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Skidmore College General Education Curriculum - Criteria Development Progress: Home

This dashboard site provides up-to-date, at-a-glance progress on Skidmore's General Education Curriculum criteria development process, which is being overseen by the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP) .

General Education Curriculum - Criteria Development Progress (Updated 1/17/19)

Skidmore faculty passed the new General Education Curriculum on April 28, 2017. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP) coordinated the effort to generate learning goals and criteria for each of the new requirements.  These goals and criteria were developed by CEPP subcommittees, which were populated on a volunteer basis.

In an effort to ensure a diverse range of perspectives/representation, CEPP, in consultation with FEC and Curriculum Committee, selected members from those who volunteered for each subcommittee. Subcommittees were limited to 6 faculty members, 2 staff members, and 1 student, with additional participants from CEPP. Each subcommittee was tasked with delivering specific learning outcomes for the requirement and criteria for course approval—essentially a set of instructions for Curriculum Committeeby May 2018. 

The task at present is to generate courses for the new curriculum with a goal of having a sufficient number of viable courses developed and approved by December 2019. Departments must submit plans for In the Major requirements to the Dean of Faculty's office by March 1, 2019.

Overall Process/Timeline:

1. [Completed Fall 2017-Spring 2018] Subcommittees draft criteria and specific learning goals for the relevant requirement in the form of bulleted lists. Learning goals for each requirement mapped to the larger learning goals of the institution. During the drafting period, other members of the Skidmore community submit comments/input via email to any CEPP member.

2. [Completed Spring 2018] Each subcommittee's draft criteria subject to an open comment period and public forum organized by CEPP. 

3. [Completed February 2019] Revised criteria go to joint subcommittee(s) of Curriculum Committee and CEPP for refinement and implementation.

4. [Spring 2019-December 2019] Curriculum Committee reviews and approves courses for the new curriculum. For some requirements, the approval process will have preliminary steps before syllabi are submitted to Curriculum Committee. See requirement criteria for details.

Note: Non-substantive revisions to criteria are being recorded for transparency's sake in the Requirements At-A-Glance box below. CEPP considers "non-substantive revisions" to include such things as minor logistical adjustments, clarifications, or other details that do not alter the scope of the requirement and criteria in question.

Requirements At-A-Glance


STATUS: Learning goals and criteria for Scribner Seminars already in place. No further action needed.

Guidelines for Scribner Seminars can be found here:


STATUS: Completed


Faculty: Hope Casto, Cathy Hill, AJ Schneller, Gregory Spinner, Mason Stokes, Jessica Sullivan

Staff: Luis Inoa, Kim Marsella

Student: Ashley Polanco 

CEPP: Marta Brunner, Beau Breslin (Fall 2017)

Additional revisions in Fall 2018 by: Tammy Blair, Marta Brunner, Patricia Hilleren, Luis Inoa, Christopher Mann, Denise McQuaid, Rik Scarce, Adam Tinkle

Documents: Bridge Experience Criteria


STATUS: Completed


Faculty: Greg Gerbi, Johanna MacKay, Oscar Perez Hernandez

Staff: Paula Brehm

Student: Henry Jaffe

CEPP: Erica Bastress-Dukehart

Additional revisions in Fall 2018 by: Erica Bastress-Dukehart, Paula Brehm, Debra Fernandez, Greg Gerbi, Steve Ives, Michael Marx, Peter Murray, Jamin Totino

Documents: Senior Coda Guidelines


STATUS: Learning goals and criteria already in place. No further action needed.



(1 course)

To be completed by the end of the junior year - prerequisite: placement or Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning (FQR) course

Students must complete one applied quantitative reasoning course. Although the specific context may vary, AQR courses include the study and use of quantitative methods as a primary organizing principle of the course. In an AQR course, students will develop and use quantitative skills in an applied setting to consider, model, and solve discipline-specific or interdisciplinary real-world problems and interpret and communicate their results. The course will have an FQR course as a prerequisite. Upon completing the AQR requirement successfully, students will be able to do each of the following:

  • Use statistical and/or mathematical models to characterize empirical data;

  • Understand, model, and predict the behavior of populations or systems;

  • Interpret and communicate results orally and/or in writing; and

  • Use quantitative reasoning for informed decision-making.

AQR Course Approval:

For a course to be designated AQR, the course will need to be certified by the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Program Director in conjunction with a QR review team of two science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) faculty, appointed annually by the QR director in consultation with the curriculum committee and the Dean of the Faculty. To certify a course as an approved AQR, the review team will consider the course syllabus as well as a brief outline of the specific ways in which the course addresses the learning goals outlined above. Learning goals related to QR are expected to be explicitly identified in the course syllabus. Once a course is certified as an AQR course, the QR review team will review the course every 3 years.

Pre-requisite for AQR:

To enroll in an AQR course, students will need to have mastered fundamental quantitative reasoning content. This mastery ensures that students have the necessary mathematical and quantitative reasoning skills to be successful in an AQR course and are prepared for other courses that use quantitative methods as part of the curriculum.

Fundamental skills ensure that students will:

  • Be able to perform mathematical calculations involving estimation, basic formulas, units, percentages, fractions, statistics, probability, and geometry;

  • Be able to formulate and apply basic algebra skills;

  • Understand, interpret, and apply mathematical concepts and calculations in his/her daily life;

  • Effectively communicate and discuss mathematical concepts and results both orally and in writing; and

  • Appreciate the power and utility of mathematics and quantitative reasoning.

Students can demonstrate foundational skills through SAT/ACT mathematical test scores as before. New and transfer students not fulfilling this pre-requisite automatically through test scores will be required to complete an online QR placement test prior to registering for Skidmore courses. The test results will place students into one of the following three courses: AQR-level, foundational-level, or basic skills. In summary, students can fulfill the foundational QR content in one of the following ways:

  • Achieving a score of at least 630 on the MSAT I examination or a score of at least 570 on any Mathematics SAT II examination or a score of at least 28 on the Mathematics ACT examination;

  • Placing into AQR-level coursework through the QR placement test; or

  • Successfully completing a Fundamental Quantitative Reasoning (FQR) course.

In addition, the possible outcomes of the placement test include:

  •   Placement into AQR-level courses;

Placement into FQR-level courses; or

Placement into a basic mathematical skills course (MA 100).

FQR Courses:

FQR courses are courses that ensure that students master the foundational skills outlined above. Students requiring an FQR course must complete this course by the start of their Junior year and prior to enrolling in an AQR course. FQR courses are offered in a variety of departments and programs and are worth two or more credit hours. While some courses may be developed to specifically address FQR content, other courses may cover FQR content through a supplemental 1-hour course meeting.

FQR Courses Approval:

For an existing course to be designated FQR, the course will need to be certified by the Quantitative Reasoning Program Director in conjunction with a QR review team of two STEM faculty, appointed annually by the QR director in consultation with the curriculum committee and the Dean of the Faculty. New courses will need to first have curriculum committee approval prior to seeking FQR approval. To certify a course as FQR, the review team will consider the course syllabus as well as the FQR approval document which outlines the specific ways in which the course addresses the learning goals stated above. Once a course is certified as an FQR course, the course will be reviewed by the QR review team within 5 years of approval or at the discretion of the QR Director.

MA 100:

Quantitative Skills is a 3-hour course that currently exists and is the study of practical arithmetic and geometry, data gathering and analysis, introductory probability and statistics, size and bias in sampling, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals and their use in statistical analysis, linear relationships, interpolation and extrapolation, correlation, linear and exponential growth with practical applications.

Students requiring a basic skills course must complete this course prior to enrolling in an FQR-level course which must be completed prior to enrolling in an AQR course. Therefore, students needing MA 100 must complete this course or an equivalent course by the start of their sophomore year.


STATUS: Completed


Faculty: Ben Bogin, Dan Curley, Bina Gogineni, Eliza Kent, Viviana Rangil

Staff: Cori Filson, Subhan Ali

Student: Themba Shongwe

CEPP: Erica Bastress-Dukehart

Documents: Global Cultural Perspectives Draft Criteria


STATUS: Completed


Faculty: Charlene Grant, Masako Inamoto, Beatriz Loyola, Leslie Mechem, Adrienne Zuerner

Staff: Ben Harwood

Student: Sarah Coker 

CEPP: Marta Brunner

Documents: ​Draft Criteria for Language Study Requirement


STATUS: Learning goals and criteria already in place. No further action needed.

Writing-Intensive Course Guidelines

These guidelines are intended for faculty who want to propose "writing intensive" courses that will meet the all-college expository writing requirement,as well as for faculty who want to enhance the writing experiences offered in their courses. There are several routes available to students for completing the all-college writing requirement:

1. EN 105 Writing Seminar II (some students are required to take EN 103 in preparation for EN 105 or any other writing intensive course); 2. EN 105H Writing Seminar II, honors; 3. a designated writing-intensive course. With proper design (and approval from the Curriculum Committee) such courses may multiple-count in various ways: for example, to meet the writing requirement, an LS requirement, and a course in a major or minor. Writing-intensive courses should have an enrollment limit of 17 students, offering faculty ample opportunity to cover the desired disciplinary content and, at the same time, to give close attention to the students' writing. In fact, when such courses are designed appropriately, the writing activities aid mastery of the course content, rather than distract from the central concerns of the course. The Directors of the Writing Program and the Writing Center should offer annual workshops on developing and conducting writing-intensive courses.


1. Each week or at least bi-weekly, students should write drafts and revisions, over the course of the semester producing several finished works (essays, summaries, research papers, reports and so forth). The length of the papers may vary as appropriate to the discipline and the instructor's intentions, but the general expectation is that completed papers will total twenty-five or more pages of formal writing. Faculty might also choose to use journal-writing and other less structured writing exercises to augment the process of developing formal papers.

2. A writing-intensive course must include, at a number of points during the semester, classroom activities which examine the writing process. These normally include generating ideas and principles of organization; gathering and documenting information; determining an appropriate audience and voice; structuring the paper as a whole; revising; peer critiquing; attending to questions of grammar, syntax, and word usage. 3. Writing-intensive courses should introduce students to the revision process and provide them with the opportunity to revise. The process of revision must be an integral part of the writing assignments and instruction. Whether revision is built into the assignment or done as an additional graded paper will be a matter for each instructor to decide. The Directors of Writing and the Writing Center will gladly supply advice to faculty on strategies of instruction.

Approved: April 6, 1994
Amended: March 1, 2005


STATUS: Completed


Faculty: Sarah Day-O'Connell, Jeremy Day-O'Connell, Debra Fernandez, Jason Ohlberg, Sarah Sweeney

Staff: Jeromy McFarren, Auden Thomas

Student: Katie Jacobsen

CEPP: Janet Sorensen

Documents: Artistic Inquiry through Practice Criteria


STATUS: Completed


Faculty: Mao Chen, Siobhan Hart, Maria Lander, Peter Murray, Brad Onishi, Flagg Taylor

Staff: Elizabeth Karp, Aaron Kendall

Student: Kayla Briskey 

CEPP: Nick Junkerman

Documents: Humanistic Inquiry and Practice Draft Criteria


STATUS: Completed


Faculty: Jason Breves, Jennifer Cholnoky, Kelly Melekis, Mary Odekon, Kelly Sheppard, Kurt Smemo

Staff: Beth DuPont

Student: Hanna Weighart 

CEPP: Steve Ives

Documents: Draft Curricular Guideline for Scientific Inquiry


STATUS: Learning goals and criteria to be created by departments/programs. 


As part of the implementation process for our newly adopted general education curriculum, academic departments need to make plans for how their majors will fulfill the In the Major requirements. These requirements include:

Information literacy

Oral communication

Technology literacy

Visual literacy


Departments should complete a curriculum map template for each requirement (except Writing, which is already in place).  Submit these plans to the Dean of Faculty's office by February 1, 2019 March 1, 2019 (deadline extended!).

The Dean of Faculty's Office, along with the Center for Leadership, Teaching, and Learning, will assist departments in a variety of ways. The Project Vis team and the Scribner Library Instructional Services team have prepared tools and resources for visual literacy and information literacy, respectively. Departments may opt to have their students fulfill specific In the Major requirements by taking courses offered elsewhere on campus.


More Detailed Information and Sample Rubrics:

In the Major Definitions Handout 

In the Major Curriculum Map Template

The following non-substantive changes--made since the subcommittees completed their work and public forums were held--have been accepted by CEPP and included in the draft criteria submitted to Curriculum Committee. 

  1. Applied Quantitative Reasoning timeline adjustment: In order to accommodate the needs of students who place into MA 100, required courses can be completed on the following timeline: MA 100, end of 1st year; FQR, end of second year; AQR, end of third year.

Key Documents