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Trends in General Education: “West Coast Religious” University’s General Education Requirements in relation to The FIPSE/Mellon Project: “Trends in the Liberal Arts Core: A Vision for the 21 st Century” Now, an ACTC Project
Average Percentage of Baccalaureate Credits Devoted to General Education is Increasing: 1978 -1998 • Average Percentage 1978: 36. 3 • Average Percentage 1998: 41. 2 • Year 1998: WCR’s General Education Core requirements occupy 51% of the credits devoted to the BA. This figure compares to 43% in 1978.
Comparison of WCR’s Gen Ed to Religious Institutions • The median percentage of credits devoted to general education in religious institutions is 46% • Institutions at 47% and above: Birmingham-Southern, Furman University, Samford University, Freed-Hardeman, Fordham University, Augustana College, Assumption University, Rhodes College, University of Dallas, Baylor University.
Overall Picture: Traditions of “West Coast Religious” University • Central to WCR’s General Education Program is the University’s Mission, its Religious orientation, and the WCRU Idea. • WCR’s organization into Divisions of Religious and Theological Studies, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Studies • West Coast has strengthened its Liberal Arts and its Religious educational traditions. • The Stories and Focus series have expanded the breadth of Interdisciplinary, Religious, Artistic, Civilization, and Service concerns of the curriculum. These series focus on reading important and serious texts. • The traditional liberal arts concerns with skills have been maintained, while the importance of languages has been strengthened. • Introductory courses to the disciplines, to the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities have been crafted for general education.
General Education Trends and Innovations which Might Be of Interest to West Coast Religious University • “Seamless” Administration of gen ed • Student Enculturation through integration of gen ed and student support services • Curricular Developments and Use of Portfolios • Examinations and Capstones • Co-curricular Activities based in gen ed • Core as Faculty Enculturation. • Most Important Trend: Fusion of curricular reform with co-curricular supports and curricular assessments. – Combining periodic general/liberal education review with real liberal learning outcomes assessment
For Further Discussion, Information or Referral to Other Institutions • J. Scott Lee, Ph. D. Executive Director, Association for Core Texts and Courses, Temple University, Philadelphia and the ACTC Liberal Arts Institute at the University of Dallas • Project Director: ACTC project, “Trends in the Liberal Arts Core; A Vision for the 21 st Century. ” • [email protected] net (908) 359 7560; (972) 721 4062