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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

Modifications made to Common Curriculum Global Perspectives rubric, permitting all SMU Abroad programs to satisfy

The Council on General Education (CoGE) approved changes to the Common Curriculum (CC) Global Perspectives (GPS) Proficiency and Experience (P&E) rubric on November 11, 2023.

The CC Global Perspectives graduation requirement contains 5 experience criteria. Criteria three establishes how undergraduate students can achieve the graduation requirement via a co-curricular experience.

CoGE approved an update to the experience criteria to now read:

Student experiences must involve at least fourteen days of an immersive experience in a global culture or completion of an approved SMU Abroad program. An immersive context is one in which students live like members of the local population, following local customs, eating local food, taking local transportation, etc

This change was recommended since not all SMU Abroad programs are 14 days but may be shorter, ranging from 9 to 12 days. Since SMU Abroad programs have a curricular component or are SMU faculty-led, we believe the GPS student learning outcomes are being achieved via these vetted programs by the Education Abroad Council.

Students who do not enroll in a GPS-tagged course via the SMU Abroad program will be asked to complete the 1,000-word reflection as part of their re-entry experience. Therefore, these changes would permit SMU to say all SMU Abroad offerings achieve GPS. This change also enacts recommendations from the ACE Internationalization Steering Committee.

SMU Abroad and the Office of General Education are working to operationalize the collection of reflections beginning with the Spring 2024 abroad cohort during their re-entry experience. If you have questions about these changes, please contact the Office of General Education.

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Office of General Education

Council on General Education approved updates to the Common Curriculum Critical Reasoning rubric

On Friday, September 1st, operating within its scope of authority, the Council on General Education approved an update to the Common Curriculum Critical Reasoning rubric.

Critical Reasoning was assessed for the first time in Summer 2021 by the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness. Following that round of assessment, raters recommended reviewing and revising the rubric, which they found difficult to apply in many cases. A faculty-led committee was charged to review and revise the rubric over the summer.

Further review of the rubric found that although the learning outcome for Critical Reasoning is appropriate to the components (Students will demonstrate university-level critical reasoning proficiencies through written expression), the supporting skills emphasize writing and are nearly identical to the supporting skills for Academic Writing requirement, which has a different learning outcome (Students will develop competency, clarity, coherence, and organization in their writing). Plus, writing is assessed separately under the Academic Writing, Writing, and within the academic evaluation process.

The current design of the Critical Reasoning rubric has functioned as a barrier to the development of courses outside of the Writing and Reasoning Program (WRTR), mainly because of the primary focus on academic writing in the current iteration of the rubric. Therefore, efforts to revise the Critical Reasoning rubric have been joined with this effort to expand offerings in Critical Reasoning beyond WRTR 1313, WRTR 2304, and WRTR 2306.

Common Curriculum course proposal forms and the online rubrics were updated with the newly-approved rubric.