2008-09 Initial Planning Guidelines
- The review and subsequent recommendations will be spearheaded by the Committee, but will be done in such a way as to include the entire University community and create a community-building opportunity.
- The Committee’s work will be as transparent to the University community as possible, and multiple methods of gathering University community input (group and individual) and reporting progress (including a website and blog) will be used.
- The Committee will work together via face-to-face meetings and electronic communication.
- The Committee will begin by reviewing the learning objectives for the General Education Curriculum, then move to formulating the recommended curricular components.
- The recommended new General Education Curriculum and attendant academic regulations will be submitted for approval by the General Faculty of the University (through the agency of the Faculty Senate), the Administration, and the Board of Trustees (in that order) before being presented to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges (COC).
- The aim is to complete the review in one year.
Guiding Principles of the Curriculum
The General Education curriculum and attendant academic regulations shall:
- Be consistent with the mission of the University and its strategic goals.
- Assure that our goals are consistent with the emerging national consensus about the aims of college study.
- Reflect the faculty’s definition of the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experiences that characterize a person with an SMU education, regardless of intended major.
- Be mindful of the need for assessment and facilitate that obligation—particularly important in light of the upcoming reaccreditation process by the SACS.
- Constitute approximately one-third of a 120-hour baccalaureate degree plan.
- Reflect the changing demographics of the U.S., the region, and international college-ready population.
- Enable students to pursue multiple majors or minors.
- Recognize the importance of the first year experience, as well as follow-up experience in general education.
- Reflect the need to accommodate transfer of students from other institutions.
- Incorporate student residence life as an integral part of the University’s educational mission.
- Take into consideration the fact that many students change majors in the course of an undergraduate career.
- Accommodate the need for honors programming to attract and satisfy the aspirations of high-achieving students.
- Reflect the increasing need for international study, undergraduate research options, internship experiences, and service learning.
- Be feasible within current and anticipated University resources.