General Education

SACS Requirements

The institution...offers a general education program that:

  • Is a substantial component of each undergraduate degree

  • Ensures breadth of knowledge (Courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession.)

  • Is based on coherent rationale

Each institution must:

  • Define and publish the general education and major program requirements.

  • Identify competencies within the general education core and provide evidence that graduates have attained those college-level competencies.

Characteristics of General Education Courses

General education course work is designed to provide a foundation and a context in which upper division learning and work in the major take place. It is the general education component that gives the college degree integrity and distinguishes it from a credential. The SACS Criteria for 2004 (Principles of Accreditation) stipulate that the courses in a general program "do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession." Consequently, general education courses are not deliberately designed to meet pre-major requirements or to support solely the needs of a specific major or program. Institutions may wish to include such more narrowly focused courses in a separate pre-major, liberal studies component.

The goals and objectives for each TBR general education category give clear indication of the criteria which general education courses must meet. The following summaries per category are designed to clarify what is and what is not an appropriate general education course.