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General Education is widely touted as an enduring distinctive of higher education in the United States (Association of American Colleges and Universities, [11]; Boyer, [37]; Gaston, [86]; Zakaria, [202]). The notion that undergraduate education demands wide‐ranging knowledge is a hallmark of U.S. college graduates that international educators emulate (Blumenstyk, [25]; Rhodes, [158]; Tsui, [181]). The veracity of this distinct educational vision is supported by the fact that approximately one third of the typically 120 credits required for the bachelor's degree in the United States consist of general education courses (Lattuca & Stark, [120]). Realizing a general education has been understood to be central to achieving higher education's larger purposes, making it a particularly salient concern.


Originally published as:

Wells, C. (2016). Realizing General Education: Reconceptualizing purpose and renewing practice. ASHE Higher Education Report. 42(2). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Wells, C. A. (2016). Realizing general education: Reconsidering conceptions and renewing practice. ASHE Higher Education Report, 42(2), 1–85.