UNCA Faculty and Staff
From: Edward Katz, Chair, General Education Review Task Force
Subject: General Education Revision Update
Date: 11 September 2002
The General Education Review Task Force has begun its work on the design phase for a revised curriculum. We would like to provide you all with the following update on our work, and let you know where we are heading this semester and this academic year. First, however, we would like to review briefly the highlights of our work to date.
A Review of GERTF’s Work, 1999-2002
GERTF was established in Winter 1999, in consultation with the Senate Executive Committee at that time, with a charge advanced formally by the full Senate, to study general education at UNCA with a view, initially, to draft a report for the SACS Enhancement Self Study/Accreditation effort and then, after accreditation, to work on revising the current education in ways that might enhance the program’s role in serving the University’s institutional mission. (The Senate Resolution document is available on our website at www.unca.edu/genedrev.)
From 1999 through the 2000-2001 academic year the GERTF made a examined the history of general education at UNCA; studied general education broadly and worked on Mission and Goals Statements for a general education curriculum in the context of the student-development focus of the Enhancement effort; and drafted both the Self-Directive Recommendations for the Process of Revising the General Education Program at UNCA and the Self-Directive Recommendations for Institutional Change and Fiscal Allocation for Implementing a Revised General Education Program at UNCA, both of which are a part of GERTF’s SACS Enhancement Report on General Education. Minutes of all meetings during this period of our work, and copies of the above documents, are available on the GERTF website.
In the 2001-2002 academic year, GERTF held a well-attended faculty forum on general education and curricular revision as a prelude to conducting our Listening Project. In conducting this Listening Project, GERTF sent teams into each department and program contributing to or affected by general education programming at UNCA. In all, over 28 listening sessions were conducted, during which teams gathered information and input from the majority of all faculty members in each department. Reports were drafted, sent back to the departments for further input, and then posted on the website’s Listening Project Response Page (available at http://www.unca.edu/genedrev/listening_project_responses.htm). In addition to this effort, GERTF studied and reviewed each of the APC Reports on General Education, as required in the Senate Resolution charging the Task Force, during which Chairs, Program Directors, and interested faculty attended our meetings to help us better understand their challenges and needs in fulfilling their departmental or program roles in our general education curriculum. Minutes of these meetings are also available on the website.
GERTF’s Work for 2002-2003
As you know from our last post to the faculty and staff, and as we discuss on the website (see GERTF Design Phase: Team Assignments), the GERTF has divided into three groups: the Design Team, the Resource Research Team, and the Curricular Research Team. The two research teams provide the design group with the data it needs to accomplish its work. Before moving forward at any step, the Task Force as a whole will convene to discuss the work of the Design Team in order to offer feedback and input, after which GERTF will bring its work to the faculty and staff (through forums and through the website), for further consultation and input.
The Design Team is currently working on a draft statement of Principles for the Revision of General Education at UNCA. The Principles are being shaped around issues that faculty and staff articulated during the SACS process, the Listening Project, and the GERTF review (mandated by our Senate charge) of the APC Report on General Education. In addition we are nearly finished with the analysis of the Listening Project and will have this on our website shortly, for your information and commentary.
After finishing the Principles for the future design, GERTF will write a draft version of the criteria that will establish what constitutes a general education course. After this step, GERTF will begin shaping the architecture of the new design, which will in turn be followed by the writing of the charges. Woking with available funds, GERTF will help to establish a faculty development effort to prepare for the implementation of the new program. Also, GERTF is also beginning to do preliminary work on resource development for funding the revised curriculum.
It is our goal to have the criteria, charges, and architecture completed by the end of this academic year. We also aim to be well
into the resource development phase of our work as we move toward implementation of the revised program.
Again, at each step of the way, the Design Team will take drafts first to the Task Force as a whole and then to the campus community. In
addition, GERTF will make regular progress reports to APC and twice-yearly reports to the full Senate, as mandated by the Senate
At regular intervals, GERTF will inform the campus community of Design Team minutes posted on the website, of draft documents in need of your input for future revision, and of forums that will be taking place on specific topics. We plan to hold at least two forums in each of the
next two semesters. Our first forum will focus on the analysis of the Listening Project and on the draft of the design principles; it will
take place in the next few weeks.
If you have questions or would like to share your ideas, please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org ; 251-6592) or any of the members of GERTF.