Despite the desire of employers to hire those with the critical-thinking and communication skills a general education (GE) program can offer, the value of GE programs is often questioned due to concerns about four-year graduation rates, perceived low immediate economic payoff, and a dearth of evidence to support their efficacy. This article describes the two phases of a recent GE project at San Diego State University, a large urban university in California, that was undertaken to address these challenges. In Phase 1, spring 2013, we brought together twenty faculty (one from each of our programs in the College of Arts and Letters) to create and pilot rubrics for three of the five areas of our GE program. Phase 2, in Academic Year 2013–14, included an extensive collection of high-stakes student work (nearly two thousand samples), and each sample was double-read by trained faculty raters. Preliminary results—including the effectiveness of the collaborative process and the rubrics it produced, the improved interrater reliability achieved, and the distribution of proficiency levels in meeting the GE goals in the lower- to upper-level GE courses—demonstrate the success and efficacy of the project's process and product.

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