Common Core Curriculum Approved

On March 25, the Interim Provost Chester Gillis, Ph.D., announced to the SLU community that the university-wide core curriculum was officially approved by all SLU colleges and schools. The vote represents the culmination of a process that began in January of 2018 with the development of the nine Core Student Learning outcomes that form the basis of the final product. 

The development of a university-wide common curriculum is a momentous transition for SLU, which until now did not have any sort of common undergraduate course sequence shared between different schools and colleges. As the Director of the Undergraduate Core Committee Ellen Crowell, Ph.D., wrote: “We are not doing Core reform, but Core invention. We worked together to build something from scratch. That we all came together and adopted a shared structure is a testament to how much you all care about undergraduate education and the SLU student experience.” 

The announcement of the final product’s approval came amidst the turmoil and uncertainty that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures the university has put in place to mitigate its spread. These particular circumstances make it difficult to determine what the future has in store, but the UUCC does have a tentative timeline that they developed in the event that the final product was passed. 

As part of the post approval process, the Undergraduate Core Committee has begun reaching out to deans and faculty assemblies in order to begin the search process to fill six Associate Director of the Core positions. Additionally, the process of filling UUCC and UCC-subcommittee slots for the 2020-2021 academic year has begun. 

According to the proposed timeline, the chosen Associate Directors of the Core are meant to start at the beginning of July, though it remains to be seen whether concerns surrounding COVID-19 will introduce obstacles to the timeline. 

By the time the fall term begins, the new UUCC structure will be in place, and the UCC will begin accepting submissions for the inclusion of new and existing courses within the curriculum and engaging in outreach and professional development efforts. 

According to the schedule, the UUCC aims to finalize logistical and developmental tasks by the summer of 2021, with the Pilot Year beginning that fall. If the timeline proceeds without any major disruptions, the university-wide core will be fully in place for all incoming students starting in the fall of 2022.