History of the Core Curriculum
In 2011, The University of Southern Indiana Faculty Senate charged the University Core Curriculum (UCC) Review Task Force to review the University “Core Curriculum with an eye to preparing students for the 21st century.” The UCC Review Task Force assessed the UCC, concluding that it does not reflect wholly USI’s mission statement and its 2010- 2015 Strategic Plan. Further examination of assessment data pertaining to the UCC led the UCC Review Task Force to conclude that drafting and proposing a new core curriculum was necessary to prepare students more adequately for the 21st century. A second task force - the New University Core Curriculum Implementation Task Force - developed the implementation plan for Core 39 and submitted its final report in February 2014.
The University of Southern Indiana implemented its new general education requirements (CORE 39) in Fall 2014. The first round of assessment data collection occurred at this time. In response to faculty feedback about this process, the CORE 39 Assessment Task Force was created at the end of the 2015 Spring Semester. The group was charged with streamlining the core assessment process. Three principles guided the work of the Task Force: simplicity, transparency, and less burdensome for faculty. The Task Force met for two weeks in May 2015 to write a unified assessment plan. Other representatives of the campus community were called upon to help with this process.
To simplify the process, the Task Force recommended that each CORE course will have a Key Assignment that is aligned to a rubric for each part of the CORE. The rubrics are nested in the goals, objectives, and outcomes for CORE 39. The Task Force developed rubrics for the four outcomes of the Ways of Knowing and the three embedded experiences. The Task Force provided guidance for the development of the rubrics for the Physical Activities and Wellness foundation courses as well as the Composition foundation courses. The mathematics foundation courses and the World Languages BA courses had already developed workable rubrics and assessment plans. During the 2015-2016 academic year, six teams will be established to develop the rubrics for the Ways of Knowing subcategories: CAE, HI, MER, SMI, SI, and WLC.
In an attempt to develop a “culture of assessment” across the colleges, the Task Force recommended the use of college-level CCAFs (College CORE Assessment Facilitators). The CCAFs’ efforts will be coordinated by the UCC Director. The UCC Director will work with OPRA to analyze the data.