolfWeb icon, then the Student Menu, and then Registration and Schedule. Check out this tutorial video on how to use Schedule Planner. The Registrar’s Office website has additional resources on registration. 

4. Don't be afraid to check in

Have questions about your requirements or how to fulfill your general education categories? Connect with your advisor or Student Success and Advising. If you would like to discuss classes applying towards your general education requirements, you can also make an appointment with the General Education Office online through WCS, located in the WOU Portal.

Transfer Students

I have some form of degree or credits from another accredited establishment

Two Year Degrees

Students who have completed the articulated two year transfer degrees* will meet the WOU General Education requirements as a block. If you have an AA degree that doesn’t meet your General Education requirements? Request a review by using our petition form

*AAOT, ASOT, California Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum, California State University Transfer Degree, Hawaii Articulated Associate of Arts degree or Washington Direct Transfer Degree

Oregon Transfer Module

Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) will meet all WOU General Education requirements with the exception of Integrating Knowledge (2 courses, 6-8 credits).

Core Transfer Map

In 2017 the State Legislature passed House Bill 2998, a bill designed to streamline transfer between Oregon’s community colleges and public four-year universities. The legislation directed the HECC to bring together community colleges and universities to establish statewide “foundational curricula,” now called the Oregon Transfer Compass, of at least 30 credits that can be transferred to every institution in Oregon.  The course distribution requirements of the Oregon Transfer Compass can be found here

The fulfillment of WOU General Education requirements by the Oregon Transfer Compass is identified in the table below:

Oregon Transfer Compass Curriculum WOU General Education Requirement
WR 121 Foundations: WR 121
Arts & Letters Exploring Knowledge: Literary and Aesthetic Perspectives
Social Sciences Exploring Knowledge: Social, Historic, and Civic Perspectives
Natural Sciences Exploring Knowledge: Scientific Perspectives
Mathematics Foundations: Mathematics

*Also meets the cultural literacy requirement

Interstate Passport

Western Oregon University is an Interstate Passport network member. Upon completion of university identified passport requirements, the university records completion of the Passport on the student record. The Interstate Passport enables successful transfer of a block of lower-level general education learning to other institutions participating in the Interstate Passport Network. Learn more at https://interstatepassport.wiche.edu/.

First Year Seminars and credits completed

Students transferring to WOU with 30 or more credits of coursework are assumed to have met the spirit and purpose of the First Year Seminars, so the FYS courses will be waived when a student transfers to WOU with 30 or more credits of coursework completed in a college or university course (Accelerated Placement credits do not count toward this 30 credits). This is in alignment with the Oregon Core Transfer Map and with similar institutional policies at other Oregon public Universities that have similar seminars.

Individual Course Transfer

We recognize two possible mechanisms by which a student brings individual transfer courses to their WOU General Education portfolio.

 

WOU course articulation No WOU course articulation

For courses that already articulate to an existing WOU course that meets a WOU General Education requirement the course will articulate as meeting that requirement.

Want to know how a transfer course might articulate? Check the transfer articulation database!

Courses that do not articulate to an existing WOU course, following initial review by the Admissions office.

Lower division courses that are not specifically vocational will be reviewed by, the General Education Committee. Courses that are determined to meet a WOU General Education requirement will be articulated with an attribute to meet that requirement.

Students with courses that do not meet review criteria may self-advocate to the General Education director for review of courses to meet General Education requirements.

General Education petition process

Alternative Course Delivery Options

You can find many options for hybrid and fully remote delivery of General
Education course requirements. Use the General Education and remote campus
course attributes to find the right class for you in the scheduling tool. 

Got Questions? We’ve got Answers!

Check out the Student FAQ page for our most frequently asked questions.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact the General Education office at gened@wou.edu.