Amy Jones-Timoney

By

College: Arts and Sciences

UK Gets to the Core of General Education

Published: Aug 23, 2011

 

 

 

For a full video transcript, please see click here.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 23, 2011) — University of Kentucky sophomore Brittany Courtney went into a freshman writing class last fall with the same thought that many of her accounting major peers do each semester.

 

"I'm not a writer, but I've always done well in my English classes," said the Frankfort native, who found herself wholly unprepared for lecturer Beth Connors Manke of the College of Arts and Sciences Division of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Media. "Halfway through the first semester, Dr. Beth sat me down, and we went through my writing, line by line."

 

By the spring, Courtney successfully completed the pilot class, Composition and Communication I and was doing well in the follow-up course, Composition and Communication II.

 

Perhaps more importantly she began to see how a general education requirement could really help in her future endeavors.

 

"If I have to make a presentation for my job in the future, I feel prepared," she said. "The one-on-one instruction, small groups and creative assignments of my writing class opened up a new world to me."

 

That sentiment — the idea of preparing students with the critical thinking skills they need to succeed in a competitive global economy — is the basis for UK's new general education requirements, also known as UKCore.

 

UKCore, which is fully integrated as of the fall 2011 semester, is a course of study that all students, regardless of major, must complete, replacing the University Studies Program (USP) requirements that UK had in place since the mid-1980s.

 

Those core classes embody what the university believes every student will need to not only compete in a 21st century economy, but also participate in democratic self-governance and live a life of purpose and meaning.

 

"Any core curriculum that is supposed to apply to all students over a period of time needs to be reexamined," explained Provost Kumble R. Subbaswamy, who originally led the charge to revamp UK's general education curriculum eight years ago. "If you think about when the old general education curriculum was put in place — that was before the Internet existed; the Soviet Union was still around."

 

More than 120 UK faculty members have been involved in the process, from evaluating USP, to creating learning outcomes and then turning those broad concepts into undergraduate classroom curriculum.

 

"This is a whole new chapter in our general education," said UK Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Mike Mullen. "We're asking students to become an active part of the classroom, engage with the content, to become critical thinkers and users of information and to solve problems."

 

UKCore is based upon four learning outcomes; a student who graduates from UK should be able to do certain things.

 

  •  Many classes in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the College of Fine Arts will focus on a student's understanding of and ability to employ the processes of intellectual inquiry.

 

"People are afraid to play… to step outside the lines," said Marty Henton, senior lecturer in art education, who will be teaching three classes of " Pathways to Creativity in the Visual Arts" this fall. "Some of my favorite students over the years have been the ones that say they can't draw. OK. Good. Let's work. Part of my job is to take away some of the stereotypes kids learned in high school and get back to the child-life quality that each one of us has innately."

           

For Henton, stepping outside of the box is the next step to innovation and thoughtful creativity. "If we give cookie cutter projects to our students, then we're going to get cookies," she said. "Solving problems through critical thinking — that's what we want in this arts and creativity learning outcome."

 

  • By combining writing and communication requirements, Composition and Communication 1 & II will assist students in their written, oral and visual communication skills — both as producers and consumers of information.

 

"When we teach writing, the focus is often on writing for other classes, instead of writing for life," said Roxanne Mountford, director of the Division of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Media in the College of Arts and Sciences. "Writing is a part of the larger communication process; addressing modalities like texting, interpersonal communication, public speaking, writing and digital media together in one class, students see that these are all connected. And students can choose the most appropriate form of communication for a particular situation."

 

  • A third UKCore learning outcome emphasizes quantitative reasoning.

 

"There's so much misunderstanding about what a statistics course should be about," said Bill Rayens, director of Undergraduate Studies, assistant provost for General Education and professor in the Department of Statistics . "Statistics has far less to do with formulas than with understanding the reasons behind the statistics."

 

The ability for students to make informed decisions with data will play a major role in UKCore quantitative classes. "Students will be evaluating data in the real world," said Mullen. "We've placed great emphasis on using information, instead of memorizing information."

 

  • The complexities of citizenship and the process for making informed choices as engaged citizens in a diverse and multilingual world rounds out the UKCore, as manifested in the 10-panel "Nation of Nations" art exhibit that will reside for the 2011-12 academic year in the William T. Young Library.

 

"Nation of Nations" is an exploration of people, place and promise through a stunning visual representation. 

 

"This new curriculum involves something that's well beyond training students for a task," said Rayens. "Students will be learning by doing, as well as answering larger and more important questions."

 

While learning outcomes are more important than hours, UKCore curriculum requirements have decreased from 42 hours to 30, which will be a great help to students finishing their degrees on time. But these 30 hours do promise to be more challenging and engaging than general education classes of the past.

 

"You won't be able to get out of public speaking," said Mountford. "But over 90 percent of our students in the first semester of our pilot class wanted to continue on. It's tough, but in this world, students realize that they need this type of education and experience."

 

"Students won't be sitting, listening to a lecture in these classes, and that can be uncomfortable at first," added Rayens. "But I've heard a lot of positive feedback."

 

"This approach of 'I've got to get these hours done and then move on to my major' is no longer," said Mullen. "UKCore will be interspersed throughout the four or five years students are on campus. We're setting the foundations for our students to become informed, engaged citizens when they leave UK."

 

 

ukcore_2.jpg
File Downloads
February
1
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Sun
2
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Mon
3
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tue
4
LNFS Presents: Groundhog Day
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Massage on the Go #1
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Internship Info Session
Edward Ayers, "The Incomplete War" - 2015 Bale Boone Symposium
Wed
5
LNFS Presents: Interstellar
LNFS Presents: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Thu
6
LNFS Presents: Songcatcher
LNFS Presents: Wall-E
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Fri
7
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
8
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Family Program: Everyone Collects!
Sun
9
Blitz Week for STAT and TEAM WILDCAT
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Mon
10
Blitz Week for STAT and TEAM WILDCAT
Employer Showcase: Day 1 Technical Career Fair
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Job Club: Successful Telephone Interview/Screening Tips and How to Choose & Prep your Professional References
Live Painting Performance
Coleman Hutchison, "Variations on the Word 'Dixie': Civil War Cultural Memory and a Song of the South" - 2015 Bale Boone Symposium
Love Letters for Seniors
Tue
11
Blitz Week for STAT and TEAM WILDCAT
Live Painting Performance
LNFS Presents: Caddyshack
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Employer Showcase: Day 2 Non-Technical Career Fair
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Darwin Lecture Series
Wildcat Wednesday
#TrendingTopics: Space Exploration
Wed
12
Blitz Week for STAT and TEAM WILDCAT
Live Painting Performance
LNFS Presents: Taxi Driver
LNFS Presents: Gone Girl
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Legal Planning
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
"Fix Society" Leelah's Law
David Blight, "When Did the American Civil War End?" - 2015 Bale Boone Symposium
Thu
13
Blitz Week for STAT and TEAM WILDCAT
Live Painting Performance
LNFS Presents: The Great Gatsby
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Candlelight Vigil for Chapel Hill Victims
Placing Modern Moonshine in America: Exploring Appalachia’s Role
ASA Photography Project
Fri
14
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Artist Talk
Sat
15
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
CIFA X CSSA Chinese Basketball Tournament
Film Screening: 2 States
Sun
16
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Awards, Reception, & Mixer
Mon
17
LNFS Presents: Dear White People
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Party Gras
CatWatch Party #2
Tue
18
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: Wreck-It Ralph
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Wed
19
LNFS Presents: Nightcrawler
LNFS Presents: Ip Man
Celebration at UK vs Texas A & M Women’s Basketball Game, Memorial Coliseum
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Depression Screening Day
Celebration at UK vs Texas A & M Women’s Basketball Game
Thu
20
LNFS Presents: The Bang Bang Club
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Curator Tour
Fri
21
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Celebration at UK vs Auburn Men’s Basketball Game
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Cross Cultural Workshop
Cross Cultural Workshop
Life After UK Conference
Spring Comedian: Jim Gaffigan
Sat
22
Cross Cultural Workshop
Cross Cultural Workshop
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
23
Graduate & Professional School Prep
Convocation
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Graduate School & Professional School Prep
Behind the Lens: Beau Willimon
Mon
24
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Job Club: Interview Strategies from the Other Side of the Table
Graduate School & Professional School Prep: Getting into Medical School
Cuba-U.S. Relations: a panel discussion
Pinterest Party #2
CRE and CCO Speaker: Laura Simms
Tue
25
LNFS Presents: Inception
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Fellows Founders Week Luncheon
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Graduate & Professional School Prep: Explaining Graduate School Tests
Graduate & Professional School Prep: Write a Winning Personal Statement
Wed
26
LNFS Presents: The Birds
LNFS Presents: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1
Guest Lecture: President Emeritus Mark Yudof of the University of California – Berkley
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Astronaut Dr Story Musgrave
Graduate & Professional School Prep: Graduate School 101
80's Night
African Dance Night
African Dance Night
Thu
27
LNFS Presents: Superbad
LNFS Presents: Little Shop of Horrors
Cultural Coffee Hour
The Blue Tie Bash
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture: Tanya Habjouqa
Fri
28
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Stay Warm with Swing Dancing
Sat
Feb 26
LNFS Presents: The Birds 02/26/2015

Fri, 02/27/2015

Repeats every day on January, February, March, April every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Apr 12 2015 except Mon Jan 12 2015, Mon Jan 26 2015, Mon Feb 02 2015, Mon Feb 09 2015, Mon Feb 16 2015, Mon Feb 23 2015, Mon Mar 02 2015, Mon Mar 09 2015, Mon Mar 16 2015, Mon Mar 23 2015, Mon Mar 30 2015, Mon Apr 06 2015.
Fri, 02/27/2015

Repeats every day until Sun Apr 12 2015 except Mon Feb 02 2015, Mon Feb 09 2015, Mon Feb 09 2015, Mon Feb 16 2015, Mon Feb 23 2015, Mon Mar 02 2015, Mon Mar 09 2015, Mon Mar 16 2015, Mon Mar 23 2015, Mon Mar 30 2015, Mon Apr 06 2015.
Fri, 02/27/2015

Reset Page