About Foundation of Knowledge



Foundation of Knowledge is the culminating effort of more than a year of faculty-driven examination of general education at NKU.  This effort built on the strengths of the existing general education program and sought to emphasize the enduring value of a Liberal Arts education. The result of this effort is a renewed general education program – Foundation of Knowledge.

The renewal of general education at NKU began in September 2008 with the formation of the General Education Exploratory Committee (GEEC).  GEEC solicited information from faculty on their perceptions of how general education might be changed to better meet student needs through a series of town hall meetings and an online survey. GEEC also researched multiple general education programs at institutions similar to NKU.  The input from faculty and the investigation of the current state of general education practice were used to produce a report in Spring 2009. This report suggested goals and student learning outcomes for updating NKU’s general education program.

In July 2009 the General Education Program Structure Committee (GEPSC) was assembled with broad representation of faculty across all NKU colleges.  GEPSC created three subcommittees and charged each to create a general education proposal for consideration and adoption through faculty governance and the Board of Regents. The completed proposals were distributed to the NKU faculty prior to the Fall 2009 academic term for review and discussion.  

GEPSC charged a refinement subcommittee to use the feedback on the three proposals to produce a single general education proposal for consideration and adoption through faculty governance and the Board of Regents.  The refinement subcommittee produced Foundation of Knowledge and forwarded it to Faculty Senate for approval.  Faculty Senate approved Foundation of Knowledge on October 26th, 2009 and submitted it for approval by the Board of Regents.  The Board of Regents approved the program on November 11th, 2009 and the university transitioned to the restructured general education program in Fall 2010.


Foundation of Knowledge is a "University Program".  It is not the province of a single college, rather, it is "owned" by the university at large and serves all NKU students.  In 2012 The General Education Committee was established by Faculty Senate to partner with the Office of General Education in governing Foundation of Knowledge.  The partnership of faculty and administration ensures that the intellectual integrity of NKU's General Education Program is maintained and provides faculty leadership and administrative support for the continuing evolution of Foundation of Knowledge.

The General Education Committee Members for 2013

Assessment and Program Review


The Office of General Education is responsible for assessment of Foundation of Knowledge.  The assessment plan was modified in Spring 2011 based on faculty feedback generated as part of evaluating the first assessment cycle (Fall 2010 to Spring 2011).  Specifically, the modified assessment plan was designed to improve the extent to which assessment could be used at both the course and program levels to improve student achievement of the Foundation of Knowledge Student Learning Outcomes. As described in the plan, the assessment strategy combines  comprehensive formative course level assessments with summative programmatic assessments by outcome area. For details, you can read the assessment plan here.

Program Review and Foundation of Knowledge Policy Document

The General Education Committee (GEC) is responsible for the periodic review of Foundation of Knowledge. In 2012, the GEC developed a Policy Document to guide the evolution of Foundation of Knowledge. The policy document was approved by Faculty Senate and subsequently adopted as a University Policy Document by the NKU Board of Regents. The document  is available here. The committee is conducting the first programmatic review of Foundation of Knowledge in the 2013-14 Academic Year.