consolidated notes from November 4, 2009

Characteristics of a good General Education curriculum

– fosters those student learning outcomes that characterize the well-educated person (group 3):

            – intellectual confidence and self-direction, fearless inquiry

            – engagement in the broader community

– incorporates experiential learning into lower-division GE (groups 1, 4)

– fosters educational experiences that are collaborative and project-based, requiring an integration of knowledge and constituting a milestone whether at the CSU or CCC (groups 1, 3, 4)

– integrates varied coursework around interdisciplinary themes, possibly as a minor (groups 2, 4)

– is attractive to students (group 1) and prominent in communication and on-line (groups 2, 4)

– foregrounds its purpose by including SLOs on advising sheets and syllabi (groups 2, 3, 4)

– is understood and internalized by all faculty (groups 2, 3)


Qualities of a transferable General Education curriculum

– results in clear evidence of learning in a student portfolio or transcript (groups 1, 3, 4)

– uses peer mentoring to make clarify SLOs and make incoming students feel welcome (groups 1 and 2); peer mentors could get upper-division GE at the university for teaching GE’s purpose to prospective transfers (group 2)

– accepts the validity of the evaluation of a student portfolio as a justification for academic credit (groups 2, 3, 4)

– rewards faculty whose courses result in assessable portfolios (whereas current instructor evaluations reward good lecturers) (groups 2, 3)

– empowers students by clarifying SLOs in advance and requiring students to select the work that demonstrates proficiency (groups 3, 4)

– codes courses and student work by learning outcomes, not content areas (group 2, 4)


Possible next steps

– create and sustain collaborative faculty councils pairing CSU and CCC institutions to develop high-impact learning experiences in lower-division GE (groups 1, 3, 4)

– make the SLOs (likely derived from LEAP) apparent to students, clarifying the links to high-impact practices and work in the major (groups 1, 3, 4)

– develop on-line portfolios to make evidence of learning more portable (groups 1, 2, 3, 4)

– involve employers, students, and community in the development of SLOs shared between the segments (group 1)

– agree to common, system-level learning outcomes across all CSUs and CCCs (groups 2, 3, 4)

– translate the LEAP framework into curricular practices (group 2)

– assemble all the “baccalaureate goals” throughout the CSU onto a single website, likely housed by the CSU GE Affinity Group, to facilitate comparison and consolidation; AAC&U will help (group 2)

– pilot mid-baccalaureate “capstone” experiences that demonstrate multiple SLOs intelligibly to external audiences such as businesses, families, and (in the case of transfer students) receiving institutions (groups 3, 4)

– use CSU students as tutors in K-12 and community colleges through service learning or an internship, to include intensive reflective writing (group 1)

– connect to civic engagement (possibly meeting the graduation requirements in American Institutions) and to internships and employment, by having intersegmental faculty work with the sponsoring site (government officers, employers) to understand the SLOs (group 1)

– explore converting student loans to work study as a way to facilitate more experiential learning (group 1)

– improve curricular coherence by reducing the number of available GE courses at both the CCC and CSU (group 4)

– improve intersegmental cooperation and communication, encouraging:

            – greater experimentation at CCCs within existing policy (group 4)

            – peer mentoring (groups 1 and 2)

            – faculty and counselor split appointments between CCCs and CSUs (group 2)



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