Thinking Collaboratively about General Education at Western

Spring 2016

2016 General Education Task Force Report

Dear Colleagues,

Per the request of the faculty, the General Education Task Force has explored various institutional approaches to general education and brought forward several ideas for us to use as a catalyst in thinking about how we want to continue strengthening general education at Western. Their report is linked above.

It is important to note that these ideas are not intended to be voted on by the faculty. Nor are they considered the "answers" for Western's general education program. Instead, they are a starting place to spur our collective thinking about what we want as a campus. Through the process of reviewing and seeking feedback in response to the Task Force Report we hope to determine what ideas, frameworks, and general education program models are most likely to serve the needs and enjoy the support of the campus community.

We invite you to provide feedback about how you believe we should focus our energy as we continue strengthening general education at Western. You are encouraged to participate in any or all of the 3 feedback mechanisms listed below:

  1. Individual Responses
    An additional link is available for students and alumni interested in providing feedback;

  2. College Responses - College governance committees will invite feedback from departments in reponse to a series of feedback questions and will communicate big ideas from within the college to Senate and ACC leadership;

  3. Collaborative Sessions - One-hour sessions facilitated by Senate and Task Force leadership to provide an informational overview alongside space for collaborative thinking about next steps for general education at Western. Students, staff, faculty, and administration are invited to attend these sessions. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend. Collaborative sessions are scheduled on:

    • Wednesday, April 13 from noon-1 p.m. in the Wilson Library Learning Commons, Room 270
    • Tuesday, April 19 from 4-5 p.m. in the Wilson Library Learning Commons, Room 270

Please note that we have intentionally framed these feedback processes to elicit constructive feedback – what you're most positively drawn to in each of these models. Through such feedback, we seek to ensure that any future development of these ideas is grounded in and well adapted to Western's character, the strengths and interests of its faculty, and the needs of its students and community. Any further development of the ideas outlined in this report would be subject to additional stages of review, consideration, refinement, and approval by the campus-wide community. Hopefully, we'll come through this process with a clearer sense of how general education at Western could:

  • Serve as a model of institutional effectiveness for higher education in the 21st century;
  • Help draw students to our campus and contribute positively to their retention and success;
  • Leverage and build upon our greatest strengths and the characteristics that define us as an institution and community.

We thank you in advance for your commitment to strengthening general education at Western. Please contact if you have any questions about the process and submit all feedback no later than May 10.

With respect,

Molly Ware
2015-16 President of WWU Faculty Senate


Additional Information:

Cover Letter to 2016 Task Force Report

Roster of General Education Task Force