Committee proposes Gen-Ed Changes

While students may have strategies on which general education classes to take at Bradley, the incoming class of 2015 might have new courses to consider.
The Steering Committee, which is a sub-committee of the General Education Program Review, is in the process of proposing a plan that would revamp required general education courses. If the plan is approved, it would go into effect beginning with the incoming freshmen fall 2015.
“The last major general education revision at Bradley was in 1982,” said Co-Chair of the Steering Committee Kelly McConnaughay. “There had been a lot of tinkering over the 30 years … at some point you have to stop and say, is it time for more or not?”
McConnaughay said the committee would consider opening the new general education requirements still enrolled in 2015 to students who prefer the new plan, but for now, that option is undecided.
The most noticeable changes on the proposed plan include broadening math courses to quantitative reasoning, shortening scientific requirements from six hours to three and allowing students more freedom by choosing a minimum of six elective hours in core curriculum courses.
“These are not dramatic changes,” McConnaughay said. “[If approved] some of these courses may have very minor modifications or have no modifications at all. There could also be some brand new courses developed.”
Writing-intensive courses were strongly endorsed for the proposed plan, Co-Chair Jenny Gruening said.
“This recommendation stemmed from previous feedback we got from faculty, staff and students about the types of practices to consider putting into the model,” she said. “There was a lot of interest in writing-intensive courses and increasing the amount of writing in the curriculum.”
The Steering Committee is made up of the Provost, faculty and staff members and several students, and began discussing general education courses after the university strategic plan was ratified December 2011.
The university’s senate was also involved in the proposal by gathering data.
“[The General Education Subcommittee of the University Senate] spent the spring 2012 semester conducting focus groups with faculty on current general education program and asking them what they felt worked, what didn’t work, what’s missing and what’s obsolete,” Gruening said.
On top of faculty input, the committee talked to the Employers Board, the Parents Board and alumni.
McConnaughay said the Steering Committee is in the second year of a three-year process. The proposed plan was released two weeks ago as the “consensus model,” and was picked from three total plans.
For now, the committee is awaiting feedback from campus by Nov. 22, before the committee will review it and make modifications. Gruening said the committee’s goal is to have one more draft completed and a proposal sent to University Senate for approval during spring 2014.