CANs List

Curriculum Action Notice


Academic Affairs Committee


Oct. 6th, 2009

This is a bulletin from the Academic Affairs Committee concerning proposed curricular actions. Please forward any comments or concerns in the next 10 days to the AAC chair, Jeffrey Bossworth , 206 Pinecrest Manor, ext. 4762.

University Committee On General Education REStructuring

to:                 Mansfield University Senate

FROM:           robert Timko, President OF University Senate

subject:     Reformulation/RESTRUCTURING OF General Education

date:            10/6/2009


Implementing the mandates of the 2008 strategic plan

The 2008 Strategic Plan mandates that we examine our general education curriculum with regard to making Liberal Arts the Foundation of all learning experiences at Mansfield University




The general education curriculum is a core element of the liberal arts education for every Mansfield University student, and as such affects every one of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. As the central theme of our institutional mission, it is the unifying element underlying all areas of study and permeating every aspect of our vision. In order for our entire curriculum to reflect this mission and vision, our definition for a liberal arts education must be clearly articulated. There must be a single coherent model for all programs that is both internally responsive to the institution’s needs and aligned with requirements of external accrediting bodies and state mandates.


We will undertake a thorough analysis of best practices among liberal arts institutions with regard to the educational elements that are common in the experience of all students at the institution, including a liberal arts base for professional programs.


We will establish university-wide learning outcomes that reflect Mansfield University’s Mission in cooperation with the assessment implementation team to be formed through this strategic plan.


We will review the current General Education curriculum. If appropriate, we will restructure it to reflect Mansfield’s dedication to the development of the skills, diversity and dispositions consistent to a Liberal Arts Education.


We will develop assessment methods that determine whether our students are achieving the desired outcomes, and that inform continuous improvement of the curriculum toward this goal.


We will engage in regular, intentional, and meaningful campus-wide conversations about the nature of a liberal arts education and the role Mansfield’s general education curriculum plays in this education.


Consistent with this vision, it is recommended to the University Senate that it establish a university-wide committee to work with the implementation teams for liberal arts and assessment as well as the Senate Committee on General Education to examine the need for general education restructuring and propose models for such restructuring.


The Composition and Election of the Committee


The Committee shall be elected by members of the Faculty Assembly and shall have the following representation.


·         A representative of the SPIT for Liberal Arts Education

·         A representative of the SPIT for Assessment

·         A representative of the General Education Subcommittee

·         A representative for the Core programs in General Education

·         Representatives from Blocks I through V in the current General Education model:

ü  Humanities

ü  Languages and Literature

ü  Mathematics

ü  Natural and Physical Sciences

ü  Social Sciences

·         A representative of the Professional Programs at Mansfield University (Group VI)


·         Dean Burke will serve on the Committee in an ex-officio capacity. Dr. Burke’s role will be to advise the committee on the various regulations for professional accreditations.


Nominations for each of the positions on the committee will be made by the two SPITS, the General Education Subcommittee, the professional programs, and each department in the respective general education blocks. Individual faculty may also self-nominate for a specific position for which they may be eligible. Faculty members eligible for more than one position can be nominated for each position for which she/he is eligible.


No more than one person from any academic program shall serve on the committee.


The election of this university committee shall be administered by the Administrative Affairs and Elections Committee



The Committee’s Charge


Once duly constituted, the committee shall work in consultation with the appropriate Strategic Plan Implementation teams and move forward in proposing recommendations and/or models for general education at Mansfield University.


The Committee shall:


·         Collect and review materials and recommendations from the Liberal Arts SPIT

·         Collect and review materials and recommendations from the Assessment SPIT

·         Continue to work in collaboration with both the Liberal Arts and Assessment SPITs in the modification of existing proposals for general education and the development of new models for general education

·         Work in consultation with the current Subcommittee on General Education with special regard to outcomes and outcomes assessment for each block and outcomes and outcomes assessment for Writing Across the Curriculum, Information Literacy, and Global Awareness

·         Consider the LEAP model as a possible planning instrument in the restructuring process

·         Balance content knowledge with desired skills in making any proposal for restructuring

·         Propose models for restructuring that see the liberal learning process as something which occurs in each semester of undergraduate education and not just in first and second year courses

·         Conduct public meetings to gain more input while reviewing and developing plans and models for restructuring

·         Prior to the Fall Semester 2010 propose at least two plans or models for general education at Mansfield University. These proposals will be submitted to the Faculty Assembly for formal debate.


The Completion of the Process


The Faculty Assembly shall debate the plans and/or models for general education. The Assembly shall recommend one plan or model to the University Senate and its committees for final review. The plan or model shall be subject to final review by the:

·         Subcommittee for General Education

·         Academic Planning

·         Academic Affairs

·         University Senate


The University Senate shall make a final recommendation to the President of Mansfield University. It is expected that any reformulation of general education will be in effect at the start of the Fall Semester 2011. 

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