General Education Subcommittee

The General Education Subcommittee of the University Committee on Courses and Curricula (UCCC) meets annually to ensure the general education designated courses address the general education component, using measures such as the annual Institutional Effectiveness/assessment report, ETS Proficiency Profile, and National Survey of Student Engagement.

The purpose of the Mississippi State University General Education curriculum is to provide a foundation upon which students may successfully achieve the following overarching student learning outcomes goals:

  • English - students will write clearly and effectively.
  • Fine Arts – students will understand the formal elements of the fine art(s), and develop an awareness of both the values and functions of works within their historical and/or social contexts.
  • Humanities – students will understand the diverse dimensions of human culture.
  • Mathematics and Statistics – students will understand and use the basic approaches and applications of mathematics and statistics for analysis and problem solving.
  • Natural Sciences – students will apply science to natural systems and understand its impact on society.
  • Social/Behavior Science – students will understand and appreciate human behavior and social structures, processes, and institutions.

The Mississippi State University General Education curriculum requires a minimum of 36 credit hours (including the 30 credits required by the IHL Board of Trustees) distributed among specific categories. The categories for General Education courses are: English Composition Mathematics and Statistics Fine Arts Natural Sciences Humanities Social/Behavioral Sciences


Member Name College Department
Dana Franz College of Education Curriculum, Instruction & Special Education
Tracey Baham Academic Affairs Institutional Research and Effectiveness
Kayla Pineda Academic Affairs Institutional Research and Effectiveness
Randy Campbell College of Business Finance and Economics
Russell Carr College of Veterinary Medicine CVM Basic Science
Suzanne Powney College of Architecture, Art, and Design Art
Wendy Roussin College of Arts & Sciences Communication
Brian Davis College of Forest Resources Wildlife, Fisheries, & Aquaculture
Chien Yu College of Education Instructional Systems
Julie Jessop College of Engineering Chemical Engineering
Emily Shaw Academic Affairs Registrar's Office
Darrell Sparks College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Biochem, MolBio, Entomology, and Plant Pathology

Assessment Results

The General Education Committee determines which courses and which instruments will be used to assess general education competencies. The Committee has identified twelve courses and the ETS Proficiency Profile as the primary instrument at the university-level. Members of the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness administer this test to first-year students in the fall and senior students in the spring, representing all colleges at the university. This test evaluates four core skill areas: reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics, along with context-based areas of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. MSU’s results are also benchmarked against our Carnegie peers. Results from the ETS Proficiency Profile for the past several years are shown in the table below (shaded areas are the assessed general education competencies).

Mississippi State University ETS Proficiency Profile Longitudinal Data (Norm-Referenced)-SENIORS WHO STARTED THEIR FIRST-YEAR AT MSU
  Spring 2013 Seniors (N=438) Spring 2014 Seniors (N=411) Spring 2015 Seniors (N=303) Spring 2016 Seniors (N=276) Spring 2017 Seniors (N=271) Carnegie Classification Seniors (N=34,736) 47 Doctoral Research Universities I & II April 2012 – March 2017 Possible Range
Mean Score Mean Score Mean Score Mean Score Mean Score Mean Score
Total Score 452.8 453.2 455.7 453.0 451.4 451.6 400 to 500
Critical Thinking 113.1 113.3 113.9 113.2 112.7 113.4 100 to 130
Reading 120.1 120.2 120.6 119.8 119.3 119.7 100 to 130
Writing 116.7 116.5 117.3 116.7 116.6 115.6 100 to 130
Mathematics 115.3 115.6 116.1 115.5 115.4 115.7 100 to 130
Humanities 116.2 116.1 116.6 116.1 115.4 116.5 100 to 130
Social Sciences 114.6 114.4 115.1 114.1 114.0 115.0 100 to 130
Natural Sciences 116.6 117.1 117.2 116.8 116.4 116.7 100 to 130

As the table indicates, MSU reflects scores similar to its Carnegie peers in Doctoral/Research institutions with very high or high research activity. Of particular note, the university had been performing below its peers in the area of writing. Now the writing scores exceed those of our peers.

More information about the assessment of general education can be found in the annual Institutional Effectiveness (IE) reports:

Meeting Minutes

The General Education subcommittee meets on an annual basis, usually in the spring, to review the assessment process. Below are minutes from the last several years of meetings.