General Education Self-Study and Revision
In spring 2017, the UNCG Faculty Senate and UNCG General Education Council approved a call for a task force of UNCG faculty to conduct a self-study of the UNCG General Education Program. From the self-study emerged a Self-Study Report with 3 categories of recommendation for the future of UNCG’s program:
- Improve the Administrative Structure of the General Education Program
- Simplify and clarify the General Education Program
- Build meaningful connections to the General Education Program through high-impact practices and integrative learning
The work of the self-study led to two iterations of the General Education Revision Task Force, which was charged by the Faculty Senate and Provost with the following directives:
- Simplify the program to increase “ease of use” by faculty, staff, and students
- Develop a program using a competency model
- Include the 5 core competencies endorsed by the Faculty Senate: written communication, oral communication, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and information literacy
- Limit the total hours in the general education program to 34 student credit hours
Following an intensive general education self-study (2017) and two iterations of the General Education Revision Task Force (2018, 2019), the Faculty Senate voted to endorse a new UNCG general education program on October 19, 2019. Additional historical information is available here.
Minerva’s Academic Curriculum conceptualizes a framework structured around competency achievement and includes “areas of knowledge.” Through MAC coursework, undergraduate students will engage in learning experiences to achieve 11 competencies across an equal number of courses, totaling 33-34 semester hours. The competencies established within the MAC are:
- Written Communication
- Oral Communication
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Health & Wellness
- Critical Thinking and Inquiry in the Humanities and Fine Arts
- Critical Thinking and Inquiry in the Social & Behavioral Sciences
- Critical Thinking and Inquiry in the Natural Sciences
- Global Engagement and Intercultural Learning through the Humanities and Fine Arts OR through the Social & Behavioral Sciences
- Diversity & Equity through the Humanities and Fine Arts OR through the Social & Behavioral Sciences
- Data Analysis and Interpretation in the Natural Sciences
Courses addressing each of these competencies will be taught within disciplinary or interdisciplinary contexts. However, the competencies are to be foregrounded as the primary learning objectives, giving that teaching the competencies is the primary purpose of the courses approved for delivering the educational mission of Minerva’s Academic Curriculum.
In addition to the Task Force’s final proposal, two additional documents were developed and shared with the UNCG community as materials to be considered as part of the proposal’s implementation:
- DRAFT Student Learning Outcomes and Rubrics that were crafted as part of the proposal definition process. These SLOs and measurements are being considered during the implementation phase and reflect, to a large extent, the intended outcomes for this proposed program.
- Implementation Considerations were presented as points that the Task Force deliberated on and ultimately recommended for consideration as the program and its processes are developed. They informed the final proposal, but were not resolved in the proposal.
The Task Force Final Report and General Education proposal was approved by the UNCG Faculty Senate on October 19, 2019. Implementation efforts will continue through the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic year.
More information on the work of the General Education Revision Task Force, including definitions for the competencies and the areas of knowledge is available in the task force’s Final Report.