What would general education in New Mexico look like if we could design it from the ground up?
- We would start with the question of outcomes: What transferable skills and content knowledge should all graduates leave their institution with?
- We would develop a streamlined curriculum with greater emphasis on acquisition of transferable skills valued by employers and essential for lifelong learning.
- We would include careful assessment to ensure that we are meeting outcomes.
We would get there by asking:
- Faculty to drive this effort: they are the experts in curriculum, and their contributions to any efforts at education reform are critical.
- Students to contribute to the conversation: we need to understand what they are seeking in a college education.
- The Higher Education Department to facilitate this state-wide: HED has responsibility for general education across New Mexico, and they represent the interest of New Mexico and its people.
- Assistance from Chief Academic Officers at every institution of higher education in New Mexico: their assistance is required to ensure that this effort is informed by faculty teaching general education all over the state.
At institutions around the nation, general education programs are moving from models driven by courses and content areas to models driven by outcomes. This General Education Summit will kickoff an initiative in New Mexico that will lead to a more purposeful approach to general education, resulting in a curriculum that will develop the skills that are essential for our students’ success.
The New Mexico Higher Education Department invites Chief Academic Officers to bring a team of up to eight people, primarily faculty, to convene in January to begin this work in our state. Each institution’s team should include the following people or their designates: dean of the college of arts and sciences, the chair of the faculty senate, student body president, and other faculty such as chairs of undergraduate curriculum committees.
We are seeking the following outcomes for this summit:
- The development of principles and guidelines for use in creating a new model of general education for the state of New Mexico.
- The creation of a statewide steering committee that is representative of higher education institutions across the state that is charged with identifying essential learning outcomes and formulating a curriculum model that will achieve those outcomes, by March of 2016.
Registration will remain open until Friday, January 8.
For more information, call Kim Altamirano at (575) 646-7942.