Welcome to the Science Education Community

Welcome to the General Education (GE) and Student Engagement Teaching Commons

The purpose of this site is to share resources, ideas, and to make connections between universities and community colleges to help transform General Education Breadth transfer curriculum into a more integrative, relevant, and contextualized curriculum that explicitly prepares students to achieve the Essential Learning Outcomes developed through the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

"Give Students a Compass" Initiative in California Publishes its Final Report

From 2011 to 2015, teams involving 14 California State Universities and 25 California Community Colleges pilot-tested innovative GE models. Innovations in General Education: Giving California Students a Compass, by Debra David and other contributors, summarizes lessons learned from this initiative. It features profiles of five models that show promise of improving student success and can be adapted and scaled up in both 2- and 4-year institutions. It also includes three emerging approaches that were influenced by Compass.

The report concludes with recommendations for action, including a call for California public institutions of higher education to take advantage of flexibility in current regulations and funding to make the GE transfer curriculum more engaging, integrative, and meaningful on their own campuses.

Download the report here.

A companion video, Innovations in General Education: Preparing Students for the Future, is available on YouTube. It was directed and produced by Kevin Pina.

California State University and California Community Colleges Faculty lead "Faculty Collaboratives"

Through this AAC&U project, funded by the Lumina Foundation, California is one of ten states working to build a network of innovation and resource hubs to build the capacity of faculty to make sense of and participate in major national student success initiatives. The California project team is building a faculty-driven community of practice to explore how to create equity-minded curricular, pedagogical, and assessment practices that are cohesive, transparent, engaging and relevant. They will be developing webinars, meetings, and an online hub. The team is also collaborating with the California Community Colleges Success Network (3CSN) on the Threshold Project, examining ways to connect disciplinary "threshold concepts" with GE. For more information on Threshold, contact Nika Hogan.

California Team Members Include:

Hub Director:
Kimberly Costino, CSU San Bernardino

State Liaison:
Debra David, CSU Office of the Chancellor

Faculty Fellows:
Julia Balén, CSU Channel Islands
Christina Chavez-Reyes, Cal Poly Pomona
Ann Foster, Santa Rosa Junior College
Miguel Powers, Fullerton College
Lynn Tashiro, CSU Sacramento
Paul Wickline, College of the Canyons

Watch for the launch of the California Faculty Collaborative hub in mid-October and the webinar series in mid-November.

About MERLOT and the CSU General Education and Student Engagement Teaching Commons

  • Is a free, open educational resource dedicated to improving General Education that anyone can use.
  • Provides a collaborative space, supported by an online community of educators to share best practices and exchange ideas and resources.
  • Promotes the practical and tested use of student engagement strategies.
  • Is based on The Carnegie Foundation's model of "teaching commons."
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Subscribe to the General Education Community

Please join our growing membership for occasional updates about best practices in General Education by keeping your current email address on our subscription list. From your primary email address, follow this link to subscribe, leaving the subject and body of the email blank. (Directions to unsubscribe are at the bottom of each message.)

Join the GE & Student Engagement Online Community

MERLOT Voices provides a FREE online communications network for faculty and administrators in the CSU and community colleges to share material and ideas, ask questions, connect with each other, report on progress, and much more in an easy to use online community. You can:

  • Contribute to online discussions, blogs, or chats.
  • Post, share, exchange, and comment on documents and videos that can help you be a more successful instructor or administrator.
  • Get advice and information about general education and student engagement.
  • Share successes, ask questions, contact colleagues, and pose problems and have your GE colleagues respond.