UNI launches new student-centered and career-focused general education program

UNI launches new student-centered and career-focused general education program

After years of thoughtful work by faculty and administration, the University of Northern Iowa will offer a new general education program for students starting in the fall 2022 semester.

Designed to align student learning outcomes with the top skills employers are seeking, UNI Foundational Inquiry (UNIFI) is redefining the value of a general education program. With just 37 credit hours, completing the requirements will be more efficient and flexible, creating a path to timely graduation. UNIFI helps students stay on track with their major, and gives them a future-ready foundation of employable skills, critical thinking abilities and well-rounded credentials. The addition of a new innovative, embedded certificate option allows students to complete a micro-credential right within the general education requirements.

“UNI truly set out to redefine what is possible in the general education experience for our students,” says Jeremy Schraffenberger, curriculum coordinator of the UNIFI General Education Program. “We understand how vital it is to establish a strong foundation that puts students on a path to achieving their dreams. UNIFI does just that, preparing students for professional and personal success as they develop necessary skills, discover new ideas and make important connections to the broader world.”

Another unique differentiator of UNIFI: an AA and AS degree will now satisfy the entire general education requirement at UNI. No other college in Iowa is able to boast this great opportunity for incoming community college students. Students who have taken some credits but not yet received an AA or AS degree will have transfer courses evaluated on outcome equivalencies and not exact course equivalencies. This allows for a wider array of transfer courses to meet UNIFI requirements.

“The UNIFI program is designed to work hard for our students, helping them build well-rounded skills and learn critical thinking, while folding credentials directly into the experience,” said Danielle Weide, assistant director of transfer recruitment. “We are proud of the flexibility and transferability the program has for community college partners.”

Students enrolled prior to fall 2022 have the option to stay within the university’s current liberal arts core (LAC) structure, or switch to the new UNIFI program.

For more information about UNI’s new general education program, visit unifi.uni.edu.


Jeremy Schraffenberger, UNIFI curriculum coordinator, 319-273-3879, jeremy.schraffenberger@uni.edu

Steve Schmadeke, UNI public relations manager, 319-273-6120, steve.schmadeke@uni.edu