PULLMAN – A fresh look at general education is the focus of the General Education Visioning Committee, appointed by Warwick Bayly, acting provost, to provide a vision and strategy by April 1.
 
The committee was formed in response to a goal in the April 2008 Academic Affairs Program Prioritization to “review the philosophy and restructure the overall content of general education.” General education is required for all undergraduates at WSU.
 

Carol Ivory

Led by Carol Ivory, chair of fine arts, the committee will look at the most fundamental and important goals of an undergraduate education, at employer needs, and at research into the topic of general education.

 
“The committee will have the opportunity to re-envision the ideal WSU graduate and how the university prepares our graduates to take their place in the world,” she said.
 
“A general education program distinguishes colleges and universities from trade and technical schools and provides a breadth of education beyond a single profession,” she said. “Students in general education engage with broad fields of inquiry and develop essential skills — such as communication and critical thinking — over the course of their degrees.”
 
A “substantial and coherent” program of general education in the undergraduate curriculum is required for the university to be accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
 
Changes to the general education curriculum would not affect WSU students for at least two years. The work of the committee likely would be followed with detailed community discussion of curriculum and feasibility. The final phase would be the implementation. 
The WSU general education curriculum also must be coordinated with the state’s two-year college system; nearly half of the students graduating from WSU with a baccalaureate degree are transfer students.
 

Committee members

Bill Andrefsky, professor and chair, anthropology, College of Liberal Arts;
Matt Carroll, professor, natural resource sciences, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences;
Sandy Cooper, associate professor, mathematics, College of Sciences;
Len Foster, associate dean, College of Education;
Carl Hauser, associate professor, electrical engineering and computer science, College of Engineering and Architecture.
Carol Ivory, professor and chair, fine arts, College of Liberal Arts; 
Susan Poch, associate vice president, educational development, Division of Student Affairs, Equity and Diversity;
Dick Pratt, vice chancellor, WSU Tri-Cities;
Tom Tripp, professor, business, WSU Vancouver;
Mary Wack, vice provost, Undergraduate Education.
 
Updated minutes, agendas, links to resources and other information will be available on the committee’s website ONLINE @ https://teamsite.oue.wsu.edu/progeval/GenEdVis/default.aspx.