The process for creating and implementing a new General Education curriculum will be designed around these five steps:
1. Identifying Core Learning Outcomes and Competencies (Spring 2021)
As one of our initial design team tasks, selected team members were sent a competencies survey in spring 2021. In this survey, they were given the opportunity to provide input on the core competencies, and learning and outcome essentials that they felt were necessary to any General Education Redesign. Competency options included second language requirements, information literacy standards and key benchmarks of cultural and intercultural understanding.
2. Development of a new General Education Curricular Model (Summer 2021)
The summer institute produced a draft proposal for a brand new Gen Ed curricular model, which incorporated both a shared core for two-year and four-year undergraduate degrees, and new competencies identified through the systemwide survey of faculty, staff, and students. This new curricular model included a two-tiered curriculum, just like we currently have, with additional requirements beyond the shared core for four-year degree students.
3. Consultations (Fall 2021-Spring 2022)
The draft proposal was the subject of extensive discussions and consultations across the UH system throughout AY 2021-2022.
4. Campus-Level Development (Academic Year 2022-2023)
Each campus’ General Education Committee or Board will discuss the revised proposal, and consider how high-impact practices and institutional values (e.g. Native Hawaiian place of learning, Sustainability) could be built into the baseline curriculum. Each campus-level faculty senate will vote on a resolution.
5. Curricular and Structural Implementation (Summer 2023-Spring 2025)
Following Board of Regents approvals of the new Gen Ed Proposal as required by RP 5.213, and with various means of support for professional development, the next phase will be curricular development–or faculty working together to develop (where needed) and incorporate the competencies and learning outcomes into existing courses–and the development of new Gen Ed courses. This step will also involve structural implementation of the program, which will include (among other things):
- New or revised committee structures
- Processes and procedures by which our ten campus’ faculties will be able to structure curricular development (alternatives, in other words, to individual designations on thousands of courses)
- Pedagogical support for incorporating the new Gen Ed program into courses and degree programs
- Professional development support for those in advising roles, a review of BANNER and STAR tools, and catalog and program sheet revisions.
- Policy and procedural updates
6. Transition from Current to New Gen Ed Program
Just as we all did when the Foundations Symbolic Reasoning (FS) designation was replaced by the Foundations Quantitative Reasoning (FQ) requirement, there was a period of about three years for curricular development. This meant that students who entered the UH system prior to fall 2018 could fulfill their graduation requirements with an FS or FQ course. Thus FS-designated courses will be offered through summer 2023 to accommodate those students. For students who entered the UH system in fall 2018 or later, they must take one FQ course.
Similarly, the current Gen Ed program, and suite of Gen Ed designations, will need to be continued throughout a multi-year transition period. As a hypothetical example, if the new Gen Ed program of requirements is effective in fall 2025, students who enter in fall 2025 or later will need to fulfill the new requirements. However, courses with the old (current) designations will continue to be offered for several years (perhaps through summer 2029 or 2030) to accommodate students who enter the UH system prior to fall 2025.