Recommendations of the General Education Task Force to the Faculty Senate
March 20, 1998
The framework for converting Wright State's General Education Program to
a four-credit base proposed by the Task Force should make it possible to
strike a much better balance among the three program goals articulated
when the current General Education req uirements were instituted. Translation
of this new structure into a fullblown program will provide the occasion
for the faculty to reconsider what knowledge and skills will best prepare
the University's graduates for the challenges and opportunities of th e
twenty-first century. It will also serve as the catalyst for reacquainting
the various constituencies comprising the Wright State community with the
goals and purposes of General Education.
Among the benefits that would be derived from adoption of the Task Force's
The number of General Education hours is reduced from 57 to 56 and the
number of required courses is reduced from 17 to 14.
The introduction of a College Component allows for greater flexibility
in meeting the curricular needs of Wright State's six undergraduate colleges.
The liberty of selecting the two additional courses in the arts, humanities
and social sciences encourages students to explore their individual interests
and to realize their personal goals.
The faculty will have a chance to identify specific learning outcomes for
each area of the program and to agree upon criteria for assessing them.
The faculty will have an opportunity to ensure that the General Education
curriculum addresses issues related to American diversity and internationalism
in a systematic and meaningful fashion.
The introduction of a limited number of alternatives to the core courses
in the arts, humanities and social sciences will provide students with
a richer educational experience while reducing reliance on very large lectures
through the addition of new, smaller classes.
With all General Education courses carrying four credit hours, beginning
students will need to take fewer classes to enroll full time and will have
greater flexibility in meeting their General Education requirements.
The number of faculty having the opportunity to teach in the General Education
program will be expanded.
The combination of fewer required General Education courses, new alternative
courses, and an increase in the number of faculty supporting the program
will contribute to a reduction in the average section size and will provide
more occasions for studen ts to enroll in small classes. This in turn will
afford students more opportunities for intellectual growth and will increase
the frequency of individual contacts between faculty and students.
The proposed new framework is readily adaptable to a semester calendar.
Writing across the Curriculum
The proposed General Education Framework is designed to preserve the Writing
Across the Curriculum program. The new structure will not affect the writing
intensive science classes. All Great Books courses will remain Writing
Intensive. Not all students wi ll take EC 200 or SOC 200. However, the
Task Force is recommending that all non-western classes and all courses
comprising the College Component be writing intensive. Thus students should
be able to schedule at least four Writing Intensive courses with re lative
Diversity and Internationalism
The Task Force proposes that, where feasible, the core courses and any
alternative courses in Areas II, III, and IV (Cultural and Social Foundations,
Human Behavior, and Human Expression) include substantial attention to
American diversity or to internati onal issues. This recommendation is
intended to ensure that American diversity and internationalism are incorporated
into the General Education curriculum in a systematic and meaningful fashion.
The Task Force believes that integrating them throughout the broad spectrum
of issues addressed by the General Education program is the preferred approach.
Expanded List of General Education Courses
The Task Force recommends that departments and programs in the arts, humanities,
and social sciences be encouraged to propose alternatives to the core courses
in Areas II, III, and IV. While we do not believe that it would be desirable
to admit too many s ubstitute courses into the General Education program,
the Task Force is convinced that making available a small set of alternatives
to each of the core courses in these areas would significantly strengthen
the program. This additional flexibility would al so assist students in
achieving their educational goals and would result in greater equity in
the way the University treats students who take General Education courses
on campus and those who transfer such courses from elsewhere.
Conversion to a Semester Calendar
The Task Force was charged with proposing a General Education curriculum
that would "be readily adaptable to a semester calendar". The recommended
framework complies with this requirement. One way it can be converted to
semesters is to change th e core courses in all areas except the Natural
Sciences to three-credit semester courses, to combine three four-quarter-credit
science courses into two four-semester-credit science courses, and to reduce
the number of additional courses in Areas II, III, and IV to one. This
approach maintains the relative balance within the General Education program
while keeping the total number of equivalent credits nearly constant. (The
resulting program totals 38 semester hours or 57 quarter hours.)
There would, however, be significant resources issues associated with
a conversion to semesters. Perhaps the most salient is the implications
of staffing a full-year of English composition.
Links to Other Portions of this Report
Gen Ed Task Force Report: Introductory Summary
Gen Ed Task Force Report: Recommendations - Overview
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Gen Ed Task Force Report: Recommendations - Details
Gen Ed Task Force Report: Implementation
Appendix: Charge to the General Education Task Force