September 25, 2016

Global Citizenship Program wins liberal studies award

Webster University’s Global Citizenship Program (GCP) has been recognized as an example of a successful program revision for the twenty-first century.

The Association of General and Liberal Studies (AGLS) named the GCP curriculum an Exemplary Program Award in the category of “Program Revision or Enhancement”.

The AGLS is an organization dedicated to strengthening general studies programs, According to their website (agls.org), they seek to adapt broad and liberal education to a climate that favors “specialization and workforce-driven curricula.”

According to a Webster press release, the AGLS voted unanimously to recognize the GCP program.

The GCP program requires students to take classes in the areas of critical thinking, ethical reasoning, intercultural competence, oral communication, quantitative literacy, written communication and integrative learning and teamwork. In addition, the program includes a freshman seminar requirement for first-year students and a keystone seminar for graduating seniors.

Webster philosophy professor and GCP Director Bruce Umbaugh, who helped lead the program redesign in 2009, said the award validates Webster’s efforts to create a program that suits all of the university’s schools, majors and international campuses.

“In its implementation, we have drawn on so many different parts of Webster for curriculum revision, professional development, and for attention to student learning outside their coursework,” Umbaugh said. “This is an award that pretty much everyone involved in undergraduate education helped Webster to earn.”

Umbaugh said despite the program’s success, Webster is continually working on improvements. This year, the GCP committee will begin offering open office hours to hear students’ questions and suggestions about the program.

“We have come a tremendous distance and done a lot of good, but there’s always more to do,” Umbaugh said. “We want to help departments adopt assessment practices for their GCP work that are more authentic and that provide information about teaching and learning that faculty can use to improve what we do for students.”

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