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General Education Policy

General Education Policy

Date Approved: January 6, 2021
Effective Date: January 6, 2021
Date Reviewed: Fall 2020
Replaces: General Education Policy 2014


The purpose of this General Education Policy (the “Policy”) is to provide a mechanism for complying with the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive – Framework for Programs of Instruction (the “Minister’s Binding Policy Directive”), which requires each program of study at Cambrian College (the “College”) to provide learners with vocational, essential employability and general education skills.


All Programs of Instruction offered by the College.


General Education Course: means a course that contributes to student development and learning. Its purpose is to strengthen a student’s essential employability skills, such as critical analysis, problem solving, and communication, in the context of an exploration of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance.

General Education Course Standard: refers to the criteria within the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive where courses must provide a broad theoretical overview of a topic of personal and/or societal importance (categorized as arts in society, civic life, social and cultural understanding, personal understanding and science/technology) with little or no applications training.

Program of Instruction: a group of related courses typically leading to a diploma, certificate or other credential (funded or non-funded) awarded by the College.

Policy Statements

The College’s General Education requirements for credentials to be awarded for graduation from a Program of Instruction are as follows:

CertificateDiplomaAdvanced DiplomaGraduate Certificate
No General Education Courses are required; however, it is desirable that graduates at this level will have been engaged in learning that incorporates some breadth beyond the vocational field of study, especially in programs of instruction intended to lead to further postsecondary study in a related field.Students will complete three (3) General Education Courses.Students will complete three (3) General Education Courses.No General Education Courses are required.
  1. General Education Courses adhere to the General Education Course Standard as stipulated in the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive.
    1. To be designated a General Education course, a course shall meet the following criteria:
      1. Clearly contribute to learning that is distinct from specific program vocational skills/outcomes;
      2. Enable learners to effectively meet the societal challenges that face them as they take their place in community, family, and working life;
      3. Ensure the focus of the course is sufficiently broad to be of value to learners regardless of their vocational interests;
      4. Be three credits in value;
      5. Be discrete courses designed to meet one of the five themes outlined in the Ministry Colleges and Universities (“MCU”) guidelines – Arts in Society, Civil Life, Personal Understanding, Science and Technology, and Social and Cultural Understanding;
      6. Identify the theme(s) being addressed;
      7. Be delivered in alternative delivery formats when feasible; and,
      8. Not require a pre-requisite.
  2. The College’s Curriculum Review Committee (the “CRC”) facilitates the review, development and approval of General Education Courses available to students.
  3. Each term, as required by their program curriculum, the College provides students a list of approved General Education courses from which they can select.

Responsibilities and Accountability

Vice President Academic is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the development, review and availability of this Policy.

Chair Justice and General Studies is responsible for:

  • Developing and overseeing general education programming and processes.
  • Reviewing the recommendations of the GECC (as defined below) to inform decisions regarding the College’s suite of General Education Courses.

The Curriculum Review Committee is responsible for:

  • Ensuring a mechanism for the review, development and approval of General Education Courses.
  • Where necessary, establishing sub-committees to facilitate the review, development and approval of General Education Courses.

The General Education Curriculum Committee (the “GECC”), a sub-committee of the CRC, is responsible for:

  • Reviewing General Education Course offerings.
  • Recommending new General Education Courses for development.
  • Recommending General Education course suspensions.

Deans/Chairs are responsible for:

  • Being familiar with the requirements of this Policy.
  • Ensuring their Programs of Instruction comply with the requirements of this Policy where relevant.

Manager, Quality Assurance is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all new Programs of Instruction submitted to the Credential Validation Service (the “CVS”) comply with the General Education requirements as stated in the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive.