Millersville University, Faculty Senate

General Education Curriculum

Program Review

May 1996

V. Five-Year Plan for Major Resource Needs

Two major aspects of the General Education curriculum need investment during the next five years: assessment of the curriculum and faculty development. The assessment of the curriculum needs to begin with a discussion of those objectives the faculty believes are important and can be achieved by the present curriculum. Interestingly employers of Millersville's graduates often can clearly articulate what the current General Education curriculum achieves, often more directly than can the faculty. They mention the ability to communicate clearly in writing and speech, the ability to work effectively with others with all contributing and to see a project through to completion, critical thinking, gathering information and evaluating the validity of the information obtained, and bridging the gap between disciplines. Perhaps careful solicitation of views of students, faculty, alumni, and employers will reveals a set of objective that are at least partially fulfilled by the present curriculum, and other that can be achieved with some modifications. At the same time, those who are working in assessment at other institutions need to be consulted so that their experience in evaluation can be used. This may well indicate just what aspects of the curriculum can be evaluated and which ones are futile to attempt. One hopes it also will reveal which assessment atrategies are effective and which ones actually may harm the curriculum or the morale of the institution. These latter are to be avoided and we can profit from the mistakes of others.

The committee needs expertise in the area of assessment. It is unrealistic to expect the members to be able to educate themselves in this complex discipline so that they can effectively guide the University. The committee needs ongoing and constant consulting as they develop objectives to be assessed and methods of assessing them.

With regard to faculty development, the present curriculum set the ambitious goal of transforming from delivering facts to educating students how to learn and how to evaluate their learning and thinking. The faculty have started to make this transformation, but they can use assistance. Each discipline can shift its focus toward education and away from training, or at least can do so in some of its course offerings. This will not be an easy task. Teaching facts is much easier than teaching processes and learning facts is easier as well. Both students and faculty need to make the committment to change.

I. Demand for and Reputation of Program
II. Quality of the Program
III. Costs of the Program
IV. Compliance with Board of Governors Policy
VI. Recommended Action Plan
VII. Acknowledgments

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