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Nov 9 / Thomas Fischer

Perspectives On Our Current General Education Program

As an integral part of our process, the General Education Reform Committee  (GERC) held a series of focus groups with the campus community on our shared vision for General Education (GenEd). Our conversations were centered around three main areas:

  1. Perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of our current program
  2. Our shared values for general education
  3. Goals and outcomes for a future general education program

This is to announce the availability of our first integrative summary of these sessions, Perspectives On Our Current GenEd Program. These summaries are organized around points of consensus that emerged from the focus groups, supplemented by responses on campus-wide surveys we administered in parallel to these sessions. An overview of our process of data collection, focus group data, and survey responses are posted here:

In our discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of the current program, several themes emerged:

  1. Change is needed, and it needs to be substantial.
  2. Breadth of exposure and foundational knowledge and skills are viewed as valuable components of our current program.
  3. Structural and implementation issues undermine the desired outcomes for a Gen Ed Program. In particular, there is a clear lack of integration or coherence in the way our current program is structured.
  4. “One size fits all” design does not; our program is viewed as not addressing the range of student needs or interests.

We invite you to read the summary, which you can download directly here.  We would love to hear what you think about these data. You can leave public comments directly on this blog, or you can contact the committee through our email address:

For the GERC,

Tom Fischer

Associate Professor of Psychology, and committee co-chair

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