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I. ASCRC General Education Form (revised 2/8/13)
Use to propose new general education courses (except writing courses), to change existing
gen ed courses and to remove designations for existing gen ed courses.
Note: One-time-only general education designation may be requested for experimental courses
(X91-previously X95), granted only for the semester taught. A NEW request must be
submitted for the course to receive subsequent general education status.
II. Mathematics
VII: Social Sciences
III. Language
VIII: Ethics & Human Values
separate forms
III Exception: Symbolic Systems * IX: American & European
if requesting
IV: Expressive Arts
X: Indigenous & Global
more than one
V: Literary & Artistic Studies
XI: Natural Sciences
w/ lab 
w/out lab 
VI: Historical & Cultural Studies
*Courses proposed for this designation must be standing requirements of
majors that qualify for exceptions to the modern and classical language
Dept/Program Physics and Astronomy
Course #
Course Title
Elementary Astronomy Laboratory II
Prereq. or coreq., ASTR 132N
II. Endorsement/Approvals
Complete the form and obtain signatures before submitting to Faculty Senate Office
Please type / print name Signature
Diane Friend
Phone / Email 4299/[email protected]
Program Chair Andrew Ware
Chris Comer
III. Type of request
One-time Only
Renew 
Reason for Gen Ed inclusion, change or deletion
Description of change
IV. Description and purpose of new general education course: General Education courses
must be introductory and foundational within the offering department or within the General
Education Group. They must emphasize breadth, context, and connectedness; and relate course
content to students’ future lives: See Preamble:
This course provides practical, laboratory experiences in stellar and galactic astronomy and
cosmology as a supplement to Introductory Elementary Astronomy II (ASTR 132N). Students
learn how astronomers make observations and models that lead to a greater understanding of
how the universe works through exposure to the tools and techniques that astronomers use, an
understanding of the physical principles involved, and an exposure to data acquisition, analysis,
critical thinking, and the scientific method.
V. Criteria: Briefly explain how this course meets the criteria for the group. See:
1. Courses explore a discipline in the natural
sciences and demonstrate how the scientific
method is used within the discipline to draw
scientific conclusions.
The primary purpose of this course is to
teach students about the process of science.
The emphasis is on experimentation,
observation, and critical thinking as applied
to the discipline of astronomy.
2. Courses address the concept of analytic
Laboratory activities progress from modeling
uncertainty and the rigorous process required to activities which familiarize students with the
take an idea to a hypothesis and then to a
properties of light and a broad range of
validated scientific theory.
astronomical phenomena to specific
experiments and observations which require
students to become familiar with the
scientific process and focus on a particular
physical law or the characteristics of
nebulas, stars, or galaxies. The course is
designed to expose students to a wide range
of investigative and data analysis techniques
used by astronomers.
3. Lab courses engage students in inquiry-based Students become competent in the use of
learning activities where they formulate a
telescopes, a variety of sky simulation
hypothesis, design an experiment to test the
software programs, star maps, and how to
hypothesis, and collect, interpret, and present
use web resources to find astronomical data.
the data to support their conclusions.
Activities include spectral identification,
solar and night sky observing,
experimentation with astronomical distance
determination methods, photoelectric
photometry, an examination of stellar
evolution, characteristics of our galaxy,
galactic evolution, and the expansion of the
universe. Laboratory activities closely
follow, and elaborate on, the discussion of
similar topics in the lecture course, ASTR
VI. Student Learning Goals: Briefly explain how this course will meet the applicable learning
goals. See:
The great synthesizing principles relevant to
1. Students will be able to understand the
stars and galaxies are emphasized:
general principles associated with the
fundamental forces, the nature of matter and
discipline(s) studied.
radiation, the make-up and evolution of the
universe and objects within it.
Students engage in experimental,
2. Students will be able to understand the
observational, and computer modeling
methodology and activities scientists use to
activities that mirror the actual methods
gather, validate and interpret data related to
astronomers use to determine many of the
natural processes.
properties of stars, galaxies, and the universe
that are explored in ASTR 132N. See below
for some specific activities.
Lab activities are designed to address these
goals. Some specific examples: Students
experiment with an analysis of spectra of
individual elements, the techniques of using a
spectrometer to identify elements, and then
apply what they’ve learned to identifying
specific spectral signatures in stars. The
students are then asked to use stellar spectra to
group and classify stars with similar
properties. They then apply these stellar
classification systems to stars of different
initial mass in star clusters to examine the
effect of mass on stellar evolution. Another
example: students examine a variety of
galaxies and classify them according to their
appearance. They then experiment with a 3D
galaxy-interaction modeling program to
observe how galactic collisions affect galaxy
morphology and evolution.
Student activities encourage both descriptive
4. Students will be able to understand how
and quantitative reasoning, spatial
scientific laws and theories are verified by
visualization, and ongoing exploration. A
quantitative measurement, scientific
combination of experimentation, modeling,
observation, and logical/critical reasoning.
and observation exposes students to different
investigative techniques and encourages them
to seek connections that strengthen their
conclusions. Class and individual discussions
emphasize scientific questioning and creative
5. Students will be able to understand the means Experimental labs require students to take
by which analytic uncertainty is quantified and
measurements, analyze data, formulate
expressed in the natural sciences.
conclusions, and make predictions. These
labs focus on understanding general
physical principles that are fundamental in
VII. Justification: Normally, general education courses will not carry pre-requisites, will carry
at least 3 credits, and will be numbered at the 100-200 level. If the course has more than one
pre-requisite, carries fewer than three credits, or is upper division (numbered above the 200
level), provide rationale for exception(s).
The course carries 1-credit as it is a lab complement to a 3-credit lecture course.
VIII. Syllabus: Paste syllabus below or attach and send digital copy with form.  The syllabus
should clearly describe how the above criteria are satisfied. For assistance on syllabus
preparation see:
3. Students will be able to detect patterns, draw
conclusions, develop conjectures and
hypotheses, and test them by appropriate means
and experiments.
Please note: Approved general education changes will take effect next fall.
General education instructors will be expected to provide sample assessment items and
corresponding responses to the Assessment Advisory Committee.