2015-16 academic year

Seven new Pathways were approved

Seven Pathways will be available effective fall 2016. They are Creativity, Innovation, and Change; Global Connections; Health and Wellness; Learning; Origins and Influences; Social Justice and Diversity; and Sustainability. See the Pathways section of the Undergraduate Catalog for descriptions and course requirements.

September 2015

General Education Applications Due

General Education Pathway applications are due to the General Education Committee by September 11, 2015. Please submit applications to Donna Smith, ( For more information contact Ed Klonoski, Acting Associate Vice Provost ( or Brianno Coller, Chair-General Education Committee (

Applications for course participation in the General Education Program (but NOT in a Pathway) are due to the General Education Committee by September 30, 2015. Course applications are available in the “Applications” folder on the General Education webpage. Please submit applications to Donna Smith, ( For more information contact Ed Klonoski, Acting Associate Vice Provost ( or Brianno Coller, Chair-General Education Committee (

March 2015

PLUS  (Progressive Learning in Undergraduate Studies) curriculum approved.

The new PLUS baccalaureate curriculum was approved and the following curricular enhancements will take effect in the Fall of 2015. See also the final report.

Revised UNIV 101/201 course, including the use of an ePortfolio, collaborative learning, and a new Common Reading Experience text, “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson.

Courses in the new General Education Foundational Studies and Knowledge Domains will be offered beginning in the Fall of 2015. Foundational studies replace the former Core Competencies, and Knowledge Domains replace the former Distributional Studies. For more information contact Ed Klonoski, Acting Associate Vice Provost (

September 2013

Faculty and Student Surveys

The General Education Visioning Task Force is conducting Student and Faculty Surveys in order to capture an accurate picture of our institution's practices, attitudes, and needs regarding General Education, the Baccalaureate Experience, and Co-curricular practices.

We request and encourage that faculty, instructional staff, and student complete a survey in order to share their unique role and about undergraduate education at NIU. This survey is not framed specifically around General Education, but rather around our recently approved Baccalaureate goals and student learning outcomes (SLOs) in order to best gauge the diverse ways in which our faculty educates NIU students within the entire undergraduate curriculum.

Findings from these surveys will provide the Task Force with insight into the evolving attitudes and practices of education here at NIU and help it move forward with its initiative to help revitalize and reframe general education. This revitalization is imperative not only for improving the success of our graduates but also for assuring the success and longevity of NIU in the twenty-first century.

January 2013

Provost Appoints General Education Task Force

To meet the needs of a 21st-century university education, Provost Raymond Alden has established a committee to begin the process of revising NIU General Education Program. Named the General Education Visioning Task Force, the group is comprised of faculty, staff and students who will provide the leadership necessary to critically re-evaluate current general education learning goals, their related outcomes and how such outcomes can be most appropriately taught, learned and assessed. The task force will work in close consultation with the General Education Committee, a standing university committee responsible for the oversight of the General Education Program. - See more at

August 2012

Revising General Education at Northern Illinois University

The General Education curriculum, which has not undergone significant review in decades, will begin to be reviewed and revised in the academic year of 2012-2013. As undergraduates complete their General Education course requirements at NIU, they develop mastery of the learning outcomes of the Baccalaureate Degree Experience.  General education courses help students develop the skills necessary for personal and professional success.

Spring 2008

Curricular Innovations Task Force Recommendations

Endorsed the need for review and reform of NIU's Curricular Innovations Task Force Recommendations. A three-day planning workshop resulted in the task force deciding that General Education reform should be based upon the Baccalaureate Goals of NIU, which had not been reviewed since the early 1980's. Revision of General Education was delayed until a proper review of the Baccalaureate Goals and its student learning outcomes.

May 2007

NIU Strategic Plan

General education reform was identified as a major priority in NIU's Strategic Planning Initiative.