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Quality Initiative- 2025-2026 Reaffirmation of Accreditation 

The Open Pathway requires the institution to undertake a major Quality Initiative  (QI) designed to suit its present concerns or aspirations. The QI usually takes place between years 5 and 9 of the 10-year Open Pathway Cycle (2020/2021-2024/2025). A QI may be designed to begin and be completed during this time or it may continue an initiative already in progress or achieve a key milestone in the work of a longer initiative. The QI is intended to allow institutions to take risks, aim high, and if so be it, learn from only partial success or even failure.

CMU's Quality Initiative Proposal

Our QI for this accreditation cycle, approved by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), builds upon the foundational work on evaluating the General Education program undertaken by a faculty working group, led by former Coordinator/General Education Dr. Rich Forest, in 2020-21 as part of a President’s and Provost’s Fund for Program Innovation and Excellence award. The QI proposal, Re-envisioning CMU's General Education Program, was developed by Christi Brookes, Coordinator/General Education and Pete Ross, Executive Director/Curriculum and Instructional Support with review and support from the Academic Senate’s General Education Committee, the Provost, and President. 

The aim of the QI is to undertake a comprehensive re-envisioning process by engaging a wide range of university constituents in a data driven discussion of, and decisions on, the future of general education at CMU. The purposes and goals of the QI are to:

  • foster a campus-wide discussion about the value of general education, both in abstract and concrete senses: What does general education mean today? What does it mean on a campus like CMU’s? What works well with the current program? What could be improved? What current trends and best practices in general education nationwide would align well for CMU’s students?
  • explore and reach campus consensus on new models for general education at CMU.
  • further build faculty engagement and community around general education.
  • enhance student engagement with, and outcomes from, general education. In so doing, we expect to better “foster personal and intellectual growth to prepare students for productive careers, meaningful lives, and responsible citizenship in a global society” (from CMU’s Mission Statement).
  • ensure that all students graduating from CMU have a unifying and foundational educational experience that upholds the mission of the university. 


The re-envisioning process will begin in Fall 2022, aligning with the General Education Program undertaking its seven-year Program Review. The QI will be led by a core group composed primarily of faculty with knowledge of and longstanding commitments to CMU’s General Education Program. They will initiate campus wide discussions, in multiple formats, involving faculty, students, staff, alumni, and other constituents. “We’ll begin with a year of conversation and discovery,” said Interim Provost Richard Rothaus. “The campus community will shape the project’s direction with the goal of creating a General Education Program which prepares all our students with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be successful both in their area of study and after graduation.”

Upon completion of the QI in 2024-2025, the primary goal will be to begin implementation of a revised framework, curricular structure, and content for CMU’s General Education Program.