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

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 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 February 2, 2024

The Council on General Education met on February 2, 2024. The meeting minutes for December 1, 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 February 2, 2024, Council on General Education meeting.
  2. Approval of Minutes for the December 1, 2023, Council on General Education meeting.
  3. Update on Spring 2024 Meeting Schedule (Peter)
    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)
  4. Welcome new/returning members (Peter)
    1. Elena Borzova 2024-2027 (replacing Scott Douglas)
    2. Karisa Cloward returning from Fall 2023 leave (Luigi Manzetti only served Fall 2023)
  5. Rubric Updates (Dayna)
    1. Exploring Science
    2. Social and Behavioral Sciences
    3. Technological Advances and Society
    4. Global Perspectives
    5. Human Diversity
  6. Critical Reasoning Redesign Update (Sheri/Dustin)
    1. Fulfillment Requirement
    2. Grade Repeat
    3. Course Registration
  7. CoGE Working Group Timelines (Dustin/Melina)
    1. Re-Evaluation of Transfer Credit on Texas Common Course Numbering System
      1. Volunteer Members: Chris Logan, Stephanie Amsel, Dayna Oscherwitz
    2. External Test Credit Review (AP, IB, CLEP)
      1. Volunteer Members: Dayna Oscherwitz
  8. General Education Office Updates (Dustin)
    1. Communications shared related to Fall CoGE business
      1. Council on General Education approved updates to the Common Curriculum Critical Reasoning rubric
      2. New External Breadth Swap Petition now available for Common Curriculum students on the Fall 2023 Catalog or later
      3. The Council on General Education approves changes to Common Curriculum Critical Reasoning fulfillment requirements
      4. Modifications made to Common Curriculum Global Perspectives rubric, permitting all SMU Abroad programs to satisfy
      5. The Office of General Education archives General Education Curriculum website
      6. Council on General Education – Spring 2024 Meetings
      7. Approved meeting minutes from the Council on General Education on September 01, 2023
      8. Approved meeting minutes from the Council on General Education on September 29, 2023
      9. Approved meeting minutes from the Council on General Education on October 20, 2023
      10. Approved meeting minutes from the Council on General Education on November 10, 2023
      11. Approved meeting minutes from the Council on General Education on December 1, 2023

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

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Office of General Education

Audit conducted to identify UC students who are missing general education or graduation requirements

To assist students on the University Curriculum (UC) graduate, the Office of General Education conducted an audit of all UC students who are missing general education or graduation requirements. 

 This audit identified 51 students’ missing requirements.  

 The Office of General Education staff reviewed Degree Progress Reports (DPR) and Transfer Evaluation Reports (TER), if applicable, to see what action was needed to support individual students. 

Melina Padron and Brittaney Wilson sent initial outreach by email in December 2023. They then followed up with text and phone calls to share personalized support on assisting UC students with degree completion.  

The support offered included: guiding students through the petition process, advising on course enrollment, and sharing alternative credit pathways. Additionally, four course overrides for credit were performed on behalf of the students. 

The UC requirements apply to students who matriculated into SMU between Fall 2016 and Spring 2020. The UC’s main coursework components are Foundations, Breadths, and Depths. In addition to seven Proficiencies and Experiences.  

 

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Office of General Education

Council on General Education – Spring 2024 Meetings

The Office of General Education has announced the Council on General Education’s Spring 2024 meetings.

Meetings will be held via Zoom from 11:30am – 1:00pm on the following dates:

  • February 2, 2024
  • February 23, 2024 (proposal meeting)
  • March 8, 2024
  • April 5, 2024 (proposal meeting)
  • April 26, 2024 (in-person; location TBD)

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

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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

The Council on General Education approves changes to Common Curriculum Critical Reasoning fulfillment requirements

On Friday, December 1st, the Council on General Education approved a change in the Common Curriculum Critical Reasoning fulfillment requirement effective Spring 2024.

Since the establishment of the Common Curriculum in Fall 2020, the Critical Reasoning Foundation component required undergraduate students to (1) achieve a C- or better and (2) not drop or withdraw from a CR course. Effective Spring 2024, students can now drop or withdraw from a CR-tagged course.

This change was warranted due to the recently announced changes to the Critical Reasoning rubric and the efforts to develop courses outside of the Writing and Reasoning Program (WRTR). Beginning in Spring 2024, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (CCPA) and Journalism (JOUR) will offer CR-tagged courses.

The Office of General Education will coordinate updates to impacted course descriptions, syllabi language, and websites with academic departments before winter break. This recent approval will be reflected in the Undergraduate Catalog for the 2024 – 2025 academic year.

Student progress through the Common Curriculum Foundation components will be monitored and enforced via the University-wide Requirements for Academic Progress articulated in the Undergraduate Catalog. 

The fulfillment requirements of a C- letter grade and the inability to drop and withdraw remain in effect for the Academic Writing Foundation component.

Please direct questions to the Office of General Education at theccmail@smu.edu.

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Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

New External Breadth Swap Petition now available for Common Curriculum students on the Fall 2023 Catalog or later

The Office of General Education made a new External Breadth Swap Petition available on Tuesday, September 19. The new petition is public at smu.edu/petitions and on the Registrar’s Form Library

SMU Common Curriculum (CC) students may satisfy up to three Breadth requirements using external credit. External credit is test, dual, concurrent, or transfer credit.

Suppose a student possesses pre-matriculation external credit for more than three Breadth requirements. In that case, a student may want to substitute one of the three satisfied Breadth requirements that were applied during Fall 2023 admission processing for a different Breadth requirement.

Based on recommendations from the University Advising Center, the Registrar’s Office configured the Fall 2023 catalog to satisfy external Beadth credits in the following order during the admission process:

  1. Literary Analysis and Interpretation (LAI),
  2. Creativity & Aestetics (CA),
  3. Historical Context (HC),
  4. Philosophical, Religious, and Ethical Inquiry (PREI),
  5. Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS),
  6. Exploring Science (ES), and then
  7. Technological Advances and Society (TAS).

The advising community felt this order would benefit the high-hour majors in Lyle School of Engineering and other sciences and Pre-Health track students who will fulfill ES and TAS through SMU courses.

Questions or concerns about the new petition can be directed to the Office of General Education via theccmail@smu.edu.