Enhanced General Education
On April 18th, 2016, Provost Wilcox challenged the General Education Council (GEC) to rethink the current Foundations of Knowledge and Learning (FKL) general education curriculum at USF. He spoke of the need for a robust and rigorous general education curriculum that is relevant for the needs of today's undergraduate students. To that end, the GEC created the Enhanced General Education which will be effective Summer B, 2018.
In 2005, the USF general education program was revamped via the INSPIRE document. In that proposal, a program review was suggested to occur in 2010; however, that review never occurred, and the general education curriculum has stayed the same for the last 11 years. Since 2005, a lot of things have changed in terms of what students need and the demands placed on USF to provide for those needs. For example, in 2012, and again in 2013, the state of Florida created a new statute that requires students to take 15 of the 36 general education credits from 23 state approved courses. This leaves individual institutions with control over only 18 of the general education credits. Further, USF is bringing in higher performing students who expect rigorous and meaningful courses. Therefore, it is our responsibility, as faculty, to revise the general education curriculum to meet the students' needs within the new state parameters.
The state requires all general education programs be 36 credits. Of those, 15 must be taken from the state approved 23 courses and an additional 3 must be in computation. This leaves 18 credits for USF to control (with the requirement that 6 of those credits have multiple writing assignments and 3 be in English). In designing those remaining 18 hours, we put student needs first, allowed for broader departmental participation in the general education curriculum, remained closely connected to our QEP, and focused on key learning outcomes.
Several benefits come from the Enhanced General Education:
- By allowing major courses to count towards the general education requirement, we created curricular space for electives, certificates, minors, and intellectual exploration.
- All students will graduate with two High Impact Practices.
- We have the opportunity to provide 3 hours of USF General Education to transfer students.
- Students receive a more rigorous general education that better prepares them for life after their undergraduate degree.
- We have broader university participation in offering courses in the Enhanced General Education.