Enriched Theory, New Practices-Revising General Education at California State University, Monterey Bay

Category 2: Program Development Grant

"California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) recently revised its interdisciplinary, outcomes-based general education program. While meeting external exigencies to reduce the number of required units and resources, we maintained the university_s commitments to transformational learning. For example, we retained civic engagement through the Service Learning and Democratic Participation requirements, incorporated applied ethics into Communication and Critical Thinking, and integrated theory and practice to produce personal wellness plans via study in Health and Wellbeing. In our efforts to sustain engaged learning opportunities through the revised general education curriculum, we are ready now to combine this enriched theoretical approach with new pedagogical practices. We propose a pilot project where faculty thematically link a select set of general education courses, develop integrative learning opportunities, and document student learning through eportfolios. The general education themes are to be developed in conjunction with the university_s emerging baccalaureate outcomes. Potential themes include _Flourishing,_ _Justice,_ and _Sustainability._ The themes will inform instruction for student cohorts enrolled in linked G. E. courses. Faculty will create integrative learning activities and assignments and design the eportfolios during a spring semester co-operative. The thematically linked G. E. courses will be offered in the fall semester, when faculty will continue to meet in the co-operative to share experiences and to coordinate co-curricular events. At semester_s end, faculty will convene for a day-long assessment of student eportfolios. Using the AAC&U Value Rubric on Integrative Learning, we will evaluate student work and review the effectiveness of the general education outcomes and pedagogies. This pilot project will be a collaborative effort, bringing together existing and emergent institutional capacities. The university_s G.E. Committee and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) will continue their partnership in conducting faculty learning co-operatives and assessment work."