By Peter Moore
Welcome (or welcome back) to SMU. My name is Peter Moore and I am the new Associate Dean of General Education. One of my roles is to oversee the University Curriculum (UC). I want to bring you up-to-date on some changes in the UC that have occurred over the summer.
First a revised set of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) was adopted by the University Curriculum Council (UCC) in August. As a result Proficiency and Experience credit was expanded to include programs in Student Affairs some of which have already been approved. For example, Resident Assistants are now eligible for the Community Engagement tag. A complete list of options is available at smu.edu/gened.
The data gathered by the UC Monitoring Committee showed that over the past two years current sophomores and juniors have done a commendable job of completing UC requirements despite an insufficient number of seats being available in some of the Pillars and even fewer opportunities for Proficiencies & Experiences. As a result they recommended that the following exemptions to the UC be implemented:
a. Students who entered AS FIRST YEAR STUDENTS in the fall 2012 through spring 2014 are required to complete three of the five level-two Pillars;
b. Students who entered AS FIRST YEAR STUDENTS in the fall 2012 through spring 2014 must complete the Second Language Requirement but are required to complete no more than six of the other ten Proficiencies and Experiences with at least one each in Writing and Oral Communication;
c. FIRST YEAR TRANSFER STUDENTS who entered in spring 2013 and TRANSFER STUDENTS who entered in summer 2014 through summer 2015 will be granted the same considerations as non-transfer students who entered in the fall 2012 through the spring 2014 terms: they are required to complete three of the five level-two Pillars, the Second Language Requirement, and no more than six of the other ten Proficiencies and Experiences with at least one each in Writing and Oral Communication.
These recommendations have been approved by the UCC and follow on an earlier change that removed the Capstone from the UC. I hope that these changes will go a long way toward easing your concerns about finishing in four years while completing your degree. Other changes are underway this academic year to increase the number of courses, many in the majors, offering credit toward the UC as well as multiple credits toward the UC. The UC Monitoring Committee continues to meet and will issue a third report on UC implementation progress in the early spring.
To those of you who are well on their way to completing the original set of UC requirements, I want to acknowledge your efforts and commend your diligence while recognizing that you may be frustrated that the Pillar 2 and Proficiency & Experience requirements have been relaxed for your peers. I also want to reassure first year students that the UCC will continue to work hard this year to guarantee that the UC, when fully implemented, will allow you the necessary flexibility to complete its requirements while you pursue your degree programs.
Dr. Peter Moore is SMU’s new Associate Dean of General Education and a Professor of Mathematics in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.