What are the recognized “best practices” today in general education?
General education programs should have a discernable beginning, middle, and end. This allows students to progress over time in their cognitive skills. Earlier courses may put more emphasis on memorizing and comprehending, but later courses should emphasize higher level learning skills: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Other best practices today include having a Portal course, which fosters critical thinking skills early on, as well as a Capstone, which requires students to demonstrate their competence in higher level critical thinking skills.
Did UNK consider successful general education models at other universities?
Both the Roundtable and the General Studies Council looked at numerous samples of general education programs. Included in these samples were 20+ programs considered by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) to be “promising models” that represent best practices. The focus of the General Studies Council is to create a program that reflects national best practices, aligns with UNK’s mission statement and strategic plan, and supports the best traditions of a UNK general education.
Is the proposed curriculum the same one from the Roundtable?
The model that the General Studies Council is currently working with is largely informed by the Roundtable. The Roundtable included approximately 40 faculty colleagues from all colleges and the library, at all ranks and lengths of service.
How does First Year Experience fit in with the proposed General Studies program?
The First Year Experience (FYE) program will be on hiatus during 2009-2010 while UNK reevaluates the mission and scope of the program. The proposed curriculum seeks include some effective FYE practices that will help students understand the purpose of possessing a general education.