Curriculum Committee Releases Final Report

November 20, 2007 - Campus Bulletin

The University's 21st-Century Curriculum Committee has released its final report, recommending ways to enhance the undergraduate learning experience.

The committee, made up of students, faculty and staff representing every college and various units across campus, was charged with helping to engage the University community in the evaluation of undergraduate education.

"We recognize that the University already does an exceptional job of introducing innovation in the classroom," said Prof. Maureen Mancuso, provost and vice-president (academic). "The 21C report provides an opportunity to sustain an ongoing dialogue about the importance of the undergraduate curriculum and the ways to keep students engaged."

The final report is available online and offers 14 recommendations. They include, encouraging programs to look at increasing the credit weight of courses, creating more opportunities for students to do active research, incorporating more international opportunities into the curriculum, integrating more technology into the classroom, and enhancing the first-year experience by combining multiple disciplines in a degree program.

"The release of this final report is not an end in itself but is a piece of our process of consultation with the University community about how to take what we do so well and adapt it to the contemporary reality of undergraduate teaching and learning," said Prof. Serge Desmarais, associate dean of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and recently appointed associate vice-president (academic). "We are always striving to offer students the best learning experience possible, and these recommendations will help us build on what's working and change what isn't."

Formed in the fall of 2005, the committee visited curriculum representatives from each academic department. In fall 2006, the committee was divided into four working groups that discussed curriculum-based initiatives and formulated recommendations in the following areas: teaching-research link, organizational processes, first-year experience, and transformative teaching and learning innovations.

A draft report was released online in March 2007, and the committee solicited feedback from the University community. Dozens of comments were received and digested by the working groups before the final report was compiled.

In an effort to continue the consultative process, the final report will be tabled for discussion at the December Senate meeting.

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