Gen Ed Revision
The amended general education program (as approved by the GEC on 9/25/17) is shown below. The state mandated core forms the bottom of the pyramid and provides the basic knowledge students need to be successful. Moving up the pyramid, students take one 3-hour credit course in each of the following areas: Creative Thinking, Information Literacy, Human and Cultural Diversity. Moving up to the next level, students take a course in Ethical Reasoning and Civic Engagement. These courses should be interdisciplinary and use the Tampa Bay Area for service learning and community engagement. Finally, every student's undergraduate experience is completed by taking two High Impact Practice courses. These could be experiences such as research, travel abroad, and large summative assignments.
These core areas were chosen based on competencies deemed essential for our graduating students. While developing the key learning outcomes for each core area, the Gen Ed Revision Subcommittee is using the AAC&U VALUE learning outcome rubrics as guiding resources.
The new general education courses above the state mandated core would be capped at 45 students per grader and designed using resources from the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE), the GEC, the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR), the Library, the Global Citizens Project (GCP), and the Undergraduate Council (UGC). Each course would be required to have multiple writing assignments and include standardized outcomes for problem solving and critical/analytical thinking. Finally, majors could certify their core requirements as general education courses, providing further curricular space.
Approved Student Learning Outcomes
Each of the areas above the Knowledge level will have a set of student learning outcomes approved by the General Education Council. Courses wishing to certify in a certain area will be asked to choose two of the student learning outcomes to be included in the course.
1. Demonstrate responsiveness within an established disciplinary context to new information, experiences, and ideas through a process of re-evaluating the ideas and/or approaches.
2. Create an original contribution within a specific discipline.
3. Evaluate the limitations imposed on any new approach or solution within a discipline to propose original contributions to problems.
4. Synthesize disparate or conflicting thoughts when evaluating questions/problems to form cohesive and collaborative solutions.
5. Break Down complex problems to examine, propose, and support potential solutions, even if those solutions deviate from acceptable, mainstream solutions.
Information + Data Literacy
1. Use research tools and indicators of authority to determine the credibility of sources, while identifying any legal and ethical restrictions placed on the use of information.
2. Critically interpret quantitative evidence (such as graphs, tables, charts) in order to identify false claims, incorrect use of evidence, or contradictory statements.
3. Contribute to scholarly conversations using discipline-appropriate communication in different modalities, such as local online communities, guided discussions, undergraduate research journals, and conference presentations/poster sessions.
4. Revise submitted coursework by integrating new sources of information and determining relevance of existing sources.
5. Critically compare and contrast opposing claims regarding the same fact or hypothesis, when the various sides are credible according to discipline-specific indicators of authority.
6. Summarize the key changes in scholarly perspective over time on a particular topic within a specific discipline.
7. Formulate questions for research based on information gaps or on reexamination of existing, possibly conflicting, data, then use the questions as a guide to organize information in meaningful ways.
Human and Cultural Diversity*
1. Demonstrate the ability to see issues from the perspective(s) of other groups/cultures by describing the values and communication styles found in groups different from one's own and the way in which those differences can affect styles of verbal and nonverbal communication.
2. Define personal values and beliefs using appropriate language and communication methods that consider others' points of view and respect differences.
3. Analyze how diversity affects interactions with major societal institutions (such as health care, criminal justice, education, employment, voting, military) from contemporary and/or historical perspectives.
4. Weigh options/planned actions (such as policies and practices) to formulate possible solutions to reduce inequality and disparities in access and success in major societal institutions (such as health care, criminal justice, education, employment, voting, military).
5. Analyze the ethical, social, and environmental challenges of global systems to formulate possible solutions regarding international cooperation and collaboration.
*Courses certifying under Human and Cultural Diversity are also required to select two global student learning outcomes from the Global Citizens Project.
Other Required Components
Besides including two General Education student learning outcomes, all courses certifying in the enhanced general education curriculum must also include Critical & Analytical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Writing.