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Policies for Essential Studies
Granting Credit Toward GERs Under Essential Studies
We still have quite a large number of students who are under the old General Education Requirements (GERs), and we need to help them complete their programs of study in a timely fashion (we estimate about 2,000 students under GER’s, and they go back to 1967). We need a policy about granting credit as we move through this transition period from the GER’s to Essential Studies (ES was implemented for freshmen in Fall,2008 and for transfers in Fall,2009.)
Consequently, the Essential Studies Committee reviewed the situation, and after receiving input from several different groups—student government, advisors, the Registrar’s Office, and the Office of ES—the Committee discussed different options. Following that discussion, the ESC explored a compromise plan, which resulted in the policy here (approved unanimously, 7 May 2012).
- Students under the GER's follow the catalog list of General Education courses that was in place when they started at UND.
- This is the basic principle that guides all decisions concerning whether or not a particular course should count toward meeting the GERs student's requirements in GE.
- The entry catalog is the one that was in place in the semester of the student's first enrollment at UND (not during application or admission).
- Students who entered UND in academic year 2007-08 follow the 2007 online list of GER courses that is found at: http://und.edu/academics/registrar/general-education-courses.cfm
- This was when the list of GERs courses was no longer included in the catalog.
- The catalog rule (#1 above) applies to all GERs students both in the past and in the future.
- If a GERs student is asking for credit for coursework done in the past, the advisors and Registrar's Office will use the catalog list to decide if that course counts or not.
- If a GERs student is looking to take a course in the future, the GERs list in the student's entry catalog is the source of information to use.
- GERs students do not use the list of ES approved courses except in the case of #5 (following).
- In cases where no GERs courses from the entry-year catalog are taught any longer to fulfill a specific GER, the following options apply:
- If no GERs courses are available to meet the World Cultures requirement, then the student may choose to take an Essential Studies course that is validated for either Global Diversity ("G") or U.S. Diversity ("U"). Students cannot fulfill the World Cultures requirement by taking a CLEP or Foreign Language Placement and credit test.
- If no GERs courses on the list are available for the third course in Communication (a requirement in the GERs program), they may choose to take an ES program course that is designated with either an "A" (Advanced Communication) or an "O' (Oral Communication).
- In either of these cases (5a and 5b), credit toward the GER follows the ES rule that the course counts in the semester in which it is taken.
- For example, if a GERs student elects to take an ES "O" course to meet the third communication course requirement, that Oral Communication course must be on the approved list in the semester that the student takes it.
- This policy means that GERs are the" default" requirements—no need for students to do anything other than follow their entry catalog. However, students under the GERs may elect, by individual request, to use the ES requirements instead of the GERs for all their outstanding requirements. If a GERs student does elect to use the new ES program, that choice must be made in writing and kept on file with the student's college or program advisor, and it must be sent to the Registrar's Office to be coded in the student's record for the degree audit. The courses already taken under GERs will transfer into the ES requirements according to the following:
- GERs World Cultures courses can be counted either toward fulfillment of the ES Global ("G") or U.S. ("U") Diversity requirement.
- GERs Communication courses can be counted either toward fulfillment of the ES Advanced ("A") or Oral ("O") Communication requirement.
- This choice must be clearly indicated in writing at the time that the student is transferring from GER to ES requirements.
- All ES rules apply from the time the switch is made.
On Choosing Courses:
The Essential Studies Committee strongly urges students and advisors to choose GERs courses which are also currently approved as ES courses, under similar categories.
The Registrar's Office provides several services for students and advisors to use to quickly find out if alternative or substitute courses might count toward their GERs requirements. One is the electronic degree audit; another is consultation with a Registrar's staff member. In the case of transfer courses—the source of many of the GERs questions—a dedicated staff member is ready and available to visit with students or answer questions from advisors.