General Education Designations

Seeking General Education Designations for Honors Seminars

Discussions leading to revision of Marshall’s general education program began in 2006 at the instigation of then President Kopp. Leaders of a broad spectrum of programs across campus were invited to examine the strengths and limitations of what was the “Marshall Plan” and to investigate ways of designing and implementing a core curriculum. In the fall of 2009, the General Education Council was created to provide guidance and monitor transition to the new University-wide Core Curriculum passed by the Faculty Senate. Beyond requirements in areas known as “Core I” and “Core II,” all Marshall undergraduates are required to complete two Writing Intensive courses as well as one Multicultural or International course prior to graduation. Individual colleges may have additional credit-hour requirements beyond those that are university-wide.

Having at least some of our Honors Seminars carry these General Education designations can be very helpful to our students (who must complete a 24-credit Honors Curriculum of which HON 480 is a part) and can, particularly with Writing Intensive designations, help enrollment numbers for some courses.

Current instructions seeking one (or potentially two) designations for your seminar are below (and subject to change by associated agencies). Please let the Honors College know in your application (for new, repeat, or updated seminars) what you intend to pursue. We will work to assure students that they’ll be enrolling in a course that will–in fact–earn them these credits–so there is an imperative to take care to complete any necessary paperwork in a timely way before we begin advising students about your seminar.

Writing Intensive (WI) Designation

The philosophy of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) as a teaching methodology can be summed up in one phrase: student involvement. Writing is not added to content. Rather, the content is entered and secured through writing. In other words, both teaching and learning are directed toward specific projects carefully created and monitored by the instructor so that students, by doing these projects, acquire the skills and knowledge of the content of the course as set forth in the course objectives. More information and faculty resources can be found here.

There are two ways that a course can carry a WI designation.

  • Option A Certification entails the faculty person going through WAC training *and* submitting of a full portfolio of materials from a course taught with the WAC teaching methodology that must then be approved by the University WAC Committee. Faculty who already have developed a Writing Intensive course and who have Option A Certification can simply request that their seminar be designated accordingly.
  • For faculty who are not already WAC certified as instructors (which entails more than attending a training session), there is another route. Option B Certification entails the following:
    • Attending one of the periodic WAC training sessions and submitting via the online submission form:
      • A detailed “Syllabus Reflection” to the WAC Director in the semester following attendance.
      • A copy of your syllabus that fully demonstrates inclusion of WAC principles aligned with your learning outcomes.
  • NOTE: WAC certification (for either option) requires periodic renewal. Re-certification sessions are held each semester.

International (INTL) or Multicultural (MC) Designation

Instructors of Honors Seminar classes (HON 480)–as with other courses that will have limited duration as unique offerings (comparable to Special-Topics courses)–may apply for the INTL or MC designation by submitting materials to the General Education Council (as instructed below), following approval at the appropriate unit-level. These courses need not go through the usual course application process (that includes review at multiple-levels) for a set course that that will have a continuing designation. However, the same application forms (as linked to below) are used as with any other class being considered for the INTL or MC attribute. Once approved by the General Education Council, the Registrar will be notified that the course has been approved to carry the designation for the semester requested in the application.

A course may be either International or Multicultural, but not both.

Submissions must include

  • A detailed sample syllabus that includes:
    • A list of typical assignments and assessments tied to INTL or MC learning outcomes.
    • A list of typical readings.
    • A weekly schedule of activities.