A.S.K. (Abilities.Skills.Knowledge): UTC General Education Action Plan (2010)
UTC students do well as exiting seniors at the lowest levels of proficiency in reading, writing, critical thinking and math skills. However, our students lack higher levels of reading, writing, critical thinking and math skills (ETS MAPP data from General Education Assessment Report).
Goal: Ask (charge) faculty to “reclaim” the curriculum
- We must articulate a frame of reference by which the entire UTC curriculum works for students, faculty and meets the expectations of employers (Specific General Education)
- UTC must give students a clear rationale and a plan to focus their university study to achieve the university outcomes and to be able to assess their progress through the curriculum through a regular basis.
Proposed Goal of General Education Curriculum: General education courses ask students to explore specific domains of knowledge utilizing a variety of skills and approaches with the goal of personal and professional growth. The courses that cross disciplines offer students the time and space to explore, connect, and prepare for the opportunities and challenges within their major.
Details of General Education Curriculum: What’s Different?
We know that you (faculty) do this (data shows), we need to know when and how well (and how to do better).
- Defining and articulating overall university outcomes. Distinguishing the general education curriculum. Defining the scope and student outcomes within each category of study. See how SACS defines "general education."
Proposed New Student Learning Outcomes (and Blue Ribbon panel results)
Articles and resources related to the revised university outcomes
- Gardiner, L.F. (1998). Why we must change: The research evidence. [Electronic version]. Thought & Action: The NEA Higher Education Journal. Spring 1998, 71-88. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/33214.htm
- AAC&U (2010). LEAP: What is a liberal education? Retrieved from http://www.aacu.org/leap/what_is_liberal_education.cfm
- Sullivan, W. M. & Rosin, M.S. (2008). A new agenda for higher education: Shaping a life of the mind for practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Leskes, A. & Miller, R. (2008). Purposeful pathways: Helping students achieve key learning outcomes. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Association of American Colleges and Universities & The Carnegie Foundation. (2004). Statement developed jointly. In Huber, M.T., & Hutchings, P. Integrative learning: Mapping the terrain. (2004). Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2008). College learning for the new global century. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Gaston, P. (2010). General education & library learning: Principles of effective practice. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2002). Greater expectations: A new vision for learning as a nation goes to college. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Klein, J.T. (1999). Mapping interdisciplinary studies: The academy in transition. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2004).Taking responsibility for the quality of the baccalaureate degree. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Sullivan, W.M. & Rosin, M.S. (2008). A new agenda for higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Trilling, B. & Fadel, C. (2009). Twenty-first century skills: Learning for life in our times. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Bok, D. (2006). Our underachieving colleges: A candid look at how much our students learn and why they should be learning more. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Checkpoints/Evidence of Success (Beyond the fact that students should know what the university outcomes are, how the general education programs supports those and how the majors support them)
- Blue Ribbon Panels: Define shared learning outcomes at various levels (1000, 2000, 3000, 4000) as well as upon graduation.
- Meet with departments, students, and offices for feedback and incorporation into the curriculum. Gather data. Have a model of how this works for a sample department/major (Psychology).
- Create General Education "category" groups made up of faculty who teach in the categories to define outcomes by category and to communicate those within the general education categories.
- Begin work on a General Education “Handbook” for faculty who teach general education courses.
- Work with other Faculty Senate Committees to articulate and align curricular work.
- Incorporate university outcomes definitions and student outcomes in the Undergraduate Catalog. Include university outcomes in the Outcomes Management software (TaskStream) for mapping across the major curriculum (curriculum mapping).
- Revise recertification process to reflect category and outcome changes.
- Incorporate new university outcomes into freshman and transfer orientation.
- Meet with departments with courses coming up for recertification to clarify and offer support for completing recertification packages.
- New recertification forms and format designed and implemented with special assistance and help for department with courses coming up for recertification.
- Build in the process of curriculum design and revision as an ongoing, meaningful part of the UTC culture.
- Student and faculty see value in overall university outcomes and in the 41 hours required for general education.