Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has announced that six faculty members from Rider University are among those from 32 colleges and universities chosen in a competitive process to participate in General Education for a Global Century, a curriculum and faculty development project. The project is part of AAC&U’s Shared Futures initiative and is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. Faculty from more than 140 institutions applied to be part of the initiative.
Participating in this national initiative are Dr. Michael Brogan of Political Science, Dr. Pamela Brown of Communication & Journalism, Dr. Julie Drawbridge of Biology, Dr. Shunzhu Wang of Foreign languages and Dr. Arlene Wilner of English. The team will be led by Dr. Patricia Mosto, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Education, & Sciences at Rider.
Mosto says that the AAC&U Project is an invaluable resource as Rider’s College of Liberal Arts, Sciences, and Education is now engaged, as part of its recently approved Strategic Plan, in the first stages of a conversation about the alignment of the core curriculum with the College’s vision elements. The College’s goals include fostering students’ critical thinking about cultural diversity, global interconnectedness, and the social responsibilities entailed by advances in technology. The Strategic Plan also calls for a conversation on coherent multiyear curricular and co-curricular experiences for our students.
“The Shared Futures Initiative will provide us with an opportunity to explore these ideas as potential general education design elements as part of the broader conversations now beginning,” Mosto said.
The selection of Rider faculty members to participate in this initiative will enable the University to be part of a national conversation focused on changes in general education to acknowledge 21st century realities.
“Increasingly, in their mission statements and strategic plans, colleges and universities promise that their graduates will develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary to act as responsible and productive global citizens in an interconnected and interdependent world,” said Kevin Hovland, director of Global Learning and Curricular Change for the AAC&U. “Yet, in most cases, general education curricular designs have not kept pace with the rhetoric. These selected faculty will all be working together to create clear and creative pathways — horizontally and vertically — through which students can connect their learning and achieve essential global learning outcomes.”
The representative Rider faculty, along with those from the other 32 institutions, will help lead this high-profile national conversation to:
- articulate essential global learning outcomes for all students;
- refine and disseminate models of global general education curricula that can be adapted across all institutional types;
- provide faculty development opportunities to assist college faculty in designing and teaching interdisciplinary, integrative courses that focus on real-world global issues; and
- develop rubrics to assess global learning outcomes.
The Rider team will spend the fall and winter discussing general education strategies and how to strengthen connections between core goals and outcomes, especially those related to global learning. These discussions will culminate in the project’s central activity — an intensive summer institute in 2011.
The faculty selected are from all regions of the country and many different types of institutions — including two-year and four-year, public and private institutions. Institutions selected include:
California State University — San Marcos (Calif.)
Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.)
Central College (Iowa)
College of William & Mary (Va.)
Delaware State University (Del.)
Haverford College (Pa.)
John Carroll University (Ohio)
Keene State College (N.H.)
Kennesaw State University (Ga.)
Lynn University (Fla.)
Miami University (Ohio)
Michigan State University (Mich.)
Minneapolis Community and Technical College (Minn.)
Monroe Community College (N.Y.)
Nebraska Wesleyan University (Neb.)
Oregon State University (Ore.)
Rider University (N.J.)
San Jose State University (Calif.)
Southern Connecticut State University (Conn.)
Spring Hill College (Ala.)
St. Edward's University (Tex.)
St. Lawrence University (N.Y.)
The College of Wooster (Ohio)
University at Albany, SUNY (N.Y.)
University of Maryland — College Park (Md.)
University of Massachusetts — Amherst (Mass.)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte (N.C.)
University of South Florida (Fla.)
University of Wisconsin Colleges (Wisc.)
Utah Valley University (Utah)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Va.)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Mass.)
“It was gratifying to see how many campuses applied to be part of this initiative,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “It is testament to how seriously today’s academy takes the challenge of preparing college students to participate effectively and responsibly in an interdependent global community. Both their future employers and our society need students with much higher levels of global knowledge and skill. This initiative will help the higher education community graduate students with these critical capacities. The Shared Futures initiative and this work on general education are important foci for AAC&U’s ongoing work to connect liberal education with the needs of a fast-changing world.”
For additional information about the initiative, see: