General education re-envisioning update, white paper

May 8, 2018

By Bridget G Trogden, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Engagement & General Education

What should a 21st century education look like at an innovative institution like Clemson?

Connections to strategic plan.

Through ClemsonForward, we have broad plans to continue and advance the University’s mission of excellence. Included in ClemsonForward are initiatives for both general education re-envisioning and building interdisciplinary capacity.

Strategically revising general education is a multi-year process. The General Education Task Force has organized a number of productive  idea-generating sessions this year.

Action step for campus stakeholders.

A General Education White Paper has just been finalized. This white paper reflects the input of over 400 faculty, staff, and students over the past year. The campus is also invited to provide blog comments or survey comments on the white paper over the next few months.

Possible changes on the horizon.

The main components of the white paper are a series of student learning outcomes and rubrics to arrange curricula around disciplinary “Ways of Knowing,” the key skill of “Communication,” and “Integration” for making connections across disciplines. These outcomes reflect the academic values of the faculty and the needs of the students.

Some of the novel ideas included in the white paper:  What might it mean if all students can learn to communicate not just orally and in written forms, but also through proficiency with digital and emerging media? How can grand challenges and enduring questions help our students prepare for the unscripted problems they will face in their professional careers?

What’s next?

In academic year 18-19, the new General Education Committee will lead continued discussion on these topics, with the goal of creating a curricular proposal and specific plans for implementation of a revised general education in 2020.

For additional questions or comments, please contact me at


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