Changes underway for general education curriculum
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 04:09
Yearly enrollment increases at UCCS force the campus to expand – not just in space, but also in terms of its general curriculum, or GE, requirements.
The changes to the curriculum, which won't officially be made for another couple of years, have been a collaborated effort from observations of other universities, staff and students.
In creating the new curriculum, the university consulted with students, advisors, faculty and employers in addition to conducting its own research.
Students like exploring new ideas and having choices in what to take to fulfill their GE requirements. According to a survey, however, they dislike the fact that they don't fully understand what the point of a GE curriculum is and the lack of flexibility.
Faculty, including Christina Jimenez, a history professor involved in making the changes, agrees that "there is no uniformity across all the colleges when it comes to basic, necessary courses. And there seems to be a lack in college-level mathematics and writing skills."
The new curriculum will focus on three interrelated areas of learning – evaluate and create, know and explore and act and interact.
Instead of a mix of required courses differing from program to program, a roughly 24-credit hour program will be instated campus-wide, regardless of a student’s major.
Four courses will be required freshman year – Gateway: Freshmen Seminar, English 1310, English 1410 (or equivalent) and Quantitative Reasoning.
Sophomore year, a Physical or Natural World course, an Arts, Humanities or Cultures course and a Social Sciences course – all three credits apiece.
Junior year will require an advanced core course, and senior year a capstone course. All of the courses over the four years will focus on writing intensity, inclusiveness and global diversity and sustainability, integrating the emphasized areas of learning.
Nothing is finalized, and there are still kinks to be worked out in the mapping of the new GE curriculum. The desired goal is to give every college a satisfactory representation of the concerns each is addressing.
Creators of the new curriculum are hoping that the first test run will begin in Fall 2014. A Faculty Governance Committee, made up of deans and other influential staff members, according to Jimenez, will be created to help institute the new curriculum and make sure it maintains its effectiveness.
Faculty, staff and many students who were able to voice their opinions concerning the curriculum hope that these changes will not only help their own college experiences, but also aid future students in their transition from high school to college as well as better prepare them for expectations once they’ve graduated.