Millersville University, Faculty Senate

General Education Curriculum

Program Review

May 1996

E. Responsiveness to Change

The general education curriculum at Millersville University has already proven itself responsive to change. It has done so by incorporating two national curricular trends--writing across the curriculum, and instilling a sense of life-long learning--into the curriculum. The curriculum is presently responding to the requirement of society that more be done with less and that institutions be accountable for their actions by revising the curriculum so that it is cost effective and by beginning a program of curricular assessment. The very existence of the General Education Curriculum Review Committee highlights the commitment of the university to maintain a constantly-evolving, rather than a static, general education curriculum. The committee has taken the responsibility of determining faculty opinions regarding the curriculum. A survey of the entire faculty was conducted in the fall of 1992. The results of that survey are presented as Appendix A. In the fall of 1995, the committee conducted another survey of the faculty. This survey was more free form in nature and was conducted through the academic departments. Of the twenty-six academic departments, fifteen responded to the survey. Their responses are presented in Appendix B.

Another part of the evolution of the curriculum involves information collected from surveying a random sample of 504 students. Two questions on this survey asked for student comments and suggestions. The first question, to which 178 students responded, was "What changes would you like to see in the General Education curriculum of the future?" There were ten responses that occurred five or more times. They follow, with the number of students providing each response in parentheses. [ Complete results of the student survey are presented in Appendix C.]

(64) Offer a larger number of classes so it will be easier to register.
(43) Require a larger number of courses in the major and fewer for General Education.
(28) Require fewer restrictions for the C, Q, and W courses.
(13) The General Education program has been generally helpful.
(13) Make General Education courses more relevant to life.
(12) Increase the number of the most popular courses; remove those that are less popular.
(8) Greater assistance from professors/advisors would be helpful.
(7) More interactive classes; fewer memorizing and lecture type classes.
(6) Courses should overlap and count in more than one area.
(5) Hold professors more responsible for how they teach.

The second question, on which 173 students commented, was "What type of things have caused either a frustrating or positive experience as a result of planning for your courses in the General Education Program?" The eight responses that occurred five or more times follow, with the number of respondents in parentheses.

(27) There should be a smoother registration process.
(25) Should not be four GenEd courses required in each block; two or three would suffice.
(18) General Education classes should be more beneficial to older, non-traditional students.
(17) Students are not able to make more choices and course connections on their own.
(12) General Education courses are not more relevant to real life or to my needs.
(10) General Education courses deal too much with facts and not with concepts.
(8) Reducing the number of Perspectives courses was a good idea.
(7) Perspectives course have opened the door for multi-cultural learning.

In order for this survey to have an effect, each criticism needs to be followed up. In addition, there needs to be an ongoing constant evaluation of the curriculum to ensure its responsiveness to changes in society and the student body.

Demand for and Reputation of Program
...|Program Mission |Centrality to and Support of University Mission |National and Local Enrollment Trends |Curricular Currency |Effectiveness to Serving Minorities and Other Special Populations
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