I spent the beginning of the week on the road with Melody Munson-McGee, seeking input from faculty across the state on the changes to general education proposed by the Statewide General Education Steering Committee. The input sessions took place at San Juan Community College, New Mexico Highlands University, Santa Fe Community College, and the University of New Mexico (a combined meeting with UNM and Central New Mexico Community College faculty). The discussions were cordial and helpful. In general, faculty supported a more purposeful general education with a strong focus on essential skills. Many of the concerns that were voiced focused on assessment and the learning outcomes rubrics. It will be important for the steering committee to provide clear advice on how to use the rubrics, and on assessment expectations.
At the end of the week, I attended the Chief Academic Officer meeting of the Higher Education Department. At the meeting, I presented the proposed curriculum model for general education and the timeline for instituting the model. The response from the CAOs was very positive, with most of the concerns centering on transfer of general education courses and the means by which we might certify that a student has completed his/her general education requirements. The meeting also addressed the state-wide work to develop a common course numbering system, progress on creating meta majors, efforts to improved outcomes for students needing remediation, and future directions for dual credit.
On Friday evening, I had the honor of providing a few introductory remarks at the opening of Tratando Pasos Ajenos, an exhibit on Social Justice and Inequalities in the Borderlands at the Branigan Cultural Center. The exhibit was prepared by Dr. Dulcinea Lara, Dr. Nicholas Natividad, and Daniel Aguilar and opens an insightful window into the peoples of the borderland, past and present injustices, and the importance of building an inclusive society where all people are valued and all are fully empowered to achieve their potential.