Information for Faculty

Photo of five students sitting in a row in class

Information for Faculty

Spring 2023 Information

Dear Spring 2023 General Education (GE) Instructors, 
As you prepare your courses, please review the following important information: 

General Education Requirements 

  • Students entering NJCU in fall 2021 or after follow the GE curriculum outlined here
  • Students entering NJCU between fall 2015 and spring 2021 follow the curriculum outlined here.
  • Under both sets of requirements, GE includes Tier I, II, and III courses, as well as required English Composition and Math courses. 

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Every approved GE course, apart from Tier III courses, cover two University-wide student learning outcomes. In Tier III courses, students decide the learning outcomes that will be assessed in consultation with their instructor. 
  • Instructors should a) plan a weekly course schedule that helps students achieve the outcomes covered by the course, and b) assign end-of-semester signature assignments that cover these outcomes. To identify the outcomes for your courses, please see the attached spreadsheet. If you believe there are errors in our databases, please contact and copy
  • You can find a simple description of the student learning outcomes here. For the rubrics used to assess students’ progress on these outcomes, please scroll to the bottom of the page here.

Spring 2023 GE Pilot

  • As part of the ongoing GE Program Review, the General Education Program Review Committee is piloting some changes to the student learning outcomes to address difficulties raised by recent assessment, ensure compliance with MSCHE standards for General Education, and to better serve our transfer students. Students may take piloted courses at NJCU in spring 2023 as approved substitutions for existing requirements.
  • If you are teaching a piloted GE course, please plan a weekly course schedule and end-of semester signature assignment by attending to the piloted outcome rather than the approved substitutions. For details of the approved courses, please select ‘GE Pilot’ in the attached spreadsheet. For the piloted changes to the learning outcomes, please review our working characterizations in the attached pdf entitled ‘GE Piloted Outcome Changes.’
  • Note that 1) all piloted courses substitute for one Tier requirement, 2) courses being piloted as part of either the new Humanistic Perspectives or Society and Human Behavior outcome only substitute for Tier requirements, and 3) the remaining courses substitute for only one learning outcome requirement (recent assessment suggests students would be better served by each GE course having just one associated learning outcome.)

Syllabi and GE Information

  • Please clearly indicate on your course syllabi the GE requirements your courses satisfy, and please ensure to explain to students how your courses fit into the overall GE program.

Program Assessment 

  • We are required to assess the GE program for university accreditation. During spring 2023, the General Education Committee on Assessment and Policy (GECAP) will assess the Oral Communication outcome. Instructors of courses that cover this outcome will receive a separate email soon with information on their role in the required collection of a randomized and anonymous sample of signature assignments. 

GE Symposium 

  • I am thrilled to announce that we will reconvene the GE Symposium. Please encourage any students with promising work to apply, and please also consider submitting a panel proposal. You can find the flyer attached and find the submission form here. I would like to thank Dr. Joshua Fausty, who served as GE Director for many years, for taking the lead in arranging the symposium. If you have questions, please contact him here.  

Finally, thank you for the work you do for the GE program. It is a cornerstone of students’ education at NJCU, and I thank you on their behalf for your dedication to the program. 

Best wishes,

Scott O’Connor, Ph.D
Director of General Education
Associate Professor & Chair
Department of Philosophy & Religion 

Faculty Information


Spring 2022 Gen Ed. Assessment: Civic Engagement & Intercultural Knowledge (CEIK)

The spring 2022 General Education assessment will focus on the CEIK learning outcome. The signature assignments of courses offered with this learning outcomes will be collected. Faculty teaching sections of these courses are required to create a Blackboard/TK 20 for the collection of their students’ signature assignments. Please find on this page information on creating this link. Thank you for being a part of this important accreditation exercise.




Class Description



Dark Stories for Young Adults



Beyond Bound: Global History



African Music in the America



World Music



Understanding Movies



The History of Media



Media Revolution of the 1960s






Globalization & Governance



Business and Politics



Refugees and Forced Migration



Diversity and Difference



Women and Leadership



Women, Hip Hop & Social Change


Signature Assignment Collection
The Office of Institutional Effectiveness has designed a simple tool to collect CEIK signature assignments. All it requires is for faculty to create a specially formatted assignment in Blackboard that students will use to upload their signature assignments.

A faculty member who does not usually use Blackboard to deliver their courses needs to only create this one assignment in Blackboard; they do not need to transition their entire course to Blackboard.

Liz Hickey has created short videos to explain the process: 

You can also find pdf instructions here:

  • Blackboard Original pdf instructions
  • Blackboard Ultra pdf instructions

Essential Information
It is essential that you use the following two pieces of information exactly as they appear below: 

  • Assessment name: Gen Ed CEIK Spring 2022
  • Website

Some Further Details

  • Students complete and submit to instructors end-of-semester signature assignments that demonstrate achievement of the two University-wide student learning outcomes covered in their Gen Ed courses. 
  • Instructors should a) plan a weekly course schedule that helps students achieve the outcomes covered, and b) assign end-of-semester signature assignments that cover these outcomes. 
  • For the rubrics used to assess students’ progress on these outcomes, please scroll to the bottom of the General Education web page
  • The General Education Committee on Assessment and Policy (GECAP) will be the group that now scores artifacts; faculty are no longer required to assess the learning outcomes in each of their courses. 
  • In spring 2022, GECAP will score a randomized and anonymous sample of signature assignments in the CEIK student learning outcome; while every Gen ED course must include a signature assignment that allows students demonstrate their progress on the relevant outcome, we will no longer be scoring every learning outcome each semester. 
  • The Office of Institutional Effectiveness will scrape the assignments from Blackboard at the end of the semester, remove all identifying information, and then provide the anonymized assignments to GECAP for their scoring.  
  • Programmatic assessment does not require or in any way involve assessment of individual faculty. Our method of collecting signature assignments is anonymous and labor-light. After collecting the assignments from Blackboard, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness will remove all identifying information from the signature assignments before forwarding the randomized sample to GECAP. No faculty member or administrator will have access to the non-anonymized documents. 

 If you have any questions about creating the link, please contact Liz Hickey,

Signature Assignments

Information on Signature Assignments and End-of-Semester Assessment Procedures

Every Gen Ed course covers two of the six University-wide student learning outcomes in the context of work on its (inter)disciplinary subject matter. Students are required to complete and submit, for a grade and for program assessment purposes, end-of-semester "signature assignments," that demonstrate their achievement of the two University-wide learning outcomes covered by your course. The specific dimensions for each outcome appear on the program rubrics. These are the performance criteria for assessing the outcomes students develop throughout the semester and demonstrate on their signature assignments.

The two University-wide student learning outcomes are included in the approved course proposal for your course. It is vital to know what learning outcomes are covered and assessed in your course, and to plan a weekly course schedule that helps students achieve these outcomes; and it is essential to assign students an end-of-semester signature assignment that provides them with an opportunity to demonstrate these outcomes.

For information on Tier, University-wide Student Learning Outcomes, and course descriptions for currently offered Gen Ed courses, please consult the catalog

Please note that the General Education Committee on Assessment and Policy will develop and implement an assessment plan for spring, 2022. Instructors will be contacted once the plan has been developed. In the interim, you may download printable versions of the rubric forms to be used in assessment.

You may download printable versions of the rubric forms to be used in preparation for submitting your scores:


Gen Ed Course Proposals

Gen Ed course proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. They must be submitted to department curriculum committees to begin the approval process.

Follow the Guidelines for Requesting New Course Approval and Course Changes as you write or revise course proposals for inclusion in General Education

Note: In every Tier I and Tier II Gen Ed course, end-of-semester signature assignments must cover and assess two University-wide student learning outcomes. In Tier III Capstone courses, each student's capstone project must cover and assess two of the outcomes. Descriptors for performance criteria/dimensions must be included on course proposals for Gen Ed courses in Item 9 and cross-referenced by abbreviation in Items 10, 11, and 16. Please copy the performance descriptors and abbreviations for the two outcomes covered and assessed in your course from this list of  Descriptors for Performance Criteria/Dimensions of the Six University-Wide Student Learning Outcomes and paste the outcomes, abbreviations, and performance descriptors where required on the course proposal.

Tier3 Capstone Course Proposals

Each department is encouraged to propose at least two capstone courses.

Access the Tier III Capstone Course Proposal Guidelines for more information on Capstone course proposal requirements. Also, you may want to review this Sample Capstone Course Proposal.

In addition, feel free to use this Tier III Capstone Course Proposal Blank Template-Model as a helpful starting point for working on your own Capstone course proposal. It should significantly simplify the capstone course proposal process.

Transparent Assignment Design Enhances Student Success

Transparent teaching/learning practices make learning processes explicit while fostering students' meta-cognition, confidence, and sense of belonging in college. Transparent assignment design is a replicable teaching intervention that equitably enhances the success of high-achieving and under-served college students.

We encourage faculty to adopt the principles of transparent assignment design, developing clear statements of purpose (regarding both knowledge and skills), clearly articulating required tasks, and explaining criteria for success, in designing assignments in Gen Ed courses including end-of-semester signature assignments.

At an April 2016 workshop, Professor Mary-Ann Winkelmes reviewed educational research behind the concept of transparent teaching/learning, then applied that research to the design of course assignments and class activities. Participants prepared a draft assignment or activity for one of their courses and left with a concise set of straightforward strategies for designing transparent assignments that promote student learning. An abbreviated version of the workshop is available for anyone who missed the event:

Workshop on Transparent Assignment Design

Transparency Workshop Handout

About the presenter:
Mary-Ann Winkelmes is Coordinator of Instructional Development and Research and an Associate Graduate Faculty member in the Department of History at the University Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where her aim is to promote teaching and learning initiatives, student success, faculty development and instructional research in all the University's academic units. She also serves on UNLV's Path to Tier One Executive Committee. She is a Senior Fellow of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and a partner in the AAC&U's LEAP project—Transparency and Problem-Centered Learning. Dr. Winkelmes (Ph.D., Harvard, 1995) has held senior leadership roles in the campus teaching centers at Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois. She has consulted and provided professional development programming for faculty through the Lilly Endowment's higher education grant-making and teacher training programs, and for teaching centers in the U.S. and abroad. She has also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Professional Development Network in Higher Education (POD Network), and Chair of its Research Committee.