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Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

The Office of General Education begins recruiting students for the Common Curriculum Reading

The Office of General Education has begun recruiting undergraduate students for this Fall’s Common Curriculum Reading – a revised version of the Common Reading.

The Common Curriculum Reading is open to all SMU undergraduate students, but will target juniors and seniors who have not completed their Civics & Individual Ethics Proficiency and Experience. Students who opt-in to the program will engage in 8 reading group meetings and discussions with their peers and program facilitators. The facilitators represent various areas across campus, including:

The book selection for Fall 2024 is “Artificial Unintelligence” by Meredith Broussard. Broussard discusses the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in modern society, and the public’s belief that AI can solve all the world’s problems. However, Broussard argues that there are social and ethical issues that AI can’t resolve.

Staff and faculty are encouraged to promote the program to their undergraduate students. Students who are interested in this co-curricular activity should complete the Qualtrics sign-up survey.

The Office of General Education is excited about this unique reading experience, and looks forward to the program’s first meeting on September 10th, 2024.

 

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Office of General Education SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs Student Success & Retention

Summer Forge returns for Summer 2024 with a 29-student cohort 

Following the successful completion of the inaugural Summer 2023 cohort, Summer Forge is back with a cohort of 29 students. Summer Forge provides invited undergraduate students with financial, academic, and social support to accelerate their path to on-time graduation.    

Invited students receive up to 8 paid semester credit hours over May, Summer, and/or August terms. To make the program more accessible, housing costs were included for non-local students. The Summer 2024 cohort consists of 29 students attempting over 167 credit hours during the summer terms. The average participant takes 6 hours to fulfill major, minor, or Common Curriculum requirements.  

Summer Forge is a collaboration between the Office of Student Success and Retention, SMU in Four, Office of Financial Aid, and Student Academic Success Programs. It reflects the university’s commitment to improving retention and graduation rates. Program Co-Directors Brittaney Wilson, General Education and Academic Appeals Coordinator, and Jay Guillory, Success Counselor in the Office of Student Success and Retention, initially identified the students based on various criteria, in addition to their commitment to complete classes in the Fall 2024 semester at SMU. They would like to thank the many advisors who recommended students and assisted with student outreach for their support.   

To kick off a successful Summer Term, Becca Umobong and Chris Meyers from Academic Skill Development led a Learning Strategies Workshop focused on: Time Management Resources and Improving Academic Success. In addition to the workshop, all students have individual academic counseling sessions. Students are also encouraged to visit the A-LEC for tutoring services across course content areas.  

Please contact Brittaney Wilson or Jay Guillory with any questions about the program.  

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Office of General Education Peer Academic Leaders Student Academic Engagement & Success

Peer Academic Leaders wrap up their first year of General Education programming

This year, the Office of General Education relaunched the Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) program during the 2024 Academic Year.

The PALs are a diverse group of undergraduate students who aim to help their peers better understand the Common Curriculum, utilize academic resources, and navigate academic challenges. They are also inserted into the Residential Commons (RCs) and facilitate monthly programming meant to build a sense of community in the RC.

The PALs had a very successful first year with many highlights, such as:

The Office of General Education is proud of the PALs’ success this year and looks forward to seeing their continued impact in the 24-25 academic year.

Students, staff, and faculty can stay up to date with the PALs events and programming on SMU 360 and the PALs website.

 

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Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

The Office of General Education to re-launch Common Reading in revised format

As the Spring 2024 semester comes to an end, the Office of General Education is working to re-launch the Common Reading program for SMU undergraduate students in Fall 2024 in a revised format.

This version of the Common Reading will target first-year students, allowing them the opportunity to earn their Civics & Individual Ethics (CIE) Common Curriculum (CC) Proficiency. Due to budget and logistical constraints, it will only be a targeted group within the first-year cohort rather than all first-year students.

The Office of General Education has created a campus-wide survey to get feedback from students, staff, and faculty members on the following:

  • Book selection and its alignment with the CIE rubric
  • Time commitment and requirements for students intending to receive the CIE credit
  • Time commitment for faculty/staff facilitators

This survey will assist the General Education team in these early planning stages as they work to create a meaningful program for students that also supports their academic endeavors. The Office of General Education encourages undergraduate students, and faculty/staff that work primarily with undergraduate students, to complete this survey.

More information will be provided regarding the Common Reading program as it continues to be developed throughout the spring and summer months.

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Office of General Education

2022 – 2023 SMU Common Curriculum assessment results shared with campus community

As part of its commitment to excellence in undergraduate education and in fulfillment of its responsibilities to its accreditor the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), SMU assesses student learning in the Common Curriculum each year. To allow sufficient time to collect, review and analyze results, and in the spirit of continuous improvement, SMU assesses approximately one-third of the Common Curriculum’s components each year (using a three-year cycle). In 2022-2023, student work was assessed in the following components: Exploring Sciences (ES) Breadth, Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Breadth, Technological Advances and Society (TAS) Breadth, Global Perspectives (GPS) Proficiency and Human Diversity (HD) Proficiency.

Work is taken from courses in fall, spring and intersession terms for review and falls into two broad categories: rated (e.g., papers, essays, oral presentations, art projects) and objective (quizzes and tests with a single, discrete answer). Student work is evaluated by trained teams of faculty volunteers, supported and coordinated by the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness. The “juried assessment” strategy we use involves having each example of student work scored or rated by two to three trained faculty evaluators using the rubric associated with each Common Curriculum Component. Results are presented to each department delivering courses in the assessed component, and each department uses the results to identify and document potential improvements in their courses. Course changes can include improvements to assignments, improvements to the delivery of particular content in the course, or improvements to the course overall. Starting this year, we are also sharing the results with all SMU stakeholders and they are available for viewing here using your SMU login credentials.

It is important to note that we are using this first cycle of assessment to establish a baseline (determining where student performance actually fell in each component) that can be used to determine the appropriate targets for future improvement. Targets listed in this year’s report were inherited from the University Curriculum and were not based on student learning or performance in the Common Curriculum nor set using the current learning outcomes. These targets will be replaced in the second cycle of assessment with targets established at one-half of a standard deviation from the mean of student performance, as demonstrated in the first cycle of assessment, as this is an accepted method of establishing targets for improvement. Going forward, in addition to reporting on the results of the Common Curriculum assessment, we will give a progress report on efforts to seek improvement in the delivery of the Common Curriculum and student educational attainment in the Common Curriculum.

It is also important to note that work was done in this first cycle of assessment on “tuning” or reviewing, refining, and improving the rubrics that we use to assess learning in the Common Curriculum. The revisions reflected in the assessment report are those proposed by the faculty raters who participated in the assessment process over the summer of 2023. These revisions, once proposed, are reviewed and approved by the Council on General Education (CoGE), which may elect to propose additional revisions and changes. The revised rubrics that result from this process go into effect after review and approval by CoGE, and the final version of the rubric will be communicated to the SMU community by CoGE through the Office of Student Academic Engagement and Success.

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Office of General Education SMU in Four Student Academic Engagement & Success

Degree Planner updated to plan co-curricular options

The Office of General Education partnered with the Office of Information Technology and the Registrar’s Office to permit undergraduate student’s the ability to plan co-curricular obtainment of Common Curriculum (CC) Proficiencies and Experience in Degree Planner. 

The purpose of this change is to simplify and ultimately make planning easier for our students.  With the Degree Planner update, students can select an SMU course, a preapproved activity, or inform us of their desire to petition an individual activity to fulfill a Proficiency or Experience 

Watch this new video on how to plan a pre-approved or individual activity in Degree Planner:  

The following pre-approved clubs and organizations fulfill CC graduation requirements, also known as Proficiencies & Experiences (PREX), and have already been added as options in Degree Planner: 

Activity Name  CC Requirement 
Alternative Breaks  Community Engagement 
Engage Dallas  Community Engagement, Civics and Individual Ethics 
Vice President for Student Affairs Advisory Board  Civics and Individual Ethics 
Mustang PEP Talks  Civics and Individual Ethics, Oral Communication 
Peer Academic Leaders (PAL)  Community Engagement, Oral Communication 
Student Wellness Program  Community Engagement 
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)  Community Engagement 
Board Fellows Program  Community Engagement 
Spiritual Life Mentors  Community Engagement 
SMU Abroad Programs  Global Perspectives 

 

Search for these pre-approved activities under the PREX course attribute in Degree Planner. 

Following the Council on General Education‘s approval, look for more pre-approved clubs and organizations that will be added to Degree Planner. Updates can also be found on each Proficiency &  Experience webpage.  

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Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success University Advising Center

Upcoming Office of General Education workshops for faculty and staff

The Office of General Education is continuing to offer various workshops for faculty and staff this spring semester.

The upcoming workshops for March include:

  • Faculty and Staff Common Curriculum Workshop
    • Tuesday, March 19th, 12PM-1PM in HT 219
    • Learn more about the Common Curriculum! This workshop will go into depth about how students are able to complete Foundation, Breadth, and Proficiency & Experience requirements.
    • Register for the workshop on SMU360 here
  • Faculty and Staff Course Proposal Workshop
    • Friday, March 22nd, 11:30AM-12:30PM in HT 219
    • Learn more about how to submit a Common Curriculum course or experience proposal. Questions will be answered about what documentation is needed, annual responsibilities to maintain the CC tag, and more.
    • Register for the workshop on SMU360 here
  • Departmental Responsibilities Workshop
    • Thursday, March 28th, 3PM-4PM in Blanton 110
    • Learn more about departmental responsibilities for submitting, maintaining, and removing Common Curriculum component tags.
    • Register for the workshop on SMU360 here

For more details about these upcoming workshops, please contact Dallas Forbes within the Office of General Education.

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Office of General Education

Approved meeting minutes from the Council on General Education on December 1, 2023

The Council on General Education met on December 1, 2023. The meeting minutes for November 10, 2023 were approved at this meeting. Below is the agenda, and the meeting minutes have now been posted on the General Education website.

  1. Approval of Agenda for the December 1, 2023 Council on General Education meeting.
  2. Approval of Minutes for the November 10, 2023 Council on General Education meeting.
  3. Common Curriculum Assessment Results (Yan)
    1. CC Components Assessed
  4. Proposals
    1. Revisions submitted
      1. APSM 3360 (Nutrition and Population Health) – PREX-CE
    2. Courses approved that are still pending a meeting with the assessment office
      1. FILM 3352 (American Film History) – HC
      2. PSYC 3362 (Psychology & the Challenges of Life) – SBS, PREX-HD
      3. WL 3379 (Modern German Culture from the Enlightenment to the Present) -PREX-GPS
      4. GERM 3379 (Modern German Culture from the Enlightenment to the Present) – PREX-GPS
    3. Courses that were tabled pending revisions
      1. FILM 2351 (International Film History) – PREX-GPS
      2. ASCE 1310 (Ceramic Technology) – TAS
      3. HRTS 4399 (Human Rights Research) – PREX-CIE, PREX-HD, PREX-GPS
  5. Critical Reasoning Fulfillment Discussion
  6. General Education Office Updates (Dustin)
    1. CoGE Working Group Timelines
      1. Re-Evaluation of Transfer Credit on Texas Common Course Numbering System
      2. External Test Credit Review (AP, IB, CLEP)
    2. CoGE Spring meeting dates
      1. 2/2/24
      2. 2/23/24-proposals due 2/12
      3. 3/8/24
      4. 4/5/24-proposals due 3/25
      5. 4/26/24 (EOY sendoff)
    3. Members leaving
      1. Luigi Manzetti served only Fall 2023
      2. Scott Douglas served from 2017-2023
    4. New/returning members
      1. Elena Borzova 2024-2027 (replacing Scott)
      2. Karisa Cloward returning from leave

Please contact the Office of General Education for questions or proposal development support.

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Office of General Education Peer Academic Leaders Student Academic Engagement & Success

Office of General Education promotes office hours in latest email blast to undergraduates

With finals on the horizon and enrollment beginning, the Office of General Education is working hard to ensure that SMU’s undergraduate students feel supported while on their academic journey.

To increase knowledge of the services provided by the Office of General Education, a recent email blast has been sent out to all undergraduate students promoting drop-in advising for both in-person and virtual appointments.

Students are encouraged to attend these appointments should they have questions about Common Curriculum or University Curriculum requirements, petitions, or Degree Planner.

The email blast also invites students to book appointments with the Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) during their office hours in Laura Lee Blanton, Suite 100.

Students, faculty, and staff can refer to SMU 360 to keep up with the events and programs offered by the Office of General Education.

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Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

Approved meeting minutes from the Council on General Education on October 20, 2023

The Council on General Education met on October 20, 2023. The meeting minutes for September 29, 2023 were approved at this meeting. Below is the agenda, and the meeting minutes have now been posted on the General Education website.

  1. Approval of Agenda for the October 20, 2023, Council on General Education meeting.
  2. Approval of Minutes for the September 29, 2023, Council on General Education meeting.
  3. CoGE Secretary Election
  4. Course Proposal Update
    1. Courses tabled from Spring 2023
      1. WL 3311 (Food/ Identify in the SW) – TAS
    2. Courses approved still pending assessment meeting.
      1. ASIM 1300 (Introduction to Digital/Hybrid Media) – TAS
    3. Courses approved pending assessment meeting: CC tags added.
      1. RELI 3331 (Renewal: Roman Catholicism) – PREI
      2. ARHS 3355 (Exhibiting Cultures Curating and Interpreting the Arts of the Global South) – CA
      3. UHP 3301 (STEM Communications) –PREX-W
    4. Courses tabled pending revisions.
      1. ASCE 1310 (Ceramic Technology) – TAS
      2. ENGL 1363 (The Myth of the West) – PREX-HD
      3. APSM 3360 (Nutrition and Population Health) – PREX-CIE
  5. Course Proposal Form Feedback Discussion
  6. Common Curriculum Assessment Results
    1. CC Components Assessed
    2. Presentation at December 1st CoGE Meeting
  7. CoGE Working Groups (Spring/Summer)
    1. External Test Credit Review (AP, IB, CLEP)
    2. Re-Evaluation of Transfer Credit on Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS)
  8. General Education Office Updates
    1. November 2/3 Engage Dallas Place-based Community Engagement Symposium
      1. November 2nd 4:30-7:00pm at SMU Indoor Performance Center
      2. November 3rd 9:00-1:00pm at Dallas College- West Dallas Campus

Please contact the Office of General Education for questions or proposal development support.