General Education and Distribution Requirements

At the suggestion of the Board of Trustees, the Provost and a team from the Academic Affairs and Technology Committee reviewed and clarified the College Unbound description of graduation requirements—general education distributizon requirements, requirements of the major, requirements for competencies and learning outcomes.  Spring 2018, the Academic Affairs and Technology Committee approved the following updated description.
College Unbound Course and Competency RequirementsFor graduation from College Unbound, students must complete all the requirements for General Education and the Major in Organizational Leadership and Change (OLC).


  • Students must complete a minimum of 120 course credits and meet CU competency and learning outcome requirements in order to receive a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Change. 
  • 82 course credits are Liberal Arts credits achieved through the General Education Requirements (46 credits) and the OLC Major (36 credits). 
  • 10 credits are competency based—awarded as students demonstrate mastery of the skills of Leadership and Change. 
  • The remaining 28 credits are achieved through Elective Courses.  
  • Upon graduation students must have at least 90 credits in Liberal Studies.  All courses in the College Unbound Academic Catalog are designed to fulfill Liberal Studies Requirements.  Upon transfer, students will receive a report from the Registrar’s Office informing them of transferred Liberal Studies credits.
  • A minimum of 30 credits must be upper division credits (courses at the 300 level or higher).
  • Up to 90 credits may be transferred into College Unbound from other accredited institutions of higher education, upon approval by College Unbound. 
  • At least 30 College Unbound undergraduate credit hours are needed in order to earn a bachelor degree. The following forms of credit may not be used to fulfill the 30 College Unbound credit requirement: transfer credit; proficiency exam and credit for prior learning.

Prior LearningCollege Unbound may award college credit for knowledge and skills acquired outside the classroom. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) may be accomplished through standardized tests, course challenge examinations, or demonstration of competency through portfolio. More information about prior learning assessment can be found in the College Unbound Admissions Policy.

Academic credit by the numbers10 Leadership and Change (Big Ten) Competency credits46 General education course credits36 Major course credits28 Elective credits120 Credits to graduate30 Must be upper division course credits90 Must be Liberal Studies course credits90 Maximum number of credits that can be transferred in 
Successful Completion of CoursesAny student taking courses from College Unbound is subject to the following grading policies.  
Instructors will use the following grading system:  A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, FThe instructor must explain the grading system in the course syllabus, and must apply it to all the students in the class.
Grade-point average (GPA)All letter grades are assigned a grade point value according to the following table.

Grade Grade Points for Each Semester Hour
A (Superior) 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B (Above Average) 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C (Average) 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D (Below Average) 1.00
F (Failing) 0
*FX (Administrative Fail) 0

*The instructor in lieu of a grade of F assigns FX (Administrative Fail) when a student never attended or ceased attending the class, rendering an assessment of academic performance impossible. Instructors will be asked to provide the last date of attendance.
The following grades may appear on your transcript or permanent record; however, they will not affect your grade-point average.

AUS Audit Successful
AUU Audit Unsuccessful
IP In Progress
N Nonpass
P Pass

The following marks may also appear on your transcript or permanent record.
They are not grades, and (except for the second-grade-only option) will not affect your grade-point average.

I Incomplete
O No grade reported

You can calculate your grade-point average by dividing the total number of grade points you have earned by the total number of credit hours you have taken, excluding courses with grades of AUS, AUU, IP, N, P, or marks of I, O. For example, if you are a first-year student who has completed the following coursework and earned the following grades—

  • English 102 (3 s.h.): A
  • Gateway (3 s.h.): B
  • Intro to IOC (3 s.h.): A
  • Workplace Lab I (3 s.h.): C-  

—your total number of grade points would equal 39, because (4 x 3) + (3.00 x 3) + (4.00 x 3) + (1.67 x 3) = 38. Your GPA would be 3.2, because 38 ÷ 12 = 3.2.
In other words: for each course you’ve taken, multiply the appropriate grade points you earned by the number of semester hours in each course, then add up all the grade points you’ve earned to date, and then divide this by the number of semester hours you’ve taken to date. Successful Completion of Competencies and Foundational Learning OutcomesCollege Unbound performance rubrics rate student performances across four levels:  Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner, and Expert.  Students must perform regularly at the Practitioner level (General Education Foundational Learning Outcomes ) or Expert Level (Leadership & Change [Big 10] Competencies) by the time they graduate. Foundational Learning Outcomes and Big 10 competencies may be completed as part of a course or through direct assessment.
Leadership and Change Competencies – Big 10 (10 credits)The Leadership and Change Competencies (The Big 10) define what all College Unbound students should know and be able to do when they graduate.  Students engage with The Big 10 in both their General Education Distribution Requirements and their academic major, making their bachelor’s experience intentional and coherent.  The Big 10 make learning purposeful from the first semester through the capstone.  Student experiences in courses, labs, and their ongoing action research project ensure that they engage with the Big 10 in diverse contexts over time, demonstrating their growing proficiency. Specific competencies are outlined underneath each of the Big 10 and students, professors, advisors, mentors, and peers use rubrics describing levels of proficiency to gauge student development.
Students must successfully complete the Big 10 Leadership and Change Competencies. These competencies are assessed through exhibitions followed by portfolio assessment. Students must perform at a level considered expert to receive credit. Successful completion of each competency is worth one credit. Students must successfully complete all of the Big 10 competencies in order to graduate.
Big 10 Leadership and Change Competencies (The Big 10):

  • Advocacy for Self and Others
  • Accountability
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reflection
  • Resiliency
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Intercultural Engagement
  • Problem Solving

General Education Distribution Requirements (46 credits)A total of 46 General Education Requirements are required for graduation.  College Unbound’s General Education Distribution Requirements cover multiple disciplines and ensure that students develop the intellectual breadth necessary to fully engage in the broader world of work and community. Students must complete coursework in five distribution content areas.
The Civics courses require the examination of both theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship (local and global), its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other, their communities, their government, their world.
The Arts and Humanities courses require examination of the human experience and the skills necessary to share both personal and historical analysis through fine arts, literature, public speaking and writing.
The Science and Math courses require the development of core competencies in quantitative research, data collection, and experimentation.  
The Social and Behavioral Sciences courses are designed around place based research and group analysis.
Integrated and Applied Learning is the category for the required Workplace and World Lab that accompanies each course at College Unbound.  The lab ensures integration of course theories and skills and their application to authentic action research projects as described in students’ Personal Learning Plans.  At least two semesters of Workplace and World Lab are required.
The College Unbound Organizational Leadership and Change major fulfills all of the Social and Behavioral Science requirements, as well as requirements for Integrated and Applied Learning.  Students are required to also fulfill General Education Distribution Requirements in the areas outside their major’s distribution area.
General education at College Unbound is designed so that that students complete both required courses and required foundational learning outcomes.
Courses: General Education Distribution Requirements (46 Liberal Arts Credits)
Civics 3 credits in Power and Difference6 credits in Global Citizenship
Arts and Humanities 6 credits in Advanced Composition3 credits in Literature and Fine Arts3 credits in History
Science and Math 4 credits in Science with Lab3 credits Science3 credits in Math
Social and Behavioral Sciences3 credits in Individual & Group Dynamics6 credits in Research Methods
Integrated and Applied Learning3 credits Workplace & World Lab A3 credits Workplace & World Lab Z
General Education Foundational Content and Process Learning Outcomes(These outcomes are fulfilled through the completion of College Unbound General Education courses.)
  1. Empirical Reasoning
  2. Digital Fluency
  3. Ethical Reasoning
  4. Historical Reasoning
  5. Human Expression
  6. Participatory Action Research
  7. Quantitative Reasoning
  8. Social Reasoning
The Major (36 Credits)Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Change (OLC) Major 
Organizational Leadership and Change – 36 credit Major
Required Courses (15 credits)
Introduction to Organizational Leadership and Change OLC215 3
Reframing Failure OLC355 3
Contextualizing Work: Research Methods I OLC315/SBSCI305 3
Learning from Experience (PLA Seminar) OL201 3
Capstone   OLC400 3
Organizational Studies  (Choose at least 1 (Registrar may approve substitutions – required)
Social and Business Ethics OLC225/CVC225 3
Strategic Management and Policy OLC360 3
Human Resource Management OLC325 3
Understanding Non-Profit Management OLC375 3
Organizational Theory and Management OLC340 3
Leadership Studies (Choose at least 1 (Registrar may approve substitutions – required)
PAR Project 1: Leadership in Action OLC345/SBSCI325 3
Communication Skills for Leaders OLC305 3
Leadership and Motivation OLC330 3
Leadership and Organizations OLC335 3
Change Studies (Choose at least 1 (Registrar may approve substitutions – required)
Sustainable Impact OLC370/SBSCI345 3
Strategic Thinking and Change OLC365 3
Grassroots Community Organizing OLC320/AH310 3
Electives Within the Major (Choose 4 courses total either from below, from above, or transferring in substitutions from prior institutions or experience)
Field Studies in Mentorship OLC210/SBSCI210 3
Collaboration and Group Dynamics OLC203/SBSCI200 3
Internship/Practicum OLC250/E200 3
Creative Problem Solving OLC205 3
Project Management OLC350 3
Participatory Action Research Methods: PAR Project II OLC368/SBSCI330/CV325 3
Conflict Resolution OLC200/CVC200 3
Critical Writing for the Professions: Grant and Technical Writing OLC208/AH210 3
Globalization and Community OLC212/ABCI215/CVC210 3
Public Narrative: Identity, Agency, and Action OLC218/CBC220 3
Community Assessment OLC310 3
Interpersonal Skills for Virtual and Co-Located Teams OLC322/SBSCI320 3
Studies in Community and Place OLC338/SBSCI335 3

The following Foundational Learning Outcomes are completed through College Unbound courses required for the OLC major.
  1. Organizational Theory
  2. Mentorship
  3. Contextualizing Work
  4. Labor and Democracy
  5. Writing for Careers
  6. Adaptive Leadership
  7. Reframing Failure
  8. PA Research - Workplace
  9. PA Research - Community
  10. Community Development Theory
  11. Place Based Reasoning
  12. Public Narrative
  13. Media & Message
  14. Globalization
Elective Courses (28 credits)Students work with academic advisors to choose courses appropriate to their interests for the remaining 28 credits to reach 120.