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GE Resources


Click on the column headings to sort GE resources by subject, date, or file name. Send contributions to Ken O'Donnell.

File Description Document Date Subject
Your College Major May Not Be As Important As You Think

Zac Bissonnette write in the New York Times to reassure students (and their parents) that the degree matters more than the major, citing statistics and direct quotations from employers in support of undergraduate breadth.

2010-11-04 workforce
WSU Honors College Assessment Report

A first-class example of feasible, practical learning outcomes assessment at the department/college level.

2010-05-24 assessment
Why Arts Education Is a Matter of Social Justice

Lucia Brawley writes in the Huffington Post on the value of the arts for an educated citizenry.  There are good arguments in here for the importance of GE generally.

2009-04-24 GE design
What's at Stake 2014-10-20 presentation
Well Rounded Is for Donuts A HEDs Up presentation to the AAC&U Annual Meeting on the real value of liberal learning. 2011-01-28 presentation
Webinar on Sustainability and GE This is the webinar presented by Geoffrey Chase, Dean of Undergraduate Education at San Diego State University, on using the theme of sustainability to integrate and contextualize a general education curriculum. 2009-11-18 GE design
Wake-Up Call for American Higher Education Two page summary of Adelman's view of the Bologna Process, from an article in Inside Higher Ed. 2008-05-21 Bologna
Visual Intelligence: Bridging the Gap from Visual Literacy to Visual Reasoning This is a draft article cowritten by a friend of mine at Washington State University's Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology.  The authors argue that higher education is ready to teach "visual reasoning," to develop students' capacity to be intentional, self-aware, and critical about interpreting what they see.  There are good ideas in here for incorporating GE learning objectives into a particular discipline. 2007-06-20 major integration
VALUE webinar This is the PowerPoint used in the presentation we heard from Dr. Terrel Rhodes, Vice President in the Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. His presentation was on the national development of rubrics to describe learning in general education. The rubrics are available to the public at 2009-09-29 assessment
untitled 10/22/2015 kodonnell
University of Hong Kong Looks to the West in Curricular Redesign

Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Hong Kong, like China, is adding a year of breadth to the traditional three-year undergraduate degree, toward developing a less rigid and narrowly focused workforce.

2010-07-19 GE design
Unifying the Undergraduate Experience 2014-10-03 presentation
Two Kinds of Transfer A presentation to Cal State Fullerton faculty, as they embarked on a campus-wide re-evaluation of the local GE curriculum. 2009-02-06 presentation
Two Coasts Three Watersheds

Keynote address to Brooklyn College CUNY on the subject of its "core curriculum," a GE design that's unusual among the large publics for requiring a particular set of courses as opposed to options within a larger framework.

2010-06-01 presentation
Tremor or Quake? Assessment and Shifts in the Business Model for Higher Education This is a PowerPoint and transcript of a speech delivered in the spring of 2010 by Barbara Wright, WASC Associate Director. It begins with a disclaimer that she's speaking her own mind and not on behalf of our accreditor, and when you read it you'll see why: these are radical, thought-provoking ideas about the state of higher ed, and where it might go. 2010-05-06 assessment
Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology

This is a draft report from the Office of Educational Technology, in the U.S. Department of Education.  It's amazing:  far-sighted, visionary, maybe dead on arrival.  It ends with recommendations that are thought-provoking and sweeping, but may not be funded.  From the executive summary:  "The challenging and rapidly changing demands of our global economy tell us what people need to know and who needs to learn. Advances in learning sciences show us how people learn. Technology makes it possible for us to act on this knowledge and understanding."  The report calls for new models of education like "on-demand learning" and "connected teaching" that challenge current assumptions.

2010-03-05 on-line
Toward Assessing Dispositions of the Liberally Educated In a world of freely available content knowledge, the value added by higher education is increasingly in the habits of mind we have a hard time measuring, such as curiosity, tenacity, and social responsibility. On two fronts we may be seeing progress on this bleeding edge of learning outcomes assessment. Faculty in the Schools of Education at Eastern Kentucky University and Northern Kentucky University, responding to NCATE accreditation standards that explicitly include disposition among the hallmarks of student learning, have customized a Perceptual Psychological instrument to evaluate student perspectives such as "perceptions of purpose in terms of larger implications, rather than smaller insignificant outcomes; and a frame of reference that focuses on people concerns, rather than things." Meanwhile, educators at the University of Minnesota are developing tools to demonstrate quantitatively that study abroad fosters hard-to-measure qualities of civic engagement, social responsibility, and intercultural competence. Presenting:
M. Mark Wasicsko, Northern Kentucky University
Gerald W. Fry, University of Minnesota

2010-11-22 assessment
Toward a 21st Century Renaissance Robert Weisbuch, president of Drew University, argues for a deeper, more intentional interdisciplinarity.  The essay is from Inside Higher Ed and adapted from a speech he gave to the 2009 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.  It's conversational but includes good ideas for replacing cafeteria-style GE and creating an institutional learning community. 2009-05-05 GE design
The University and Beyond: Teaching for Long-Term Retention and Transfer Diane Halpern and Milton Hakel summarize their seminal work on what really matters in college -- the learning that lasts -- and how to make more of it happen. 2004-03-01 student success
The Littlest Schoolhouse From Atlantic Magazine, a first-person account of a drop-out who went on to success. He evaluates technology-assisted, alternative approaches to teaching and learning that may have provided a more engaging experience. 2010-07-01 student success
The Learning Portfolio: Reflective Practice for Improving Student Learning

This is a handout prepared by John Zubizarreta and Dee Fink for their presentation to the 32nd annual conference of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education. It elegantly summarizes the rationale for portfolio-based teaching, and includes suggestions for incorporating portfolio creation into regular coursework for both faculty and students.  You can get the complete book here:

2007-10-25 assessment
The Information Super-Library

David Moltz, writing in Inside Higher Ed, describes the on-line "Great Books Program" at Monterey Peninsula College.  From the article:  "Next fall, Monterey Peninsula College in California will launch its Great Books Program. By completing an introductory course and any four related courses, students can earn a certificate recognizing them as a 'Great Books Scholar.'  While many community colleges teach classic works of literature, full programs and online programs in the field are uncommon."

2009-03-11 on-line
The Humanities for Love Not Money

An argument for arts and humanities in GE that doesn't rely on employer surveys and workforce projections:  instead, the New York Times looks at students -- many of them adult learners -- who enroll to improve the quality of their intellectual lives.

2010-08-31 GE design
The Green Amoeba Theory A 2000 handout from the University of Maryland University College, illustrating the relationship between traditional coursework and experiential learning within an academic discipline.  The authors argue that although experiential or on-site learning can be less predictable, it's nonetheless assessable. 2000-01-01 assessment
The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age Cathy Davidson and David Goldberg argue that higher end has been slow to recognize the changing, more open nature of learning.  "Our institutions of learning have changed far more slowly than the modes of inventive, collaborative, participatory learning offered by the Internet and an array of contemporary mobile technologies. Part of the reason for the relatively slow change is that many of our traditional institutions have been tremendously successful, if measured in terms of endurance and stability." 2009-01-01 on-line
The Economic Value of Liberal Education

From a presentation by Debra Humphreys to the AAC&U's Presidents' Trust, this PowerPoint summarizes current evidence that liberal learning pays.  It brings together data from the AAC&U's own surveys of employers plus evidence compiled by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

2010-12-06 workforce
The Creativity Crisis

Newsweek's in depth report on research in American creativity reveals that, unlike IQ, it's actually been declining for the past 20 years.  The implications for the economy aren't good, but the silver lining is that many believe creativity can be taught.

2010-07-10 workforce
The Core of Bologna: Its Arrival in the U.S. Is Inevitable This is a PowerPoint presentation from Cliff Adelman to Academic Affairs staff in the CSU Office of the Chancellor.  He reviews Europe's progress toward consistent, outcomes-based definitions of degrees by discipline, and anticipates implications for American higher education. 2009-04-15 Bologna
The Compass Project in California

Presentation to AAC&U and Compass Project teams from California, Oregon, and Wisconsin on project work to date.

2009-05-30 presentation
The Bologna Process for U.S. Eyes: Re-learning Higher Education in the Age of Convergence This is the definitive, 250-page account of the Bologna Process, by its main expert and advocate in the U.S., Clifford Adelman of the Institute for Higher Education Policy.  From the preface:  "Since May of 1999, 46 European countries have been engaged in reconstructing their higher education systems to bring about a greater degree of “convergence,” i.e. a move toward common reference points and operating procedures to create a European Higher Education  Area . . . That means harmonization, not standardization.  When these national higher education systems work with the same reference points they produce a “zone of mutual trust” that permits recognition of credentials across borders and significant international mobility for their students. Everyone is singing in the same key, though not necessarily with the same tune. In terms reaching across geography and languages, let alone in terms of turning ancient higher education systems on their heads, the Bologna Process is the most far reaching and ambitious reform of higher education ever undertaken." 2009-04-01 Bologna
Ten Years After College Compares employment outcomes for a sample of 1992-93 college graduates across a range of majors.  Ten years after finishing college, most graduates had a job they considered a career and used their education, and their average salary, adjusted for inflation, had roughly doubled since 1994. A majority were satisfied with their pay, fringe benefits, job security, and opportunity for promotion. Compared with graduates with academic undergraduate majors, those with career-oriented majors appeared to establish themselves in the labor force earlier and relatively fewer obtained additional education. 2008-02-01 workforce
Taking the True Measure of a Liberal Education Stanley Katz writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the challenge of assessing GE, with references to the National Survey of Student Engagement and to the Collegiate Learning Assessment, both widely in use in the CSU.  From the article:  "If we are to have meaningful assessment, we shall need to assess something more precise than 'liberal education' and broader than student performance in courses.  The courage and capacity to assess is dependent upon institutions’ doing something other than putting the pea under a different shell. Defining what we want to assess  as a general, or liberal, education is the real issue, and resolving it will take massive reimagination." 2008-05-20 assessment
Taking Student Retention Seriously: Rethinking the First Year of College This is a speech Vincent Tinto gave to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, widely republished since then.  He gives a helpful, narrative account of the design and use of learning communities as one example of institutional commitment to retention, and reducing the achievement gap.  From the article:  "one of the important characteristics of learning communities is that they provide an academic structure within which faculty and student affairs collaboration is possible, indeed often required. Moreover, they can serve as a vehicle through which a range of services can be provided to all first year students in ways which are connected to their daily educational experiences.  More importantly, they are a type of organizational reform that is rooted in the classroom, the one place, perhaps only place, students meet each other and the faculty, and the one place for which we as faculty and student affairs professionals have responsibility. As such they are available to all students, faculty, and staff. And unlike other retention programs that sit at the margins of student academic experience, they seek to transform that experience and thereby address the deeper roots of student retention. Learning communities take student learning and retention seriously. So should our institutions." 2002-04-15 student success
student-centered curriculum 2014-01-18 presentation
student-centered curric title slide 2014-01-18 utility
student-centered curric title slide 2014-01-18 utility
Student Success Institutionally 2016-03-02 presentation
Student Success and the Construction of Inclusive Educational Communities Vincent Tinto's contribution to a report on the Graduation Rate Outcomes project, a study organized by the American Association of State Colleges & Universities.  He pays particular attention to how the layout of learning spaces -- classrooms, studios, and labs -- affects engagement for students of varied backgrounds.  It's a short article with a long, useful bibliography. 2005-06-01 student success
Student Diversity Requires Different Approaches to College Teaching, Even in Math and Science Article by Craig E. Nelson in American Behaviorial Scientist, describing how an appreciation for varied learning styles led to dramatic improvements in STEM learning for traditionally underserved populations. 1996-11-01 student success
Student Academic Plans at Sacramento State PowerPoint file from the webinar of October, 2010 presented by Sacramento State University to the CSU Assessment Council and the GE Affinity Group. Student Academic Plans use the ePortfolio platform to create and store inventories of prior student learning and a game plan for the rest of their work as undergraduates. The goal is to make college learning more integrative and purposeful. 2010-10-25 GE design
Software Can Produce Ads, Too

This article from the New York Times highlights the dwindling kinds of work that machines can't perform.  Programmers in Europe wrote a program that creates advertising campaigns.  While it works, it ends up being a defense of originality, since the ads that result look professional, but cliched.

2010-08-27 workforce
Separated at Birth title slide 2012-01-25 kodonnell
Separate at Birth presentation

Presentation made to the AAC&U Annual Meeting, 2012.

2012-01-25 presentation
Regional Collaboration 2015-09-25 presentation
Reclaiming the Intellectual Life for Posterity Alain de Botton writing in Standpoint Magazine on the everyday uses of general education proficiencies.  This is a very engaging two-page thought piece with good lines to quote. 2008-07-01 major integration
Re-Imagining Undergraduate Education

This is an unpublished paper from George Mehaffy of the AASCU, who granted permission to share it with the CSU GE Affinity Group.  He looks at broad historical pressures on higher education, and speculates on the ways we'll probably have to reorganize what we do.

2010-04-24 GE design
Raising the Bar: Employers' Views on College Learning in the Wake of the Economic Downturn This is an updated survey of employers, conducted by Peter Hart and Associates at the request of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. It makes a good case for the practical value of liberal education learning outcomes. 2010-01-20 workforce
Promoting Student Retention: Lessons Learned from the United States Vincent Tinto, educational theorist at Syracuse University, made this address to the 11th Annual Conference of the European Access Network.  He reviews U.S. practices that improve persistence and student success, calling for pedagogies (and faculty development and reward structures) that incentivize student engagement. 2002-06-19 student success
Pathways and Transfer 2016-03-18 presentation
Participatory Learning and the New Humanities This is a conversation with Cathy Davidson, who was interviewed by Academic Commons Magazine.  Davidson teaches English at Duke University and is cofounder of the Humanities, Arts, Science, Technology Advanced Collaboratory.  She discusses "participatory learning" in the digital environment, and speculates on why disciplines in the humanities may slower to adopt.  From the article:  "If we’re going to be thinking about participatory or social learning, what does that do to the idea of expertise? I personally don’t think it really undermines it, but many of the formal ways that we evaluate good work--mainly peer review--will undergo a significant transformation, at least expansion." 2009-01-01 on-line
Our Compelling Challenge 2015-10-22 presentation
Orienting Ourselves in Free Fall title image 2012-04-11 utility
Orienting Ourselves in Free Fall presentation to WASC ARC 2012 2012-04-20 utility
Online-Education Study Reaffirms the Value of Good Teaching, Experts Say David Glenn wrote this two-page article in the Chronicle of Higher Education summarizing a study from the DOE.  From the article:  "Last week . . . the U.S. Department of Education released a report that, at least at first glance, carries a strong message about the medium: Students learn more effectively in online settings. Most powerful of all appear to be “blended” courses that offer both face-to-face and online elements." 2009-07-02 on-line
Online Learning Set To Soar Article in eSchool News summarizes a presentation by Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School to a meeting of the American Association of School Administrators.  He argues that on-line learning is at a tipping point and will rise to 50% of seat time within ten years.  From the article:  "Until now, it has been very expensive to teach to students' individual needs, he said-and yet, research shows that's how students learn best. One reason online learning is attractive is because it allows for more of this cus tomized approach to instruction than can be found in many classrooms. But now, software that enables every child to learn at his or her own pace is becoming a scalable, modular way to deliver customized learning, Christensen said - and it's another economically important solution for schools." 2009-04-01 on-line
NSSE's Benchmarks -- One Size Fits All? Authors Nava Lerer and Kathryn Talley of the Office of Research, Assessment and Planning at Adelphi University take a critical look at the National Survey of Student Engagement, arguing that its "benchmarks" are too broadly defined, obscures meaningful differences within different types of institution. 2005-11-01 student success
New Leadership for Learning and Accountability Joint statement by CHEA and the AAC&U arguing for measures of learning outcomes that go beyond simple testing.  From the statement:  "Understanding that standardized measures currently address only a small part of what matters in college, we will work with foundations and campus partners to substantially expand the array of educationally valid and useful means—qualitative as well as quantitative—of assessing the full range of learning outcomes." 2008-01-30 assessment
New Center Aims To Close Achievement Gap In Schools This article describes the new California State University Center to Close the Achievement Gap, a partnership between the state’s business community and the California Sate University system, created to "attack the problem of the achievement gap by focusing on preparation of administrators and teachers in the CSU system."  It includes excellent data on shortcomings in the status quo, and the lost opportunities for students and the state alike. 2009-07-30 student success
Most Important Leadership Quality for CEOs? Creativity

From, a report on IBM's conclusion after surveying 1,500 CEOs on the attributes most needed to successfully lead an organization.  Topping the list was creativity, with integrity and global thinking next. 

2010-05-18 workforce
Mobilizing Change in Higher Education

Presentation to the Wisconsin Compass Institute on strategies to mobilize large-scale change in public state systems of higher education.

2010-11-11 presentation
Missing 87: A study of the "transfer gap" and "choice gap" This collaborative report between Long Beach City College and the University of Southern California Center for Urban Education was funded by the Hewlett Foundation.  Investigators examined statistical information and interviewed 20 LBCC students to learn why some of those eligible to transfer to selective universities choose not to.  The report ends with recommendations for improved transfer. 2007-01-15 student success
Measuring the Effect of Experiential Learning Using the Perry Model Fascinating account of the challenges and payoffs of incorporating open-ended questions, problem-based learning, and real-world complexity into undergraduate curriculum, in this case in STEM fields. 1996-10-01 GE design
Measuring Student Learning as an Indicator of Institutional Effectiveness: Practices, Challenges, and Possibilities Wendy Erisman of the Texas Higher Education Policy Institute surveys current assessment practice in various states to inform recommendations to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This is readable and accessible, putting into a national context several of the initiatives underway in California, including the Voluntary System of Accountability and the AAC&U's VALUE rubrics. 2009-11-10 assessment
Mapping Outcomes by LEAPs and Bounds This is the webinar presentation from Gail Evans, Dean of Undergraduate Education, and Maggie Beers, Director of Academic Technology, both of San Francisco State University. It shows how SFSU is using technology to harness course-level grading and assessment, repurposing it toward program review and accreditation.
2009-10-29 assessment
magic lantern 2012-04-01 utility
Lumina's Leader Sets Lofty Goal for Fund's Role in Policy Debates Sara Hebel, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, profiles Jamie Merisotis after his first year leading the Lumina Foundation for Education. This gives good insight into the foundations funding priorities, i.e. its agenda of access and a shift to outcomes-oriented education. 2009-04-30 student success
Low-Income Students and the Perpetuation of Inequality Gary Berg, faculty at CSU Channel Islands, explains to Inside Higher Ed that colleges aren't doing enough to provide upward social mobility. 2010-07-07 student success
Literary Classics Shelved

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that K-12 educators are shifting the focus in English composition class away from literary analysis, and toward expository writing.

2010-08-23 GE design
Linking Courses to Careers

James E. Canales, head of the Irvine Foundation, writes in the San Francisco Chronicle about the Linked Learning initiative, intended to boost student success in basic high school subjects by connecting them to real-world settings through internships and workforce training.

2010-07-25 GE design
Life after CPEC 2015-08-04 presentation
LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes

This one-page handout from the AAC&U summarizes the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes, cited in the CSU's Executive Order 1033.

2005-01-01 GE design
Jo Service notes on General Education in the CSU

Longtime State University Dean for Academic Programs Jolayne Service prepared this essay on the evolution of the CSU's general education curriculum, from the system's 1960s origins through the early 1990s.

1995-01-01 GE design
It's Time To End Courseocentrism Five-page article by Gerald Graff in Inside Higher Ed, arguing for more integrative curriculum and teaching.  From the article:  "Such [stand-alone] courses are at odds with the new forms of connectivity enabled by our new electronic technology. They are also at odds with the most sophisticated and original work in the humanities during the last generation, which has taught us that what seem to be free-standing identities—whether they be texts or selves — are produced by collective structures of discourse and representation. It seems we have deconstructed the autonomous, self-authorizing subject and the autonomous, self-authorizing literary work. It’s time we got around to deconstructing the autonomous, self-authorizing course." 2009-01-13 major integration
Internships as a High-Impact Practice

Nancy O'Neill writes in the AAC&U publication Peer Review of the design elements that make for good, educationally effective internship experiences.

2010-08-01 GE design
Institutional Integration title slide 2013-05-24 utility
Institutional Integration PPT 2013-05-24 utility
Institutional Integration compressed JPEG 5/24/2013 kodonnell
Inside Higher Ed: Liberal Arts

This two-part series from different writers looks at the liberal arts curriculum in terms of learning attributes and the shifting workforce requirements of the economy.

2010-10-01 GE design
Information Literacy rubric

This rubric was developed at CSU Channel Islands to systematically evaluate "information literacy" as a learning outcome.  Several CSU campuses include this among their institutional SLOs, so this rubric may be a useful supplement to the AAC&U VALUE rubrics.

2009-09-04 assessment
In Pursuit of the Perfect Brainstorm

A report from the New York Times on a company called Jump, whose pricey consulting effectively sells ideas and innovation to other companies.  It amounts to a good defense of GE, especially in the arts and the humanities.

2010-12-16 GE design
In Defense of a Liberal Education Op-Ed piece in Forbes Magazine by Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges & Universities. It has some familiar arguments about the value of general education in the 21st century, sharply written and appropriate to lay audiences. Good quotes for web pages. 2009-08-10 workforce
image 04 2011-03-05 (utility)
image 03 2011-03-05 (utility)
image 02 2011-06-07 utility
If It Was Easy Everyone Would Do It

Presentation to the 2011 AAC&U Institute on General Education and Assessment, on why valid assessments of learning are so critical to us now, and how some changes in higher education make make it easier to pull off.

2011-06-07 presentation
How Can Students Who Are Reasonably Bright and Who Are Trying Hard To Do the Work Still Flunk? By Craig E. Nelson, writing Carnegie's National Teaching & Learning Forum.  Discusses benefits and ways of teaching tolerance for ambiguity in a range of disciplines. 2000-01-01 student success
Home Dissection Kits and More David Moltz, writing in Inside Higher Ed on the growing use of mail-order kits that make at-home laboratory experiences possible for on-line science learning. 2009-06-05 on-line
Hogan & Hartson LLP memo to General Counsel of University Clients

This is a five-page report by a consulting firm to its U.S. clients, on the progress and implications of Europe's outcomes-oriented Bologna "tuning" process.

(File removed at the request of the CSU General Counsel)

2009-01-12 Bologna
Hiring Prospects Look Up for College Graduates

This is a Chronicle of Higher Education summary of a report from the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University.  It shows a distinct trend toward hiring grads with breadth in the curriculum, and anticipates the greatest uptick for those who hold liberal arts degrees.

2010-11-18 workforce
Help Wanted: Projection of Jobs

Report from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, elaborating on (and sometimes contradicting) similar projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor.  Both the BLS and this report cover the years 2008-2018, and anticipate workforce needs relative to educational attainment.

2010-06-01 workforce
Harvesting Gradebook webinar

This is the PowerPoint file from the webinar the GE Affinity Group hosted on February 10, 2010. The Harvesting Gradebook is an on-line tool in development at the Office of Assessment and Innovation, at Washington State University. It facilitates assessment by multiple reviewers of student work, wherever it resides on the web. Related resources are at

2010-02-10 assessment
group roster 2010-07-29 group roster
Graduation Rates and Inclusivity 2016-03-13 presentation
Going Deeper with Systemic Change

A look at the barriers, effective catalysts, and strategic alliances involved in large-scale change in higher education.

2011-03-02 presenation
General Education in the 21st Century: A Report of the University of California This is an often-quoted report from a special commission on GE that the University of California convened from 2004-06, on ways to strengthen general education.  They make specific recommendations (for example, about how to organize campus offices of academic affairs) that are especially useful in the context of public higher ed in California. 2007-04-01 GE design
General Education in an Age of Student Mobility

From the preface:  "This monograph in 'The Academy in Transition' series explores the problem of curricular coherence as students working toward a bachelor's degree move among multiple institutions. The focal article by Robert Shoenberg, a Senior Fellow of AAC&U, cites the absence of clear intentionality in most states' general education requirements and their concerns about credit hour transfer rather than course purposes as major contributors to the lack of coherence in many students' academic programs."

2001-01-01 student success
GE Affinity subgroup minutes - program review

From the GE Affinity Group Meeting of February 28, 2008

2008-02-28 group minutes
GE Affinity subgroup minutes - integration with other programs

From the GE Affinity Group Meeting of February 28, 2008

2008-02-28 group minutes
GE Affinity subgroup minutes - achieving coherence

From the GE Affinity Group Meeting of February 28, 2008

2008-02-28 group minutes
Failure of American Higher Education Cal State Long Beach professor Henry Fradella came across this piece in the Huffington Post and wrote a detailed, thought-provoking reply. Both essays explore 21st century learning objectives for general education, and offer different perspectives on how we might better meet them. 2010-07-25 GE design
Engineering for a Changing World A report from James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering, The University of Michigan, and former member of the secretary of education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education.  From the preface:  "Powerful forces, including demographics, globalization, and rapidly evolving technologies are driving profound changes in the role of engineering in society. The changing workforce and technology needs of a global knowledge economy are dramatically changing the nature of engineering practice, demanding far broader skills than simply the mastery of scientific and technological disciplines." 2007-12-07 major integration
End the University As We Know It Writing in the New York Times, Columbia University Chair of Religion Mark C. Taylor argues it's time to embrace interdisciplinary education with an outcomes focus. 2009-04-27 GE design
Embedded Assessment of General Education This is high-resolution copy of the PowerPoint presentations made 9/21/10 to the CSU Assessment Council and GE Affinity Group. Included are:
- Ashley Finley of the AAC&U on the VALUE rubrics and other national thinking about embedded assessment;
- Bonnie Paller of Cal State Northridge on the broad use of signature assignments there;
- Scot Guenter of SJSU on the use of common rubrics, not assignments, as an alternate approach to embedded assessment.
2010-09-21 assessment
Education Tuning Shows What Students Learned Transcript of an interview from NPR's Talk of the Nation, including a conversation between host Neal Conan and Phyllis Safman, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs, Utah System of Higher Education.  Utah is one of the states funded by Lumina to implement a Bologna-style "tuning" process to shift to outcomes-based education. 2009-04-14 Bologna
Education Department Will Release Stricter Rules for For-Profits

Chronicle of Higher Education report on plans by the DOE to address reported abuse in proprietary higher ed.  Among the new rules under consideration:  strict definition of the credit hour, which would be a first.  That mention comes at the end of the article and prompted some interesting discussion among readers, included.

2010-06-15 GE design
Does California's Master Plan Still Work? Pamela Burdman, formerly of the Hewlett Foundation and a reporter on higher education, writes very candidly in Change Magazine about how we got here, the problems we're facing, and the prospects for change. 2009-07-01 GE design
Data Don't Drive: Building a Practitioner-Driven Culture of Inquiry to Assess Community College Performance This is a report to the Lumina Foundation on a study it commissioned to look into community college uses of institutional data.  It's written by Alicia Dowd (currently of Equity Scorecard).  From the executive summary:  "Too often, accountability policies require institutions to report data that are never actually used to guide decisions at the institutional or state levels. Because of this lost opportunity, the value of these efforts is often more symbolic than practical. To address this problem, the report says, “data-based decision-making” strategies must view campus-based practitioners — including academic and student services administrators, institutional researchers, faculty members and senior leaders — not only as decision makers, but also as potential agents of change." 2005-12-01 student success
Customization at Scale 2014-12-03 presentation
CUNY Resolution on Creating an Efficient Transfer System The City University of New York adopted this resolution to better accommodate student mobility within the city. It compels CUNY institutions to recognize each other's general education coursework, and sets a maximum of 30 units in the lower division, twelve in the upper division. As a result of this resolution CUNY expects to improve degree production, but at some cost to insititutional distinctiveness. 2011-07-01 curriculum
CSUN study on effects of multiple high-impact practices CSUN Institutional Research Director Bettina Huber researched the effects on students of participation in multiple high-impact practices. Her work suggests that graduation rates rise and achievement gaps close. 2010-08-01 student success
CSU HIPs Leadership Retreat 2015-03-26 presentation
CSU HIPs and their Role in Advocacy 2015-03-01 presentation
Critical Mass title slide 2011-08-10 utility
Critical Mass

Presentation made in August 2011 to the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

2011-08-10 presentation
Creating the On-Ramp for the Baccalaureate Degree at Tidewater Community College

By Tidewater Community College President Deborah DiCroce, writing in AAC&U News.  Describes how the college revised its curriculum around core competencies rather than distribution requirements, to improve major integration.

2009-04-01 major integration
Crafting a Student-Centered Transfer Process in California: Lessons from Other States

From the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at Sacramento State:  the authors survey policy options from around the country that could improve the portion of community college students who successfully transfer to California's public universities.

2009-08-15 student success
Counting and Recounting: Assessment and the Quest for Accountability Lee Shulman writes in Change Magazine, reflecting in interesting ways on the significance of what we choose to include in our reports of educational effectiveness:  in effect, we can shape the thinking of our external stakeholders, educating them about our priorities as we report on how we're doing.  From the article:  "We must account for higher-order understanding and critical thinking, in addition to factual knowledge and simple skills.  We must tell of the development of civic responsibility and moral courage, even when our stakeholders have not thought to ask for those books." 2007-01-01 assessment
Confronting the Challenges of a Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century

Henry Jenkins at MIT writing for the MacArthur Foundation:  "A central goal of this report is to shift the focus of the conversation about the digital divide from questions of technological access to those of opportunities to participate and to develop the cultural competencies and social skills needed for full involvement . . .  Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement.  The new literacies almost all involve social skills developed through collaboration and networking."

2006-10-19 on-line
Competencies over Courses in Medical Education

Report by Ben Eisen writing in Inside Higher Education on developements in med school assessment.  The article quotes Carol Aschenbrener, Executive Vice President at the Association of American Medical Colleges, describing their recent paper.  "The report is trying to shift people away from focusing on courses and more on what to do with scientific information — what you want the entering student to be able to do. One can arrive at competencies in many ways through interdisciplinary approaches."

2009-06-05 assessment
Community Colleges Seen as Source of Engineers

Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a Maryland effort to organize transfer by demonstrated student proficiency, instead of by transcript evaluation and seat time.  The project is limited to transfers from the public two-years to the public four-years, in the discipline of engineering.

2008-10-08 assessment
Community College Transfers and College Graduation William R. Doyle writes in Change Magazine that the likelihood of a transfer student earning a degree is positively correlated with the proportion of transfer credits recognized at the receiving institution.  He argues that improved articulation policies might therefore lead to greater degree attainment. 2006-05-01 student success
Community College Transfer and Articulation Policies: Looking Beneath the Surface From Bethany Gross and Dan Goldhaber, writing for the Center on Reinventing Public Education.  Authors look at statistically influential factors predicting success transfer from community colleges to four-year universities, and find that articulation policies make little difference.  The only measurable boost comes from the presence of a tenured faculty at the community college. 2009-01-30 student success
Closing the Gap: Meeting California's Need for College Graduates By Hans Johnson and Ria Sengupta, writing for the Public Policy Institute of California.  The authors use state demographic and educational trends to argue that in fifteen years we'll be a million graduates short of the number we need to maintain our economy.  From the report:  "As a pathway for increasing the number of bachelor degree graduates in California, the community college transfer function has much potential and also considerable room for improvement.  With more than 70 percent of public higher education students in California in community colleges, the importance of the transfer function to increase bachelor degree production cannot be overstated." 2009-04-01 student success
Change and Sustain/Ability: A Program Director's Reflections on Institutional Learning A report on a project called Strengthening Pre-collegiate Education in Community Colleges (SPECC), in which eight California Community Colleges experimented with and improved approaches to remediation, with support from Carnegie and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.  This is a good model for similarly structured projects in the CSU. 2008-03-15 student success
Brief History of American Academic Credit System: A Recipe for Incoherence in Student Learning John Harris, formerly Samford University's Associate Provost for Quality Assessment, wrote this concise account of the credit hour.   For most of their history universities had better ways to measure student learning, and the relatively late adoption of the seat-time unit drew quick and sometimes funny criticism. 2002-09-01 GE design
Bridging the Gaps to Success: Promising Practices for Promoting Transfer among Low-Income and First-Generation Students

From the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education comes this report on successful transfer from two- to four-year public institutions. From the report's summary in the Chronicle of Higher Education: "Every year, thousands of students enroll at community colleges with the intent of transferring to a four-year institution. But many of them languish in developmental-education classes and eventually drop out. The situation is especially acute among minorities and low-income students. "The report, 'Bridging the Gaps to Success: Promising Practices for Promoting Transfer Among Low-Income and First-Generation Students,' highlights the work of six Texas community colleges with higher-than-expected transfer rates among their students . . . " "The report found that the colleges shared three main characteristics: structured academic pathways that aptly prepare students to enroll at four-year colleges, a student-centered culture that emphasizes personal attention, and culturally sensitive leaders who understand the backgrounds of their students."

2009-10-15 student success
Blurring the Boundaries This blog post from Helen Barrett, who makes interesting observations about the overlapping role of ePortfolios and social networks as ways for people to share and highlight their accomplishments. 2010-02-25 on-line
Beyond the Bubble: Technology and the Future of Student Assessment From Bill Tucker, writing in Education Sector Reports.  Technology can give us more sophisticated evidence of learning:  "Using multiple forms of media that allow for both visual and graphical representations, we can present complex, multi-step problems for students to solve, and we can collect detailed information about an individual student’s approach to problem solving." 2009-02-01 assessment
Betting on Gravity

Plenary address to the AAC&U Network for Academic Renewal working conference on general education and assessment.

2010-02-20 presentation
Best Feet Forward 2014-11-22 presentation
Best Education Practices Found Unlikely To Reach Underserved Students This is the story in Chronicle of Higher Education that summarizes research supporting the Compass Project in the CSU.  The research finds that high-impact practices such as learning communities and capstone courses, are least likely to reach the students who would most benefit. 2008-10-06 student success
Basic Skills for Complex Lives: Designs for Learning in the Community College A report from the Cargnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, arguing that the work of bringing students to college-level proficiency won't succeed if it's the responsibility of a limited group of instructors.  Instead, remediation needs to involve the whole institution, particularly faculty professional development and institutional research. 2008-03-15 student success
Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community Colleges This study was commissioned by California Community Colleges to collect and report on best practices in basic skills development.  It describes trends at four organizational levels:  institutional administration, program, staff, and instruction.  The report is deliberately readable and practical, organized like a reference handbook. 2007-07-01 student success
Assessing and Teaching What We Value: the Relationship between College-Level Writing and Critical Thinking Abilities The results of two assessment studies at Washington State University challenge assumptions about the connection between writing and critical thinking. (Thanks to Professor Terry Underwood at Sacramento State for calling attention to this article.) 2004-01-01 assessment
Ant Lovers Unite

This story from NPR's Morning Edition centers on a collaboration between Pulitzer-prize winning author and entomologist E.O. Wilson and computer game designer Will Wright.  It's an interesting example of engaging interdisciplinarity, and the second half of the story has an explicit connection to higher education, as the partners speculate on the instructional value of simulated environments.

2009-09-01 GE design
After Training Still Scrambling for Employment

From the New York Times, a report of the mixed results that job training has yielded for the federal programs in welfare and unemployment.  Mostly it's a problem of scale:  in the words one analyst, "When you have five people unemployed for every vacancy, you can train all the people you want and unfortunately only one-fifth of the people will get hired.  Training doesn't create jobs."  Marbled into this eight-page article are some arguments for a different, deeper kind of career preparation, namely GE.

2010-07-18 workforce
Advancing by Degrees

This study from EdTrust argues for a use of data as "Leading Indicators," tracking student progress past certain benchmarks, including completion of GE courses, as predictors of eventual graduation.

2010-04-01 student success
Adopting Performance Based Funding This is a pair of articles by David Moltz, writing in Inside Higher Ed, describing efforts underway in several states to key public funding for higher education to completion rather than enrollment.  Most states (including ours) support their universities with marginal funding for each student enrolled a certain day into the term.  Making a greater payment per student on completion of the course -- or even the degree -- would incentivize a focus on student success. 2009-05-09 GE design
Adjuncts and Retention Rates From Inside Higher Ed, the summary of a report in Education Policy on the higher attrition among students whose lower division courses -- many of them in GE -- are taught by adjuncts rather than full-time faculty. This confirms earlier findings and adds some details about the specific effects of institution type, type of adjunct, and full-time faculty who aren't tenure track. 2010-06-21 student success
Act Locally title slide 2013-10-10 utility
Act Locally title 10/10/2013 kodonnell
Act Locally title 10/10/2013 kodonnell
Act Locally powerpoint 2013-10-10 presentation
Access without Support Is Not Opportunity

Writing in Insider Higher Ed, Vincent Tinto argues for reshaping college experiences, especially in the first year, to deliver on the potential of greater access.  From his article:  "[In order to] address the needs of academically under-prepared students, a disproportionate number of whom are from underserved groups and from low-income backgrounds, we must stop tinkering at the margins of institutional life, stop our tendency to take an “add-on” approach to institutional innovation, and stop marginalizing our efforts and in turn our academically under-prepared students and take seriously the task of restructuring what we do."

2008-06-09 student success
Academic Efficiencies 2016-04-09 presentation
AAC&U Initiatives on General Education in the CSU

Report to the CSU Academic Council (campus provosts) on upcoming work on general education, including the call for proposals for Give Students a Compass.

2008-10-17 presentation
A Promising Connection (Campus Compact) Researchers from Campus Compact in Boston demonstrate the improved persistence and retention value of embedding service learning into the curriculum. 2010-01-01 GE design

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