A New Approach, A New Program

Click here to see the new proposal for General Education Requirements at UAF

After new Student Learning Outcomes were passed by Faculty Senate in 2011, GERC was charged with developing a General Education curriculum. Over the past several years, faculty on the General Education Revitalization Committee (GERC), in consultation with faculty across UAF, have created a DRAFT  curricular outline  for General Education to achieve the following goals.

Note that this new outline does not currently propose changes to any current degree requirements or major requirements.

  1. summary of new plan
  2. Implications for assessment
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Comparison Old and New

10 Replies to “A New Approach, A New Program”

  1. Hi Leah,
    After you left we started talking that we don’t want to “evoke” any kind of past or history with this. We want to present it as is, and evoke forward thinking.

    So, I made a change.

  2. Civic engagement is a deeply personal choice and I find it doubtful that requiring 9 credits toward trying to encourage students to be engaged is useful college education. It looks good on paper, nice strong keywords that make people feel good, but the practical effect those credits actually have is questionable.

    It would, in my opinion, be far better to teach personal finance management (3-4 credits) and educate students on that the credit score is actually a debt score and that the home they may want to buy is a liability and not an asset. That’s practical knowledge that will serve students well in their personal and professional lives.

    Also, the GER needs more math, and you may want to consider dropping a programming course for non-programmers in there. Everyone should know how to program, doesn’t matter whether they are in an Engineering or CLA program. See “What most schools don’t teach”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKIu9yen5nc

    • Peter’s last point on the importance of coding resonates with me. Perhaps certain ‘coding courses’ could carry the C attribute. Knowing how to code is having a key communication tool in your toolbox.

  3. The faculty and I in the Justice Dept. have reviewed the proposed changes, and we are in favor and excited about the options that it provides for students. Thanks for your efforts.

  4. In my opinion, it is going to add a whole another layer of work onto the students to map out their courses to graduate in a timely fashion. Which is the opposite the “finish in 4” initiative. It is going to make it much more difficult for students to transfer to UAF from other colleges & universities. Most college track high school students start at out of state institution and then come back to Alaska to finish. This is going to impose a bunch of additional work on faculty to bring existing courses into compliance, not to mention the efforts that will be required for AOL for each of these designators. I don’t even want to think about how this effects students that take a lot of online courses.

  5. The proposal to change ‘O’ and ‘W’ courses to the nebulous ‘C’ category seems problematic. Our students need both oral presentation AND writing experience and those that abhor one or the other will be able to skirt them under the ‘C’ courses. I would endorse wholesale simplification of ‘O’ and ‘W’ course requirements before lumping them under a single, more nebulous category.

  6. My objections are philosophical and practical:
    1) I believe that the goals of higher education should naturally produce the results that are being codified by the proposed GER. I believe that it undermines the academic freedom of the higher education experience to regulate students so tightly. Hopefully the classes as we already teach them will naturally bring the results described here; otherwise I don’t see how adding a letter will change anything except to make things more complicated and CONFUSING. Which brings me to the practical considerations:
    2) how will transfer students get their letters? it’s already hard enough for them to get credit for a class.
    3) i imagine i would have to revise my syllabi to cover as many letters as possible, and then go through the review process for any letter. In addition to all the committees we already have, will we need another committee for each letter?
    4) advising students is already difficult because we need to know all the W and O classes. It will become much harder with more letters and I think it will be very frustrating for the students.
    5) I imagine that many professors will try to work around (rather than toward) the objectives so these extra regulations (and that’s honestly how I see them, as more rules) will ultimately satisfy only the letter and not the spirit of the objectives.
    Which really brings me back to my original viewpoint/opinion, which is that the university should make its main objectives known and trust its faculty to meet them because we all have the best interests of the students in mind.

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