Transforming General Education at the
University of Maryland
Report of the General Education Task Force to the Senior Vice President for
Academic Affairs and Provost and the Chair of the University Senate
Dear Campus Community:
In early 2009, the Chair of the University Senate and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost created and charged the Task Force on General Education. They called for a new vision of General Education to ground, inspire, and challenge faculty and students at the University of Maryland. Since March 2009, the Task Force has met weekly to develop a proposal for transforming undergraduate education. The Task Force conducted research on General Education at other institutions, reviewed the challenges facing the existing CORE program, met with specialists in undergraduate pedagogy from across the University, conducted research on General Education at other institutions, and spoke with numerous groups of students and faculty. Wide-ranging possibilities were discussed and considered.
On March 10, 2010, the Task Force presented a draft of its proposed plan of General Education to the Senate Executive Committee, which amended the plan and voted seven to one in support of the proposal. Two days later, March 12, the Task Force released the proposed draft plan to the campus, along with a website that allowed members of the campus community to comment on the plan. On March 25, that same draft plan was discussed at an open forum at the full meeting of the Senate. Since then, the Task Force has incorporated suggestions from that meeting, from the website, and from others throughout the campus to create a Final Report for General Education at the University of Maryland.
On April 8th, the Senate met in 0200 Skinner Hall from 3:45-5:45 PM and, after discussion, voted to approve that Final Report, with one amendment.
A warm thanks to all who have reviewed and commented on the draft during its year-long gestation, and to those who have participated in the ongoing discussion of this central element in the University’s curriculum.
Ira Berlin, Chair, Task Force on General Education