Date of Senate Approval 04/24/03
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Statement of Faculty Senate Action:
APC 61: Proposal For a Revised General Education Architecture
(Presented to the Senate by the General Education Review Task Force
7 March 2003)
APC's Review of the General Education Review Task Force's proposal
In line with the Feb. 8, 2001, Sense of the Senate Resolution to Authorize a General Education Review Task Force (GERTF), the Academic Policies Committee has reviewed the GERTF proposal for a revised General Education Architecture presented to the Senate on March 7, 2003. It is our finding that the proposal meets the charge as set out in 2001.
The proposed architecture addresses "APC's findings on and recommendations regarding our current General Education curriculum." It reflects recommendations "made by the Chancellor's Task Forces on Diversity, Retention, and Partnerships." Furthermore, it responds (especially through its Listening Project) "to the interests, needs, and values of our faculty from across the divisions and addresses the changing conditions faced by students, faculty, and the community since the establishment of [our] current program." Finally, it fulfills the promise of GERTF's own statement of Mission and Goals for General Education as well as its own Institutional Principles of Design.
Therefore, APC endorses GERTF's proposal for a revised General Education Architecture.
We believe this proposal highlights the centrality of the general education curriculum to education at a liberal arts university. Having an integrated general education program administered by a specifically designated body and assessed on an on-going basis communicates to everyone the importance of this aspect of academic life. Students will benefit from the interconnections worked into the curriculum, and faculty will benefit from opportunities to pursue their teaching and scholarship in an expanded interdisciplinary context. We are excited by the possibilities for growth in our understanding of the liberal arts through enacting this proposal.
We move the adoption of this General Education Architecture with the attached stipulations and questions needing answers before final approval of curricular documents and implementation of the program.
Stipulations for on-going General Education design and implementation
1. Guarantee openness and sufficient time for consideration of subsequent steps
2. Coordinate GERTF's on-going work with APC and other relevant offices
3. Spell out phase-in process
4. Specify the nature and extent of administrative and faculty oversight
5. Specify eventual assessment procedures and timetables
6. Identify and minimize potential inequities
a. for students in different majors, minors, and programs
(e.g., double-dipping, hidden requirements)
b. for non-traditional students and transfers
c. for faculty of different ranks and across departments
7. Define key issues and concepts in the proposed revisions, including the following:
Core experience. How much core content and common experience will be expected of the overall program and each of its components: colloquia, humanities, lab science, math, cluster, intensive, composition, arts, health and wellness, and foreign language requirements?
Diversity. What does the taskforce mean by "diversity," and what is the role of diversity in the general education curriculum?
Intensive courses. What does "intensive" mean in terms of diversity, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and writing courses?
Interdisciplinarity. What does the taskforce mean by and expect in terms of interdisciplinary work among faculty and students?
Integration. What will integration look like--of general education at large? of particular elements, such as clusters?
Questions about resource impacts
1. What funding will be needed (and available) to support faculty development of new courses and programs?
2. What, if any, additional space and equipment will be needed?
3. What new demands will be made of teaching, advising, and administrative staff?
4. How will the program affect majors, minors, and programs across divisions?
Questions about topical clusters
1. How will clusters operate?
2. How many clusters, courses within clusters, sections of courses will be offered?
3. How will clusters be created? How will they be ended? How long will they be sustained?
4. Will students be able to design their own clusters?
5. How much coordination will be needed among faculty teaching within clusters?
6. What is the acceptable scope of a cluster? How wide? How narrow?
7. Will a two-cluster requirement be feasible/desirable?
8. What about "double-dipping"? To what extent will students be able to satisfy multiple requirements with single courses?
9. Will courses with prerequisites be allowed in clusters?
10. How will students be made aware of cluster availability and expiration?
11. What will happen to students who lose their clusters?
Questions about catalogue changes
1. In what form (and order) will proposed changes to the catalogue come to APC?
2. Will all proposed documents come from GERTF, or will some come from departments, programs, or other offices?
The General Education Review Task Force is presenting this two-part proposal, through the
office of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, to the Senate and APC for their consideration.
Attached as appendices are three additional documents: 1) The Statement of Institutional
Principles for the Design of a Revised General Education Curriculum; 2) A Sample Chart of
Requirements for the Revised General Education Curriculum; and 3) A Sample Checklist of
Requirements for the Revised General Education Curriculum, which is based on the Registrar's
current format for the document.
Part I: The Integrative Liberal Studies (ILS) Program
GERTF proposes that the Senate approve the following architecture for a revised general education curriculum, charging the GERTF to move on to assembling appropriate documents for implementing the program:
Total credit hours: 49 credit hours (and a distribution of intensive courses, that can be taken in or outside the general education curriculum)
I: The Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquium--Frequently, the concept of the liberal arts is unfamiliar to students as they enter UNCA. Students may be unaware of the challenges and opportunities a liberal arts education offers, and how they might differ from those at other types of institutions. The LSIC is a topical seminar with a writing-intensive and FYE component; equally important, the course will introduce students to the study and construction of knowledge in the liberal arts setting. LSIC may also have D, Q, or I designations.
II: The Skills and Methods Courses--Critical thinking, written communication, quantitative reasoning, scientific method and practice, and foreign language skills are necessary for a liberal education which enables life-long learning. Through the acquisition and development of these skills, a liberal arts education allows individuals to construct and evaluate knowledge.
III: ILS Humanities Core and Topical Clusters--As part of their liberal arts education, students should have exposure to the Humanities in their historical development. Liberal arts students should experience how the disciplines investigate, understand and construct bodies of knowledge differently, through a range of concepts and methods. A liberal arts education exposes the student to the ways that individual disciplines approach those topics, problems, and issues that inform the human condition. Such an education creates opportunities for students to experience the many points of contact and divergence across the curriculum.
This program has two primary dimensions. First, students take a historical core sequence in the Humanities that examines the intellectual and cultural development of Western and non-Western systems of belief and practice. Second, students fulfill topical cluster component that explores a problem, issue, or idea, engaging it through disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods.
The Humanities Core: Students will take 3 courses in the Humanities Core sequence; students may also take an additional course in the Arts within this Core, unless they choose to fulfill the Arts requirement elsewhere in the curriculum (see below).
The Topical Clusters: A cluster is a set of courses that explore a problem, issue or idea, engaging it through disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods. Students must complete 5 courses from two clusters, and their choices must include 2 Social Science courses, 1 Natural Science course, and 1 Arts course, unless they use another route for the Arts requirement (see below).
The Arts: The Arts are a central part of a true liberal arts education, and have traditionally brought together widely ranging ideas, beliefs, and practices into a creative synthesis. In the Arts requirement, students will have an intellectual engagement with Art and the creative process. This engagement may take several forms, depending on a student's needs and interest. The Arts requirement may be taken as part of the ILS Core, either through the Arts and Ideas Program or as a 3-hour course linked to one of the 3 courses in the Historical Core. In addition, this requirement may also be satisfied in an ILS Cluster, as a topical course; or by taking 3 hours, in any combination, of applied art courses or workshops from an approved list in the catalog.
IV: Liberal Studies Intensive Courses--An integrative liberal arts experience allows students to develop skills and extend their learning throughout their university career. This type of education also promotes linkage across the curriculum. Intensive Courses offer curricular emphases in skills and content areas as a way for students to deepen their Liberal Studies education and integrate it with other offerings in their academic experience. Students may take courses designated as Intensives within the general education program, in their majors, or among their electives. These courses do not add credit hours, but need to be fulfilled for graduation.
V: Health Promotion and Wellness--Aristotle argued that for a life that is flourishing and self-aware a sound body is as important as a sound mind. This course introduces students to theories of health and wellness, and includes their application to physical activity.
VI: The Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium--Liberal arts study encourages a synthesis of the wide range of experience--curricular and co-curricular--that a student will have during his or her academic career. The Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium is a topical seminar and capstone experience for the general education program at UNCA, which offers students the opportunity to bring together the wide array of interests and learning they have acquired in the course of their studies. Each LSSC will examine its topic through an inter- or multi-disciplinary approach, which will include the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. The Senior Colloquium will include an element of experience that extends the topics under discussion by incorporating a project for each student. Such projects may involve service learning, an internship experience, research, or creative performance. The internship or research may have been done within the student's major if it can be effectively communicated to the other members of the class.
Part II: General Education and Faculty Reward
GERTF proposes that the Senate endorse the principle that faculty participation in the general education program be incorporated in any performance review processes, in order that contributions can be appropriately recognized and hence available for resulting rewards and acknowledgement.
Statement of Rationale
The General Education Review Task Forces advances this Proposal For a Revised General Education Architecture as an expression of two institutional statements of purpose, the Mission of the University of North Carolina at Asheville (available at the following URL: http://www.unca.edu/welcome/mission.html) and the GERTF Mission Statement for General Education at UNCA (available at the following URL: http://www.unca.edu/genedrev/Mission%20Statement%20and%20Goals.htm).
This proposal is rooted in a process that began in February 2000 and encompassed five campus-wide efforts: the Learning Circles on Student Development; the Chancellor's Taskforces efforts on Retention, Curriculum, and Diversity; the GERTF role in the SACS Enhancement Self-Study; the APC Review of General Education; and the GERTF Listening Project. The Learning Circles on Student Development culminated in a retreat that targeted areas in which students' learning experiences at the University might offer opportunities for revisions in the curriculum and co-curriculum. The Chancellor's Taskforce Reports indicated areas in student retention, curricular development, and diversity that required attention. The SACS Self-Study required GERTF to develop a set of self-directive recommendations for curricular, institutional and fiscal reform necessary for implementing a revised general education program. The APC Review of General Education issued reports on each general education component and how well it fulfilled our current charge, advancing recommendations both for each program element and for the program as a whole. During the Listening Project, the GERTF went into each department to discuss with faculty their visions of general education, soliciting ideas about what works in the program, what does not work, and what innovations or revisions ought to be considered.
Following these five efforts, GERTF drafted a Statement of Institutional Principles for the Design of a Revised General Education Curriculum. GERTF drafted the document in response to the issues highlighted in each of the efforts outlined above, in order to articulate the needs and interests that the campus community had identified. This document identified the principles that the design of a revised general education program would follow. It was intended to elicit from the faculty and staff what the revised design should look like in conforming to its stated principles.
This Proposal For a Revised General Education Architecture puts forward a curricular structure designed to operationalize the Statement of Institutional Principles for the Design of a Revised General Education Curriculum. The aim of this proposal, then, is to satisfy the objectives laid out in this Statement of Institutional Principles for Design, as they appear in Appendix 1. Primary objectives of the proposal include facilitating program linkages, curricular integration, and faculty and student choice.
There is a reduction of credit-hours required by the general education program. The curriculum will include a Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquium and a Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium; a number of Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquia will also be offered for entering transfer students (all Introductory Colloquia will be Writing Intensive). This proposed general education curriculum reallocates faculty resources from Language 101 and Humanities 414 to the two Colloquia.
Departments in the Social and Natural Sciences will be asked to allow interested faculty to offer general education courses to be delivered within topical clusters. Other departments will be asked to allow interested faculty to offer electives, when feasible within resource constraints, to be delivered within topical clusters. Departments will be asked to allow interested faculty to teach collaboratively, as resource constraints allow. Departments will be asked to developed courses in one or more of the intensives offerings: writing, diversity, quantitative reasoning, and information literacy. Most departments already have courses that qualify for one or more of these intensives, with quantitative intensives and diversity intensives likely being the areas in need of the most development.
The VCAA and the three AVCAAs will work with the individual(s) coordinating the general education program to ensure that departments contribute the required number of faculty to offer necessary program components. The Registrar's Office, Administrative Computing, Advising, Institutional Research, and the individual(s) coordinating the general education program will work together to ensure adequate tracking of student progress, proper advisement, and effective allocation of resources.
Before 1 November 2003, catalogue copy detailing the general education program and charges for specific curriculum components will come before APC and the Senate. Proposals for faculty governance of the program components, and documents addressing how faculty contributions to general education will be considered in the performance review process for purposes of merit and reward, will come before FWDC and the Senate.
For Informational Purposes Only
Appendix 1: Statement of Institutional Principles for the Design of a Revised General Education Curriculum
1. The design will create balance both among the components of general education and among the divisions in ways that strengthen the students' experience and enhance opportunities for student choice throughout the curriculum.
2. The design will create links among the disciplines and between the divisions. The design will enhance opportunities for general education and the major to mutually support each other.
3. The design will not increase the number of required credit hours in general education.
4. The design will take into account students' progression from the freshman to senior years. Students will take general education courses throughout their undergraduate academic career. The design will reflect coherence throughout the general education program.
5. The design will reflect the importance of students having a core experience in the general education curriculum.
6. The design will offer students opportunities for depth in the general education curriculum, as well as for breadth.
Curriculum and Pedagogy
7. The design will ensure coverage of the knowledge domains and skills, as stated in the Mission Statement and Goals for General Education at UNCA. The design will encourage the extension and application of these knowledge domains and skills elsewhere in the curriculum. [Note: The Faculty Senate has placed the SACS-mandated competencies (oral communication and computer use) in the degree programs.]
8. The design will reflect UNCA's institutional mission to provide diversity-informed learning experiences for all students. While diversity may be broadly construed, for their primary focus, these experiences will examine sexism, racism, and other related forms of oppression/discrimination.
9. The design will encourage collaborative and integrative pedagogical and curricula innovation, such as linked courses, learning communities, course clusters, and other teaching strategies.
10. The design will ensure that writing and critical thinking will be integral throughout the general education program. The design will support the integration of writing and critical thinking into other areas of the curriculum. Students will learn to write and think critically in connection to content and practice.
11. The design will embed and integrate information literacy and library-resource use into general education at multiple levels. Students will learn information literacy and library-resource use in connection to content and practice.
12. The design will encourage faculty to direct students toward participation in curricular enhancements, such as service learning, undergraduate research, internships, international study, and/or off-campus learning experiences.
Institutional and Administrative Support
13. The design will reflect the central importance of general education to the University's mission. Therefore, general education will figure prominently in faculty recruitment, hiring, retention, reappointment, promotion, tenure, and annual merit evaluation.
14. The design will promote the delivery of general education courses predominantly by fulltime faculty. Commitment to general education will figure prominently in departmental budget allocations.
Appendix 2: Sample Chart of Requirements for the Revised General Education Curriculum
The Proposed Integrative Liberal Studies Architecture
I. Required courses
Course Credits Role
Language 102 3 Skills and methods
Math 4 Skills and methods
Natural Science lab 4 Skills and methods
Foreign Language courses 6 Skills and methods
Health and Wellness 2 Health promotion
Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquium 3 Liberal studies introduction
ILS Humanities 124 4 Historical core
ILS Humanities 214 4 Historical core
ILS Humanities 324 4 Historical core
Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium 3 Liberal studies capstone
Natural Science non-lab course 3
Social Science courses 6
A cluster is a set of courses that explore a problem, issue or idea, engaging it through disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods. Students must complete 5 courses from two clusters, and their choices must include 2 Social Science courses, 1 Natural Science course, and 1 Arts course, unless they use another route for the Arts requirement.
V. Intensive Courses
Intensive Courses offer curricular emphases in skills and content areas as a way for students to integrate their Liberal Studies education with other offerings in their academic experience. Students may take courses designated as Intensives within the ILS program, in their majors, or among their electives. These courses do not add credit hours, but need to be fulfilled for graduation.
Course Hours required to fulfill
Diversity Intensive (D) 6
Writing Intensive (W) (1) 6
Quantitative Intensive (Q) 3
Information Literacy Intensive (I) (2) 3
Appendix 3: Sample Checklist of Requirements for the Revised General Education Curriculum
Integrative Liberal Studies Requirement Checklist
X--Requirement fulfilled with UNCA course
T--Requirement fulfilled by transfer (see transfer evaluation)
|X or T||
|LSIC 100 (3)||FR||Transfer students will take LSIC 300|
|ILSA (3)||May be taken as part of ILS Core (ILSA 310, ILSA 124, ILSA 214, or ILSA 324); or in an ILS Cluster, as a topical ILSA; or 3 hours, in any combination of applied art courses or workshops from an approved list in the catalog|
|ILSH 124 (x)||FR||Prerequisites: Lang 102 or concurrent.|
|ILSH 214 (x)||SO||Prerequisites: Lang 102, ILSH 124.|
|ILSH 324 (x)||JR||Prerequisites: Lang 102, ILSH 124, 214.|
|LSSC 400 (3)||SR||Prerequisites: Lang 102, ILSH 124, 214, 324 ; 90 earned hrs.|
|Lang 102 (3)||FR|
|Lab Science (4)||Astr/Atms/Biol/Chem/Envr/Phys 105 or 8 hour approved sequence with lab from Bio 210/211; Chem 111/132/144; Phys 131/231; Phys 221/222|
|ILSN (3)||Taken in an ILS Cluster|
Foreign Language I (3)
|The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied in one of two ways: by demonstrating proficiency through the 220-level for any language studied at another institution or in high school; or by demonstrating proficiency through the 120-level for any language not studied at another institution or in high school. Additional hour may be required in some majors.|
Foreign Language II (3)
|ILSS (3)||Taken in an ILS Cluster|
|ILSS (3)||Taken in an ILS Cluster|
|Math (4)||May take any Math- or Stat-prefix course.|
May be taken in the ILS Program, in the Major, or among Electives
|Writing (3)||LSIC 100|
|Information Literacy (3)||Lang 102|
|Information Literacy (3)|
|ILS Cluster I||Students must complete 5 courses from two clusters, and their choices must include 2 ILSS, 1 ILSN, and 1 ILSA course, unless they use another route for the ILSA requirement. Students may take electives in the cluster to satisfy this requirement|
|ILS Cluster II||
ILSS= Integrative Liberal Studies Social Science
ILSN= Integrative Liberal Studies Natural Science
ILSH= Integrative Liberal Studies Humanities Core
ILSA= Integrative Liberal Studies Arts
LSIC=Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquium
LSSC=Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium
1.1 All Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquia have a "W" designation. Students will thus take a total of 9 hours of W-designated coursework.
2. 2 Language 102 will have an "I" designation. Students will take an additional 3 hours of I-designated coursework, for a total of 6 hours.