Faculty approve general education goals

UCCS faculty members voted overwhelmingly to approve the final draft of new general education goals, Catherine Kelly, president, Faculty Assembly recently announced.

145 faculty members participated with 135 voting in favor of the proposal, according to Kelly.

During the last 12 months, the General Education Task Force combined the experience and knowledge of its members, information from general education programs across the country, and a campus-wide survey conducted last February to define the goals and create a first draft.

Review and revisions followed a series of open forums held this fall, and the task force created the final draft. The goals were then discussed and approved by the Faculty Assembly and the Educational Policy and University Standards Committee. On Nov. 17, Kelly sent faculty an e-mail containing details and a web link for voting.

Peg Bacon, provost, said it is important for the university to review the purpose and meaning of general education, and revise standards accordingly when necessary. By doing so, it better prepares UCCS students to succeed in a changing global society. At the November Faculty Assembly meeting, she praised the General Education Task Force and the EPUS committee for their months of effort and said she was pleased with the progress toward making the goals official.

The goals of the general education program focus on three interrelated areas reflected through the undergraduate general education curriculum.

Evaluate and Create states that students must be given the skills to investigate, gather information and solve problems to develop solutions and new ideas. Critical thinking, reasoning, and communication are among those skills.

Know and Explore requires giving students an understanding of natural and social sciences, arts and humanities, as well as a desire to expand that understanding. Student knowledge must include aspects of their culture, the physical world, human behavior and institutions in society.

Act and Interact states that general education must cultivate in students an awareness of self and an awareness of society. To participate in society effectively, a student must learn responsibility as well as how to engage and include other persons.

Faculty Assembly is scheduled to discuss further steps in implementing the goals at its Dec. 10 meeting.

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