KINGSTON, R.I.- March 24, 2017- The general education course requirements at the University of Rhode Island no longer vary across majors, and instead are based on learning outcomes that apply to all University programs.
On Wednesday, March 29 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Rachel DiCiocco, the director of the new general education program, along with University College for Academic Success, will hold an event that will allow students to learn more about the new program and how it can benefit them. The event will be held in the Memorial Union.
In the fall, the new general education program was introduced to the incoming freshman class and will be used for all classes to follow. Current sophomores, juniors, and seniors have the option to switch from the old general education requirements to the new ones if it would benefit their academic track.
“The new program developed out of a need to revitalize general education and deliver a program that provides our students with a contemporary, engaging, and rigorous liberal learning experience” DiCiocco said. “The new program allows students to explore, challenge, and create through interdisciplinary inquiry and helps them develop the critical thinking and communication skills essential for student success at URI and beyond.”
The former guidelines for general education were set by the University, but could have been altered within different colleges as some colleges required more credits in certain areas than others. With the new general education requirements, students will complete a total of 40 credits that fulfill four key objectives through 12 measurable learning outcomes.
Learning outcomes, the base of the new program, include building knowledge of diverse peoples and cultures, intellectual and interdisciplinary competencies, exercising social responsibility, and the Grand Challenge overlay.
“Grand Challenge courses are designed to provide a stimulating and innovative course experience that addresses significant global challenges and broadens students’ understanding of the critical issues facing them in the 21st century” said DiCiocco. Some examples of topics that are covered under the Grand Challenge learning outcome are the history of marriage, topics in disability, race, gender, and sexual identity, Earth gone mad, immigrant voices, and financial literacy and conscious capitalism.
The event, coordinated by DiCiocco, is free and will provide ample incentive to students looking to learn more about URI’s new general education requirements. Students will have the opportunity to speak to faculty and staff who will be teaching courses that fulfill each of the required learning outcomes.
Students who participate will be entered into a drawing for such prizes as early registration for fall 2017, gift cards to local establishments, and iPads. While exploring the new requirements, set up at tables around the ballroom, students will also be able to enjoy snacks and sweets provided by URI Dining Services, free Kingston Pizza, and a special appearance by Rhody the Ram.
Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.