Compass Curriculum FAQs


Contact Student Success!

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 for more information.

  • This is our first 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 everyone will still be required to do a writing portfolio. LAS area and DOG requirements remain unchanged for students in LAS.
  • 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.

Freshmen that entered in 2014 or later (and transfer students under 30 credit hours) are required to take a Gateway Experience course (GPS 1010). Currently around 80% of our freshman students already take Freshman Seminar. Starting in the Fall of 2014, new students in all colleges on campus will take this intentionally designed program, giving them a signature UCCS experience and preparing them for their professional futures.

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 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.

Your department can propose up to 8 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.

Yes: Explore courses can be lower or upper division.

While departments may limit entrance based upon prerequisites, courses without prerequisites or with minimal prerequisites are encouraged.


Students can take two Explore courses in their minor in LAS.

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.

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.

One of the Writing Intensive courses must be upper division. However, the Inclusiveness or Sustainability courses can be upper or lower division.

One of the Writing Intensive courses must be upper division. However, the Inclusiveness or Sustainability courses can be upper or lower division.

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.


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.

No. Navigate courses must be at the 3000 level.

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.

No. The intention is that students will take Navigate courses that broadly expand their perspective beyond their major discipline.