General Education Program Review Taskforce charge
RATIONALE: The General Education Policy is one of the cornerstones of the undergraduate educational experience at MU. It is essential that such a key program be periodically reviewed by the faculty to ensure it continues to achieve the original goal that "All baccalaureate graduates of the University should have a sound intellectual foundation in the liberal arts and sciences which provides the ability to reason and think critically, to write and speak coherently, to understand important issues confronting society, to understand the importance of international affairs in an increasingly interdependent global environment, to understand our culture and history, to appreciate the fine arts and the humanities and to understand major scientific and technological influences in society."
MOTION: Faculty Council shall appoint a committee consisting of members from within and outside Faculty Council with a mandate to review the entire General Education program and make recommendations, via Faculty Council, to the general faculty. If any significant alterations of the General Education program are recommended, Council will hold appropriate open forums on the proposals and hold a ballot to gain the sense of the general faculty. Although this review should encompass all aspects of the General Education program, specific issues that have already been identified for discussion include:
- Is there a need to incorporate a requirement for a course exploring diversity in the General Education curriculum? If so, what would be the parameters of courses which would meet this requirement? The ability of existing courses and faculty to handle the increased demand for these courses should be assessed. In addition, the impact of additional course requirements on students should be evaluated.
- Review and clarify what are the requirements for a laboratory course.
- Review and clarify the role of experiential learning classes (e.g., musical performance) in General Education.
- Review and clarify the requirement that a General Education course should be limited to no more than one prerequisite.
- Review and clarify the requirement that College Algebra (or ACT/SAT scores that exempt the student from it) is both a requirement and prerequisite for courses filling the Math Reasoning Proficiency (MRP) requirement.
- How can the quality of general education at MU be assessed? Review the impact of state mandated entry and exit competencies for General Education classes.
- Review the impact of growing enrollment and stagnant or declining faculty numbers on delivery of capstone and writing intensive courses to students.
- Do MU undergraduates receive an education outside of their major that reflects their abilities, the various strengths of MU, and what the MU faculty thinks a college graduate should know, experience, and be able to do? Evaluate whether the current design of the General Education program meets the goals outlined in the Core Learning Objectives of the University.
- Evaluate whether the current design of the General Education program meets the goals outlined in the Core Learning Objectives of the University.
- Examine if any college or programs have distribution and/or residency requirements that interfere with students' ability to fill General Education requirements in a timely manner and recommend a policy to remove such hindrances.
- Should we add an information literacy requirement? At one point we had a computer — information proficiency (CIP) requirement that was ultimately dropped or handed off to departments and colleges to handle on based on their curriculum needs. However, we infer that our students will be able to "discover" in the general education goals. We have students that trust any web based information. Should we equip our students with the ability to find resources and identify them as scholarly versus popular opinion driven? If we do, should it be required within the first two years, so the students are equipped this way for upper division course work?)
- Is there a need to incorporate a General Education requirement for a service learning course/ community service project?