|Provost's General Education Task Force provides update|
The Provost’s General Education Task Force has been working hard this fall to finalize its proposal for a new general education program at UND. After a year of work investigating the strengths and weaknesses of our current general education program, as well as researching best practices in general education, the task force held a retreat on Aug. 17, where members decided to further investigate six possible features of a new general education program. These include:
• Communications: Revising the current communications requirement to possibly include an advanced communication requirement or an oral communications requirement.
• Diversity: Changing the current goal of “familiarity with cultures other than your own” to include more focused study of both U.S. and global diversity.
• Quantitative Reasoning: Possibility of adding a new general education goal that would require students to recognize, evaluate, and use different forms of quantitative information in problem solving.
• UND Freshman Seminar: Possibility of a required course which would focus on reading, discussing and debating a “big idea” which would help freshmen students advance their academic skills in critical thinking and communication to the college level.
• Senior Capstone Seminar: Possibility of a required course, either in the major or interdisciplinary, which would draw on students’ advanced intellectual skills and work towards the advanced educational aims described in UND’s mission statement.
• Information Literacy: Possibility that gen ed courses be asked to teach students how to access, evaluate and apply information effectively, efficiently and ethically in a variety of contexts.
General Education Task Force members represent a wide variety of academic colleges and departments as well student services. The 2006-07 members include: Joey Benoit (dean of Graduate School), Donna Brown (Indian Studies), Lisa Burger (Student Services), Matthew Cavalli (Mechanical Engineering), Bruce Dearden (Mathematics), Jay Fisher (student representative), Joan Hawthorne (Assistant Provost) Art Jones (Art), Pam Kalbfleisch (Communications), Anne Kelsch (History), Kimberely Kenville (Aviation), Evguenii Kozliak (Chemistry), Ray Lagasse (International Programs), Steve Light (Political Science), Helen Melland (Nursing), Pat O’Neill (Economics), Martha Potvin (dean of Arts and Sciences), Sally Pyle (Honors), Libby Rankin (Instructional Development), Dan Rice (dean of Education and Human Development), Lori Robison (English), Ike Schlosser (Biology), Tom Steen (Physical Education and Exercise Science), Daphne Stevens (Sociology), and Anne Walker (Teaching and Learning).
If you have questions about the General Education Task Force, or want a task force member to speak to your department, please contact Anne Kelsch or Tom Steen, co-chairs of the General Education Task Force, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments on the proposed features of a new general education program should also be sent to the co-chairs. The Task Force’s next meeting is Oct. 20. Updated news from the Task Force will be published regularly in the University Letter.
-- Anne Walker, Associate Professor, Teaching & Learning, Provost General Education Task Force, email@example.com, 777-3162