Executive Summary: To provide some background for ongoing conversations concerning Western's GURs, relevant fmdings were collated from ten different surveys conducted on Western students and alumni over the past ten years. There was no central thesis and is therefore no central finding to summarize. However, some highlights from particular findings can be offered. •Most students are supportive of the idea that Western should offer a strong core of liberal arts instruction rather than primarily technical skills, although in practice GURs are not treated as seriously or valued as highly as courses in the major. • Students' satisfaction with their GUR courses, while not extremely low, is also not high and is markedly lower than satisfaction with courses in the major. Almost as many are "not at all" as are "very" satisfied with instructional quality and course choices, and barely over 50% are "very" or "mostly" satisfied. Just over 60% say GURs broadened their interests, stimulated new ideas, and provided new cultural insights "a great deal" or "quite a bit." • Satisfaction is particularly low with "the way GURs are organized and explained" and "the size and structure of most GUR classes." •One possible change is solidly endorsed by students: to provide "suggested sequences of combinations of GURs." Both graduating seniors and also students who withdrew from Western without graduating overwhelmingly endorse this possibility. •In two specific senses, GURs can be ranked, with humanities and non¬ Western areas at the top and mathematics at the bottom. First, students' satisfaction with instructional quality, while fairly similar across areas, sort in this order. Second, indirect analysis strongly suggests that when students think about "GURs," what they have primarily in mind is humanities and non-Western courses, with mathematics and natural sciences not entering thei
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Simpson, Carl; McKinney, Gary (Gary Russell); and Clark, Linda D. (Linda Darlene), "General University Requirements Technical Report" (1998). Office of Survey Research. 608.