History of the Integrative Learning Core

In 2017, LSU President F. King Alexander and Provost Richard Koubek launched the Strategic Plan 2025 process. As part of that process, The Strategic Plan General Education Subcommittee (SPGES) was formed with Matt Lee of the Office of Academic Affairs as Chair in consultation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Their charge was to review LSU's general education program and develop a curricular model that educates students as effective and versatile problem solvers, global citizens, and leaders for a complex world.

Between January and November 2017, the SPGES performed the following tasks:

  • reviewed the current general education format as well as Board of Regents and SACSCOC requirements;
  • discussed how to shape a general education curriculum based on the academic principles and values of the LSU 2025 Strategic Plan; and
  • reviewed best practices as defined by national higher education groups and nationwide efforts of general education reform. 

The SPGES core recommendation appears on page 22 of the Strategic Plan, under “Revise General Education: LSU will create a core integrative curriculum to replace the traditional general education paradigm.” Briefly put, the subcommittee recommended that:

  • LSU move away from the reference to the general education curriculum to what will be termed the LSU Integrative Learning Core (ILC).
  • All courses in the new ILC incorporate "integrative learning" strategies.
  • All courses in the new ILC align to at least one ILC Proficiency. Selected proficiencies and corresponding definitions were pulled from the American Association of Colleges & Universities Essential Learning Outcomes and VALUE Rubrics:
    • civic engagement
    • ethical reasoning
    • global learning
    • intercultural knowledge and competence
    • inquiry and analysis
    • oral communication
    • problem solving
    • quantitative and formal reasoning
    • written communication

Consideration of the recommendation by the SP subcommittee to change from Gen Ed to ILC was undertaken by the Faculty Senate Committee on General Education (FSCGE) in 2017, leading to its proposing of FS 17-07.

Following passage of FS 17-07, the FSCGE endorsed the recommendations of the SPGEs, thereby committing LSU to the process of implementing the ILC.

In the implementation process, the FSCGE, in the beginning of 2017-18, came to the realization that the original wishes of the committee (which stemmed, in part, from previous discussions by the SPGES) “regarding the structure of the ILC program, i.e., a 6-area GE by 9-proficiency ILC matrix that students would complete during their 39-hour program, was simply not feasible. This realization required a refocusing of efforts to try and develop an ILC program that could: 1) be implemented within the current general education system; 2) be assessed more easily than the previous general education program but would still yield meaningful data; 3) expose students to as many proficiencies as possible during their 39-hour program; and 4) improve student knowledge of, appreciation of, and basic competence in, proficiencies chosen by the ILC committee.”

The ILC, LSU's general education program, was fully implemented in August 2022.