A faculty-driven self-study of the University of Delaware's broad goals in undergraduate education is underway to ensure that UD students of the future are prepared for tomorrow's challenges.

General Education Task Force appointed

Faculty-driven self-study to examine UD's general education goals

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8:27 a.m., July 14, 2014--Faculty and staff from across the University of Delaware have been appointed to a General Education Task Force that will examine the University’s core goals in undergraduate education. 

“The University of Delaware’s general education goals provide a unique foundation from which our students have the opportunity to develop their potential and prepare for a world that will be even more diverse, technologically advanced and globally connected than today,” said Provost Domenico Grasso. 

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“As the University moves forward in developing a new strategic plan, the task force will play a critical role in our process of self-examination. During this time of reflection and exploration, we must ask ourselves what we want our students to get from a UD education, ensuring that our goals are on the mark in expanding the intellectual development and horizons of our students, preparing them well to take on the challenges of the future,” Grasso noted.

UD’s current “General Education Goals to Success” range from attaining effective skills in oral and written communication, quantitative reasoning and the use of information technology, to developing an international perspective in order to live and work in an increasingly global society.

Students gain skills and knowledge to attain these goals through their participation in such activities as the First Year Seminar, Discovery Learning Experiences, Capstone Experiences and academic coursework in four breadth areas, including the creative arts and humanities, history and cultural change, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, natural sciences and technology.

“This is an opportunity for UD faculty to more clearly define what it means to be educated here at the University of Delaware — how a UD education provides students with critical skills and knowledge for their future success, yet is distinctive from what other universities offer,” said Deputy Provost Nancy Brickhouse.

Brickhouse said the timing of the self-study aligns well with the University’s Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI), which launched earlier this year. The SPI’s three working groups include a number of members of both the task force and the faculty senate committee on general education. 

Additionally, changes to the general education goals will be incorporated in the Periodic Review Report due to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 2016.  

This summer, the General Education Task Force’s core working group, led by John Pelesko, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, is laying the groundwork for a constructive conversation about general education with the full campus community. 

The task force will make its recommendations to the University Faculty Senate General Education Committee for consideration during the fall semester. The committee is chaired by Norman Wagner, Alvin B. and Julia O. Stiles Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

General Education Task Force 

Core Working Group:

John Pelesko, Mathematical Sciences, chair

Joseph Harris, English

Kathleen Kerr, Residence Life and Housing

Kelvin Lee, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Eric Rise, Sociology and Criminal Justice

Steering Committee:

Deborah Allen, Biological Sciences

Stephen Bernhardt, English

Nicole Donofrio, Plant and Soil Sciences

Lesa Griffiths, Animal and Food Sciences

Steve Hastings, Applied Economics and Statistics

Michal Herzenstein, Business Administration

John Jungck, Biological Sciences 

Sue McGeary, Geological Sciences

Frank Newton, Earth, Ocean, and Environment

Bob Opila, Materials Science

Cindy Shenkle, Arts and Sciences

Bahira Trask, Human Development and Family Studies

University Faculty Senate General Education Committee

Norman Wagner, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, chair

Avron Abraham, Academic Enrichment Center

Erin Brannick, Animal and Food Sciences

Iain Crawford, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning

Meryl Gardner, Business Administration

John Gizis, Physics and Astronomy

Christopher Knight, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology

Bernard McKenna, English

Kathleen Pusecker, Office of Educational Assessment

April Veness, Geography

Lynn Worden, Human Development and Family Studies

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