Recommendation of the Interdisciplinary and

Emerging Issues Area Group

Within the context of general education and the general education program as defined in the regulations, COMAR 13B.06.01.02 Definitions:

(7) "General education" means the foundation of the higher education curriculum providing a coherent intellectual experience for all students.

(8) "General education program" means a program that is designed to:

(a) Introduce undergraduates to the fundamental knowledge skills, and values that are essential to the study of academic disciplines;

(b) Encourage the pursuit of life-long learning; and

(c) Foster the development of educated members of the community of the world.

and within the established requirements for general education courses COMAR 13B.06.01.03(D, J, K, and L):

D. Interdisciplinary and Emerging Issues

(1) In addition to the five required areas in A of this regulation, a public institution may include up to 8 semester hours in a sixth category that addresses emerging issues that institutions have identified as essential to a full program of general education for their students. These courses may:

(a) Be integrated into other general education courses or may be presented as separate courses; and

(b) Include courses that:

(i) Provide an interdisciplinary examination of issues across the five areas, or

(ii) Address other categories of knowledge, skills, and values that lie outside of the five areas.


(2) Public institutions may not include the courses in this section in a general education program unless they provide academic content and rigor equivalent to the areas in A(1) of this regulation.

J. General education courses shall reflect current scholarship in the discipline and provide reference to theoretical frameworks and methods of inquiry appropriate to academic disciplines.

K. Courses that are theoretical may include applications, but all applications courses shall include theoretical components if they are to be included as meeting general education requirements.

L. Public institutions may incorporate knowledge and skills involving the use of quantitative data, effective writing, information retrieval, and information literacy when possible in the general education program.

General education courses in interdisciplinary and emerging issues should use the following requirements to guide course development:

I. An Interdisciplinary Issues course is one in which a broad theme is examined from multiple perspectives and leads to a synthesis of experiences from at least two of the five general education areas.

II. An Emerging Issues course is one that the institution has determined is of such current significance to the students that it is essential to include as a part of their general education experience. Such a course must be based on a credible body of established scholarship with pertinent evidence of methodology and/or epistemology. In addition, the course must address a body of knowledge, skills, and values that lie predominantly outside the five general education areas.