Faculty Senate Report


Committee on General Education



October 20, 2003


This report is submitted to the Faculty Senate satisfying the stipulation of Resolution #9
of the University of Delaware Faculty Senate Resolutions, General Education Program (GEP), March 2000.




Committee on General Education



Avron Abraham, Chair

College of Health and Nursing Sciences

Ann Ardis

College of Arts and Science

Steven Bernhardt

College of Arts and Science

Jan Blits

College of Human Services, Education and Public Policy

Martha Carothers

Center for Teaching Effectiveness

John Courtright

Office of Vice Provost for Academic and International Programs

Michael Greenberg

College of Engineering

Kathleen Kerr

Student Life

Thomas Leitch

Undergraduate Studies Committee

Mary Jo Mankin

Registrar’s Office

Sheldon Pollack

College of Business and Economics

Roland Roth

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Harry Shipman

College of Arts and Science


Table of Contents


Introductory Statement……………………………………………………...……  1

Recommendations………….……………………………………………...……… 2

Programmatic Initiatives….………………………………………………………  4

1. Freshman Year Experience (FYE) - First Year Experience…….....…....     4

LIFE....…………………………………………...……………….... 4

LIFE Outcomes and Assessment……...……………………   5

LIFE Summary of Findings…...……………………………    6

Pathways…...…..…………………………………...………………  7

Pathways Outcomes and Assessment    ...…………………… 7

                                    Pathways Summary of Findings……………………………     8

Other Integrated and Interdisciplinary First Year Experiences….…       8

First Year Seminar…….……………………………………   8

University Honors Program Colloquia………..……………     9

2. Basic Skills - Core Competencies…..……………………………………  9

                        Information Technology and Literacy…………...…………………      9

                        Quantitative Reasoning……………………..………………………    10

Oral and Written Communication……..……………………………    10

3. Discovery Learning Experience (DLE)…….……………………………     11

Undergraduate Research Program…….……………………………    11

Study Abroad….……………………………………………………  11

Service Learning……………………………………………………   12

4. Capstone Experience (CE)….……………………………………………  12

Capstone Experience Summary of Findings…..……………     13

Other Ongoing Initiatives Related to GEI….……………………………………  13

1. Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education (ITUE)………..….        13

2. Global Citizenship Certificate…………………………………………...     14

            3. Inter-Institutional General Education Assessment Project………………       14

4. General Education Grant Program…….…………………………………    15

            5. Information Technology IT – The Present………………………………      16

6. Technology-Enhanced Course Redesign Grant Program……..…………      16

7. CFIS International Projects Program….…………………………………    17

Implementation Process……..……………………………………………………  18

1. Faculty Senate General Education Committee……..……………………      18

2. Office of Undergraduate Studies (UGS)…………………………………    18

3. Assessment….…………………………………………………………… 19

4. Resource Support…...……………………………………………………  19

Dissemination………...…………………………………………………………… 21

Concluding Statement……….……………………………………………………   21


Appendix A - Assessment Summary of General Education

Appendix B - Conference Presentations and Publications

Appendix C - Participants: Administrators, Faculty, Professional, Staff, Students



Introductory Statement


In March 2000, the University of Delaware Faculty Senate approved nine resolutions covering a three-year provisional period of the General Education Program (GEP). The resolutions were a direct outcome of the 1998 report to the Faculty Senate by an ad hoc Committee on General Education chaired by Dr. Carol Hoffecker. The ad hoc committee report and the Faculty Senate resolutions are available online.


ad hoc Committee Report website.



Faculty Senate Resolutions website.



The ad hoc Committee on General Education 1998 Report and the Faculty Senate March 2000 Resolutions provided the foundation from which the General Education Program was developed. The Faculty Senate March 2000 Resolutions established the temporary Committee on General Education and outlined the rationale and blueprint for implementation. The past three years have been focused on utilizing the Ten Goals of Undergraduate Education to expand and strengthen the First Year Experience, Core Competencies, Globalization, Discovery Learning, and Capstone Experiences. This Faculty Senate Report of the temporary Committee on General Education (the Committee), October 20, 2003, describes the current status of faculty and student experiences, assessment results, and suggestions for the future while specifically addressing the resolutions passed by the Faculty Senate.


The University of Delaware has a long and distinguished history of General Education. The Committee recognizes there are a number of established programs and activities across campus which contribute to the overall education of undergraduate students. For example, in 1923, the Study Abroad Program was launched as the first of its kind in the country. The University created the Honors Colloquia in 1976 and in 1980 instituted the Undergraduate Research Program.


Some members of the Committee believe this report should be limited to the programs and courses established under the Faculty Senate’s March 2000 Resolutions. That would restrict the report largely to the LIFE Program and Pathways courses. As such, the GEP would be a small program with modest results. The majority of the Committee, however, believes previously existing programs and activities should be included in this report because they do not compete with the GEP, but rather help to enrich and enhance the undergraduate experience. General Education efforts since March 2000 have generated a significant number of creative instructional endeavors. As such, the majority of the Committee recognizes that General Education has become more than a specific Program and has been more accurately defined as an Initiative that encourages new and renewed approaches to General Education. Therefore, the majority of the Committee believes it is appropriate that the GEP be referred to as the General Education Initiative, GEI -- an Initiative that expands educational opportunities for all students.


If General Education is worth doing at the University of Delaware, it is worth doing well. Although this Faculty Senate Report of the Committee on General Education provides more extensive detail later on, in broad terms the Committee finds a wide range of experiences exist that permit very large numbers of University of Delaware students to make progress towards the Ten Goals of Undergraduate Education set forth three years ago by the Faculty Senate Resolutions. The Committee is not asking at this time for the Faculty Senate to make broad resolutions which would apply to every student at the University. The Committee urges the Faculty Senate to approve continuation of the General Education Initiative and to support the many and varied opportunities which the GEI offers to undergraduate students.




  1. It is recommended that the Faculty Senate approve the continuation of the General Education Initiative as part of the comprehensive undergraduate experience at the University.


  1. It is recommended that the temporary Faculty Senate Committee on General Education continue as an ad hoc committee of the Faculty Senate for the next three years with the responsibility to review on a regular basis the implementation of the General Education Initiative.


  1. It is recommended that the administrative coordination of the implementation and assessment of the General Education Initiative continue to be the responsibility of the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Center for Teaching Effectiveness in coordination with the temporary Faculty Senate Committee on General Education.


  1. It is recommended that assessment and evaluation be continued to further document the impact and outcomes of the General Education Initiative.


  1. It is recommended that the General Education Initiative continue to focus on the Ten Goals of Undergraduate Education.


  1. It is recommended that colleges and departments consider the ways in which the Ten Goals of Undergraduate Education can be addressed within their academic majors.


  1. It is recommended that the General Education Summer Institute focusing on the Ten Goals of General Education be continued with a view to expanding the Institute to include other institutions on a regional basis.


NOTE: The term General Education is currently used across the University by a number of colleges and departments to designate courses which satisfy the curricula of specific academic majors. This has lead to confusion with respect to the General Education Initiative. An effort should be made to standardize the terminology used for these curricula specific breadth requirements and distinguished from the GEI.


University of Delaware Faculty Senate Resolutions

General Education Program (GEP)

March 2000


1. RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate adopts the ten goals of undergraduate education set forth as follows:


Undergraduate Education at the University of Delaware aims to ensure that every student will:


  1. Attain effective skills in oral and written communication, quantitative reasoning, and the use of information technology.
  2. Learn to think critically to solve problems.
  3. Be able to work and learn both independently and collaboratively.
  4. Engage questions of ethics and recognize responsibilities to self, community, and society at large.
  5. Understand the diverse ways of thinking that underlie the search for knowledge in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences.
  6. Develop the intellectual curiosity, confidence, and engagement that will lead to lifelong learning.
  7. Develop the ability to integrate academic knowledge with experiences that extend the boundaries of the classroom.
  8. Expand understanding and appreciation of human creativity and diverse forms of aesthetic and intellectual expression.
  9. Understand the foundations of United States society including the significance of its cultural diversity.
  10. Develop an international perspective in order to live and work effectively in an increasingly global society.


And be it further


2. RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate endorses in principle the following major components of the GEP:


  1. Freshman Year Experience (FYE) such as LIFE (Learning: Integrated Freshman Experience), Pathways courses, and other integrated and interdisciplinary freshman experiences.
  2. Basic Skills in computers, math, and written and oral communications.
  3. Discovery Learning Experience (DLE) such as directed thesis, research, creative projects, internships, study abroad, service learning, and field work.
  4. Capstone Experience (CE) which integrates the undergraduate experience such as a senior seminar, group project or similar experience.


And be it further


3. RESOLVED that all incoming University of Delaware students be strongly encouraged to take advantage of an integrated FYE as opportunities become available,


And be it further


4. RESOLVED that each department or program responsible for administering undergraduate majors is encouraged to direct its students to acquire basic skills, avail themselves of discovery learning, and participate in a capstone experience,


Programmatic Initiatives

The following section addresses the current status of programmatic initiatives as outlined by the Faculty Senate resolutions regarding the major components of the GEI.


General Education Initiative website.



1. Freshman Year Experience (FYE) – First Year Experience

The change in terminology to First Year Experience reflects the more commonly used reference among colleges and universities nationwide.


New programs such as LIFE and Pathways, and the already established Honors Colloquia and First Year Seminars, serve approximately 1/2 of the first-year students per year. The following section outlines the current status of the FYE.


LIFE (Learning: Integrated Freshman Experience)


LIFE is an academic living-learning experience for first-year college students. LIFE freshman students form a small learning community organized around several of their academic courses (in which, typically, sixteen students are co-enrolled), an academic theme, and out-of-class experiences integrating the courses and themes. The sixteen students are a cohort within the existing structure and total enrollment of the academic courses. Some LIFE clusters are targeted to specific majors or careers while other LIFE clusters have more broadly organized academic themes.


Most clusters have the LIFE students living together, although there are a few LIFE clusters organized without the residential component. Groups of first-year students enrolled in each cluster are assigned to the same residence hall community and these students are also co-enrolled in two academic courses, as well as a co-curricular course, University 101/102: First-Year Experience (a one-credit, P/F seminar). In Fall 2003, LIFE cluster variations were piloted to include Honors, University Studies, Parallel Program, off campus residence students, and thematic ENGL 110 courses. The academic courses that comprise LIFE clusters are regular University courses, containing both LIFE and non-LIFE students. In general, the courses are taught as they would be if they were not part of LIFE.


Each cluster has a Peer Mentor, an advanced undergraduate student, who helps students make the adjustment to the academic life of the University, facilitates the activities in UNIV 101/102, and, in general, ensures seriousness of purpose and academic quality in the co-curricular experiences of the LIFE students. The Peer Mentors are enrolled in the seminar course UNIV 301/302: Peer Mentor Practicum.


Each cluster also has a Faculty Contact, typically the instructor for one of the two academic courses of the LIFE cluster. The Faculty Contact provides counsel for the cluster and helps the Peer Mentor and students in the cluster explore academic issues related to the cluster theme. LIFE students meet a minimum of once per semester with the Faculty Contact.


Each LIFE cluster develops a project related to the LIFE cluster theme. LIFE Fest is the public forum presenting each LIFE cluster project at the end of the semester.


LIFE Program website.



LIFE Outcomes and Assessment


Since the inception of the LIFE program in the Fall 2000, 938 first-year students have participated in the Program. This includes Fall and Spring enrollment on campus and Winter Session Study Abroad. The program has grown each year.




First Year

Total Enrolled
(% Increase or Decrease)

Fall 2000




Spring 2001




Fall 2001




Winter 2002




Spring 2002



             237   (37%)

Fall 2002




Winter 2003




Spring 2003



             245   (3%)

Fall 2003




Winter 2004




                    392   (60%)



Spring numbers include students continuing from fall.
Winter numbers are unique students.

Data collected over the past three years have shown that students are overwhelmingly positive about the LIFE program, citing the positive impact of LIFE on both their academic and social experience. Students cited an improved ability to collaborate with others and ability to make connections between their courses and the world. Academic data tend to support the hypothesis that LIFE students perform better than their non-LIFE peers (excluding Honors), as shown by the statistically significant findings for the LIFE cohort of 2002.


Faculty Contacts involved in the LIFE program felt rewarded by their interaction with students. They noted that both the Peer Mentors and the first-year students gained important interdisciplinary skills through completing hands-on assignments, demonstrating leadership skills, and having the opportunity to build trust and teamwork among peers.


The following concerns have, however, been noted in our discussions:

·               lack of instructional coordination among faculty who teach the largely independent courses that comprise the cluster

·               generally low levels of faculty involvement in their roles as Contact Faculty

·               limits on potential instructional innovation due to the mixed audiences in the classes, with some students enrolled in a LIFE cluster and others not

·               lack of an academic ethics component within UNIV 101

More information on the assessment of the LIFE program, including student and faculty perceptions, and demographic and academic characteristics of the participants, is located in the Appendix A (pages ii-ix) and the online evaluation reports.


General Education Initiative Evaluation Reports website.  http://www.udel.edu/ugs/pdfs/reports.html


LIFE Summary of Findings


·        Group work and peer support are key aspects of the First Year Experience.


·        The living/learning environment is important.


·        The thematic organization of LIFE clusters is effective.


·        The discovery learning component ties the cluster together in important ways.


·        LIFE plays a significant role in reducing the perceived size of the institution for the incoming first year students.


·        Some Faculty Contacts have relatively little interaction with first-year students through the LIFE clusters.




“Pathways to Discovery” courses are thematic, integrative courses for first-year students, designed to introduce students to the academic resources of the university and to teach basic intellectual skills required for a successful undergraduate experience. Pathways courses are intended to offer students opportunities to approach topics of general interest from cross-, inter-, or multi-disciplinary perspectives. These courses are often collaboratively designed by teams of faculty from different disciplines. Pathways courses employ various pedagogies, including discussion groups, problem-based learning, peer mentoring, and other collaborative teaching methods.


Pathways website.



Pathways Outcomes and Assessment


Twenty-two Pathways courses have been developed during the past three years, some courses have been offered more than once, bringing the total number of Pathways course offerings to 39. The total enrollment in these 39 courses has been 2200 students. It is important to note that 53% (1168) of the students enrolled in Pathways courses were not first-year students.




First Year

Upper Level

% First Year

Spring 2000





Fall 2000





Spring 2001





Fall 2001





Spring 2002





Fall 2002





Spring 2003





Fall 2003






The majority of students (both first-year and advanced) commented that Pathways courses helped them strengthen communication skills. They were extremely positive about the group work focus of Pathways courses, citing the benefits of different perspectives offered by their peers. The students said they became better skilled at expressing ideas, solving problems, and enhancing their time management.


Pathways courses have been developed by faculty representing various departments, yet the program has not expanded as anticipated. Departments have been slow to develop Pathways courses. The intention of the 1998 Faculty Senate first ad hoc Committee on General Education that a broad array of Pathways courses be developed to meet Goals 1, 2, 3 and 6, has not been achieved.


Pathways courses are conceived as interdisciplinary courses that integrate material in ways that regular disciplinary courses do not. However, owing to pressures on departments to do more with fewer resources, Pathway courses have become increasingly indistinguishable from regular disciplinary courses. Pathways courses have increasingly become courses which allow students to satisfy their major requirements.


More information on the assessment of Pathways courses and student and faculty perceptions are located in the Appendix A (pages ix-xii) and the online evaluation reports.


General Education Initiative Evaluation Reports website.  http://www.udel.edu/ugs/pdfs/reports.html


Pathways Summary of Findings


·        Most Pathways courses include a significant amount of group work.


·        Pathways courses encourage expression and integration of ideas; reinforce problem solving and time management skills; and establish out-of-class activities.


·        Available seats in Pathways courses are often not filled with first-year students but more advanced students.


·        Approximately 40 faculty have developed Pathways courses. Many courses, however, were taught only once.


·        Faculty and departments lack either incentives or the motivation to develop and sustain Pathways courses


Other Integrated and Interdisciplinary First Year Experiences

The following are established aspects of the first year experience and are complementary to the GEI.


First Year Seminar


A number of departments have a first year seminar course in which some of the goals of the GEI are addressed. It is important to note that these seminars could play a significant role in the future by providing an established avenue for important aspects of the GEI to be disseminated within established department or college curricula. An initial survey compiled current first year seminar offerings by college and department. Various course titling terms include seminar, colloquium, topics, foundations, and experience. Five colleges are represented with courses in 11 departments. One college offers a college-wide course.


In addition, the LIFE Program offers UNIV 101 and the University Honors Program offers first year Colloquia courses. First year seminar courses range from 0 credit to 3 credits as well as P/F to graded. The majority of courses are offered in fall semester with a few departments offering fall and spring courses. Enrollment of freshmen students in first year seminar courses during Fall 2002 was 994 and Spring 2003 was 230.


General Education Initiative Evaluation Reports website.  http://www.udel.edu/ugs/pdfs/reports.html


University Honors Program Colloquia


Honors Colloquia are three-credit, writing-intensive interdisciplinary first-year seminars. They are broadly conceived and generally beyond conventional disciplinary boundaries. Colloquia are intended to be intellectually rigorous, not in the sense of preparing students for further study in a discipline, but rather preparing them for further skilled reflection on issues and ideas of interest. First-year students enrolled in colloquia are required to engage in intensive reading, thoughtful analysis, and several writing assignments.


All first-year Honors students, regardless of their college or major, are required to take one Honors colloquium. At least twelve colloquia are offered each semester with topics frequently changing from one semester to the next. The Honors Program, through its administration of these colloquia, provides a First Year Experience for about 500 students in the Honors Program during the course of the academic year.


University Honors Program website.



2. Basic Skills – Core Competencies

The following are both established and new initiatives, and are complementary to the GEI. The change in terminology to Core Competencies reflects the more commonly used reference among colleges and universities nationwide. 


Information Technology and Literacy


The University of Delaware is considered to be a leader in the integration of technology into the learning environment, yet additional effort needs be directed toward information literacy. Information Literacy has been defined by The University of Delaware Library’s instructional and educational services as the ability to locate, evaluate, manage, and use information from a range of sources, print and electronic, for problem solving, decision making and research. It is important, from the GEI perspective, to focus future efforts on both Information Literacy and ethical issues surrounding the appropriate use of information garnered from and using electronic sources.


The University of Delaware Library website.



Quantitative Reasoning


The univeristy-wide discussion about promoting Quantitative Reasoning is gaining momentum. The recent General Education Institute, June 2003, featured an invited speaker whose presentation and follow up implementation session provided an understanding of Quantitative Reasoning in the context of various disciplines across the curriculum. The working definition conveyed included the abilities necessary to understand and to communicate quantitative information and the relationship to numeracy, quantitative literacy, mathematics and statistics.


As preparation prior to the freshman year, the University offers college-level mathematics courses to selected high schools (e.g., Wilmington Charter High School and Academic Challenge Program – Sussex County). Online math testing has been instituted at the University for incoming freshman students. The test results are posted in advance of DelaWorld and scheduling fall semester courses.


Oral and Written Communication


A Task Force on Oral and Written Communication was created by Vice Provost Bobby Gempesaw and Dean Mark Huddleston in Spring 2002. The basic purpose of this Task Force was to focus on the communication component of General Education goal #1. The mission of the Task Force on Oral and Written Communication Skills was to formulate a plan with specific action steps to ensure that undergraduates at UD obtain and improve upon critical communication skills during their courses of study. In October 2002, the Task Force set forth specific objectives.


  1. Develop a broad statement of the desired level of communication skills UD hopes to see in all graduates, with action steps toward achieving those skill levels. Set goals, milestones, and guidance.


  1. Recommend an approach to assessment that will ensure that UD graduates have the skills they need.


  1. Develop a plan for assessing whether required courses in communication (introductory and advanced) are fulfilling their purposes.


  1. Review and make recommendations for providing sufficient resources to support the teaching of written and oral communication.


In conjunction with the Task Force on Oral and Written Communication, university-wide efforts have been initiated since 2000. A few sections of English 110: Critical Reading and Writing (required of all freshman students) are offered in state high schools, during summer session for incoming freshmen, and during winter session. E110 instruction across the curriculum has been piloted during fall and spring semesters (sections offered as discipline-based in departments outside of the Department of English). Six theme based E110 sections will be introduced in the upcoming fall and spring semesters (two sections paired with LIFE cluster courses). An integrated oral and written communication course (four credits) will be co-taught by English and Communication faculty in Fall 2003. Two colleges are undertaking activities to assess communication skills.


Task Force on Oral and Written Communication Skills website.



3. Discovery Learning Experience (DLE)

The following are both already established and new initiatives, and are complementary to the GEI.


The University of Delaware is a national leader in Discovery Learning, particularly in Undergraduate Research and Study Abroad. These two programs, along with the new initiative on Service-Based Learning, provide a solid foundation from which to grow and provide a larger number of students with unique DLE opportunities.


Undergraduate Research Program


Research apprenticeships with faculty mentors give talented, motivated University of Delaware undergraduates a chance to see and take part in what is happening on the front lines of discovery at UD today. Every UD college, department and research center provides opportunities for interested students to get their hands on the source of learning. About 600 students participate each year and explore the many challenging options for bridging learning to practice.


Undergraduate Research Program website.



Study Abroad


Study abroad is more popular than ever before on campuses throughout the United States and at the institution that created America's first overseas-study program almost 80 years ago--the University of Delaware. In the 2000-01 school year, 154,168 U.S. college students received credit for study abroad, based on a report released by the Institute of International Education (IIE). For the same year, the Institute ranked UD sixth in the nation among large research institutions, up from 12th the previous year, in the percentage of students studying overseas. In 2000-2001, 1,064 University students enrolled in study-abroad programs. Overall, UD is offering more than 65 study-abroad programs to more than 25 countries this school year with courses in 30-plus subject areas.


Study Abroad website.


Service Learning


The Academic Council on Service-Based Learning, established in April 2003 by Provost Dan Rich, was charged to make recommendations in four areas by October 2003.


  1. A review of existing public, community and professional service-based learning initiatives at the University—how they are organized, promoted to students and communicated to the campus community and the community at large—and recommendations to make these efforts more effective.


  1. Recommendations for increasing the number and quality of service/academic experiences and providing opportunities for all students to have access to a service-based learning experience during their academic careers.


  1. Recommendations on opportunities to build partnerships among colleges, departments and other units that offer service/academic programs and for improving coordination of these activities and creating new partnerships on and beyond the campus.


  1. Recommendations for incentives to increase service and service-based learning activities by students, faculty and staff.


The Academic Council on Service-Based Learning is currently collecting information regarding the number of programs and students involved in service learning experiences and internships.


Academic Council on Service-Based Learning



Service-based Learning



4. Capstone Experience (CE)


The Faculty Senate Committee on General Education surveyed programs and departments regarding the current status of capstone experiences being offered to undergraduate students. The survey was conducted in academic year 2002-03 and focused on the following definition of Capstone Experience.


Capstone Experience: The capstone experience requires students to integrate, synthesize and reflect on what has been learned across a course of study. The Capstone Experience occurs toward the conclusion of a course of study, generally the last three semesters. The Capstone may take the form of a traditional course, such as senior seminar, or in some instances may also involve or be entirely constituted by a field experience, internship, career preparation experience, research, travel, exhibition or portfolio. The Capstone may be discipline-centered or interdisciplinary experiences. It may place the undergraduate experience in a broad context that can be applied to student’s post-college lives.


Surveys were received from 45 departments and programs which indicated that the primary focus of their Capstone courses is writing and career preparation. Many of the respondents saw the Capstone Experience as critical to the senior student with its primary goal to foster integration and synthesis of the major. It should be noted that a number of departments indicated that it is a challenge to deliver a meaningful Capstone course to serve the needs of a large number of students. Some departments which serve a large number of undergraduate students do not offer a Capstone Experience. For more information related to the survey findings see Appendix (page xii-xiii) and the General Education Initiative Evaluation Reports website.


General Education Initiative Evaluation Reports website.  http://www.udel.edu/ugs/pdfs/reports.html


Capstone Experience Summary of Findings


·        Departments should be encouraged to develop Capstone-Discovery Learning experiences.


·        Capstone Experiences should focus on experiential learning toward the end of the academic preparation.


·        Interdisciplinary Capstone Courses/Experiences should be encouraged.


·        Capstone Experiences should not take away from an emphasis to be placed throughout the undergraduate experience on discovery learning through both in class and out of class experiences.


·        Capstone Experiences should not place an undue burden on the department and an effort should be made to incorporate the Capstone Experience within the curriculum of specific academic majors.


Other Ongoing Initiatives Related to GEI

The following section addresses the current status of other ongoing initiatives and units complementary to the GEI.


1. Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education


The Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education (ITUE) was created to promote reform of undergraduate education through faculty development and course design. Institute Fellows receive hands-on experience in employing active learning strategies, particularly problem-based learning (PBL), and effective use of technology in their courses. The Institute endorses the following principles. Undergraduate courses should help students think critically and enhance their ability to analyze and solve real world problems; develop skill in gathering and evaluating information needed for solving problems; gain experience working cooperatively in teams and small groups; and acquire versatile and effective communication skills. Undergraduate courses should be student centered; encourage students to "learn to learn"; apply technology effectively where it will enhance learning; and provide opportunities for a variety of learning experiences.


ITUE - Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education website.



2. Global Citizenship Certificate


The University of Delaware is one of ten institutions in the country selected by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) with funding support from the U.S. Department of Education – FIPSE program to establish this faculty development program. The goal of the "Liberal Education and Global Citizenship: The Arts of Democracy" program is to implement a multi-year "threaded curriculum" integrating courses, international discovery- and service-learning, technology, general education, major study, and innovations in instruction, advising, and grading. The Center for International Studies is spearheading this University-wide America and the Global Community initiative.


Students can participate in a variety of linked activities, for example: freshman-year thematic course selection and preparation with summer study abroad; sophomore year course/experience follow up with winter study abroad; junior- and senior-year extension of thematic threads via course selection and co-curricular experience (internship, directed inquiry, study travel), culminating in a capstone project. Students will also develop an electronic portfolio - a dynamic plan co-constructed by students, advisors, and faculty as a four-year guide to the study of global citizenship, ultimately downloadable on CD so that students can have a portable multi-media record that captures their experiences in a wide range of modes (e.g., graphics, videos, papers, etc.). Students will also accumulate units toward a global citizenship certificate.


Global Citizenship



Project Overview



3. Inter-Institutional General Education Assessment Project


The University of Delaware is one of seven institutions in the country selected by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) with funding support from the U.S. Department of Education to establish this assessment program. The goal of the "Communities of Practice: Inter-Institutional General Education Assessment Project" is to develop approaches to assessing student learning outcomes in written communication, quantitative reasoning, and acceptance of diverse perspectives. The project will use criterion-referenced instruments to compare results, curricula, and pedagogies across institutional boundaries to create a replaceable and cost effective model for assessment.


This three-year project is divided into three parts. In year one the focus is on the development of rubrics to assess student writing, year two is quantitative reasoning, and year three is cultural diversity. The assessment will be over a two-semester sequence, piloting in the first semester, refining between semesters, and full implementation during the second. At least three faculty members (one from each subject area with expertise) will be the University of Delaware’s liaisons to work collaboratively with the six institutions to develop course-embedded assessment instruments and use these to assess student work.


FIPSE Programs grant website.



FIPSE Communities of Practice website.



4. General Education Grant Program


This faculty development and enrichment grant program has supported a number of course innovations related to the GEI. The grants have funded instructional projects which highlight the General Education 10 Goals to Success with emphasis on General Education Initiative efforts endorsed by the Faculty Senate: First Year Experience (LIFE, Pathways, and Freshman Seminars); Core Competencies; Discovery and Service Learning; Global Citizenship; and Capstone Experiences.

In conjunction with the Center for Teaching Effectiveness (CTE) instructional improvement grant program, the GEI grant program was expanded in 2001 to focus on advanced and emerging technologies (high technology) in instructional contexts. This change supported projects at a substantially increased level of funding per project. The two aspects of grant funding, GEI and CTE high technology, were consolidated into one GEI Request for Proposals for the recent grant award year (2002-03).

Proposals are reviewed by a faculty committee in coordination with the University Faculty Senate's Committee on General Education and the Office of Undergraduate Studies. The review committee makes funding recommendations to the Office of the Provost. The grant program has been very successful and attracted participation from faculty across the University. The funds awarded support projects focused in areas of learning and teaching which advance the University's teaching mission and promote innovation in higher education.

During the three-year pilot period the grant program has funded 48 projects with a total amount of $642,066 in dollar support and involving 87 faculty members. Project support ranged from $5,000 to $25,000.

A few examples of advanced and emerging technology grant projects included: Watch the brain in action: High-density ERP recording as an arena for learning about cognitive neuroscience; Electronic Portfolios as a Vehicle for Student Growth; Image Search by Image Content: Exploring Visual Style in Historic and Ethnic Collections; Internet 2 in Arts and Humanities (use of Internet 2 technology to bring the creative arts into the classroom); and Exploring Business Issues and Decision-Making in High Tech Fields Using Videoconferencing and Electronic Meeting Tools.

Grant projects which enhanced specific GEI goals included: Leadership Skills for Career and Technical Educators; Wellness into the 21st Century; Redefining Multicultural Education through Community-Based Learning; Discovery Learning: Designing and Documenting the "Ah-ha" Experience; and Biology in a Community Context.

General Education Grant Program website.



Center for Teaching Effectiveness High Tech Grant Program website.



5. Information Technology IT – The Present

The stated mission of the University’s IT-The Present is to help faculty effectively use technology to enhance learning. The mission is accomplished through one-on-one consultations, training, small-scale development work, grant support, WebCT training, and showcasing of faculty work on campus. IT-The Present actively partners with other units on campus to take faculty ideas from inception to a successful learning opportunity for students. IT-The Present is primarily a hands-on consulting and training site for UD faculty and teaching staff. Faculty can use specialized multimedia hardware and software in a quiet, dedicated workspace staffed by trained specialists.

IT-The Present website.



6. Technology-Enhanced Course Redesign Grant Program


IT-The PRESENT directs the Technology-Enhanced Course Redesign Projects Grant Program. The amount of each award depends on the scope of the project and range from $2,000 to $20,000 in funds. All proposals must have some contribution either in actual funds or in-kind from the Department, College, or relevant unit. Applications are encouraged from every academic department. In particular, the program targets large, introductory courses; introduction and enhancement of active learning approaches into a department’s curriculum; and development and improvement of LIFE, Pathways, and Capstone courses.


Proposals must have the approval and advocacy of department chairs and be prioritized by deans. Successful proposals will be those judged to have a programmatic impact on the curriculum. In addition, faculty must be able to acquire the necessary technical skills and dedicate the time needed to insure not just a project's successful implementation but also its continued development and success.


Successful applicants are assigned a project development team which may include an instructional designer, multimedia specialist, course management system expert, graphics specialist, librarian, and student technology assistant. The team meets to design a project plan to bring the project to a satisfactory conclusion. During the recent two-year period the grant program has funded eleven projects with a total amount of $137,700 in dollar support and involving 26 faculty members. The range of projects included: Revision of STAT200 On-Line; Critical Reading and Writing: English 110 & WebCT; Inquiry-based guided Instruction using microcomputer-based laboratories in PHYS 201; Technology Supported Problem-Based Learning for the Elementary Teacher Education Program; and Enhancing Students' Learning in Biology Labs through Technology.


Technology-Enhanced Course Redesign Projects Grant Program website.



7. CFIS International Projects Program


In 2002, the Center for International Studies was established as a University-wide unit, replacing the former office of International Programs and Special Sessions. The Center's International Projects unit remains responsible for the University's international education and training grants. The International Projects unit is responsible for administering a range of programs designed to support faculty and departments, international education and training initiatives, and the development of funding proposals and grant management.


A primary function of the International Projects unit is to prepare and submit funding proposals for international education and training programs for the University of Delaware, and to help administer the successful proposals. In carrying out this function, the unit works with all other interested academic and administrative units of the University. Such partnerships are a cornerstone of the Center's vision for furthering international education and training at the University: they are interdisciplinary, faculty-based, and collaborative.


The International Projects program is extensive in its support of faculty and students and far reaching in scope and geographic regions. The projects most related to enhancing undergraduate education include grants and projects; institutional agreements, travel awards, research awards, research expeditions, visiting scholars and speakers, and a searchable database of global activities. Many of the projects fall under the University’s “America and the Global Community” initiative. During the recent one-year period the grant programs have funded 42 projects with a total amount of $97,295 in dollar support and involving 44 faculty members and a number of undergraduates. The range of projects has included: Development of a Seed Potato Certification Program for the Middle East; European Observatory on Family Matters and the Austrian Family Studies; Development of Responsible Behavior: Differences Between American and Japanese Students and Schools; Ugandan Agricultural Experimentations in Kawanda and Kabanyolo, and the national parks at Murchinson Falls and Kibele; and Polymer Composites in the Mediterranean Region.

Center for International Studies International Projects Grant Program website.



Implementation Process

The following section specifically addresses the resolutions passed by the Faculty Senate regarding the implementation of the GEI.


And be it further


5. RESOLVED that a temporary Committee on General Education be created with the responsibility for recommending guidelines, standards, and academic policies for the General Education Program. The Committee shall also be responsible for considering and approving all components of the program as set forth in paragraph 2,


1. Faculty Senate Committee on General Education


The temporary Faculty Senate Committee on General Education, initially chaired by Dr. Harry Shipman and currently chaired by Dr. Avron Abraham, has provided the necessary oversight of the GEI and has closely worked with CTE to ensure the GEI resolutions were implemented and assessed.


Faculty Senate Committee on General Education webpage.



2. Office of Undergraduate Studies (UGS)


A new Office of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) was established in Fall 2001 to consolidate and enhance University-wide undergraduate programs including the General Education Initiative (GEI). UGS serves as the administrative home of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness (CTE) which has taken the leadership role in the implementation of the GEI. UGS and CTE have closely worked with the Faculty Senate Committee on General Education in all aspects of the GEI.


Office of Undergraduate Studies website.



3. Assessment


Assessment related to the effectiveness of current initiatives is essential and it is therefore imperative that adequate resources be allocated to enable comprehensive assessment to take place on a regular and consistent basis. With assistance from CTE, a staff member from the Office of Institutional Research was reassigned to UGS during the past three years to assess student learning and achievement, particularly with those programs associated with the GEI. The arrangement for the reassigned IR staff member assigned for assessment ended as of August 2003.


Assessment website.

http://www.ugs.udel.edu/Assessment/ [Not yet live to UD community.]


And be it further


6. RESOLVED that the membership (17) of the Committee on General Education will be as follows: one faculty representative from each college offering undergraduate degrees, except Arts and Science which will have three representatives, who will be selected by the Committee on Committees and Nominations. Other committee members are the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Planning, Undergraduate Studies Committee representative, Admissions' representative, Registrar’s representative, Residence Life representative, one representative from the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, one graduate student representative, and two undergraduate students. The college representatives will be different from those members currently serving on the Undergraduate Studies Committee. The Committee on Committees and Nomination will select the chairperson of the Committee on General Education and will stagger the initial terms of office of the college representatives who will serve two-year terms and who may be reappointed. Representatives from the office of the Registrar and the Office of Admissions shall not have voting privileges,

And be it further

7. RESOLVED that the Committee on General Education shall work with the University administration to ensure that adequate resources are provided to make the GEP successful

4. Resource Support

The University has provided numerous resources to assist with the implementation of the GEI.


  1. LIFE Program Support included the hiring of a full-time LIFE coordinator, support for the LIFE Faculty Contacts and Peer Mentors, and extracurricular activities of LIFE clusters.


  1. General Education Grant Program has made $642,066 available to faculty for projects related to the GEI during the these three years.


General Education Grant Program website.



Center for Teaching Effectiveness High Technology Grant Program website. http://www.udel.edu/cte/hightechgrantrecipients.html


  1. Technology-Enhanced Course Redesign Projects Grant Program has made $137,700 available to faculty for projects during the recent two years.


Technology-Enhanced Course Redesign Projects Grant Program website.



  1. CFIS International Projects Program has made $97,295 available to faculty for projects since 2002.


Center for International Studies International Projects Grant Program website.



  1. General Education Assessment support that included the necessary personnel required to gather the data relevant to the implementation of the GEI components.


General Education Initiative Evaluation Reports website.  http://www.udel.edu/ugs/pdfs/reports.html


  1. General Education Summer Institute that has not only helped in the faculty understanding of the GEI, but has also allowed for significant input by 350+ faculty, graduate students, and professional staff as presenters and participants during the three years.


General Education Institute 2003



General Education Institute 2002



General Education Institute 2001



  1. Establishment of the Office of Undergraduate Studies to coordinate University-wide undergraduate programs including the GEI and expansion of the responsibilities of CTE to include the implementation of the GEI.


And be it further

8. RESOLVED that the Committee on General Education shall oversee a three-year pilot period of the various components of GEP beginning in Fall 2000, during which time it shall gather data relevant to the implementation of GEP components,




And be it further


9. RESOLVED that the Committee on General Education shall by September 1, 2003 submit to the Faculty Senate a report that evaluates all components of the GEP, including the adequacy of resources, and make recommendations regarding the University's General Education Program. After that date the Faculty Senate retains the right and responsibility to continue the GEP at its discretion.


Approved Faculty Senate
March 13, 2000


This report is submitted to the Faculty Senate satisfying the stipulation of Resolution # 9.


Efforts directed toward the development, implementation, and success of the GEI have extended beyond the campus of the University of Delaware. University faculty and administrators sought the expertise and resources of universities nationwide. Site visits to other institutions as well as on-campus consultations included Duke University, Universities of Arizona, Maryland, and Missouri, and the College of William and Mary.


University of Delaware personnel as leaders of the GEI have been instrumental in disseminating information and generating discussion of GEI methods of implementation, structure of programs, and outcomes and assessment. Dissemination includes presentations at national conferences and publication in professional journals. A complete citation list is provided in Appendix B.


Concluding Statement


The General Education Initiative at the University of Delaware is an ongoing effort that embraces the Ten Goals of Undergraduate Education. The primary focus of the last three years has been the First Year Experience, particularly the LIFE Program and Pathways courses. While these programs have proven to be positive experiences for both students and faculty with data indicating improved academic performance and greater satisfaction, it is important that the continued focus of the Committee be broader than the First Year Experience.


The University should not only build on established programs such as Undergraduate Research and Study Abroad, but also introduce new approaches to Experiential and Service-Based Learning, Oral and Written Communication, Global Citizenship, Quantitative Reasoning, and Capstone Experiences. Support for the GEI grant program and other related grant programs will provide an incentive for expanding faculty involvement. Support for programs such as the summer General Education Institute will continue to provide an important forum for faculty to learn and share new information related to our University’s initiatives and national trends in General Education.


In conclusion, the Faculty Senate Committee on General Education must remain integrally involved with the Office of Undergraduate Studies for continued development, implementation, assessment, and evaluation of the GEI. The General Education Initiative can provide the foundation from which all students have the opportunity to develop to their full potential, thus helping to sustain the University of Delaware’s reputation for delivering an excellent undergraduate education for years to come.