Office of General Education Peer Academic Leaders Student Academic Engagement & Success University Advising Center

Success Fest data points to higher usage of Degree Planner

SMU’s first-ever Success Fest wrapped up on February 28th, 2024. The Peer Academic Leaders (PALs), under the direction of The Office of General Education, and the University Advising Center (UAC) began promotional efforts for Success Fest in early February by:

  • Hosting Degree Planner workshops
  • Working with the Registrar’s Office to write and post To-Do Tasks to undergraduate students’ my.SMU accounts
  • Sending marketing emails to all undergraduate students

These efforts resulted in:

  • 40 total attendees at all Degree Planner workshops in February
  • 63 total attendees at Success Fest
  • 65 total scheduled 1-1 meetings with PALs
  • 1,506 students utilizing Degree Planner between February 15th and March 1st
  • 1,938 students utilizing Degree Planner between February 1st and March 1st

Success Fest will be a semesterly offering, aligning with the Degree Planner deadlines of March 1st and October 1st. These deadlines will be added to SMU’s Academic Calendar to help promote continued use of Degree Planner.

Overall, the PALs and UAC are excited with the Spring 2024 results and look forward to planning Success Fest for Fall 2024.

Office of General Education Peer Academic Leaders Student Academic Engagement & Success University Advising Center

Peer Academic Leaders and University Advising Center prepare for Success Fest

Since Fall 2023, the Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) within the Office of General Education and the University Advising Center (UAC) have been planning a collaborative event titled “Success Fest” to promote the use of Degree Planner amongst SMU undergraduate students.

Success Fest will occur on February 28th from 2pm to 4pm in the Hughes-Trigg Varsity. The event will offer students incentives, such as food from Grilled Cheese Co. and the opportunity to enter a raffle to win Amazon gift cards.

To enter Success Fest, students must show proof of a completed Degree Planner. Academic Advisors from the UAC will review students’ Degree Planners to check for completion before entering Success Fest. There will also be PALs and advisors in the Hughes-Trigg Chamber to help students complete their Degree Planner on the day of the event.

Pre-major students will be required to fill out their Degree Planner leading up until major declaration, while declared students will be expected to complete their Degree Planner leading up until graduation. The deadline for students to complete their Degree Planner is March 1st, 2024.

Students can expect a To-Do task to be added to their student dashboard on my.SMU, in addition to receiving a message in their Message Center with more details about Degree Planner deadlines and Success Fest.

The UAC will host Degree Planner workshops on February 26th and 27th from 11:30am to 2:30pm in Hughes-Trigg room 130. During this same time, the PALs will be tabling across campus to distribute marketing materials for Success Fest.

The PALs will also host two Degree Planner workshops on February 8 and February 22. The details for both events can be found on SMU 360. Students are encouraged to book 1-1 appointments with the PALs if they prefer a more individualized tutorial on Degree Planner.


Office of General Education

Common Curriculum Course Search updated on February 1, 2024

The Office of General Education has updated the Common Curriculum course search with added breadth and graduation requirement tags.

The February 1, 2024, update reflects the following tag additions and removals:


ADV 3303- Quantitative Applications (QA) APSM 3360 – Community Engagement (CE) APSM 3360 – Civics & Individual Ethics (CIE)
ARHS 3315 – Creativity & Aesthetics (CA) ARHS 3355 – Creativity & Aesthetics (CA) ASIM 1300 – Technological Advances and Society (TAS)
BLI 1210- Oral Communication (OC) CCPA 1313 – Critical Reasoning (CR) ENGL 1363 – Literary Analysis & Interpretation (LAI)
ENGL 1363 – Human Diversity (HD) GEOL 1311- Exploring Science (ES) GERM 1601 – Global Perspectives (GPS)
GERM 1601 – Second Language Modern (SLM) GERM 3379 – Global Perspectives (GPS) JOUR 1313- Critical Reasoning (CR)
MUHI 1305 – Human Diversity (HD) PHYS 1337 – Technological Advances and Society (TAS) PSYC 3362 – Human Diversity (HD)
PSYC 3362 – Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS) PSYC 3363 – Oral Communication (OC) PSYC 3363 – Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS)
PSYC 4301- Quantitative Applications (QA) RELI 3331- Philosophical, Religious & Ethical Inquiry (PREI) RELI 3391- Philosophical, Religious & Ethical Inquiry (PREI)
SPAN 1601 – Global Perspectives (GPS) SPAN 1601 – Second Language Modern (SLM) UHP 3301- Oral Communication (OC)
UHP 3301- Writing (W) WL 3311 – Global Perspectives (GPS) WL 3379 – Global Perspectives (GPS)
WL 3388 – Literary Analysis & Interpretation (LAI)    


ARHS 3315 – Historical Contexts (HC) ARHS 3338 – Writing (W) ENGL 1363 – Creativity & Aesthetics (CA)
FILM 3353 – Creativity & Aesthetics (CA) HIST 1321- Oral Communication (OC) SOCI 3312 – Writing (W)


Any questions or concerns about the Common Curriculum course search can be directed to the Office of General Education.

Office of General Education Peer Academic Leaders Student Academic Engagement & Success

The Office of General Education launches new Peer Academic Leaders website

The Office of General Education is happy to announce the launch of the new Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) website.

The website has exciting new updates, including an SMU 360 calendar of PALs events, details on the services provided by the PALs, and information on recruitment and selection.

The website also offers the option to book a PAL workshop for student groups or organizations that would like the PALs to come to them.

As the end of the Fall semester quickly approaches, students are encouraged to book a one-on-one appointment with a PAL should they need additional academic support, help understanding Common Curriculum requirements, tutorials on properly enrolling for classes, or assistance with filling out their Degree Planner.


Office of General Education SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success

Office of General Education publishes a schedule of student outreach efforts

Throughout the Spring 2023 semester, the Office of General Education will host a variety of student outreach events in the form of pop-ups and workshops to answer questions about the Common Curriculum, University Curriculum, and the new Degree Planner tool in my.SMU.

Pop-Up Tabling Events

Can’t stop by the GenEd office? No problem. We will come to you! Pop-ups are an opportunity to quickly stop by our table and ask questions related to your degree plan, general education requirements, proficiencies and experience, petitions, the Second Language Requirement, and much more. Upcoming pop-up dates and locations include:

Fondren Library by Starbucks

  • January 25, 2-4pm
  • February 15, 2-4pm
  • March 8, 2-4pm
  • March 29, 2-4pm
  • April 12, 2-4pm

Meadows Owens Arts Center, in the Taubman Atrium

  • April 5, 1-3pm

Caruth Hall- Mary Alice and Mark Shepherd Jr. Atrium

  • April 19, 10am-12pm

Common Curriculum Workshops

Why does SMU have general education requirements? What are Proficiencies and Experiences? How and when should I satisfy each requirement? Workshops dive deeper into your Common Curriculum questions and provide in-person support in completing your Degree Planner. Join us for these one-hour working sessions. Upcoming spring 2023 workshops dates include:

Laura Lee Blanton, Blanton 110/112

Sign up for a Common Curriculum Workshop via SMU Connect.

Any other questions, comments, or concerns? Contact the Office of General Education, sign up for an appointment with a team member, or stop by our office in Laura Lee Blanton Suite 102.