Faculty Senate to vote on new general education requirements in October
The Senate of the Faculty of the University of Alabama is evaluating new models of curriculum for general education requirements. The Faculty Senate will vote on the two models offered at its meeting on October 19.
In the fall of 2018, Kevin Whitaker, then Rector, formed the General Education Working Group to assess current general education requirements and integrate skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving. problems.
“The program challenges students to develop their logical and creative abilities by providing transformational and integrative learning experiences that complement the undergraduate major,” according to the general education goal statement of the University.
The task force referred to a much larger and changing student body as the main reason for changing general education requirements. According to the task force, both models will prepare students better for their future success than the current model.
Both the TIDE model and the Pathways model require a total of 43 credit hours. The current model of general education requires 53 credit hours.
Essential Learning Course Template + TIDE
The first proposal is the Essential Learning + TIDE course model, which will include four different sections: Bama Beginnings, Foundations, Essential Learning + TIDE and High Impact Experiences.
Bama Beginnings, which is included in both models offered, represents two credit hours of required curriculum. The first semester would educate students on the Credo Capstone, and the second semester would focus on applying the credo. Community engagement will be presented in this section.
The foundations will require 18 hours of lessons, including six hours of written composition, three hours of quantitative or statistical literacy, six hours of foreign language and three hours of digital literacy.
The Essential Learning + TIDE courses will consist of 20 hours of compulsory coursework on human cultures, the physical and natural world, and the creative arts.
Students will be expected to take courses in teamwork and problem solving, inquiry and analysis, digital and information literacy, and ethical reasoning. This will include one TIDE course from each category and then an additional course from one category of choice.
The High Impact Experiences will last three hours and will recommend courses in Community Engagement, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Advanced Communication.
The second model is the Pathways model, which has four sections: Bama Beginnings, Foundations, Pathways, and High Impact Experiences.
This model aims to better serve minority and first generation students, who academic research shows are underserved by the current general education model.
“What a Pathways model tries to do that the old distribution model doesn’t do is try to give consistency to that distribution,” said Erik Peterson, working group member and associate professor of history. “He’s trying to say why you have to take these private lessons to get your degree. “
The Bama Beginnings section is identical in both models. The Pathways model requires almost the same courses for the Foundations section, with only 15 hours required.
The Pathways model requires 26 semester hours for the trails section.
“Each way has the same set [of requirements] but not the same courses, ”said Peterson.
Peterson said the diversity, equity and inclusion class required by the two models is different from current UA course offerings.
He also said that what will determine the difference between each path will be its theme. The working group plans to survey faculty to choose themes if this model is chosen.
Much like the TIDE model, the High Impact Practices section requires six semester hours in the student’s major which are classified as Advanced Communications, three semester hours in a Synthesis Major class, and a varying number of hours in a community engagement course.