The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved significant changes to the rules that apply to the core curriculum at public institutions of higher education in the State of Texas.
These changes established a 42-credit-hour limit on the core. Six Component Area Objectives were established to replace the exemplary educational objectives, and several component areas were renamed. Students who entered the university prior to 2014 may elect to remain under the rules of the catalog under which they entered and remain within the previous Core, or they may elect to adopt the 2014 catalog with its attendant changes to the Core.
Assessment of the Core Curriculum
An integral part of delivery of the core curriculum is the assessment of the level achieved by students in the skills described in the area objectives. This is an assessment of the skills and NOT an assessment of the content learning outcomes of a particular course. Departments will be invited to choose between participating in a “communal” assessment process or assuming total responsibility for assessment, analysis and reporting of results by selecting the “individual” assessment option. All the courses in a department must be assessed in the same process, e.g. all CHEM courses must either participate in the communal assessment OR all must assure individual assessment.
Under the communal assessment option, departments will develop “signature assignments” in each course. These assignments must be designed to elicit the core objectives required for the course. More than one signature assignment may be needed for a particular course in order to address all the objectives. These assignments will then be collected (method TBA) and a random sample of the assignments will be scored using a rubric derived from the AAC&U rubrics as modified by several authorities in Texas. Benchmark metrics will be established for each of the assessments.
Process for Course Submission
Course proposals for inclusion in the Core Curriculum may be submitted by March 5, 2016. Proposals must include:
- Completed application form – which will include information on how the course meets the component area, how it addresses each of the required core objectives; a description of the key assignments that will be used to assess those objectives; and an estimate of how many students will take the course each semester and how many sections will be offered
- Sample syllabus including core objectives, learning outcomes, specific activities and key assignments which will address those objectives
Visit “Requirements for Core Curriculum Courses” for information about what types of courses are appropriate for the Core.
Click here for detailed instructions and the application form.
New courses (not currently in the course inventory) may be proposed for the Core and may be approved PENDING approval of their addition to the course inventory. No course approved as a core curriculum course will automatically be added to the course inventory without undergoing the scrutiny of the curriculum change process.
Questions about the process may be directed to Dr. Kimberly van Noort.