Educating a new generation

Forging the Future, UAB’s Strategic Plan, calls for the development of a Signature Core Curriculum, a curriculum unique to UAB focused on modeling and developing socially conscious global leaders and citizens.

What is the core curriculum?

The UAB Core Curriculum is the shared body of courses that all undergraduates take, usually in their first two years. It provides the skills and knowledge that students need to succeed in any discipline, and it is the foundation for their futures as lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and productive members of their communities.

Why do we need a new core curriculum?

The current core curriculum was established in the 1990s and has not been updated since. In the meantime, however, the needs and goals of our students have changed significantly. A new Signature Core Curriculum will provide competencies that are critical for a 21st century curriculum and will better equip students to meet their post-graduation goals.

Who is reviewing the core curriculum?

The Signature Core Curriculum committee is being chaired by faculty members Alison A. Chapman from the College of Arts of Sciences and Suzanne Judd from the School of Public Health. Every school at UAB that teaches undergraduates has at least one voting representative on the committee, and a student, parent, and community member are also represented. Each academic department at UAB that teaches undergraduates also has a department liaison to the Signature Core Curriculum committee.

What are the plans for the revised core?

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Signature Core Curriculum committee conducted dozens of presentations and listening sessions with faculty, students, staff, parents, and alumni (for a full list of these, see the Events page). These in-person discussions were accompanied by online surveys about the most important elements of the core. This input allowed the committee to develop a Signature Core Action Plan which sets out the indispensable components of a revised curriculum and sketches in approaches to curricular change.

During summer 2019, the committee worked to turn the broad-brush objectives of the Action Plan into a draft curriculum. Now as we move into the 2019-2020 academic year, we would like to get as many suggestions as possible about this rough draft of a new core. Please invite us to come talk to your group, unit, or department!

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