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Community Forums in 2018

Union College is about to embark upon one of the most significant intellectual conversations in the life of any Liberal Arts college, the mission of general education.

In 2018, Strom Thacker will communicate further with faculty about the significance of general education reform in the mission of the college and a team of faculty members will be assembled by Jenny Fredricks to begin the work of planning reforms.

Conversations about the future of general education begin with the most important members of the Union community, our faculty and students. Therefore, Winter and Spring terms will be dedicated to community forums where faculty and students can share their visions of general education. These forums will do much to set the agenda for the faculty team that begins work officially in the Fall.

The General Education Board and Dean Fredricks will soon invite departments to sign up for the community forums. Our hope is to meet with faculty in all departments to hear their ideas about general education. Invitations for student forums will go out at the beginning of January.

At the community forums we want to think hard about our shared values, vision, and learning outcomes for a modern, outward-looking, distinctive general education curriculum that builds on Union's strengths. We want to take on fundamental questions like these, and pose others:

Purposeful Integrated Learning: How can we educate students broadly in the Liberal Arts in ways that give purpose to their learning experiences and create meaningful connections between different disciplines and intellectual traditions?

Diversity and Complexity: How can we empower and nurture capabilities for intellectual diversity and cultural understanding?

Empowered Global Citizen-Scholars: How can we bring together faculty and students in classrooms and learning spaces as partners in an educational project that embraces, engages, and affects complex global challenges?

Learning Outcomes: What do we see as the key learning outcomes through which we will work together to achieve our goals for general education? What do we think students should know and know how to do after four years? How do we imagine general education integrating with majors and minors?