General Education Basic, Area, and Integrative Requirements
Q1. What are the differences among the Basic, Area, and Integrative requirements?
A1. The new GE program includes three components: General Education Basic requirements, GE Area requirements, and Integrative requirements. The Basic and Area requirements are sometimes jointly referred to as the Core GE requirements.
At UH Hilo, the Basic categories are Composition, Language Arts, Quantitative Reasoning, and World Cultures. The Area categories are Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences.
The Integrative requirements include Writing Intensive, Hawaii-Pan-Pacific, and Global and Community Citizenship. All categories are defined in terms of broad areas of knowledge and more specific learning outcomes. These are listed at
Taken together, these areas of skills and knowledge promote the six goals of General Education for UH Hilo. These six goals are listed at
Q2. I notice a number of 300- and 400-level courses have been certified for the new General Education program. I thought “General Education” was just for introductory-type overview courses.
A2. The new GE recognizes that GE skills and knowledge must be cultivated over the course of a student’s entire undergraduate career. As long as a course meets the criteria for a category and addresses the learning outcomes specified for the category, it can be certified for that category.
The criteria for courses to apply towards the various categories are posted at http://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/gened/CategoriesandDefs.php
Q3. Can a student count a course for two GE categories? Three?
A3. Here’s how double- and triple-counting works.
- No course may be counted for more than one General Education Core (Basic and Area) requirement. Some courses have been certified as satisfying more than one of the General Education Basic or Area Requirements. However, students completing such a course may only receive credit toward a single such requirement. They will be offered their choice of which requirement is satisfied and will be expected to fulfill the other requirement(s) with other courses.
- A student may apply the same certified course to meet both major requirements and either a General Education Basic or Area requirement.
- A student may apply the same certified course to meet an Integrative requirement and either a Basic or Area requirement.
- A student may apply the same certified course to meet Writing Intensive, Hawaii-Pan Pacific, and/or Global and Community Citizenship requirements.
Q4. Does a course need to have a research paper to qualify for GE certification?
A4. GE certification requires, among other things, either written or quantitative assignments that assess student learning outcomes. Written assignments should total at minimum the equivalent of five double-spaced, typed pages, or 1,250 words. Written assignments may include a series of one-page papers, a single paper of five pages or more, and may take a variety of forms, including but not limited to summaries, reports, arguments, reflections, analyses, and scripts.
Q5. Do other campuses in the UH system accept UH Hilo’s certified courses for their GE requirements? And does UH Hilo accept other campuses’ GE-certified courses as meeting UH Hilo GE/Integrative requirements?
A5. The campuses of the UH system have agreed to accept each other’s courses in accordance with transfer/articulation policies specific to each campus. UH Hilo’s policy for applying transfer courses to basic, area, and integrative is posted at
Q6. How often and by whom are GE-certified courses recertified?
A6. Review for recertification will occur every five years. Review must occur within the catalog time constraints. The courses certified effective Fall 2011 were certified in 2008-2010 and will be reviewed by the faculty Congress General Education Committee in the 2014-2015 academic year so that there is no lapse in the cycle; those effective Fall 2012, in 2015-2016, and so forth. The application process for recertification will be established by the committee, approved by the Congress, and announced to the faculty in Fall 2014. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.
Q7. It would be helpful to see what assignments are being used in courses certified for the GCC requirements.
Sample assignments are being reviewed by the General Education Committee; email email@example.com for inquiries.