1. University Studies or Core Curriculum Program. The University Studies or Core Curriculum Program at Texas A&M University-Commerce (A&M-Commerce) is the common core of all undergraduate programs of study. The program is administered through the office of the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
2. Philosophy. General education (core curriculum) is an essential element in the educational process; it results in personal growth, professional success, and responsible citizenship. Through both formal and informal learning experiences, students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge; learn reasoning and communication skills; develop an enduring commitment to learning and examine their goals, values and potential. The general education program (University Studies or "US" or core curriculum) at A&M-Commerce reflects directly the characteristics and purposes of the university and complies with State requirements.
3. Purpose. The US or Core Curriculum Program promotes the attainment of the goals set forth in the A&M-Commerce mission statement. A&M-Commerce strives to create an environment in which students will:
a. Enhance their skills and knowledge essential for becoming responsible citizens of the community, the state, and the nation.
b. Increase their appreciation of the contributions to society of creative works, philosophy, science, and mathematics.
c Have opportunity to examine their individual values and to achieve greater understanding of themselves and respect for others.
d. Develop their intellectual curiosity, analytical abilities, and computational skills.
e. Have an opportunity to develop a life-style that includes physical exercise, and wellness.
f. Enhance their communication skills to achieve clear and precise expression.
g. Increase their recognition and understanding of the values of other cultures.
h. Increase their aesthetic awareness of the world around them.
i. Become prepared for independent and life-long learning.
4. Curriculum. The US or Core Curriculum Program shall consist of a core of courses to be recommended by the US or Core Curriculum Council and approved through normal curriculum change channels. A listing of currently approved courses appears in the Undergraduate Catalog. The core includes the following categories:
a. Communications (9 sch) e. Humanities (3 sch)
b. Mathematics (3 sch) f. Visual and Performing Arts (3 sch)
c. Natural Sciences (8 sch) g. US Capstones (3 sch)
d. Social & Behavioral Sciences (15 sch) h. Physical Educ. & Health (2 sch)
5. Common Components. All courses shall be congruent with the stated purpose of the University Studies Program (see Section 3 above). Each course in the US or Core Curriculum Program shall have the following common components:
a. Writing. A&M-Commerce is committed to writing in all University Studies or Core Curriculum courses. This does not mean that every course must require a term paper, or lab reports, or rely exclusively on essay tests. Different courses, disciplines and approaches lend themselves to different ways to use writing to enhance student learning and understanding.
b. Critical Thinking. All university courses should also emphasize critical thinking. Among the important critical thinking skills is the ability and predisposition to see an issue or problem from a variety of disciplinary and cultural perspectives using both logic and imagination to help understand issues and solve problems.
6. US or Core Curriculum Course Development Procedure. The US or Core curriculum is developed by the faculty. Faculty members or departments develop a course proposal. The proposal is submitted through the normal curriculum change process. The originating department and respective college dean are responsible for assuring compliance with Coordinating Board core curriculum guidelines. The office of the Provost may seek the advice of the University Studies Council during the development process.
· Departmental section within the catalog should reflect the mandated 46 semester hours for US or core. (Faculty Senate recommendation 12-00)
· Any department that requires a specific US or core course must list it in the required courses in a major or the required support courses as specified within the catalog for each department. (Faculty Senate recommendation 12-00)
· Departments may "double-dip" so that courses count both in the major and as a US or core requirement. (Faculty Senate recommendation 12-00)
7. US Capstone Courses. Capstone courses provide students a forum for the exercise of critical thinking in interdisciplinary contexts. The courses provide students with opportunities to integrate diverse undergraduate educational experiences; Capstone courses provide a broader view than is the normal focus of upper-division courses. and acquaint students with disciplines outside their own, giving them a perspective that will transcend their major and minor fields. Capstone courses are restricted to junior and senior level students. A student must have completed at least 60 semester hours prior to enrollment. Capstone courses must be reviewed and reapproved by the University Studies or Core Curriculum Council once every four years.
· Generally, departments may not require specific capstones except as mandated for certification or accreditation. Such requirements should be noted in the general catalog. (Faculty Senate recommendation 12-00)
8. Evaluation. The US or Core Curriculum Council shall establish and promulgate procedures. The US or Core Curriculum Council assists with the assessment of the core curriculum to assure compliance with common components criteria. Coordinating Board standards and Southern Association of Colleges and & Universities guidelines. Results of assessment will be reviewed by the US or Core Curriculum Council on a routine basis and will be used to improve, revise, and renew core curriculum requirements.
9. US or Core Curriculum Council.
a. Composition: The Council shall be composed of the chair of the US Council and the following full-time faculty and/or professional staff:
(1) Three (3) members from the College of Arts and Sciences and
(2) Two (2) members from the College of Business and Technology and
(3) Two (2) members from the College of Education and
(4) Dean of each college or appointee (ex-officio)
All Council members shall have full voting rights. Membership on the Council is by appointment by the appropriate college dean. Appointments shall be approved by the Deans Council. The chair shall be elected by the Council from among its members. The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs will convene the Council for the election.
10. Council Responsibilities. The US or Core Curriculum Council shall have the following responsibilities:
a. Upon request, advise the Provost Office on proposed changes in the core curriculum.
b. Advocate the philosophy of general education and the University Studies program as a whole.
c. Assist with the assessment of the core curriculum.
References: “Report to Jerry D. Morris, Vice President for Academic Affairs,” General Studies Committee, dated October 15, 1985; “Report to Jerry D. Morris, President," dated May 6, 1993; and former ETSU Policies B-16.1, May 6, 1994; and A11.18, Sept. 1, 1996; Revised October 2000. Core Curriculum: Assumptions and Defining Characteristics, April 1998, SB148, 1997 75th Texas Legislature, Ch. 5; Procedure A11.18
Contact for Interpretation: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs