Revised learning goals

Replacing the “Six Learning Goals of the Baccalaureate,” the UCORE proposal would modify several of the current goals, replaces “self in society” with one called “global diversity” and “specialty” with “depth, breadth, and integration of earning,” and adds a brand new one in “scientific literacy.”  The call for more emphasis on the latter topic was one of the most frequently raised in fall 2010 feedback.

 


Replacing the “Six Learning Goals of the Baccalaureate,” the UCORE proposal would modify several of the current goals, replaces “self in society” with one called “global diversity” and “specialty” with “depth, breadth, and integration of earning,” and adds a brand new one in “scientific literacy.”  The call for more emphasis on the latter topic was one of the most frequently raised in fall 2010 feedback.

 
The UCORE proposal for seven WSU Learning Goals for undergraduates includes:
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Scientific Literacy
  • Information Literacy
  • Communication
  • Global Diversity
  • Depth, Breadth, and Integration of Learning

PULLMAN – A second proposal to revise general education at Washington State University is ready for feedback from the community, the General Education Committee (GEC) reported this week. 

 
The proposal is posted on the Revising General Education website for review and is  titled “University COmmon REquirements” (UCORE). A related online forum site is also available to facilitate discussion among faculty, staff, and students.
 
To help keep the process on schedule, so it can be implemented by fall 2012, the UCORE proposal materials were simultaneously given to members of the Academic Affairs Committee.
 
Community feedback on the proposal to the GEC and to Faculty Senators throughout March and into April is necessary so that the Faculty Senate can consider the proposal for a vote at its April 14 meeting.  That would set the stage for about a year of implementation planning and work that should commence in May, according to the revising general education timeline.
 
The UCORE proposal keeps several widely-desired features as well as incorporates valuable input and suggested changes that were voiced about the first proposal that was made public in fall 2010. That was called the University Learning Requirements (URL) proposal, which is available online with a 15-page document summarizing
feedback to it.
 
“Overall, the General Education Committee believes that this set of features (in UCORE plan) represents a solid improvement over the current program that lays the groundwork for additional improvements when budgetary circumstances allow for
investment in the heart of undergraduate education,” states a cover letter addressed to WSU faculty, staff, and students. Its authors are Tom Tripp, GEC chair, and Mary Wack, vice provost for undergraduate education.
 
The cover letter is posted on the Revising General Education website along with the full UCORE proposal and revised learning goals for undergraduates, plus an updated timeline.
 
“The Gen Ed Committee was tasked by the provost just over a year ago to formulate a general curriculum that works in light of current national literature and trends,” says Tripp. “Our first proposal—called the University Learning Requirements — in fall 2010 was a good beginning at a very revised curriculum.  We received quite a bit of great feedback on it through online and public forums and counter proposals, and we took the concerns and suggestions quite seriously.  In this second proposal — which we’ve called the University COmmon REquirements proposal — we believe that we are on target with what WSU needs and what the community wants for the general education of students across the institution.”
 
Wack encourages faculty, staff, and students to read online the new proposal, learning goals, timeline, and cover letter. “It describes the background of the University COmmon REquirements proposal, offers an at-a-glance comparison of it to the University Learning Requirements proposal as well as to the current General Education Requirements structure, describes the approval process, and gives directions on how to give feedback.”  That will help the Academic Affairs Subcommittee make any needed refinements, allow the Faculty Senate to discuss the proposal at its March 31 meeting, and vote on it at its April 14 meeting.
Some of the highlights of the UCORE proposal are:
* Elimination of the long-used general education tier system
* A new contemporary issues and origins course taught by history, replacing the current Gen Ed 110 and 111 courses and the ULR-proposed first-year seminar
* Inquiry-based courses in social sciences, humanities, creative and professional arts and in the natural sciences, the latter of which advances scientific literacy
* A course on global diversity
* An integrative capstone course
 
Under the proposed plan and timeline, workshops in summer and fall 2011 will focus on implementing the new requirements and applying for University COmmon REquirements status for courses. “There will be a small competitive grants program for course redesign,” according to the cover letter.
 
For many more details on the UCORE proposal and learning goals, visit the Revising General Education website.
 
To join in the discussion and provide feedback, log on to the online forum
on the website, or visit with your Faculty Senator as soon as possible.