FAQ for Faculty and Administration in Preparing their New Core Curriculum
|The current Core Curriculum policies and procedures will remain in effect until Fall 2014.|
- When must the new core curriculum be implemented on our campus?
- Who is responsible for selecting the courses for the core on our campus?
- Why are there six semester credit hours (SCH) each for history and government?
- What is the Component Area Option?
- What are the options regarding course selection for the CAO?
- In the CAO, do all the courses have to be aligned to the same component area?
- How do interdisciplinary courses fit into the Component Area Option?
- Can a course be designated for more than one component area?
- How will labs (science, math, language, etc.) fit into the core?
- How do Physical Fitness, Computer Literacy, Speech, etc. courses fit into the core?
- What is Creative Arts and does it include music, theatre, art and dance?
- What are the differences between the old/current core curriculum and the new core curriculum?
- Where can I find the Core Objectives and descriptions for each foundational component area?
- Can a course include more than the required Core Objectives listed in the rules?
- How much of each Core Objective or skill in the description is needed for a course to be approved as a Core Curriculum course?
- How can attainment of the Core Objectives been measured? Would you provide some resources?
- Will courses with pre-requisites be approved?
- When we receive confirmation of our approved core curriculum?
1. When must the new core curriculum be implemented on our campus?
- The new core requirements will be effective for all incoming students at all institutions beginning in fall 2014. The current core curriculum will remain in effect until that time. Further information about the current Core Curriculum can be found on the Current Core Curriculum website.
2. Who is responsible for selecting the courses for the core on our campus?
- Each institution will determine its own process and procedures for course approval, but best practices and accreditation guidelines generally place the faculty in a position of responsibility for curricular decisions. The Chief Academic Officer or Chief instructional Officer should send courses approved for inclusion in the institution's core curriculum to the Coordinating Board, where staff will review to ensure the courses meet all requirements (the content of a course is appropriate to the component area identified, all core objectives for the selected component area are covered in the course, number of semester credit hours are within prescribed parameters) and give final approval.
3. Why are there six semester credit hours (SCH) each for history and government?
- The number of SCH in US history and government is determined by statute.
4. What is the Component Area Option?
- The Component Area Option (CAO) accounts for the final six SCH in the institution's core curriculum. It differs from the Institutionally Designated Option in some important ways. The CAO allows for some institutional flexibility but ensures that this option is aligned with the Foundational Component Area content and Core Objectives. Institutions are no longer required to develop and seek approval of special-purpose Exemplary Educational Objectives, and the entire curriculum is more coherent through the linkage of this option to the other foundational component areas.
5. What are the options regarding course selection for the CAO?
- Institutions may identify courses with two different scenarios:
- Each course identified as appropriate for the CAO is aligned with one of the foundational component area (FCA) descriptions and the corresponding Core Objectives.
Students select 6 SCH of coursework from this list.
HIST 2321 - World Civilization. Course is aligned with both the description and Core Objectives in the Social and Behavioral Sciences FCA.
COMM 1301 - Public Speaking. Course is aligned with both the description and Core Objectives in the Communication FCA.
NOTE: Both courses may be included in the corresponding FCA as well. See question 8.
- A minimum of 3 SCH of coursework that are aligned with a foundational component area (FCA) description and the corresponding Core Objectives. (See above for examples.)
The remaining SCH consist of coursework for which each course in the category is aligned with at least one FCA description. Each course in this category must include a minimum of three Core Objectives, including Communication Skills and Critical Thinking Skills.
Students may select a maximum of 3 SCH of these courses.
6. In the CAO, do all the courses have to be aligned to the same component area?
- No, each course should be evaluated and aligned with either a) a foundational component area description and corresponding Core Objectives, or b) one or more foundational component area description(s) and at least three Core Objectives selected by the institution. (See question 5)
- NOTE: This is different from the current Institutionally Designated Option (IDO) in which all courses in the component area meet the same set of related Exemplary Educational Objectives.
7. How do interdisciplinary courses fit into the Component Area Option?
- If a course matches several component areas, the institution can choose to
- align the course with the foundational component area with the most compatible description and Core Objectives, OR
- align the course with the foundational component area and include the Core Objectives of Critical Thinking Skills and Communication Skills plus identify at least one additional Core Objective.
8. Can a course be designated for more than one component area?
- A course may only be listed in one of the eight foundational component areas. However, any course listed in a foundational component area may also be listed as an option in the Component Area Option (CAO).
- NO: World Cultures = Language, Philosophy & Culture + Social & Behavioral Sciences
- YES: World Cultures = Social & Behavioral Sciences+ CAO, or
- YES: World Cultures = Language, Philosophy & Culture + CAO
NOTE: The student may receive credit for only ONE component area.
9. How will labs (science, math, language, etc.) fit into the core?
- Institutions have two options for including lab SCH for specific courses:
- Required labs for all students (Institution requires all students to take labs, regardless of major)
- Separate 1 SCH labs
- Include the lab requirements in the Component Area Option and align with the appropriate component area , e.g. CHEM 1305 in Life & Physical Sciences (030) and CHEM 1105 in CAO (090)
- Combined lecture/lab (4 SCH)
- Reduce CAO requirement by corresponding SCH, e.g. Mathematics (020) require 4 SCH + Life & Physical Sciences require 8 SCH for all students. The CAO (090) would then be reduced to 3 SCH for all students.
- Degree requirements for certain majors (Degree requires more than the outlined SCH for a component area)
- Labs can be an option from the CAO, and/or
- Labs can be considered part of the degree requirement and not the core.
- NOTE: If the course is combined lecture/lab, the institution must show that the additional SCH will not raise the minimum SCH of the degree.
10. How do Physical Fitness, Computer Literacy, Speech, etc. courses fit into the core?
- An institution desiring to include any course may do so if the course meets the criteria for inclusion in a specific foundational component area or Component Area Option.
11. What is Creative Arts and does it include music, theatre, art and dance?
- The re-designation of the Foundational Component Area reflects the intent of the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee that courses in this area should focus on appreciation and analysis to enable critical, creative, and innovative communication about works of art in any discipline within the arts, rather than performance.
- The term "Creative Arts" refers to all the disciplines of art and architecture, music, film, performance studies, theater, and dance.
- The description of the Foundational Component Area clearly allows for courses from these disciplines, such as Music Appreciation, Art Appreciation, History of Theater, History of Dance, etc. Courses from other disciplines, like Film Studies, Performance Studies, History of Architecture, etc. will also be considered.
12. What are the differences between the old/current core curriculum and the new core curriculum?
13. Where can I find the Core Objectives and descriptions for required each foundational component area?
14. Can a course include more than the required Core Objectives listed in the rules?
- Yes. The Core Objectives included in the rules are the minimum requirements for a course approved for a component area. Inclusion of additional Core Objectives is optional.
15. How much of each Core Objective or skill in the description is needed for a course to be approved as a Core Curriculum course?
- The institution is responsible for determining the appropriate level of attainment of knowledge and skills in the Foundational Component Area description and Core Objectives.
16. How can attainment of the Core Objectives been measured? Would you provide some resources?
- The method of assessment is to be determined by each institution.
- UEAC Members and assessment professionals from both a community college and a university referred to the Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as a resource for developing all aspects of the Core Curriculum, including the assessment process. To assist with assessment, the LEAP project includes a set of sample rubrics normed at more than 80 colleges and universities, as part of the Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) assessment guidelines.
17. Will courses with pre-requisites be approved?
- Yes, with some exceptions. The course must meet SACS general education requirements and no upper-division course will be approved if it is substantially comparable in content and depth of study to a lower-division course in the ACGM.
18. When we receive confirmation of our approved core curriculum?
- Staff will complete all reviews by March 1, 2014. Any institution that sends the core revision submission components before November, 2013 will receive a response sooner. If you are interested in submitting your core curriculum in August, September or October, please contact Melinda Valdez (email@example.com).