General Education Review

Charge to the General Education Taskforce

The University of Alabama General Education Taskforce (GET) is charged to lead a campus-wide review of The University of Alabama’s general education requirements and experiences and to develop a comprehensive plan for general education that connects the learning goals of the major, the work of Student Life, and a curriculum that further supports the development of curious learners, critical and creative thinkers, and informed and engaged citizens.

The development of a well-educated undergraduate involves more than a collection of courses that lead to a degree. Students should engage in courses and experiences that are dynamic and integrative. To that end, the General Education Taskforce is charged with detecting the UA community’s expectations of general education and the current general education experiences at UA, comparing them with research-based practices that support student learning and success, and identifying the processes needed to develop, approve, implement, assess, and periodically review a responsive, dynamic program of general education.

This review should include an inventory of existing experiences, benchmarking with peer and aspirant institutions, consulting with colleagues, students, and staff through surveys and listening sessions, and identifying research-based practices that support student learning and success. Throughout this review and subsequent development of a comprehensive plan for general education, there are many questions to be considered. However, the fundamental questions that the GET should use to frame its inquiry and operations are:

  1. What does the UA community expect all graduates to have gained from their undergraduate experiences at UA? What are the fundamental skills, abilities, and behaviors that every UA student should develop as a result of completing the general education requirements?
  2. What are the purposes of a general education program?
  3. What is the process for revision, ratification, implementation, ongoing review, administration, and assessment of a comprehensive plan for general education?

Background

In 2017, the University of Alabama’s Core Curriculum Oversight Committee requested that Provost Kevin Whitaker form a taskforce to review the current Core Curriculum and address requests for changes. To learn more about general education, the team attended the AAC&U Institute on General Education and Assessment in Salt Lake City in June, 2018.

To provide a framework and focus for the development of the General Education Revision process, the General Education Workgroup developed a guiding or working vision, Improving the Essential Experiences of General Educaiton, about what they believe general education experiences should look like and that describes the ideal student graduate of the University of Alabama.

The General Education Workgroup:

• Dr. Cory Armstrong, Chair, Journalism and Creative Media, professor, Journalism
• Dr. Luoheng Han, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, professor, Geography
• Dr. Ray White, Associate Dean A&S, professor, Physics & Astronomy
• Dr. Liza Wilson, Senior Associate Dean, Education, professor, Education
• Dr. Ginger Bishop, Director of Institutional Effectiveness

Timeline developed by the General Education Workgroup:


Four-year timeline to review and assess existing general education courses and experiences. See the Working Group’s Improving the Essential Experiences of General Education for a more complete description of the timeline stages.

General Education Taskforce

The members of the General Education Taskforce have been selected to lead a campus-wide review of The University of Alabama’s general education experiences and to develop a comprehensive plan for general education.