AUB’s focus on the liberal arts has been one of the University’s defining characteristics since its inception in 1866. An AUB education combines proficiency in a specific discipline with a balanced and cohesive General Education (GE) program that exposes all undergraduates, regardless of major, to a broad range of subjects and methodologies. We have prepared generations of well-rounded individuals for lives that are thoughtful, meaningful, and purposeful, and we are just as committed to the students entering our gates today.
- GE Mission Statement and Goals
GE Requirement - Distribution of Courses
The GE program has undergone considerable revision over the past decade. Prior to 2000, the University focused on developing communication skills in English and Arabic and on a ‘Great Books’ approach to the history of ideas. Today’s students can choose from a broader range of courses that develop important skills and competencies related to different ways of thinking about the world and their place in it.
Implementation of AUB’s new enriched program, which took effect for entering classes in Fall 2010, has been overseen by the Senate’s GE Committee. The committee is composed of nine elected members: four from FAS (one for each GE category) and five representing the remaining faculties/schools. Professors serving on the committee have worked tirelessly to systematize the GE program, including:
The development of measurable learning outcomes for the GE program; the four major disciplinary fields of learning (natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, quantitative thought); and communication and writing skills.
The creation of a mechanism by which faculty members can propose specific courses for GE designation for review by the committee and selected faculty from related disciplines.
The revision of GE information in the undergraduate catalogue and the inclusion of a list of approved GE courses. (See the homepage of the Registrar’s Office for regular updates.)
- The preparation of GE program assessment plan and development of appropriate assessment instruments.
Developing the writing skills of students is an important GE objective, and AUB’s Writing across the Curriculum initiative has encouraged significant progress in this area. In Spring 2010, the Provost’s Office, the GE Committee, deans, and departments worked with a US consultant, Dr Carol Haviland, and AUB’s Writing Center to develop criteria for writing courses in the majors and to re-envision 20 courses that would satisfy these criteria. Thirteen faculty members taught 10 of the redesiged courses in Fall 2010; another seven new courses were offered in Spring 2011. The number of writing intensive courses has continued to grow since then. This initiative was launched with funding from a three-year, $400,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.