UAA GER Model

This model is for submission to the Working Group on Integrative Studies of the General Education Subcommittee of the Undergraduate Academic Board of UAA on Oct. 11, 2002. It includes some previous work on the revision of the GER Preamble.


Preamble

The General Education Program is a common requirement which the UAA Faculty prescribes as a broadening educational experience for every degree-seeking student. It is designed to guarantee an elevation of the student's level in basic skills (Phase 1), a breadth of exposure to traditional academic disciplines (Phase 2), and experience in applying his/her education in understanding and responding to the evolving state of knowledge and the world in the 21st Century (Phase 3).

Phase 1

There are three areas of courses for basic skills enhancement. Skills courses in Written Communication and Oral Communication develop the critical reading, thinking, and communication faculties (writing, speaking, and listening) necessary for personal and professional success. Courses in Quantitative Skills foster the analytical and mathematical abilities necessary for success in undergraduate study and professional life. Students may select approved courses in these categories which may also be appropriate to their intended major fields. Faculty in English, Communication, and Mathematics provide placement criteria (which may involve the completion of preparatory coursework) to ensure the outcome of skills elevation.

Phase 2

There are four required areas categorized by course content and academic discipline, These are Fine Arts, General Humanities, Natural Science, and Social Science. Courses in the Fine Arts examine the historical, aesthetic, critical, and creative aspects of art. General Humanities courses consider the cultural, historical, literary, aesthetic, ethical, and spiritual traditions shaping the contemporary world. Courses in Natural Science present theoretical and descriptive approaches to understanding the natural and physical worlds. Courses in the Social Sciences explore insights about individuals, groups, and cultures derived from empirical methodologies.

Phase 3

There is a capstone area including courses involving interrelationships and synergy of these disciplines and skills. In a productive life characterized by personal growth, it is necessary to combine and integrate lessons learned from diverse experiences. As a capstone of the General Education Program, courses have been provided by the faculties of UAA's Schools and Colleges which allow the student to synthesize academic achievement in the Program. Courses in this category may alot focus as needed to practice, study, and critical evaluation, but are assumed to include in their goals an emphasis on evolving realities of the 21st Century (e.g. globalization, diversity, scientific or social progress), and the responses of the educated person to these forces.

Operational Assumptions

Each of the eight areas has a list of courses (see page 12345). No course appears on more than one list, and only courses from a list may be used to satisy an area requirement. Courses used to satisfy area requirements in General Education may also be used to satisfy School/College requirements and/or Degree Program requirements.(This is in conflict with Regents Regulation R10.04.04.C.3) All courses on area lists are graded on the A-F basis.

Phase 3 courses may only be taken after the student has completed all Phase 1 requirements. Phase 2 courses (except those which are the second in a two-semester sequence) are assumed to have no more than one 100-level prerequisite. There are additional restrictions on a student's Phase 2 selections designed to guarantee a breadth of academic experience (see page 12345).

To facilitate the ongoing review of the efficacy of the General Education Program, listed courses may REQUIRE the student to participate in measurements relating to the goals of the Program in apposition to the goals of the course. Such measurements should on no account occupy more than one class meeting.

General Education courses are thus assumed to contribute to the fulfillment of one or more of the goals listed below in the Outcomes section.

"Outcomes"

After completing the General Education Requirement, UAA students shall be able to:
  1. Communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and formats
  2. Reason mathematically, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data competently to reach sound conclusions.
  3. Relate knowledge to the historical context in which it developed and the human problems it addresses.
  4. Interpret different systems of aesthetic representation and understanding their historical and cultural contexts.
  5. Investigate the complexity of human institutions and behavior to better understand interpersonal, group, and cultural dynamics.
  6. Identify ways in which science has advanced the understanding of important natural processes.
  7. Locate and use relevant information to make appropriate personal and professional decisions.
  8. Adopt appropriate perspectives for understanding the forces of globalization and diversity.

Leonard Smiley