Goals for Core Implementation Process
This work plan for implementation is built on the following goals for the implementation phase:
In light of the faculty vote to approve the new Core (April 2011), we propose this plan in order to (1) encourage participation by as broad and diverse a faculty group as possible in the implementation of the Core; (2) use the Core implementation as an opportunity to inspire each other and work together as we put our educational vision into practice; (3) seize this moment at LMU's centennial mark to make a concerted effort to deepen our commitment to academic excellence. We understand the faculty approval of a new Core to be an important expression of that commitment, and we look forward to wide participation in the effort to implement it.
Carried by the faculty’s considerable enthusiasm for the new Core and the administration’s support of the effort to implement it, we propose herein a two-year timeline for implementation. We consider this a reasonable time horizon to both harness faculty enthusiasm and to proceed with care and thoughtful planning for implementation in fall 2013.
Clarity and Consistency of Procedures
We have sought to build a plan based on the approved Core document and to establish procedures from the start that help to design and implement the Core courses and Core auxiliary experiences in ways that serve and sustain the intention of the Core document. To that end we recommend the composition of the Implementation Task Force called for by the Senate to commence work immediately upon approval of the Implementation Plan.
Curricular Aspects of Core Implementation
This document contains fuller treatment of the three curricular processes that are involved in Core implementation. The three processes are briefly summarized below and are elaborated in greater detail later in the document.
(1) Developing Criteria for Core Curriculum Requirements
In order for courses to be developed that meet the new Core Curriculum requirements, clear defining criteria must be articulated that can be used to determine whether a course meets a given requirement. During the Fall semester of 2011, 11 working groups will be constituted, covering the various components of the new Core Curriculum. The charge of the groups will be to develop criteria for courses in the new Core, based on the philosophy, goals, learning outcomes, and descriptions that appear in the Core Curriculum proposal that was approved by a faculty vote. In general, working groups for each category will be comprised of faculty from within the topic or category and faculty representatives from significantly different perspectives. However, the faculty member outside the discipline or area should have a demonstrated understanding of and interest in the topic. The criteria drafted by the working groups will be subject to the approval of the UCCC.
(2) Course Approval Process
All faculty is eligible to submit a proposal to teach a course in the Core. The charge of the Course Approval Subcommittees, overseen by the faculty members of UCCC, will be to review the course proposals for their adherence to the criteria as noted above.
In this process, courses are being proposed and accepted, not individual course syllabi or sections of the course. It is up to the departments to ensure that all offerings of the approved course (i.e., if offered by different instructors) comply with the goals of the Core area being covered by the course. Faculty, department chairs, and deans will collaborate to ensure the creation of an appropriate number of courses that meet student demand for courses in the Core.
(3) Faculty Support for Core Development
With the help of the Center for Teaching Excellence and other existing faculty support structures, faculty will have the opportunity to discuss the course criteria and develop courses that will be approved in this new paradigm for the Core. But faculty can do much more, and this portion of Core implementation is designed to support faculty to grow as teachers-scholars through cross-disciplinary collaboration. This Core offers the chance to build bridges across disciplines, to institute critical conversations about content areas of research and developing new pedagogies for enhanced learning and academic rigor.
Other Aspects of Core Implementation
This Implementation Plan focuses on the work that must be done by faculty. Two of these processes will have oversight by the UCCC. The third will be coordinated through the Center for Teaching Excellence. But there are many other aspects of implementation that support the new Core. These aspects bear many implications for the work of faculty, staff, and administrators at LMU. Among these aspects are advisement, assessment, coordination with offices of academic deans and the Registrar, implications for new student recruitment, and recruitment of full time faculty to teach in the Core. These aspects remain to be fully addressed by the larger Implementation Task Force.