The New General Education Experience
Why Now? Why This?
To increase the institution’s ability to adapt to changing curricular, student, and societal needs. The proposed General Education Experience represents a collaborative redesign of the General Education program into a cohesive intellectual experience for the students of Morehouse College. Faculty from all departments, staff and students have been involved in a three year critical examination of our 53-59 credit hour General Education curriculum to determine how it can be restructured to be more coherent and intentional in facilitating the achievement of prescribed learning outcomes and meeting the needs of prospective and current students. Through a more compact curriculum that is cost-effective to deliver, the new experience will equip students with a breadth and depth of knowledge, a set of critical lenses, and essential intellectual skills needed to succeed in college and ultimately in their careers.
We strive to:
- reduce the size of our general education curriculum from 53-59 credit hours to 37-48 credit hours (depending on placements) allowing students to take additional electives which may result in a stronger foundation in their major as well as add a minor or second major within the 120 credit hours required for graduation.
- ensure that Morehouse students have the intellectual skills they need to become leaders and innovators in their respective disciplines with courses across the curriculum that utilize pedagogies that embrace service learning opportunities and technologies (e.g. coding) that are relevant and appropriate to the discipline, including how to manipulate data and create digital projects.
- move from a General Education program to a General Education integrative learning experience that is grounded in an understanding of Africa and the Diaspora. This General Education Experience will be grounded in the College's Mission to "teach the history and culture of Black people." This means that the General Education experience at Morehouse will be distinctive in its deliberate use of texts, examples, perspectives, experiences, and principles by and from Black people from all over the world and across time, working across themes of social justice, equity and servant leadership within the humanities, sciences and business. Courses will be designated as Black Life History and Culture as part of this effort.
- empower students to integrate knowledge and skills from their academic and co-curricular experiences by becoming active participants in their own learning. Through a distribution model of course selection, they can exercise agency in designing their own education, and reach the learning outcomes of the Experience.
- establish peer support and learning networks among students in the same discipline beginning with their General Education Experience.
- embed remediation into the regular curriculum rather than through remedial or developmental courses. Every course counts towards the degree requirements.
At Morehouse College, we are committed to train men who will be prepared to shape a rapidly changing and increasingly complex 21st Century world. With this approach to delivering the General Education Experience, department faculty and students have more choices. The distribution areas represent required courses for all students irrespective of major but department faculty within a major will determine if and which additional courses in an distribution area are recommended for majors.
As with all Morehouse Men, our current students will be expected to demonstrate acuity, exhibit agency, practice integrity, commit to brotherhood, and lead consequential lives. This experience will serve as a starting point for life-long work that we expect students to continue as they pursue their majors, graduate from Morehouse, and go out into the world. In the process of reaching these goals, students will be expected to meet six learning outcomes.
Student Learning Outcomes
Demonstrate integrative learning in Black Life, History, and Culture
- analyze the history and culture of Africa and the African Diaspora through multiple disciplines and critical perspectives, including but not exclusive to African-centered models;
- understand the diverse experiences, patterns, philosophies, theories, and ways of knowing pertaining to Africa and the African Diaspora
- integrate ideas, knowledge, and practice within the context of black life, history, and culture
- present ideas effectively and persuasively using writing, speech, and digital and emerging media;
- show patience and discipline to absorb others’ perspectives and ideas and to respond thoughtfully and professionally.
Practice ethical leadership and global citizenship
- appreciate cultural diversity, including the impact and contributions of other peoples;
- demonstrate knowledge of other communities, cultures and nations
- analyze and evaluate global issues;
- show familiarity with the principles of ethics and justice from different traditions;
- work toward a greater good in a range of contexts and with integrity.
Identify, explore, and solve problems
- use different disciplines to identify issues in society worthy of challenge;
- think critically, innovatively, and responsibly to question and challenge those issues;
- work collaboratively and creatively to develop solutions.
Demonstrate breadth and integration of learning
- be well-versed in the knowledge, ideas, big questions, and methods of discovery across a variety of disciplines;
- understand the relationship between and integrate knowledge, ideas, and methodologies from the arts, humanities, science and math, social sciences and business;
- demonstrate mastery of and a capacity to continue to learn technologies, tools and contemporary techniques for inquiry and analysis.
Engage identity and equity
- engage issues of identity—race and gender; sexuality; belief systems and religion; nationality; class; culture, and others—both in self and in others;
- use theory to inform life experiences and vice-versa;
- examine constructs of identity with rigor and emotional intelligence, all in the context of understanding and achieving equity.
Students are introduced to these goals in the general education curriculum, but it is our expectation that students will continue to develop higher levels of competency of each of these learning objectives within majors, minors, and co-curricular experiences such as service learning, study abroad, internships, and mentored apprenticeships. We encourage every program and area of study, as well as all co-curricular programs, to revisit their curricula and activities and ensure alignment with these same learning objectives.