Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we changing our core curriculum?
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) approved significant changes to the state-mandated core curriculum. Our core curriculum at UT Arlington must now be aligned to those changes. These changes include a reduction in overall hours (from 44 to 42) and changes in the nomenclature and makeup of certain areas.
When does the new core curriculum become effective?
We must submit our plan to the THECB in November, 2013, for approval. The new core will be in effect for incoming students in Fall, 2014.
Do all students have to abide by the new core curriculum or just new students?
Degree programs are governed by the catalog text in effect at the time a student matriculates. However, students may opt to “move” to the most recent catalog – in which case they must meet the requirements spelled out in that catalog.
My program has a course that is currently in the UT Arlington core curriculum. Do we have to resubmit this course for inclusion in the new core?
Yes. Because component areas and objectives have changed significantly, we are requiring that every course be submitted even if it currently satisfies a core area.
How do we submit a course for the core and what are the deadlines?
Applications may be found on the “Submit an Application” page. Applications and supporting materials must be submitted before August 10, 2013.
What materials will be required for the core course application?
An application, a detailed syllabus and the individual assessment plan (ONLY IF that assessment option is chosen).
What courses are suitable for the core?
On the “Requirements for Core Courses page,” several criteria are described. Briefly – 1000 and 2000-level courses which are broad and introductory.
Do we have to include all THECB core objectives in every course in the core curriculum?
The application form asks for information about the number of sections offered per year and the enrollment in those sections. Does this mean that larger classes will be preferred over lower-enrollment courses?
No. Because we are developing a new and innovative communal assessment model, we need to forecast the number of sections and number of students that will be involved in the assessment.
Do we have to assess the core courses?
Yes. We must report the results of assessment to both the THECB and SACS (Southern Association of College & Schools – our accrediting body).
How do we assess the core courses?
Programs may opt to participate in a communal assessment using signature assignments or to design, administer and report an individual assessment. Courses will be assessed every semester to ensure that the assessment becomes a seamless component in the class.
What about the 4-hour science classes? How will that be handled?
The “non-STEM” science courses (for non-majors and non-STEM students) are undergoing significant revision to become 3-hour courses with an integrated laboratory experience. The “STEM” science courses will remain at 4 hours, but the laboratory hour will not count towards the core curriculum and will be considered a major requirement.
Do all sections have to be part of the assessment or can a single section only be assessed?
In order to assure uniformity in the experience our students are having in our classrooms and the degree to which they are all exposed to the skills described by the core objectives, it is critical that all sections be assessed.
What about the timing of new courses? Will they be submitted prior to or simultaneous with core application submission?
New courses (not currently in the course inventory) may be proposed. A course inventory change request must be initiated to add the course (via the curriculum system). Courses which are not added to the course inventory through the curriculum process will not qualify for the core. The curriculum system opens in the Fall, so the core application must be submitted first.
Whom can we contact?
What is IRPE?
Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness.
Can courses be approved for more than one component area?
A course may only be listed in one of the eight foundational component areas. However, any course listed in a foundational component area may also be listed as an option in the Component Area Option (CAO).
When will the communal rubrics be developed and approved?
The Core Curriculum Assessment Committee will be constituted prior to the fall semester and will be charged with developing and approving rubrics. The LEAP rubrics from the AAC&U will be used as a starting point and may be used as reference points when developing signature assignments.