General education requirements revised

Ferris has plans in store to change general education requirements for the fall of 2015.

Since 2009, the General Education Task Force (GETF), comprised of Ferris faculty and staff, has been working on a report to revise, edit and review the exiting general education program from 1993.

Ferris plans to adopt 18 university-wide Ferris Learning Outcomes (FLOs). FLOs will include knowledge, skills, responsibility and integration outcomes.

Some of the FLOs include, “how [students’] lives are shaped by the society and place in which they live, think and act creatively with others, making informed health and wellness choices, [and to] integrate and apply what they have learned inside and outside of the classroom.”

According to the Coordinator of the General Education Program and Ferris Professor of geology Fred Heck, the GETF worked to develop a more holistic view of general education while raising the importance of such classes to students. FLOs will be introduced to freshmen by modifying English 150 classes and some Communications 121 classes.

“In adopting university-wide outcomes, the conceptual framework of general education expands from being a list of courses to becoming a program that integrates students’ academic experience across the full curriculum (majors and general education) and co-curriculum,” the report read.

The report also included adding a senior-level requirement that would allow students to incorporate general education and past experiences into their major. Ferris also plans to hire a full-time coordinator of the general education program. Currently, Heck spends one fourth of his time as the coordinator.

“One of the most important things that has come out of the revisions process is a change in perspective and what general education is and raising awareness of it and the importance of general education,” Heck said. “We hope to convey this to students in some of the changes that we’ve made.”

The report of the recommendations by the GETF was passed on Dec. 3 by the Ferris Academic Senate. Students attending Ferris before the fall of 2015 will be grandfathered in to the existing general education program from 1993.

“Adopting the recommendations will lay the foundation for a strong, coherent program that will be relevant for the foreseeable future, will be nationally competitive with similar institutions, and will have great potential for measurably improving the quality and success of Ferris graduates,” the report read.