Faculty Senate discusses Gen Ed Program reform

By ALEXIS GRAMATES

Staff Writer

faculty senate discusses gen ed reform graphic

A sophomore Salisbury University communications student sat in a chemistry class one day wondering “how is this useful to my major?”

Salisbury University’s Faculty Senate has discussed the possible reformation of general education classes on campus. This allows incoming students to become more successful in their college career.

The faculty senate is made up of the university’s staff that oversees the process of the general education reform to ensure it will become successful.

James King, co-chair of the steering committee, commented on the steps being taken towards this new idea.

“The reformation came about because a comment was made by the university president to the provost to look at the general education,” King said. “There have been changes to the curriculum in the past, but no change has had a purposeful insight.”

A survey was conducted and given to faculty, students and alumni.

They were asked to give their opinion on their general education at Salisbury. The results showed a 30 percent gap between the faculty standards being met and what the data actually showed was met.

Faculty Senate President Stephen Ford explained how all students could benefit from this reform.

“There is a desire to have a reform here because we want to take into consideration all of those transfers that we often see as not having those basic skills that you have in general education,” Ford said. “In essence, this whole effort is in need for the students.”

This platform for the reformation will ensure that students will have a clearer understanding of what is being taught to them.

It will also focus on every student’s learning outcomes as well as continue to meet the learning outcome requirements for general education.

The faculty senate is focusing on narrowing down the learning objectives to make the general education requirements more manageable. This will allow individuals to address other outcomes to integrate into the new model.

The model is a continuation of the curriculum but with new features—first-year experience and integrative experience. Regulations, codes and laws will continue to be followed throughout this model.

“We do not have a remedial class here at SU, so we do not have a class that shows how to cite properly or how to do the basic general education skills,” Ford said.

The first-year experience ensures that all incoming students take a workshop style class to refresh their comprehensive skills.

The integrative experience will focus on one theme the whole semester while students work on every subject matter revolving around that theme.

The first-year experience class model will allow the library staff to teach a one-credit course in four seven-week sessions per semester per librarian.

The faculty senate wants more students to come out and give opinions on what they can do to make sure the new curriculum is beneficial for incoming students.

Senior Carl Fogg offered some future suggestions for the reform.

“The only thing I would ask is to make general education less intrusive of your actual major. I feel it holds you back from learning the stuff you actually want to learn,” Fogg said. “This is why they give you the choice to pick what you want to learn anyway when you come to college.”

The faculty senate continues to discuss more details to revise within the general education classes to make sure every student is confident and successful.

“I think the revision will make students more successful because that will be one less thing to worry about coming into university,” Fogg said.

The committee will be holding a roundtable discussion for students to express their views on the reformation on May 3.

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