Embedded Literacies FAQ

Important Note: This resource is meant for faculty developing courses, and not for students or advisors seeking courses that fulfill Embedded Literacy requirements. If you are a student seeking courses that fulfill Embedded Literacy requirements, please see your Academic Advisor or visit: https://advising.osu.edu/. Advisors seeking information and clarification surrounding Embedded Literacy requirements should speak to their Advising Administrator. 

The Embedded Literacies cover three broad categories of knowledge: Data Analysis, Advanced Writing, and Technology.  While the university believes that knowledge in these areas is essential for all students, it is expected that students in different programs will have different needs in these areas, and as such, it is up to the unit what courses will fulfill these requirements for students in their majors.  The plan to embed these literacies within the major was a part of the adoption of the New General Education program.

No. The requirement for all academic majors to address all EL skills in their majors and specify which courses fulfill the Embedded Literacies for students in their programs is a consequence of the GEN, but they are not a part of the GEN. 

Yes.  Since the EL skills are specific to each major program’s goals and ELOs, students with more than one major must complete these requirements for both major programs.  However, if the two majors require the same course for a particular EL, then a student may use that course to fulfill the requirement for both programs, assuming that the programs do not have specific rules prohibiting this and that all university rules about independent requirements are being followed.

Yes.  If a unit has decided that a course fulfills an EL requirement for their major, and that course ALSO fulfills a GEN requirement, students may fulfill both a GEN requirement and an EL requirement with the same course.


Yes.  This is the most common way in which Embedded Literacies are fulfilled.

Yes, though the course will need to go through the curricular approval process just like any other newly created course.  However, when the appropriate divisional subcommittee of the ASCC reviews the course, they are only reviewing it as a new course within the college; they are NOT reviewing it for its ability to fulfill the Embedded Literacy goals and ELOs. It is the responsibility of the unit/department to ensure that those goals and ELOs are being met in the course, as these courses will be assessed.

No. If a course is a GEN Foundation: WIL approved course, it cannot also serve to satisfy the Advanced Writing Embedded Literacy requirement in any major.  Courses that satisfy the latter requirement are, by definition, at a higher level than those in the WIL Foundation and presume completion of the Foundation requirement. 

Yes.  If a unit believes that one course can satisfy the goals and ELOs for more than one Embedded Literacy category, then it can fulfill two or even all three ELs.

Yes.  If a unit decides that students are best served by achieving the EL’s goals and ELOs over a series of courses, then a unit can require multiple courses to fulfill a single EL. However, it is important to note that units will eventually have to assess how well they are meeting the goals and ELOs of the Embedded Literacies, so requiring a large number of courses for each EL may make gathering assessment data difficult.

Yes.  If a unit feels that the goals and ELOs of a particular EL are met in multiple courses, students can be given a range of options to choose from.  However, it is important to note that units will eventually have to assess how well they are meeting the goals and ELOs of the Embedded Literacies, so naming a large number of courses as options may make gathering assessment data difficult.

No.  Because a course that meets an EL requirement for one major may be taken by students in other majors for other purposes, stating that the course meets Embedded Literacy requirements or putting the goals and ELOs of the EL on the syllabus may cause confusion and is not recommended.  If a unit feels strongly that they wish to have this information on the syllabus, it should be very clear that it ONLY applies to students in a particular major or majors.

Advising information for each major (e.g. advising sheets, departmental websites, etc.) should clearly state which course or courses are required to fulfill the Embedded Literacies for that major program.

Unless a unit is creating a new course to fulfill Embedded Literacy requirements, there is no faculty review outside of the academic unit for EL courses.  Faculty within each unit are entrusted with ensuring that the EL courses in their major(s) teach the skills that are most important to their students, though there will eventually be an assessment process to assist units in evaluating their students’ attainment of the EL goals.

Even though there is no curricular review process for these courses, the college and the Office of Academic Affairs do keep track of the requirements for each major’s Embedded Literacies, so if a unit wishes to amend their current requirements, they should reach out to Dean Andrew Martin, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Dean Bernadette Vankeerbergen, Assistant Dean for Curriculum or Rachel Steele, ASC CAS Program Manager, who can assist them with next steps.