General Education Taskforce
The NMSU General Education Taskforce met on Wednesday, December 9, to share the thinking of individual teams with regard to the learning outcomes that should characterize all NMSU graduates. All teams clearly took their work seriously and there was reasonable consensus among the reports. Our job now is to distill the recommendations of the teams into consensus outcomes and begin to discuss how to implement reforms to the general education curriculum that will achieve desired outcomes.
Board of Regents Meeting
At the Board of Regents meeting on the Friday before Commencement, I provided an update on the progress we have made at NMSU in moving to 120 credit degree programs. Overall, the progress has been good with 60% of degree programs making the curricular changes necessary to move to 120 credits. Even so, the Regents expressed concerns with the pace of the movement. I will continue to work with Deans to encourage departments to find ways to reduce credit hour requirements for degree programs without sacrificing essential learning outcomes.
At the Governor’s Symposium on Higher Education held on December 14, I gave a presentation on general education and the need for reform in New Mexico. During the talk, I announced the General Education Summit to be held on January 13, 2016, and described the outcomes we hope to achieve at the summit. They are as follows:
- Streamlining of general education curriculum
- Building meta-majors around the general education common core
- Development of a curriculum with greater emphasis on acquisition of transferable skills valued by employers and essential for lifelong learning
- Ensuring common course numbering and seamless transfer of general education credits
NMSU System Summit
We had a good NMSU System Summit on December 15, at which a wide-ranging array of topics were discussed. I focused my comments on the Aggie Pathway to the Baccalaureate, which goes into effect in the fall of 2015 and the Governor’s Initiatives for higher education. I encouraged the community colleges to begin marketing the Aggie Pathway and all indicated a strong willingness to do so. With regard to the Governor’s Initiatives, I noted that they are quite consistent with the Student Success Initiatives we currently have underway at NMSU. Although there is a great deal of work to be done in order to implement the initiatives, the major need is time, not overcoming structural barriers to implementation.