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.

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

The Peer Academic Leaders complete their Fall 2023 programming

This fall, the Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) program has been consistently offering programs to help support SMU students on their academic journey.

Their programming has covered topics such as Degree Planner, Enrollment, and effective study strategies. The PALs have also facilitated workshops and Peer Panels highlighting SMU resources, including the A-LEC, the Hegi Career Development Center, TAOS, Intersessions, and Study Abroad.

The PALs have also hosted monthly “Study Breaks” in each of their assigned Residential Commons to help students maintain a healthy academic lifestyle before major exams.

The PALs have had over 700 students attend their programs throughout the Fall 2023 semester. The PALs are proud of this achievement and have already started to plan events for the Spring 2024 semester.

The PALs will wrap up their fall programming on December 5th, where they will collaborate with Fondren Library for SMU’s first-ever Study-A-Thon. This event will take place in Fondren’s Blue Mezzanine, reserved so students can grab snacks and study for their final exams.

The Office of General Education is excited to see what the PALs can achieve in Spring 2024. Students, staff, and faculty can stay updated with the PALs programming via SMU 360, Instagram, or the PALs website.