‘Critical Foundations,’ the name chosen by the ASEWU for Eastern’s revised General Education program, will be outcomes-based, will give the university another signature program useful in recruitment, will require fewer credits for completion, and will be easier for students and advisors to navigate.
Classes will serve multiple outcomes: the model will work well with a block-scheduling structure and will mirror AAC&U high-impact practices, including first-year seminars, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments, undergraduate research, diversity and global learning, and service learning.
A 30-credit foundational core, integrated or clustered thematically across the curriculum, will reinforce six key learning outcomes:
• To think critically.
• To communicate effectively.
• To analyze quantitatively.
• To engage creatively.
• To be well and do good.
• To recognize difference.
On May 12, 2014, the Academic Senate approved the goals and structure of Critical Foundations by a vote of 22 for, five against and four abstain, and the initiative received Board of Trustees’ approval on May 15, 2014.
Faculty members Julia Smith, Kevin Decker, and Mindy Breen deserve all congratulations and kudos for their diligent and creative work on Critical Foundations. We look forward to the implementation phase of this project and to starting something big for our students!