Texas Tech Turns Attention to New Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum Committee is now accepting submissions of courses for consideration.

Written by Rachel Pierce

The new website details the process that will be used to establish the new core curriculum.

The new website details the process that will be used to establish the new core curriculum.

In response to changes by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in the state-mandated core curriculum of public colleges and universities, Texas Tech is revising its core curriculum course offerings.

The Core Curriculum Committee is accepting submissions of courses for consideration as part of the new core curriculum. The submission forms can be found at a new website, newcore.ttu.edu. The website details the process that will be used to establish the new core curriculum.

It also details the objectives and criteria that must be met for foundational courses in the areas of:

  • communication
  • mathematics
  • life and physical sciences
  • creative arts
  • American history
  • government
  • social and behavioral sciences
  • language, philosophy and culture

There also are modified requirements for optional component area courses in oral communication and mathematics and logic.

“The new core curriculum objectives are a great improvement over the exemplary educational outcomes in the old core,” said Gary Elbow, associate vice provost for academic affairs. “More important, the changes in component area definitions and objectives provide an excellent opportunity to make the TTU core curriculum stronger and more effective in helping to prepare graduates for success in their workplace, community, and home.”

The new core curriculum, approved in October 2011, reworks guidelines set forth in 1999 for undergraduate general education classes. Courses that comply with the new core curriculum should allow students to demonstrate critical thinking skills, communication skills, empirical and quantitative skills, teamwork, personal responsibility and social responsibility.

The new core curriculum will go into effect in fall 2014, and all Texas public colleges and universities must submit their core curricula by Nov. 30, 2013. Target dates in the core curriculum course approval process are listed on the website.

“When the TTU general education curriculum was first developed in the 1980s, the committee took about five years to complete the task,” Elbow said. “The Core Curriculum Committee has less than two years to complete its work and submit the proposed TTU core curriculum to the coordinating board by its Nov. 30, 2013, deadline. An important part of the course review process will be to evaluate all courses submitted for the core curriculum and return those where we see problems to the submitting unit for revision along with an explanation of the problems. Through this process we will draw academic units into the course improvement process, but this will require adherence to some rather tight deadlines.”

Selected representatives from each department or college may submit a new course proposal or revise an existing course through the course approval application on the website. The application is password protected, so departments and colleges should designate certain faculty or staff members to download applications. Academic units should request access to the application by sending their name and eRaider username to associate vice provost Elbow at gary.elbow@ttu.edu.