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D 9132-9134

DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

On behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, Professor Janet Staiger (radio-television-film) has submitted the following proposal to change the basic education requirements language in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2012-2014. The Secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general interest to more than one college or school. It will be presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on October 31, 2011.

The proposed changes were approved by the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee (UGSAC) at its meeting on September 15, 2011. At its meeting on October 21, 2011, the Educational Policy Committee recommended approval to the Faculty Council. The Faculty Council has the authority to approve this legislation on behalf of the General Faculty. The authority to grant final approval on this legislation resides with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
SAG signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council



This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council website on October 26, 2011.

 

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

Proposed:
BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

The University strives to enroll exceptionally well-prepared, highly motivated students and to produce self-reliant graduates who will become leaders in both their chosen professions and their communities. The University must not only equip its graduates with occupational skills but also educate them broadly enough to enable them to adapt to and cope with the accelerated process of change occurring in business, professional, and social institutions today. Students must be exposed to a broad spectrum of arts and science so that they may be educated beyond vocational requirements and thus be prepared for responsible citizenship in an increasingly complex world.

All graduates of the University are expected to

  • communicate clearly and accurately, defend an idea on the basis of evidence, draw conclusions, and evaluate the arguments of others;
  • have a critical understanding of the society in which we live and the ways it has evolved through time;
  • be able to analyze ethical issues and their possible resolutions;
  • understand facets of science and the ways in which knowledge of the universe is gained and applied;
  • understand aspects of mathematics and apply quantitative skills to problem solving;
  • have a critical understanding of how human cultures are expressed in literature, philosophy, or language;
  • participate in and/or critically analyze some area of the visual and performing arts; and participate in the process of inquiry through research, creative endeavors, or related activities.
Original:
BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
The University strives to enroll exceptionally well-prepared, highly motivated students and to produce self-reliant graduates who will become leaders in both their chosen professions and their communities. The University must not only equip its graduates with occupational skills but also educate them broadly enough to enable them to adapt to and cope with the accelerated process of change occurring in business, professional, and social institutions today. Students must be exposed to a broad spectrum of arts and science so that they may be educated beyond vocational requirements and thus be prepared for responsible citizenship in an increasingly complex world.

Every graduate of the University is expected to
  • be able to express himself or herself clearly and correctly in writing;
  • be capable of reasoning effectively from hypotheses to conclusions and of logically analyzing the arguments of others;
  • have a critical appreciation for the social framework in which we live and the ways it has evolved through time;
  • have experience in thinking about moral and ethical problems;
  • have an understanding of some facets of science and the ways in which knowledge of the universe is gained and applied;
  • have an understanding of some aspects of mathematics and the application of quantitative skills to problem solving;
  • have gained familiarity with a second language;
  • have an appreciation for literature and the arts; and
  • be competent in the basic use of computers.
Background and Rationale:
The Basic Education Requirements (BERs) have not been revised since they were initially developed twenty-plus years ago. The BERs should be flexible in order to work with all majors and match the educational goals of the University. To reflect how those goals have evolved over time, the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee (UGSAC) approved revisions in 2009.  However, those changes were withheld from the 2010-12 catalog because of the on-going SACS-COC review which included attention to the BERs.  

Over the summer of 2011, UGS assessment staff proposed several additional edits to the already revised BERs. These changes refined the language of the BERs to 1) make them more assessable and 2) create a more intentional alignment between the BERs, the Core Curriculum, and Flags. This alignment offers a more cohesive, strategic approach to General Education and will help streamline assessment and reporting efforts. These minor edits also narrowed the scope and focus of certain BERs to better reference the themes of courses in which students develop the referenced skills.

The UGSAC discussed the revised set in its meeting on September 15, 2011, and recommended these proposed changes by a final email vote on September 23, 2011.