Task Force to Revitalize General Education

A task force is looking at ways to revitalize the General Education program, and the campus community is invited to participate in a roundtable event beginning at noon on April 8 to kick off the process.

Erin Hardin, director of undergraduate studies and associate department head in the Department of Psychology, chairs the task force. The complete membership of the task force and more information about the effort is posted on the provost’s website.

Hardin said that although a group of faculty, staff, and students have been invited to participate, the task force wants to hear from others who would like to be part of the effort. The event will begin with a luncheon at noon, followed by roundtable discussions from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and will conclude with a reception from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. All events will take place in the Wolf Kaplan Center in Neyland Stadium.

“If you teach or work with undergraduates at UT, we need your input, whether you teach general education or not,” Hardin said, adding that the roundtable event will mark the start of General Education Month, when a variety of information-gathering activities will be held.

“Our goal is to refresh or redesign general education and to talk about what it is—or could be—at UT,” Hardin said. ”We’re not yet convinced that a wholesale redesign of general education is required. What we want to do is create a campus-wide dialogue about what is already working and what needs to be addressed.”

The provost has charged the task force with developing a plan that ensures students understand and appreciate the purpose of general education, enhances the value of general education, and better integrates general education into the curriculum to ensure that all students—those who enter as freshmen and those who transfer to UT—have similar outcomes.

Hardin said the task force will use the campus input to develop proposals over the summer.

The ideas will be introduced to the campus in the fall of 2016 with the goal of having a new general education plan approved in the spring of 2017 and implemented in the fall of 2018.

Register for the April 8 roundtable event.