Morehouse College is committed to implementing an innovative, effective General Education experience that achieves multiple learning outcomes among students. The General Education curriculum is organized around a set of “essential learning outcomes” that are the key outcomes of a liberal education. AAC&U has identified four key areas as central to these learning outcomes: Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World, Intellectual and Practical Skills, Personal and Social Responsibility, and Integrative and Applied Learning.
Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World
- Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts
- Inquiry and analysis Quantitative Literacy
- Critical and creative thinking Information Literacy
- Written and oral communication Teamwork and problem solving
Intellectual and Practical Skills, Including
Personal and Social Responsibility, Including
- Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
- Intercultural knowledge and competence
- Ethical reasoning and action
- Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
Integrative and Applied Learning, Including
- Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies
Innovative general education models abound and include many models that enhance the depth of content, effectiveness of learning, retention and graduation rates. The transformation of the General Education curriculum is an important goal for Morehouse College and faculty lead the effort to review, implement and assess general education approaches that support student learning, the achievement of learning outcomes, and enhance the deep and integrated learning of students. Examples of innovative pedagogical approaches in general education include a number of high impact educational practices, such as first year programs, intensive writing, collaborative assignments, undergraduate research, service-learning,
Opportunities for faculty development in General Education are included here:
2017 General Education and Assessment: Design Thinking for Student Learning
General education sits at the intersection of an array of demands facing higher education—demands for more intentionally scaffolded, integrated, and engaged approaches to teaching and learning; more campus-community partnerships; more mentoring and advising; more multimodal learning experiences; and, above all, more meaningful assessment of student learning across these efforts. “General Education and Assessment: Design Thinking for Student Learning” will focus on how educators throughout all sectors of higher education can address these and other issues by designing, implementing, and evaluating high-quality general education pathways that are effective for all students—especially those from traditionally underserved groups. Conference participants will examine how faculty members and all campus educators are being supported and rewarded for innovative work and leadership in designing new approaches to teaching and learning that prepare today’s students to be active participants in our nation’s democracy and to succeed in an ever-changing global society.
AAC&U invites proposals that examine research, evidence, and models for effective general education programs and courses that help all students make meaning of their general education studies and of the connections to their major programs. With focused attention on equity, the meeting will examine (1) assessment models, tools, and feedback loops for advancing high-quality student learning; (2) assignment designs to support student agency and signature work; (3) new approaches to general education using design thinking as a guide; and (4) structures and practices that support, recognize, and reward the creativity and leadership of faculty members and educators across all campus domains.
A change in perspective from seeing general education as a checklist of requirements to seeing it as essential to meaning-making for learning requires rethinking the curriculum and cocurriculum and re-envisioning the nature of faculty roles and pedagogies. Participants will consider how campuses can support the development of, assess, and sustain effective general education programs. They will learn how to redesign general education programs to extend from cornerstone to capstone and how to scaffold high-impact practices in order to empower all students with the knowledge and skills required for successful professional, personal, and social lives. Participants will also explore how general education redesign efforts that include opportunities for students to pursue Signature Work can enhance the quality of learning for all students regardless of where and how they enter higher education.
Essential to any effective general education program will be opportunities for students and educators alike to work intentionally and collaboratively with diverse peers to make excellence inclusive. As AAC&U’s Board of Directors’ Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence notes, “Making excellence inclusive is a fundamentally democratic ideal. It expresses our confidence in the liberating power of education. Without inclusion, there is no true excellence.”
Join us at this year’s General Education and Assessment conference to explore how general education and more effective forms of assessment can help us truly make excellence inclusive and empower all our students for future success and well-being.
We invite you to review the Call for Proposals and to join us next February in Phoenix to lend your expertise and voice to these most important conversations.
For a review of the 2016 General Education and Assessment conference, please see 2016 conference information.