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UMKC General Education Core

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the UMKC General Education Core?

The UMKC General Education Core is the university's core curriculum, designed to provide knowledge and skills that are important for all students, no matter their major or field of study. The UMKC Core provides an innovative learning experience for students, employing interdisciplinary courses that are team–taught by faculty. These courses challenge students to think across boundaries in a way that more closely resembles real-world situations, preparing them better for 21st–century careers. UMKC undergraduates in every academic unit, in every major, have the same set of core requirements.

Which students are required to meet the UMKC General Education Core requirements?

The requirements apply to incoming freshmen starting Fall Semester 2013 and to transfer students in Fall Semester 2014. The new requirements do not apply to students enrolled before August 2013.

I have seen a list of core curriculum requirements specific to my major. Which requirements apply to me?

The UMKC General Education Core replaces any and all existing general education requirements previously instituted by individual academic units. Any student enrolling for the first time after August 2013, in any UMKC academic unit or major, must meet the UMKC Core.

If I enrolled prior to August 2013, can I "opt in" to the UMKC General Education Core in place of the requirements I started with?

No. Because the UMKC General Education Core includes a battery of new "paired" courses designed specifically for the new curriculum, there is not enough capacity to admit anyone other than first-time new enrollees.

What happens to my credits if I change majors?

Credits earned within the UMKC General Education Core satisfy the general education core requirements for all majors.

What is included in the UMKC General Education Core?

The requirements total 30 hours and include three types of courses.

Students will take four Focus courses (12 hours total), drawn from three areas: Arts and Humanities; Scientific Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis; and Human Actions, Values and Ethics.

Students also complete three "pairs" of complementary courses, called Anchor and Discourse classes (18 hours total). Anchor classes stress interdisciplinary and critical thinking in a team learning environment. In Discourse classes, students learn speech, writing and other presentation and communication skills, using content from the paired Anchor class. The third pair is built around a community engagement experience in which students apply their classroom learning to real-world challenges in the community.

Level I will be drawn from choices in the general area of Reasoning and Values; Level II from Culture and Diversity; and Level III from Civic and Community Engagement.

Courses are developmentally sequenced, meaning that later courses build on skills from earlier classes and help students gain confidence for success.

How was the content of the UMKC General Education Core determined?

UMKC formed a General Education Task Force in Fall 2009 that worked through Spring 2010. The group met with Dr. Carol Geary Schneider, president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, and reviewed the existing curriculum requirements, research on the skills employers value, national trends, innovative programs and Higher Learning Commission requirements. The group then developed a strategic plan for revision of the general education program with specific goals and a framework.

The General Education Oversight Committee worked from Fall 2010 through Spring 2012. The group conducted multiple town hall meetings for campuswide discussion, reviewed innovative models in use at other universities and developed a general education curricular model and comprehensive student learning outcomes for the general education program.

During Summer 2012, the General Education Implementation Committee began work on specific course structures and the course submission format. The committee continued its work in 2013 to prepare for launch.

How does the new UMKC General Education Core improve on the old model?

The UMKC General Education Core establishes a base of critical knowledge and skills that all graduates should have, regardless of major. The interdisciplinary nature of the program provides an innovative way of challenging students to think across boundaries in a way that more closely resembles real-world situations, helping them prepare for 21st–century careers.

The UMKC Core is a more efficient means of guiding a student's educational journey and provides greater value because students can be confident the courses they take will arm them with skills employers most value and will constitute progress toward a degree, even if they change majors. It represents another facet of UMKC's commitment to student success.

Courses are developmentally sequenced so that later courses build on skills from earlier classes and help students gain confidence for success. Students in the Anchor/Discourse pairs have the added benefit of being cohorted, which research has shown to build stronger learning communities and increased collaboration.

The Level III Anchor/Discourse focus on Civic/Community Engagement reflects and reinforces our urban engagement mission.