Proposed new gen-ed requirements bring curriculum to 21st century

(Maggie Chafouleas/The Daily Campus)

(Maggie Chafouleas/The Daily Campus)

The Delta Gen Ed Group created and will propose new general education requirements, including new topic areas and the introduction of an integrative experience course.

The committee created six topics of inquiry that they feel are more thematic, flexible and allow for students to go broader and deeper into their education, Eric Schultz, chairman of the committee said.

“We have heard that the current gen-eds are restricted to the physical and natural sciences and exclude the social sciences,” Schultz said.

The six topics of inquiry are: science, theory and empirical design; design, innovation and creativity; individual values and social institutions; environmental literacy; cultural foundations; and diversity inclusion and social justice.

Schultz said the vast majority of current gen ed classes would have a place in the new curriculum.

“We are looking to generate innovation,” Schultz said. “We want to bring curriculum to the 21st century.”

Schultz said the proposal came about after some noticed students’ difficulty to select classes they are interested in and their tendency to just chose classes that align with their schedule. He said this is seen a lot in students with multiple majors.

“Students should have the expectation of getting the best education,” Schultz said.

Julie Brisson, a fourth-semester human development and family studies and psychology major, thinks the proposed curriculum is an improvement compared to what is currently in place.

“In the past I haven’t understood the purpose of some of my gen-ed classes,” Brisson said. “This is a more grounded approach to our gen-ed curriculum as depicted by the different categories.”

Schultz said that many classes will have the ability to overlap across multiple topics as some are similar.

“We understand that there is some overlap, but we celebrate that,” Schultz said.

Schultz said the proposed new curriculum hopes to give students a degree that has more flexibility and allows for students to pursue areas they are interested in.

“We are thinking about different ways of both learning and thinking,” Schultz said.

Along with the new topics of inquiry proposed, the curriculum also includes an integrative experience requirement, which can include a service-learning course, internship, education abroad or capstone course.

“I like the idea of the integrative experience because it promotes student learning outside the classroom,” Brisson said.

Other requirements of the proposed curriculum include a reasoning course, quantitative competency, second language competency, two writing courses and an information and digital competency course, according to the proposed curriculum.

The Delta Gen Ed group is encouraging students, staff and faculty to take a survey that asks about understanding of current gen-ed requirements, as well as thoughts about the proposed curriculum.

Schultz said the survey will produce a report with results which will be brought to the university senate for approval. They hope to propose it at a meeting in April when the group will encourage students to come speak for or against the proposed curriculum.


Ashley Anglisano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at ashley.anglisano@uconn.edu.