General Education Assessment

What is General Education at UMaine?

The General Education program at the University of Maine (UMaine) makes up one third of a student’s academic experience. UMaine’s General Education curriculum creates students that are prepared to enter the world as leaders. The program consists of nine requirement categories that shape students into holistic learners and problem solvers. The competencies exhibited through these requirements help students develop skills that they can take with them beyond graduation as valued community members.

Recently in General Education

General Education Summit 2024

In May 2024, the Gen Ed Summit was held, featuring information sessions and facilitated conversations with experts in general education programming, development and pedagogy.

Our Current Approach

At UMaine, our General Education assessment relies heavily on the direct assessment of student artifacts. The assessment effort is led by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment to collect data on program effectiveness. Our rubrics are based off of the American Association of Universities and Colleges’ (AAC&U’s) VALUE rubrics. These rubrics, as well as the student learning outcomes that guide the assessment process, can be found on the Faculty Resources page (below). Our past reports can be viewed via the links below:

Western Cultural Tradition Report (May 2018)

Social Contexts and Institutions Report (May 2019)

Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives Report (January 2020)

Our Proposed New Approach

We are currently piloting a new assessment process to build a stronger culture for continuous improvement of the General Education program at UMaine. With a redesigned assessment process, we will gain insight into whether all students have the opportunity to fulfill UMaine’s General Education program learning outcomes. In 2017, UMaine launched a process to assess the more than 900 courses that fulfill a general education requirement. This process included an annual assessment of the learning outcomes with a common set of rubrics from a sampling of courses and artifacts during a scoring session attended by faculty volunteers. In 2023, we are centering faculty in the evaluation of their students to foster a bottom-up approach to assessment.

Timeline for Assessment Pilot Activities


Summer 2023

– Identify pilot courses and recruit General Education faculty fellows
– Conduct summer workshop for faculty fellows
– Establish a rubric evaluation system (using VALUE rubrics as guides)
– Provide faculty training for the new assessment process


Fall 2023 – Spring 2024

– Continue to refine the rubric evaluation system
– Develop resource pages and hold training sessions for participating faculty
– Collect General Education assessment data using the new process in Brightspace


Summer 2024

– Report Year 1 assessment results and revise the process as needed
– Provide recommendations for General Education assessment improvements


Fall 2024 – Spring 2025

– Hold training sessions for participating faculty
– Collect General Education assessment data using the new process in Brightspace
– Compile a summary of Year 2 assessment results
– Provide a plan for full implementation to the General Education Stewardship Committee (GESC) and Faculty Senate
– Conduct pilot wrap-up session