On March 1, faculty at Webster voted in favor of an alternative general education plan…
Deadline approaches for new general education programs
The deadline is approaching for departments throughout the university to submit fall 2012 general education courses to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) and Global Citizenship Committee (GCC).
Departments have until Nov. 29 to submit new courses to the UCC, and until Jan. 31, 2012, to submit existing courses to the GCC.
Bruce Umbaugh, philosophy professor and GCC director, said Webster is trying to make the new general education program more focused on students.
“When you just have the kind of cafeteria line (of courses), there’s nothing very integrated about the educational experience,” Umbaugh said. “We’re trying to be very intentional as faculty to help students integrate the knowledge that they learn in different disciplines.”
Kim Kleinman, assistant director of undergraduate advising, said most of the programs will be primarily 1000 and 2000 level courses.
Eventually, the new program will also include 3000 and 4000 level courses. Kleinman, who is a member of the GCC, said the new program is more learner-centered and emphasizes individual excellence, as well as global citizenship.
“We are going to come out of this with a much more coherent undergraduate education that is distinctly Webster and tied to the university’s mission,” Kleinman said.
The UCC will accept new course submissions after Nov. 29, but there is no guarantee new courses submitted after that date will make it into the undergraduate catalog for next fall. The petitioner of a new course must present the course to the UCC.
Courses currently labeled with the code GNST will have to be submitted to the GCC and added to the catalog under the code GCP (Global Citizenship Program). The committee will evaluate how the courses fit into the new program.
“We want to deliver a good quality product to our students,” associate professor, UCC co-chair and GCC representative, Dr. Barrett Baebler, said. “The best way to do that is to ask questions up front.”
All paperwork for new and old courses must be submitted to both committees by Jan. 31 to make it into the course catalog for fall 2012.
The GCC will review courses on paper and, in some cases, may ask a course’s petitioner to meet with the committee.
Kleinman said the changes will eventually affect all of Webster — including international campuses — starting fall 2012 with incoming freshman. He said students today need different skills than students 35 years ago, and the new program will help to teach students those skills.
“The new general education program fits with where Webster’s been and helps us do what we’ve always done even better,” Kleinman said.