Semester (Study Abroad)
Humanities, Religion, and Foreign Language (3 credits)
Composition and Artifacts (3 credits)
Sociology and Anthropology (2 credits)
Life Science and Mathematics (3 credits)
Nutrition, Health, and Fitness (1 credit)
Communications and Human Relationships (3 Credits)
Semester Before Last Semester
Last Semester Study Abroad (Service Learning)
Total number of credits is 60 with majors
having the option of 1-4 more credits in the arete program.
Curriculum Philosophy and Justification
I find my motivations in designing general education to be directly tied to the 10 trends and issues that Parkay presents on pages 46-51 of our text: Curriculum Planning: A Contemporary Approach. These 10 items are not just important to curriculum development; they are 10 issues that will shape our success or failure as a civilization and planet. If I use them as my foundation, I can create a liberal and aggressive curriculum that can meet the needs of the future for both my students and the world.
Our Increasing Ethnic and Cultural Diversity must be understood, accepted, and compromised if we are going to have a measure of peace in a world that is shrinking because of technology. Living amongst those of a different ethnic group and culture provides students the opportunity to develop love and understanding as they deepen and broaden their own experiences in life. Out of the 90 students I have traveled with, none have come back not appreciating their experience. Most Americans are nationalistic and egocentric; this experience will definitely impact their understanding of ethnic and cultural diversity. Compromise and understanding will be our goals.
As the world hosts more people, we will continually find tougher problems with the Environment. The study abroad components will expose the students to many different environments and the life-science courses on both trips will have as one of their objectives to understand the impact that humans are having on the environment and to propose solutions to some of these problems. The service-learning component in the second study abroad may have the environment as a direct focus depending on the chosen country. The Seeing Our World Through Physical Science and Calculus course will be what we are best known for on campus as it connects students to the world in such a way that they will be able to develop critical thinking that will make them valuable assets in solving complex environmental problems.
Another key focus to be addressed is the Changing Values and Morality of the world. Our students will be put into a setting that forces exposure to a culture with different values and morality. This exposure will be a key in helping our students look at their own values and morality. The Philosophy Portfolio due as a crowning project will be the telling piece as to how successful we have been at helping the students become stable in values and morality.
The developed philosophy will be a huge influence on the students as they begin to marry and have families. The changing thoughts on families will be explored and re-created during the courses on Eastern and Western Worlds. The Family will be the central focus as key principles and historical events will be tied to influences that have changed the family. The Relationships and Families course will also be required to help the students in this area.
The Microelectronics Revolution will continue to influence our future and the students involved at this university will be keenly aware of this issue not just in their native land, but in other lands of the world. All students will be required to have a laptop during the two study abroad periods; e-mail and cell phones will keep us connected to the campus and home. Neat opportunities will arise to connect with classes that are being held on campus--those abroad can teach via the Internet or can be the connection people helping to set up further service-learning. Millions of opportunities will present themselves. This will be exciting.
Because we will have to be flexible and adaptive, our students will be in the vanguard of those understanding the Changing World of Work that is another key area of concern for those planning curriculum and for those going to school. The problem solving in key courses will help students understand a changing world. Our Arete Lecture and Design component will also help our students to prepare for a very different world and will give our students opportunities to show success in a limited-guidance situation.
The developed understanding of flexibility and adaptability will also help us in teaching the value of Equal Rights! Our students will bridge bias between races and religions; our students will work together as male and female in tough service settings that will help show the value of two sexes and will create a mutual understanding of help meet and fellow citizen.
We will be aggressive in finding worthy service-learning projects that may include fighting Crime, Violence, and Terrorism. If we can make an impact in these areas, it will be miraculous; worst case, we will all learn lessons in problem solving that will help us create and implement visions that will deter and rid the world of crime and violence. Understanding and love will replace much of the bad as we become more and more successful.
Obviously, the great value of this general education is creating Purpose and Meaning for students. When you travel, understanding replaces ignorance most of the time and travelers see more purpose and meaning in human beings and cultures. Ours will be a much smaller world where we are dependent on the Global Community to help us educate our students. It is a liberal and aggressive curriculum that cannot only meet the needs of the students, but it can help solve the world's problems.
Team Teaching will be tremendously important at our university. Each course will have a designer and leader, but then the course will have several instructors from different areas so that an integrated understanding will occur. The designers and leaders will have to be tremendously organized and flexible in order to pull it off, but it will be a wonderful model for students to see teachers drawing back together from departments.
Arete Lecture and Design (1 credit) each semester that the student studies on campus: individual majors have the option of using the four semesters under their jurisdiction to include the 1 credit towards the major or they can use the four credits for major requirements or electives. The students spend two hours a week planning and organizing a week of their own study which can but does not have to include travel. Then, just after midterms, the students will have a free week to complete their plan. They return to the Arete Lecture and Design course for two class periods to give a report on their week. The replaces spring break so that the students are wiser and more fulfilled in their choices.
Field Trips, Labs, and Practical Experience will be another hallmark of our university. All campus classes will fit into a Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday time period with Wednesdays being left open for laboratory opportunities, field trips, and practical experiences. The program is designed so that students choose their Wednesday experiences--the only penalty if they make a poor choice will be their lack of experience in setting priorities as to the most important needs for that particular Wednesday.
Nutrition, Health, and Fitness courses that run throughout much of a student's experience at our university will tie in directly with food services on campus and will also become a huge tie-in with the community as we use grocery stores, fitness clubs, health food stores, and other businesses to help us establish strong and healthy habits in our students.