To satisfy University degree requirements, an engineering student must successfully complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of approved University General Education (UGE) courses. The College of Engineering has placed additional requirements on the selection of UGE courses. A minimum of 9 credit hours must be selected from humanities and social sciences, 3 credit hours from natural sciences, and 6 credit hours from unrestricted disciplines. A minimum of 3 credit hours must be taken in humanities, 3 credit hours in the social sciences, and at least 6 credit hours of the humanities and social science credit hours must be at the 300 level or above. No more than 3 credit hours can be selected from College of Engineering courses. All courses must be taken for a letter grade. These requirements may be met with required courses in the curriculum and/or electives, which have been designated as UGE courses. In many instances, courses are used as "overlays" and concurrently satisfy requirements based on accreditation criteria and UGE criteria.
Each of the curricula for the academic programs in the College of Engineering requires a significant percentage of credit hours to be taken outside of the students' academic disciplines. Within these credit hours taken outside a student's academic discipline there are from 60 to 80 credit hours taken outside the college, depending upon the academic program. Thus, the breadth criterion, related to the UGE program and the overall academic experience, is satisfied.
The impact of UGE implementation has influenced course offerings in a very positive manner. UGE courses are approved and presented with the intent of promoting an active learning environment, providing experiential settings, and developing connectedness among the student's courses. It should be noted that many non-UGE courses are now being offered with formats that accommodate and emphasize these same characteristics. These non-UGE courses provide those learning experiences that support interdisciplinary efforts, team-based learning, and collaborative learning. Many of these courses are imbedded in an engineering student's major and will never be classified as UGE courses. In addition, these instructional changes, many of which have occurred in engineering course offerings, have been implemented with the full support of the College programs' accreditation agencies, the primary one being the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
The assessment of the College of Engineering's UGE program will continue with graduation checks and senior exit interviews. These assessment steps will provide input regarding the potential shortage of 300 level UGE courses and will allow the College to determine the UGE impact on accreditation issues, learning experiences, and the College's performance objectives.