Legislative mandate to reduce the number of hours for the UA Little Rock general education core
The process of core curriculum revision started at UA Little Rock in 2012 when the Arkansas state legislature mandated 35 hour general education cores for all public state universities.
Faculty Senate redefines UA Little Rock general education core requirements (FS_2012_10)
The general education core requirements (i.e. core curriculum) were modified to meet the required 35 hour mandate, and the three primary core curriculum Educational Goals were defined as follows:Knowledge
1. The concepts, methodologies, findings, and applications of mathematics and the social and natural sciences, engineering and technology
2. The concepts, methodologies, and the global cultural heritage of the arts and humanitiesSkills
1. Communication (oral, written, visual, second language; professional self-presentation)
2. Critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and solving problems individually and collaboratively.
3. Information technology (locating, retrieving, evaluating, synthesizing).Values
1. Ethical behavior and personal responsibility.
2. Civic responsibility.
3. Global and cultural understanding.
Faculty Senate defines Core Council operating procedures (FS_2012_11)
In Spring 2013, the Council on Core Curriculum and Policies (Core Council), an elected Council of the Faculty Senate, was formed by Faculty Senate legislation.
Faculty Senate defines Core Council charge (FS_2013_2)
The charge of this Council is to “…maintain criteria and approve courses for inclusion and retention in the UA Little RockCore Curriculum…”. The first meeting of the Core Council was September 18, 2013.
Faculty Senate approves Learning Outcomes criteria for each Core curricular area
Listed here in the order of Faculty Senate approval: Mathematics (FS_2013_7)
Social Sciences (FS_2013_11)
Fine Arts (FS_2013_12)
History of Civilization (FS_2013_18)
US History/Government (FS_2013_19)Each curricular area is assigned common Educational Goals and Learning Outcomes which apply to every course within a curricular area (see Educational Goal by Curricular Area. The consistency of Goals and Outcomes within courses in a curricular area facilitates assessment. Each approved core course requires the submission of Learning Objectives, that are consistent with the Educational Goals and Learning Outcomes, and can be tailored to the topic area of the course. This approach balances the need for common assessment with the need for discipline specificity.
Core Council approves the majority of Core Courses
In Spring 2014, the Core Council reviewed submissions of courses for admission to the core and approved the majority of current core courses.Approved UA Little Rock Core Courses
Core Council begins designing assessment of the Core Curriculum
In Fall 2014, the Core Council started designing the Core assessment plan. Prior Faculty Senate legislation facilitated the profression from course approval to assessment by mandating that assessment be routinely performed (see FS_2012_10). The Faculty Senate recognized that assessment is the key to continuously monitoring the effectiveness and continued health and development of these general education requirements and student learning. The purpose of assessment is to identify strengths and weaknesses within the UA Little Rock Core Curriculum.
Core Area Assessment Committees (CAACs) are established
In Spring 2015, Core Area Assessment Committees (CAACs) were established for each curricular area (see CAAC Membership for a listing of CAAC members). Each CAAC reports to the Core Council, and a Core Council member is assigned to serve as a liaison to a CAAC to help facilitate communication. The purpose of each CAAC is to guide the implementation of assessment of the Core in its curricular area. During this time, each CAAC developed rubrics for assessing the Education Goals (i.e. Knowledge, Skills and Values) and Learning Outcomes.
CAACs pilot assessment
In Fall 2015, each CAAC piloted their assessment rubrics. The assessment process involved collecting artifacts (i.e. student work) from each of the courses within their curricular area, and scoring those artifacts against their assessment rubrics. In Spring 2016, each CAAC reported back to the Core Council on their progress and needed changes for future assessment of student learning.
Core Council presents first comprehensive assessment report to the Faculty Senate
In May 2016, the Core Council presented a comprehensive assessment report report to the Faculty Senate.Assessment Reports (see 2016 Assessment (Development and Testing of Assessment Methods) section)
CAAC assessment of Skills 1 or Knowledge Educational Goals
During the Fall 2016, the Communication-Written CAAC and the Flex CAAC collected artifacts to assess the Skills 1 Educational Goal; all other CAACs collected artifacts to assess the Knowledge 1 and/or 2 Educational Goal. In December 2016 through February 2017, the CAACs scored these artifacts. In February 2017, the CAACs reported their assessment results to the Core Council. The Core Council organized these results into finalized assessment reports presented here:Assessment Reports (see Fall 2017 Assessment section)
CAAC assessment of Skills 2 or Skills 1 Educational Goals
During the Spring 2017, the Communication-Written CAAC and the Flex CAAC collected artifacts to assess the Skills 2 Educational Goal; all other CAACs collected artifacts to assess the Skills 1 Educational Goal. In August 2017 through September 2017, the CAACs scored these artifacts. In September 2017, the CAACs reported their assessment results to the Core Council. The Core Council organized these results into finalized assessment reports presented here:Assessment Reports (see Spring 2017 Assessment section)
CAAC assessment of all remaining Skills Educational Goals
During the Fall 2017, the Communication-Written CAAC and the Flex CAAC collected artifacts to assess the Skills 3 Educational Goal; all other CAACs collected artifacts to assess the Skills 2 and 3 Educational Goals. In December 2017 through February 2018, the CAACs will score these artifacts. In February 2018, the CAACs will report their assessment results to the Core Council. The Core Council will organize these results into finalized assessment reports.
CAAC assessment of all Values Educational Goals
During the Spring 2018, all CAACs will collect artifacts to assess the Values 1, 2 and 3 Educational Goals. In August 2018 through September 2018, the CAACs will score these artifacts. In September 2018, the CAACs will report their assessment results to the Core Council. The Core Council will organize these results into finalized assessment reports.
CAAC assessment of all Values Educational Goals
The CAACs submitted the final assessment reports for Values 1,2, & 3 in September 2018.
The submission of these reports concluded the first assessment cycle. Between October 2018 and February 2019, the Core Council conducted Core Course Review. All CAACs were invited to a Core Council meeting and all previous assessment results, progress, and problems were discussed. Those courses which showed satisfactory participation in the core assessment process and course viability were renewed for 4 more years in the Core.
CAAC assessment paused because of pandemic
The CAAC assessment was paused in Spring 2020 because of the COVID-19. The updated CAAC assessment schedule is below.
The future timeline for Core Course Assessment Data Collection:2020-2021 Fall 20/Spring 21 Knowledge 2021-2022 Fall 21/Spring 22 Skills 2022-2023 Fall 22/Spring 23 Values Reports:Reports will be due each fall on the last Monday of September. The next report is due on the last Monday of September 2021 for the 20/21 cycle. (September 27, 2021)
Fall Reports covered Knowledge. Data for Skills was collected.
Data for all Values will be collected.
Fall Reports will cover Values. Due: September 25, 2023.