The University of New Mexico General Education program is based on the New Mexico Higher Education Department's (NMHED) statewide general education revision initiative and adopts the NMHED’s five essential skills for general education. These skills are:

  1. Communication
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Personal & Social Responsibility
  4. Information & Digital Literacy
  5. Quantitative Reasoning

To assess the development of these skills, UNM uses essential skill rubrics developed by the NMHED with slight modifications to streamline their voice, application, and ease of use. Additional modifications included:

  • adding numerical ratings to each performance category (e.g. 3 = proficiency)
  • adding “No Evidence” performance categories

Please see the Rubrics & Example Assignments page for more information.


Designated instructors within each college/school/branch collect and submit student artifacts using the GE Assessment Artifact Submission Form. Fall section artifacts should be submitted by December 15. Spring section artifacts should be submitted by May 15. Submissions can be made throughout the academic year but should be submitted no later than May 15 each year. For more information, see the Collection & Submission Process page.


GE Cycles: 2019-2020 to 2021-2022

Academic Years2019-2020 | Infographic | 2020-2021 | Infographic | 2021-2022 | Infographic | 2022-2023 | Infographic

Assessment of general education programming is required by the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED). These reports include quantitative and qualitative analysis of student artifacts relating to the five essential skills.

The OAAPR also provides individualized GE reports by college, school, and branch to deans, associate deans, and assessment coordinators. Contact your assessment leadership to see your area’s results. 

Frequently Asked Questions

While the GenEd courses offered will, for the most part, remain the same, changes have been made to the assessment processes that we hope will lessen your workload. The new GenEd assessment process focuses on student attainment of 5 Essential Skills: Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning, Communication, Information & Digital Literacy, and Personal & Social Responsibility. This differs from the old assessment process in that we are no longer assessing GenEd courses by content area alone. In short, the differences between the previous GenEd assessment model and the current model are:

  • Old = Course by Course Analysis of content areas vs. New = Essential Skill Analysis across GenEd programming
  • Old = Reports submitted by each content area committee vs. New = No report: artifacts submitted by instructors or designated department person
  • Old = SLO’s created independently vs. New = SLO's created universally
  • Old = No GenEd program review vs. New = GenEd program review
The assessment cycle will continue to operate on a 3-year basis. For more information please review the assessment cycle page

If you are a member of the a college/school/branch CARC, your role will be to:

  1. Review essential skills/rubrics and decide which skill the college is assessing in year 1 & 3 + disseminate that information to faculty/instructors
  2. Select a specified number of sections of GenEd courses offered in your content area (10 sections unless otherwise arranged with the Office of Assessment & APR)
  3. Set internal timelines for faculty/instructors to gather student artifacts

If you are an instructor/faculty teaching one of the selected sections of a course, you will: 

  1. Review essential skill rubrics and select 2 areas that align with one of your course assignments/projects 
  2. Submit at least 4 students’ artifacts and complete fillable form to OA 

A Student Artifact is evidence of student work that best represents the essential skill:

  • Written/oral assignment
  • Portfolio
  • Mid/end of semester product
  • 3 exam/quiz items representing each skill dimension
*Please see essential skill rubrics for more examples

Absolutely. The submission form does allow for group assignments to be submitted as artifacts. Please indicate on the form that this was a group assignment. Student ID numbers for all students in the group will be required.

To preview the form, or to submit your artifacts, please see the submission form here

Once we receive the artifacts from all the selected course sections, we will oversee and participate in an external review of those artifacts. Analysis will be conducted by a team of graduate student reviewers. The results will be aggregated and reported out in the Office of Assessment's State of General Education Assessment Report each year. Disaggregated results will be provided to CARCs in each college/school/branch.
We ask that you do the best you can to de-identify artifacts you submit to the Office of Assessment to contribute to the protection and confidentiality of students and comply with federal FERPA regulations.  That said, it is recognized that this is not always possible with certain kinds of artifacts, and our office ensures that all reviewers and handlers of student artifacts have undergone the necessary FERPA training as documented in university registrar policies.

Yes, in partnership with CTL, the OA/APR co-faciliated a Fall 2021 workshop on the IDL Essential Skill.

The OAAPR has also collected rubrics and example assignments related to each essential skill.