Engaging GenEd (verb): To become involved
Engaging GenEd (adjective): Attractive, drawing favorable attention or interest
One of the early discussions in the General Education Reform Committee (GERC) was how we might succinctly capture the work of our committee to help identify our website and other communications. This turned out to be an interesting discussion, since it compelled us to boil down the essence of what we are trying to achieve into a simple phrase. In the end, we decided on “EngagingGenEd”. We were attracted to the double meaning of this conjugation of words, which we felt reflected both our process and our goals: we want to engage the campus community in a vibrant discussion, and we want to ensure our curriculum is engaging for both our current and future students.
The GERC is charged with examining our current general education curriculum and making recommendations for any possible changes. Our goal is to ensure that general education reflects the mission of Wayne State University and the values and goals of its faculty, staff, and students. To this end, we strive to actively and continuously engage the WSU community in this process. Our new web site “EngagingGenEd” (http://www.wayne.edu/engaging-gened) provides a central hub for our activities. Here you can learn about the “roadmap” we are following, and examine the variety of information that will help to shape our work. Importantly, the website provides a means for you to join the conversation, from commenting on blog posts, submitting position papers, or communicating directly with committee members. The website is just one way we are reaching out to and updating the community. We are holding a series of focus groups with university stakeholders; a schedule of these meetings can be found on our website. In the coming months, we are also administering campus-wide surveys, meeting with other university committees, and planning a series of Town Hall meetings with the university community.
An engaging curriculum can and should mean more than coursework that holds interest for students. It can mean a curriculum in which a student is actively engaged in their learning. It can mean a curriculum that supports students in becoming active members of the university community, engaged with faculty, staff, and their fellow students. It can mean a curriculum that faculty feel excited about and eager to manifest. It can also mean engagement that reflects the mission and identity of the university, both in our scholarly and creative work as well as in our contributions to Detroit and surrounding communities. How can this best be achieved? This is the discussion we wish to have with you!
We invite you to join the conversation at http://www.wayne.edu/engaging-gened, and we look forward to hearing your views.
Tom Fischer, Associate Professor of Psychology