Liberal Education Course Proposals

Liberal Education Course Proposal and Approval Procedures

A. Course Requirements

As recommended in the Liberal Education Task Force Final Report (9/4/2009) courses approved for liberal education credit:

  • Will be taught by those familiar with the goals and methods of teaching liberal education courses;
  • Will help students to understand the nature and value of a liberal education and to recognize how the course in question contributes to such an education;
  • May be offered at the 1000-, 2000-, 3000-, or 4000-level;
  • Will be offered regularly (at least every other year); and
  • Will be suitable for a wide spectrum of students*.

* Key Topics courses offered at the 3000 and 4000 level within the major are not required to serve a wide spectrum of students.

A liberal education course may also be used to satisfy a requirement within the major or minor if approved through curriculum procedures.

A Liberal Education course may meet the criteria for a Knowledge Domain category as well as a Key Topics category. Course proposals must be completed for both categories to be considered for approval. Courses approved for two categories must also conduct and report student learning assessment for both of the categories.

B. Course Proposal Process/Instructions

  • Review the categories and descriptions and choose the category (or categories) with which the course aligns. 
  • Download and complete the appropriate course proposal form(s) provided below.
    • Please be sure to include the course designator, course number, and category in the file name (example: ABDC 1234 OCL). 
    • If you are submitting the same course for designation in a Knowledge Domain category and a Key Topics category, then a separate course proposal form must be completed for each category.
    • Note that responses to each of the Category Criteria and Course Assessment items must be at least 100 words in length. 
    • Assessment responses require reference to the performance levels within the category rubrics with the exception of the Theorizing Race, Power, and Justice category because the rubric will be developed during 2022-23.
  • Submit the appropriate course proposal form(s) by the posted deadline (see Course Proposal Deadline section below).
    • Completed course proposals will follow the college's curriculum review procedure involving department and college approvals.
    • The college will forward the approved forms to Academic Affairs for review by the Liberal Education Subcommittee.
    • Please remember that departmental and collegiate review deadlines are earlier than the deadline for submission to Academic Affairs.
  • After campus review is competed, the faculty, department head, and associate dean will receive email notification of approval or non-approval. Approved courses are also entered into all UMD record systems and added to the approved Liberal Education Program course list for the following catalog year.

C. Course Proposal Deadline

The Liberal Education Subcommittee has established a November 1, 2022 course proposal due date for the Theorizing Race, Power and Justice category to have approved courses for fall 2023 class scheduling purposes. Liberal Education course proposals for other categories may be submitted by November 1 as well. The final deadline for all Liberal Education course proposals is February 1, 2023 for inclusion in the 2023-24 catalog.  

D. Course Proposal Forms for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

Language & Reasoning Skills Oral Communication & Languages
  Theorizing Race, Power, and Justice 
  Logic & Quantitative Reasoning
Knowledge Domain  Natural Sciences
  Social Sciences
  Fine Arts
Key Topics  Global Perspectives
  Cultural Diversity in the United States

E. Liberal Education Subcommittee

The Liberal Education Subcommittee is charged with overseeing the campus’ Liberal Education Program. The Liberal Education Subcommittee works with other educational committees to review and strive toward continuous improvement of Liberal Education at UMD. The subcommittee will report to as well as act on behalf of the Faculty Senate. 

Membership consists of 10 elected voting members: 2 faculty members from each college (CAHSS, CEHSP,  LSBE, SCSE), 1 staff, and 1 student; plus 2 ex-officio non-voting members: 1 academic advisor from one of the four colleges and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education. The current Subcommittee membership includes: 

Karen Gran Chair SCSE 2021 - 2024
Jennifer Moore Faculty CAHSS 2022 - 2025
Marzell Gray Faculty CEHSP 2022 - 2025
TBD Faculty SCSE 2020 - 2023
Kristen Hylenski   Faculty CAHSS  2022 - 2025
Rick LaCaille Faculty CEHSP 2021 - 2024
Roger Reinsch      Faculty LSBE 2020 - 2023
Marat Bakpayev Faculty LSBE 2022 - 2025
Kim Pittman Staff Staff 2022 - 2025
TBD Student Student 2022 - 2023
Trent Nelson Ex-officio non-voting member        Academic Advisor LSBE 2021 - 2024
Jen Mencl Ex-officio non-voting member Associate Vice Chancellor          n/a
Nancy Hansen Burley Support Staff n/a n/a

F. Contacts

For feedback or guidance on Liberal Education course proposal forms, please contact your representative(s) shown above. For general Liberal Education inquires, please contact Nancy Hansen Burley ([email protected]).