A referral that seeks to merge the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE) with the Department of Liberal Studies to strengthen interdisciplinary course offerings is currently being considered by the Academic Senate. If approved, the official merger would take place during the 2022-2023 school year.
A referral that seeks to merge the Departments of Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE) and Liberal Studies to strengthen interdisciplinary course offerings is currently being considered by the Academic Senate. If approved, the official merger would take place during the 2022-2023 school year.
Since its inception in 1983, the IGE program in the College of Education and Integrative Studies (CEIS) has provided students with an alternative pathway to fulfill general education requirements in the humanities and social sciences by offering interdisciplinary, teamwork and discussion-based courses. IGE is known for creating a learning community that addresses relevant issues while helping students build critical thinking, writing and presentation skills.
Similarly, the liberal studies department has been recognized by campus initiatives like Learn Through Discovery for helping its students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Liberal studies students learn across multiple disciplines including arts, anthropology, education, history, literature, science and sociology. As a result, they receive a foundational education that can apply to all career types.
Although IGE and liberal studies have varied objectives, they significantly align in terms of their commitment to liberal arts education, an approach to interdisciplinary learning and student-centered pedagogy. Therefore, the IGE and liberal studies merger could enhance opportunities for interdisciplinary learning.
“The Department of Liberal Studies values the work IGE has done in and for the college and sees this incorporation as an opportunity and possibility to re-invent and re-invigorate,” said Professor Christina Chavez-Reyes, chair of the liberal studies department. “The liberal studies faculty and staff aspire to create a working environment that furthers both organizations and their unique contributions to the university as we serve a new college mission, vision and organization.”
The liberal studies department currently offers four concentrations within its degree program including general studies, pre-credential teaching, Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) for mild/moderate special education and ITEP for moderate/severe special education. The IGE and liberal studies merger could also benefit students who are less likely to pursue a teaching credential and support interdisciplinary courses that focus on strengthening critical thinking and collaboration.
“IGE will continue to be the leader on campus with our integrated, learner-centered general education community, serving students and multiple departments on campus,” said Professor Dennis Quinn, chair of the IGE department. “We look forward to working with liberal studies on a smooth transition and on ways to enhance both programs in the months and years to come.”
The referral to merge IGE and liberal studies has been assigned to the Academic Programs Committee. If approved, the referral will advance to the Academic Senate.