General Education Petition Process FAQs

General Education Petition Process for Students
General Education Petition Process for Advisors

General Education Petition Process for Students

If I want to have some General Education requirements of my degree waived, what do I do?

You complete a General Education petition form online and submit it to the General Education office. Provided that a complete request is submitted, you should anticipate approximately one week for review. The General Education program will provide updates on petition status to students and advisors.

All General Education exception requests (substitutions, waivers, exemptions) must include the following information:

  1. The specific General Education category for which the exception is sought.
  2. The reason the exception is appropriate and necessary.
  3. The specific course or courses to be applied for the exception, with course descriptions and/or syllabi provided for transfer courses that do not already articulate as WOU courses.

After completing and submitting the information listed above using the General Education petition form, a copy of the petition request will be sent to the student, advisor, and General Education office. If a student is seeking to petition multiple requirements they may include all of them on a single form.

What is an example of a General Education requirement to be waived?

If your catalog year is before 2019-20, there are three categories of General Education requirements:

  1. LACC (Liberal Arts Core Curriculum) courses
  2. Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science requirements
  3. Writing Intensive, Cultural Diversity, or Quantitative Literacy/Math/Computer Science course designations

If your catalog year is 2019-20 or after, there are four categories of courses for General Education requirements:

  1. First Year Seminars
  2. Foundational Knowledge
  3. Exploring Knowledge
  4. Integrating Knowledge

What is an example of a graduation requirement that is NOT a General Education Requirement?

There are University-wide requirements for all students seeking a bachelor’s degree, such as earning 180 credits, earning a 2.00 cumulative GPA, and earning 60 upper division credits. Refer to the course catalog at catalog.wou.edu for all University requirements for a bachelor’s degree. To request to waive any University-wide requirements for graduation, complete the Academic Petition form and turn it into the Registrar’s Office in Administration Room 104 or email to registrar@wou.edu.

Most University-wide requirements, such as earning 180 credits and earning a 2.00 GPA to graduate, are not eligible for exceptions for any reason, as state laws and/or accreditation standards may dictate these parameters. Students may submit petitions for these requirements, but please be aware that they will be denied.

There are program-specific requirements related to your major or minor; please contact your major/minor department directly for more information on how to request a waiver of any program-specific requirements.

What should I do if I need help on my petition form?

We strongly recommend that you work with your academic advisor to complete the petition form successfully. You are required to meet with your advisor every term before registering for a future term, and you are expected to have conversations during those regular meetings about planning to meet all the minimum requirements for graduation. Your advisor will receive a copy of the petition form that you submit.

What are some additional things to keep in mind as I consider petitioning a General Education requirement?

The General Education Task Force and Committee thoughtfully established the General Education Requirements as the minimum standard that each WOU degree-holder must meet. The requirements are not unnecessarily onerous, and every WOU student can be reasonably expected to meet the minimum standard without exception. Thus, only students with extraordinary circumstances ought to be encouraged to petition the minimum requirements. Examples of situations that do not rise to the level of “extraordinary” are: a student wanting to graduate sooner, a student feeling as though they have taken enough credits in non-major-related courses, a student with transfer credits that meet specific General Education requirements at a different institution.

General Education Petition Process for Advisors

If a student wants to waive one or more General Education Requirements, how do I advise them?

Point them toward the General Education petition form and have them submit it to the General Education Office.

The General Education program will provide updates on petition status to students and advisors within one week of the petition being received although processing and review of some complex petitions may take longer. Incomplete petitions will be postponed until the student provides adequate information to support review.

All General Education exception requests (substitutions, waivers, exemptions) must include the following information:

  1. The specific General Education category for which the exception is sought.
  2. The reason the exception is appropriate and necessary.
  3. The specific course or courses to be applied for the exception, with course descriptions and/or syllabi provided for transfer courses that do not already articulate as WOU courses.

After completing and submitting the information listed above using the General Education petition form, a copy of the petition request will be sent to the student, advisor, and General Education office. If a student is seeking to petition multiple requirements they may include all of them on a single form.

Advisors may complete the petition form for students (be aware that you’ll need to replace your auto-filled information with the student’s contact information). If you are advising multiple students all requiring the same simple exception (e.g. waiver of FYS for students changing catalogs to new Gen Ed requirements with 30 credits) you may provide a list of students and their V#s directly to the General Education program at gened@wou.edu.

What is an example of a General Education requirement to be waived?

If a student’s catalog year is before 2019-20, there are three categories of General Education requirements:

  1. LACC (Liberal Arts Core Curriculum) courses
  2. Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science requirements
  3. Writing Intensive, Cultural Diversity, or Quantitative Literacy/Math/Computer Science course designations

If a student’s catalog year is 2019-20 or after, there are four categories of courses for General Education requirements:

  1. First Year Seminars
  2. Foundational Knowledge
  3. Exploring Knowledge
  4. Integrating Knowledge

What is an example of a graduation requirement that is NOT a General Education Requirement?

There are University-wide requirements for all students seeking a bachelor’s degree, such as earning 180 credits, earning a 2.00 cumulative GPA, and earning 60 upper division credits. Refer to the course catalog at catalog.wou.edu for all University requirements for a bachelor’s degree. To request to waive any University-wide requirements for graduation, students should complete the Academic Petition form and turn it into the Registrar’s Office in Administration Room 104 or email to registrar@wou.edu.

Most University-wide requirements, such as earning 180 credits and earning a 2.00 GPA to graduate, are not eligible for exceptions for any reason, as state laws and/or accreditation standards may dictate these parameters. Students may submit petitions for these requirements, but please be aware that they will be denied.

There are program-specific requirements related to a student’s major or minor; students should contact their major/minor department directly for more information on how to request a waiver of any program-specific requirements.

What is my role as an advisor in helping students with this request?

Faculty advisors are expected to guide students as they make progress on their degree. If a student is requesting a waiver of a requirement, it is the expectation that the student will have consulted with their advisor about how to fulfill the requirement before seeking an exception. Only if the advisor supports the student seeking an exception should a petition be brought to the General Education Committee.

What are some additional things to keep in mind as I advise students for the petition process?

The General Education Task Force and Committee thoughtfully established the General Education Requirements as the minimum standard that each WOU degree-holder must meet. The requirements are not unnecessarily onerous, and every WOU student can be reasonably expected to meet the minimum standard without exception. Thus, only students with extraordinary circumstances ought to be encouraged to petition the minimum requirements. While the petition avenue is always available to all students, we discourage faculty/staff from pointing students to the petition process unless there is truly an extraordinary circumstance. Examples of situations that do not rise to the level of “extraordinary” are: a student wanting to graduate sooner, a student feeling as though they have taken enough credits in non-major-related courses, a student with transfer credits where they met the Gen Ed requirements at a different institution (any student with an Interstate Passport through WICHE will automatically meet our Gen Ed requirements, as will any student with an Oregon Transfer degree from an Oregon Community College). Student disappointment upon being denied a petition can be mitigated if you, in your capacity as a University official, make students aware that only extraordinary circumstances are likely to be considered for approval.

 


General Education

CONTACT US

503-838-8296 | or e-mail: gened@wou.edu  | Location: Instructional Technology Center