Office of Assessment and Accreditation

General Education Assessment

Mission and Goals

The faculty and staff of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro embrace student learning as its highest priority. Our General Education Program provides students with the foundational knowledge, skills, and values necessary to be critical and creative thinkers, ethical decision-makers, effective communicators, and collaborative and engaged global citizens. The breadth of General Education empowers our students to thrive as life-long learners who lead personally fulfilling lives. The mandate to foster an educated person belongs to the entire university, not to a single department, unit or co-curricular program. Thus, the General Education Program provides foundations and alternative perspectives for the more specialized knowledge gained in the major. Likewise, the major builds upon and integrates knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned in General Education courses and the co-curriculum.

UNCG General Education Program Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes - June 2012

Assessment Process

In spring 2011, UNCG faculty participated in a planning workshop for the purpose of developing a plan to assess the General Education Program. Criteria included that the plan be systematic (i.e., all stakeholders know what is expected), manageable and sustainable, engage broader faculty, and yield results that can be acted on to improve student learning in the General Education Program.

The resulting faculty-developed process included two parts:

  • Part 1: Course faculty assessment, where faculty apply a three-point scale (Highly Proficient, Proficient, Not Proficient) to students' work in response to an assignment that is aligned with a General Education category-specific student learning outcome.
  • Part 2: Peer-review assessment, where peer faculty apply the same three-point scale to a sample of students' work from Part 1.

Results from part 1 and part 2 are then collected, aggregated, and presented to the University in forums to gather feedback on the General Education Program assessment process and to develop recommendations to improve student learning in UNCG's General Education Program. See Results tab.

For the assessment of the Mathematics category (GMT), Math faculty pilot-tested and refined a process that now includes embedding final exam questions (based on course content) that map to the GMT student learning outcomes. Math faculty collect and review results each semester.

For the assessment of the Natural Sciences category (GNS), faculty determined that the Scientific Reasoning Test, Version 9 (SR-9) (http://www.madisonassessment.com/assessment-testing/scientific-reasoning-test/) aligned with the GNS student learning outcomes. The SR-9 is administered on behalf of the General Education Council by the Office of Assessment and Accreditation.


General Administration

In an effort to keep faculty apprised of discussions on the development of a system-wide assessment of General Education core competencies, the General Education Council provided the link to a video of a recent presentation made by Dr. Katharine Stewart, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Learning Strategies at UNC General Administration.
Click here to view the video.


Also provided are the PowerPoint slides used in a recent presentation to the Board of Governors on this issue and responses to questions about the competencies and the plans for competency assessment that were raised by Faculty Assembly members.

UNC System-Wide Core Competencies Presentation Slides
UNC System-Wide Core Competencies FAQ

UNC Gen Ed Council Report-Jan 2014