Compass is the faculty approved campus-wide general education program for all colleges. This program started in the Fall of 2014 with freshman. Transfer students began the program in the Fall 2015.
In addition to the existing composition and quantitative reasoning requirements already shared across colleges, the new curriculum framework consists of all freshmen taking a Gateway Experience (the former Freshman Seminar) course, followed by three Explore courses, a Navigate course (in the third year), and a Summit Experience. Note that the Summit Experience may possibly be a senior seminar course and can be from 0-3 credit hours within the major.
Other integrated components include two Writing Intensive courses, an Inclusiveness Course, and a Sustainability course. Students are also required to take a quantitative reasoning course, and all students are required to pass the writing portfolio.
What are Critical Components?
Gateway Experience: Oral Communication and Responsibility are critical components to the Gateway Experience. Explore- These courses introduce students to a breadth of disciplinary perspectives and methods providing a broad level of understanding within a particular discipline.
Navigate: These courses must focus on “Knowledge in Action,” centering on how engagement in real world endeavors is informed by academic knowledge.
Summit Experience: A Summit Experience centers on allowing students to synthesize skill development. Summit Experiences include a focus on communication skills as well as critical and/or creative thinking. This course is offered within the major.
Writing Intensive Courses (WIC): WIC courses must emphasize writing as a process and assign at least 3000 words across assignments. This course could be integrated into students' majors, general electives, or general education coursework.
Sustainability Courses: Students will learn about social equity, environmental protection, and economic development, among others.
Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity): Focus on preparing students for a society with diverse experiences, perspectives and realities, both in the US and, ideally, globally. May also focus on the dynamics and consequences of inclusion and exclusion.
How can students waive or replace these requirements?
Many students arrive at UCCS with equivalent courses or experiences that meet the requirements for the Compass Curriculum. The information and links below explain how you can use previous course work and experience to meet Compass requirements.
Many courses have been approved the State of Colorado to meet Guaranteed Transfer (GT-Pathways) requirements. UCCS accepts all GT-Pathways courses for their appropriate designations.
UCCS Advisors may review a student's transfer course work from other institutions to make course substitutions for:
Gateway Program Seminar (GPS) - in special circumstances following the guidelines in the GPS Waiver Polices below
Lower Division Writing Intensive requirements.
Advisors may count sophomore to senior level transfer courses that meet WI criteria as lower-division WI credit at UCCS.
Students can also apply directly to the Compass Director to have courses replaced or waived using the forms below. Students cannot replace or waive the requirements for Summit Experience or the Writing Portfolio.
Use the "Compass Requirement Wavier Request" application to petition to be exempt from a Compass requirement because you have met these learning objectives in another manner (eg career or military experience or learning across multiple courses).
See the "GPS Waiver Policies" for information about petitioning to be exempt from the Gateway Program Seminar (GPS)
Who must take GPS? How can students waive or replace GPS?
GPS courses focus on an introduction to college, the Compass Curriculum, and oral communication among other skills that will help you succeed at UCCS. Students who take GPS are more likely to graduate from UCCS as well as have better success in their courses.
However, many students arrive at UCCS with comparable experiences and are not require to complete GPS.
Students who matriculate with 30 or more credit hours are exempt from GPS 1010.
Students with 24-29 credits and a 2.4 GPA or higher need approval from their designated UCCS advisor to be exempt from GPS. You can contact your advisor on the UCCS Advising Website.
Students who have completed a course similar to GPS at another college may work with their designated UCCS advisor to determine if the course can be transfered as a substitute for GPS. You can contact your advisor on the UCCS Advising Website.
Students who have completed 16 college credits after graduating high school and a GPA of 2.4 or higher may appeal to be exempt from GPS by completing the GPS Appeal Form.
How do Explore courses relate to LAS Area Requirements?
UCCS has Student Success advisors with whom you should meet once a year, or even once a semester to help plan out your courses before graduation. Go to www.uccs.edu/advising for more information.
The Explore curriculum is comprised of courses focusing on 1) the Physical and Natural World, 2) the Arts, Humanities, and Cultures, and 3) Society, Social and Economic institutions, Health, and Human behavior. While these areas generally track the LAS Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences well, Explore courses are requested from all colleges on campus.
Students will take three courses from the Explore curriculum with each course being from a different category.
Your department may consider listing up to 12 courses on the Explore list per area. For LAS departments, courses can be listed on both the Area requirement list as well as the Explore list, but students can't double-dip. LAS students must decide if a course will count for an LAS Area requirement or an Explore course.
How many Explore courses can my department propose to the GE program?
Your department can propose up to 12 courses/area per department. In fact, LAS departments may consider proposing all of their current Area courses, or adding new courses to the Explore list that are not on the Area requirement list.
Can an Explore course be upper division?
Yes: Explore courses can be lower or upper division.
Are all Explore courses open to students from all majors?
While departments may limit entrance based upon prerequisites, courses without prerequisites or with minimal prerequisites are encouraged.
Can a course offered from a student's major department count towards their Explore courses?
How many Explore courses can a student take in the area of their minor?
Students can count one Explore course toward their minor.
What if a student takes an Explore course worth more credits than the minimum 3 for their course? For example, what if a student takes a 5 credit course instead of a 3 credit course? Can two credits count towards their LAS area requirements?
No. While there is a minimum number of credits required, three Explore courses of at least three credit hours are required, as well as three courses from each area of the area requirements.
LAS DOG requirements and the Inclusiveness (Diversity/Global) requirement How do courses that are approved for the LAS DOG requirement fit within the new GE framework?
The LAS DOG requirements remain unchanged for students in LAS. However, LAS courses (with C&R approval) that are currently approved on the DOG list in Diversity and Global Awareness may be submitted to the Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity) category. If courses on the current LAS approved DOG list are approved as Inclusiveness courses on the Compass Curriculum list, then LAS students may count them as their Compass Curriculum requirement. We hope that these courses will also be available to students of all colleges as well, where appropriate.
Integrated Components (Writing Intensive, Inclusiveness, and Sustainability) Are courses within the Writing Intensive, Inclusiveness, or Sustainability components required to be upper division?
One of the Writing Intensive courses must be upper division. However, the Inclusiveness or Sustainability courses can be upper or lower division.
What type of support is available for faculty as they revise courses to include more writing?
We hope that existing courses can be adapted so that writing assignments help students develop disciplinary ways of knowing. Along these lines, Writing Intensive courses may be eligible for instructional support via "Writing Fellows." Writing Fellows help support writing assignments in a course by meeting with students, attending and participating in class activities, providing feedback on drafts, etc. Other instructional support includes seminars and stipends for your faculty to help with the revision of writing assignments.
Can a course count in both a main category (Explore, Navigate, Summit), and as Integrated Component (Inclusiveness, Writing Intensive, Sustainability)?
Are all Navigate courses open to students from all majors?
Ideally, all Navigate courses will be open to students of all majors, even if the course is offered for credit within a major, but this is not a requirement.
Can a Navigate course be lower division?
No. Navigate courses must be at the 3000 level.
Can courses count as both Explore and Navigate?
No. The intention of the program is for students to get a fundamental breadth of knowledge in a field as an Explore course. Navigate courses allow students to put their knowledge in action, actively applying and integrating knowledge beyond their major discipline.
Can a course offered with a disciplinary perspective within a student's major count towards their Navigate?
No. The intention is that students will take Navigate courses that broadly expand their perspective beyond their major discipline.