Director of the General Education Program Istvan Varkonyi discussed the gen-ed curriculum and the program review occurring this semester to the General Assembly yesterday, March 4.
“There are always concerns and questions about gen-ed and I think one of the biggest things is a lot of misinformation about gen-ed,” Varkonyi said.
Varkonyi began with a 20-minute briefing of basic details of the gen-ed program. The current gen-ed curriculum is five years old and was designed to become more thematic and force students to make connections between disciplines, cultures and texts.
Along with basic details, Varkonyi admitted that not all gen-ed courses are successful due to a variety of factors including course content and professor performance.
“I’m the first one to admit there are weaknesses in the program,” Varkonyi said.
The gen-ed curriculum is currently undergoing both course recertification and a program review.
According to the original presidential document put in place by former President Ann Weaver Hart, every gen-ed course must be reviewed using student work and course information to ensure the course is meeting the learning objects and earn recertification.
In the next two months, Varkonyi and the rest of the gen-ed executive committee plan to edit, conduct and present the findings of a self review of the program. In early May, three outside professionals will evaluate the gen-ed curriculum.
Director of Academic Affairs Patricia Boateng, who also serves on the General Education executive committee, invited Varkonyi to speak to the GA.
“I have been privy to some great conversations and great discussion about gen-ed and I thought that it was important to give students the ability to be part of the discussion as well,” Boateng said.
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