|UND picks up national award for general education improvement|
The University of North Dakota has been unanimously selected to be a recipient of the 2008 Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS) Award, a national recognition for improving General Education.
UND is one of only two schools in the nation to win the award this year. Tom Steen, recently appointed as UND's first director of Essential Studies, will travel to Asheville, N.C., later this month to accept the National General Education Improvement Award medallion at the AGLS Conference. The award recognizes the ways in which UND’s review and reform process paved the way for creation a new Essential Studies program, which matches up well with national recommendations.
UND's General Education reform process was initiated by the General Education Requirements Committee and carried out primarily through the school's General Education Task Force, which was appointed by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Greg Weisenstein in 2005.
The goal of the Essential Studies program is to provide students with the academic core of the University experience. The courses offered in the ES curriculum provide broad and diverse perspectives, while helping students acquire essential intellectual skills.
According to the AGLS Awards Committee, UND's General Education reform process was unique in the degree to which "inclusivity was valued." The committee also commended UND's General Education Task Force for their success in generating that inclusivity.
The AGLS awards are intended to promote institutional commitment to quality improvement, to recognize faculty and institutions that practice these behaviors and to provide much needed examples of effective and innovative improvements.
The 2008 awards recognized excellence in two crucial General Education processes: the efforts made by institutions to effectively design and implement a new programs, and the successful steps taken to design systematic assessments of General Education to provide evidence that graduates have acquired the knowledge and skills expected by the institutions and their stakeholders.