General Education Core -- Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the TBR General Education Core is to prepare every student to navigate a world of evolving opportunities. It is unbounded by academic discipline and challenges students to discover the inherent interconnectedness of knowledge and the intersection of self and society.

The General Education Core develops skills in acquiring, evaluating, and using information as well as communicating ideas through digital, written, oral, artistic, scientific, and mathematical expression. It challenges students to think independently, write clearly, and speak effectively, and to employ logical and critical reasoning to solve problems even when faced with incomplete, ambiguous, or conflicting data.

The Core encourages students to develop a curiosity for learning, an appreciation of conceptual complexity, and a deepened sense of self-awareness regarding their own beliefs and values. It helps students engage with civility and respect others who may have contrasting life histories, opinions, and worldviews. It fosters an appreciation for human commonality and teaches individuals the ethical implications of living in a global, social ecosystem.

Ultimately, the Core’s purpose is to equip every student to pursue a challenging career, experience a rewarding personal life, and inspire others to do the same.

Current General Education Core Structure

The General Education Core at each TBR college comprises 41 hours (out of 60 for the associate’s degree) from 6 categories:

  • Communication 9
  • Humanities/Fine Arts 9
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 6
  • History 6
  • Natural Sciences 8
  • Mathematics 3

Each category contains a list of courses by college, which will satisfy the requirements for such category. 

TBR has begun a comprehensive review of its General Education Core, which is the first formal review of general education at the system level since the current General Education Core became TBR Policy in 2004. The mission is to construct a gen ed core framework that best meets the needs of all student populations, disciplines, and pathways including a clear structure of general education global learning outcomes. We will design a multi-year implementation strategy that aligns with the ongoing work at the 9 public universities in the state, addressing specific needs of the Tennessee Transfer Pathway model as well as general transfer dynamics. 

In addition to renovating the general education core framework, TBR seeks to effectively communicate the value of a holistic and integral general education core to students and community. Any reform must answer the question: How do we demonstrate its relevance, purpose, and benefit to the student’s personal and professional goals?

General Education Core Review Committee Structure


Meeting Agendas/Notes/Minutes

Core Steering Committee Meeting October 2023

Core Steering Committee Meeting September 2023

Core Steering Committee Meeting April 2023

Core Steering Committee Meeting March 2023

Core Steering Committee Meeting February 2023

Core Steering Committee Meeting November 2022

Core Steering Committee Meeting September 2022

Strengthen Your Core Summit February 2022

Core Steering Committee Meeting November 2021

Core Steering Committee Meeting April 2021

Program Review Steering Committee Meeting May 2020

THEC Summit August 2019

Review Convening April 2019

Review Meeting February 2019

THEC Landscape March 2018