An Academic Impressions survey of more than 300 institutions found that nearly half see general education reform as a priority in the next twelve months. At most institutions, that effort is conducted by a small group of faculty. However, if you make general education reform an inclusive process, your institution can see improvements in:
Join us in Phoenix to take a meaningful step toward comprehensive general education reform. This conference will draw on the experiences of academic leaders who have led inclusive curriculum review processes that resulted in general education programs that are distinctive, cost-effective, and successful. You and your team will leave this conference with the nuts-and-bolts tools you need to revise your own general education curriculum.
Intentionally designed to balance information sharing with learning activities, this one-of-a-kind conference will guide you and your teammates through three important tenets of general education reform:
To demonstrate best practices in each of these three tenets of general education reform, case studies from the following institutions will be shared:
If you are an academic leader tasked with revising your general education curriculum, you will benefit the most by bringing your entire committee to this conference. To encourage team participation, when two attendees register from the same institution, a third registration is offered at 50% off.
Read our complimentary paper General Education Reform: Unseen Opportunities. Some of the experts who contributed to this paper will be speaking at the conference.
We want you to be satisfied with your Academic Impressions learning experience. If the program you purchased fails to meet your expectations, please contact us within 30 days and let us know. We’ll credit the full amount you paid toward another AI program that may better fit your needs.
After participating in this conference, you will be able to take a comprehensive approach to reforming your general education curriculum for the 21st century learner.
As more institutions move away from a menu-driven approach to general education, many are drawn to integrative and/or interdisciplinary teaching and learning as an alternative. Sharing a common language is an important step in ensuring the success of any new venture. In this workshop we’ll begin with a philosophical overview of the three I’s – inquiry, interdisciplinarity, and integration – and offer working definitions of the terms. We’ll then discuss some models and high-impact practices that are most suited to such curricula. The goal for our time together is to establish a common framework for designing a 21st-century general education experience that is robust, deeply meaningful, and personally and professionally relevant for students today.
In advance of this workshop, participants will receive a pre-reading by William Newell, titled, “Educating for a Complex World: Integrative Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies.”
Day 1: Process
General education is intended to provide a foundation in liberal education to equip undergraduates to thrive in the 21st century. How do we make something that is mandatory for all undergraduates, broad-based, relevant, and useful across many disciplines and career paths?
A poorly designed curriculum can jeopardize first- to second-year retention, lengthen time to degree, reduce graduation rates, and leave students and paying parents wondering about the value of the mythical four-year degree. Weak general education curriculum can leave faculty in upper division courses—and, eventually, graduate school faculty and employers—disappointed in basic student skill-levels and knowledge.
This session will assist you in thinking more holistically about the opportunities presented by general education reform, which can have a positive impact on:
We will organize conversation where you will have the chance to share big ideas that resonate most strongly with you and what are you taking back to your institution. You will use your worksheet to write down some ideas from your instructors and other attendees.
What factors are most crucial to consider, and what issues will be the thorniest? Using Champlain College as a model, we’ll explore topics such as:
At your table, you and conference colleagues will reflect on some of the delicate issues that arise when you revise general-education curriculum and how you can address them.
Day 2: Structure
Putting together the committee to revise an existing general education program may be as complicated as the actual revision work itself. The co-presenters of this session will present options for committee make-up as well as lessons they learned while striving to maintain an efficient yet inclusive process.
What are the pros and cons of including students, employers, and enrollment managers on the reform committee? What are the lessons learned? What other diversity can you envision?
Only a few institutions involve more than a select group of faculty; this can lead to challenges with buy-in and implementation of the revised curriculum. Getting faculty to agree on the need for general education change, the nature of the change, how best to implement the change, and how to assess the change, can be a challenge. This session looks at pitfalls to avoid and strategies to embrace when working effectively with faculty.
You will be given five strategies to work on and then report out to the group. These strategies will include:
For many institutions, transferability is critical to enrollment numbers, student persistence, and student completion; yet, many fail to address it during curriculum review. Our presenters will discuss how to approach other institutions early in the process and engage them in dialogue about transferability.
General education reform requires consideration of how credit transfer from AP/IB programs, bridge programs, and other higher education institutions fit with the new general education requirements. Knowing the stakeholders, identifying pathways for mutual benefit, and balancing flexibility with program rigor are all factors in the development of a sustainable credit transfer policy.
Brainstorm meaningful ways to seek input from external stakeholders so that you can effectively cultivate skills and competencies that are crucial for a student’s success in the 21st century. Learn about engaging:
In this activity, each of our speakers will take the role of a key stakeholder—an alum, an employer, a prominent member of the community, or a legislator. You will be divided into four groups representing each stakeholder. Each group will migrate to the next group and have the opportunity to report out what they’ve learned from each stakeholder group. What other strategies can you come up with for getting input/feedback?
Day 3: Assessment
As colleges and universities work to connect general education competencies with those in the major as well as those that prepare students for work, careers, and participation in a diverse and global society, the role of assessment is expanding. In this session we will provide a framework for assessing general education competencies across the undergraduate curriculum. Participants will explore the use of assessment for deepening learning, fostering mastery and academic identity, building curricular coherence, increasing faculty buy-in, and strengthening programmatic and institutional assessment.
Working on this provocative, student-learning assessment challenge will help you better assess student learning in general education curricula. This case study will assist two-year and four-year institutions with the evaluation of student learning as it relates to general education.
How do you ensure that assessment adds value to student learning and serves institutional goals, mission, and purpose? What skills, knowledge, or values should your students have acquired upon the completion of the general education requirements—creativity, critical thinking, learning, problem-solving, teamwork? How would you know if your students have acquired those skills?
How do you infuse skills/knowledge/values into curriculum? How do you get faculty buy-in? What’s the outcome and what would it look like to acquire these skills? These are some of the questions that we’ll explore in this working session.
The learning that students do in general education has been difficult to assess, partly because general education courses enter the curriculum in so many different ways (e.g., scattered throughout, 2+2, articulation agreements, summer bridges, capstones). Also, little broad agreement exists on what actually makes these courses important: Do they represent a canon of knowledge, a set of skills, readiness for the major, or simply a certain number of credits? Thus, the teaching, learning, and assessing of such things as critical thinking, writing, and speaking have lamentably, become separated from the major.
This interactive workshop will outline devices for assessing your general education program—and the frequency for conducting such assessment. Our core efforts will focus on using low cost, low effort, turn-key tools to assess general education within the disciplines. This approach saves time, money, and energy for the faculty and for the institution. Significantly, this assessment approach also leads to improved student learning in general education.
Betsy is the founding dean of the Core Division at Champlain College, where she oversees the ongoing development and implementation of an integrative, interdisciplinary general education curriculum. A scholar of African American women’s literature, she taught African American studies, women’s studies, and food studies, sometimes simultaneously, and worked in the areas of first-year experience and learning communities prior to arriving at Champlain and assuming the deanship.
In her position, Helen’s responsibilities include oversight of university academic program policy and procedures, accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and compliance with the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education regulations. She oversees the Office of Institutional Research & Assessment. She is also responsible for general education, the First-Year Reading Experience, and the new integrated learning initiative, USC Connect, to enhance learning within and beyond the classroom. She works with the residential colleges, the Carolina Leadership Initiative, the Office of Fellowship and Scholars Programs, the University Advisors Network, and other programs to enrich undergraduate studies.
Helen is a recipient of USC’s Michael J. Mungo Award for teaching excellence, and has published numerous scholarly articles and co-authored a textbook. She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Risk and Insurance and is a past president of the American Risk and Insurance Association.
David led the development and implementation of SLCC’s ePortfolio requirement in its general education program. As director of general education and ePortfolio program, David is responsible for effective implementation of ePortfolio pedagogy in all general education courses and for using ePortfolios to assess student attainment of general education learning outcomes.
Professor Hubert has developed three separate online political science courses. He has served as the director of SLCC's Faculty Teaching and Learning Center and has led four different study abroad trips to London, England. In collaboration with colleagues, he has developed two different learning communities. He has served as a faculty member at the AAC&U's Summer Institute on High-Impact Practices, and is a board member of the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL).
Wigwam Resort 300 E. Wigwam Blvd Litchfield Park, AZ 85340
To reserve your room, please call 800-327-0396. Please indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.
The rate is $179 for single or double occupancy, plus applicable tax.
A room block has been reserved for the nights of October 5, 6, and 7, 2014.
Make your reservations prior to September 15, 2014. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.
Beloved for generations, this Arizona landmark and Historic Hotel of America couples historic charm with a truly modern sense of adventure. Wigwam is Arizona’s only resort with 18 holes of championship golf on each of three challenging courses, including two Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed courses. This resort also features a 26,000 sq. foot signature Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa. Enjoy four sparkling pools, including adult swim zone with cabanas and relaxing hot tubs. Wigwam has nine lighted plexi-paved tennis courts, stadium court, and pro shop. Work out in a state of the art fitness club with weightlifting and exercise equipment.
Featuring modern décor with Old West influences, each casita-style guest room is surrounded by rows of colorful flowers, lush green lawns, and towering palms. Rooms offer plush beds with imported Italian linens, oversized bathrooms with private vanities, high-speed Internet access, and expansive private patios with views.
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