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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 12 

Community update on Pathways to General Education implementation plan

December 18, 2015

Three people speak at a conference.
About 80 people attended the University Curriculum Committee for General Education update meeting on Dec. 14, 2015. Following the presentation, attendees were encouraged to give additional feedback or ask questions with various members of the committee and supporting units on the Pathways to General Education implementation plan.

The University Curriculum Committee for General Education (UCCGE) provided the Virginia Tech community with an update on the implementation plan for the new general education curriculum, Pathways to General Education, in a community forum this week. Approximately 80 people attended the event. (Read the presentation.)

In April, university governance approved the new curriculum, which will replace the current Curriculum for Liberal Education. (Read the approved curriculum plan.) This year, the implementation plan – which will detail how the university will transition to the new curriculum – is beginning to work through university governance.

The curriculum committee compiled the implementation plan and presented it for the 15-day review period at the end of October. The committee collected feedback through an open survey and reviewed it the meeting this week. The committee offered the latest meeting as an additional step to solicit and clarify feedback from the university community.

The committee shared feedback it received over the review period, specifically in the areas of curriculum integration, assessment, Pathways minors and alternative pathways, and proposals and approval process that it will consider as the plan is revised over the next month.

“We received a lot of really helpful feedback on all areas of the implementation plan. Most of the comments focused on the need for additional details and clarification,” said Ann-Marie Knoblauch, co-chair for the University Curriculum Committee for General Education and associate professor of art history in the School of Visual Arts. "An area of concern is how the new outcomes will be assessed and the process for course approval. The feedback has given us a clear direction for how to move forward with our second draft."

With the anticipated changes to the draft, the committee provided an updated timeline for the implementation plan to work through university governance.

  • The committee will revise the implementation plan over the next month. A new draft will be available by mid-January with a final University Curriculum Committee for General Education vote in early February.
  • If the plan passes, it will go to the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies in February and March for review and vote.
  • It will go to University Council for consideration in March and April.
  • The dates for each level of governance are tentative, but if the implementation plan is approved by the end of the spring semester, it’s anticipated that Pathways will begin for new students entering in fall of 2018.

The community meeting this week also addressed questions about resources available to support the transition. Current funding through the colleges and departments will remain, which is calculated based on demand and enrollments. In addition, the Office of the Provost has committed $500,000 in funding in the form of grants to support development of new and revised curricula as well as the delivery of new or expanded course offerings that align with Pathways. In addition, based on feedback, there will be an opportunity to apply for transitional funding. These requests will go to Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Rachel Holloway. Forms to apply for this funding will be available in the coming week on the Pathways to General Education website.

Beyond monetary resources, partnerships across campus will provide training and workshops for faculty and graduate students on best teaching practices and ways to adapt curricula to meet the Pathways requirements.

To learn more about the new curriculum and stay up-to-date on the implementation plan’s progress through university governance, visit the Pathways to General Education website.

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