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Revision of General Education at UMKC

An update from the General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC); October, 2011

In fall of 2009, Provost Hackett appointed a General Education Advisory Task Force made up of representatives from each academic unit to develop a strategy for the creation and implementation of a “new” UMKC general education program that is tied to our mission, focuses on student success and student retention, and includes a premier student learning assessment component with an ongoing review and revision cycle.  Some of the goals of general education revision at UMKC are to: 

  • increase student engagement with our unique university mission, potentially increasing student retention and persistence.
  • provide an opportunity to define the student learning outcomes for general education and the mechanisms to assess the achievement of the outcomes so that continuous improvements can be made.
  • facilitate transfer from other higher education institutions and between academic units within UMKC.
  • ensure alignment with state and national guidelines for general education.

The General Education Advisory Task Force developed a plan for the process of general education revision at UMKC, which included formation of a General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC).  This committee’s first charge was to develop a set of measureable student learning outcomes for general education at UMKC. In spring 2011, the UMKC faculty approved a set of learning outcomes outlined below:

  • Communication Skills
  • Technology and Information Literacy
  • Scientific Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary and Innovative Thinking
  • Culture and Diversity
  • Human Values and Ethical Reasoning
  • Civic and Community Engagement

 Next Steps

Currently, members of the GEOC are visiting the academic units to seek support for a two-tiered model for general education at UMKC.  The first tier of this model includes a roughly 30-credit hour core curriculum for all undergraduate programs at UMKC that is based on the approved student learning outcomes and would be assessed at the university level.  The second tier of the model consists of unit-specific general education requirements that would be assessed at the unit level. The GEOC, in consultation with faculty from across all units, will develop a coursework model for its 30-credit hour core curriculum, which will be submitted to the faculty for approval.   After the curriculum model is approved, the GEOC will develop the process for submitting existing and new coursework for review and inclusion in the general education curriculum.  In addition, the GEOC will ensure that the courses have identified appropriate assessments to determine whether relevant student learning outcomes have been achieved.  Ultimately, the GEOC will work with the UMKC faculty senate to develop plans for transferring these responsibilities to the faculty senate.  The academic units will work on developing additional courses or other learning experiences to be included in the general education requirements for students in their academic units.  These additional requirements will be reviewed, approved, and assessed by the individual academic units.

UMKC General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC)

 Committee Charge:

  • Based on the work of the General Education Advisory Task Force (2009-2010) and the UMKC AAC&U General Education Institute Team, the General Education Oversight Committee will review and recommend the UMKC general education program learning outcomes, and develop the general education program model and its assessment plan.  Specifically, the charge of the committee will be to develop a general education program (including an assessment plan) for UMKC that will comply with the Higher Learning Commission expectations, will be a signature UMKC program that emphasizes student success and builds on faculty expertise and that strengthens UMKC’s degree programs and supports UMKC’s mission.
  •  Establish a clear communication plan and implementation plan to ensure campus engagement in the process.

 Work of the GEOC will include:

 1)       Reviewing the reports on general education at UMKC from the General Education Task Force and from the AAC&U Institute Team

 2)       Reviewing current national perspectives regarding general education experiences for undergraduate students in higher education

 3)       Reviewing current practices in the state of Missouri regarding entrance and exit competencies and consider this work in the revision of the UMKC general education requirements

 4)       Reviewing any additional material to assist in the development of an outstanding general education program

 5)       Consulting with the Provost’s Office, the Office of Assessment, and unit advising offices

 6)       Engaging with the university campus in discussions regarding the revision of UMKC’s general education program

 7)       Placing student engagement at the forefront of general education plans

 8)       Integrating concerns for student recruitment and retention into the general education plans.

 Expectations:

 Members will serve from Fall, 2010 through Spring, 2013.

  • Members should expect to contribute significantly to this institutional effort through their time and expertise.
  • Members will be expected to complete readings and other work outside regular committee meeting times.
  • Members will be expected to communicate regularly with faculty, staff and students from their respective academic units to ensure community engagement in this process.
  • Members will be expected to participate in university community discussions regarding general education.
  • Meetings of the committee will be at least bi-monthly, initially.