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Wild Cards

General Education Wild Card Courses

joker card

The General Education “Wild Card” process proposes to invigorate the curriculum by bringing flexibility to the program for both faculty and students. Faculty enjoy the freedom of developing new courses based on their own scholarly interests and areas of expertise, and are not bound by the often cumbersome and lengthy new course approval process. Students benefit from taking Wild Card courses since they are fresh, topical classes reflective of a faculty-members current scholarly interests. Students also benefit from such courses as they are "cluster neutral," meaning that such courses count in either cluster of a particular Curricular Area.

The Wild Card submission process is simple. We have reserved a number of General Education slots to allow original and timely courses to be offered on a limited-time basis. A form, which can be found here, asks for some basic information about the proposed course; faculty-members are also advised to consult the documents "Elements of a General Education Syllabus" and "Guidelines for the Incorporation of Program Goals into New General Education Courses." The completed proposal form is reviewed and commented on by the General Education Committee, and at that point the Committee may choose to ask for a draft syllabus if they feel that the proposal makes a compelling case for the course. The Committee then has a further opportunity to comment on the draft syllabus before making a final determination on whether to approve the course as a Wild Card. Proposing a course as a Wild Card neither guarantees nor precludes approval of that course as a permanent new course, but it does afford an opportunity to try out new ideas—perhaps even as a prelude to a proposal for a permanent place in General Education.

We can offer Wild Card courses in all five curricular areas, and at both the foundation and the second levels. Such courses must fulfill all the expectations and learning objectives for their curricular area, as well as addressing the values and goals of the General Education Program overall. Although all Wild Card courses are offered with a “GNED” course prefix credits for teaching load and enrollments will, as usual, accrue to the teaching unit. If you are interested in proposing a wild card course, please contact the General Education Program Office at, to discuss your proposal. The General Education Program encourages faculty to collaborate with colleagues across disciplines to come up with creative and exciting courses that enhance General Education teaching. We look forward to working with you.