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UAB to develop a new core curriculum that looks to the future

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  • September 17, 2018

Forging the Futurecore curriculum, UAB’s Strategic Plan, calls for the development of a Signature Core Curriculum, a curriculum unique to UAB and focused on modeling and developing socially conscious global leaders and citizens.  UAB’s current core curriculum, or shared body of courses that all undergraduates take to establish a broad educational foundation, was established in the 1990s.  The needs and goals of our students have changed since it was developed and the Signature Core aims to address core competencies essential for students today.

“Attention to learning outcomes and proficiencies for our undergraduate students is essential,” said Provost Pam Benoit. “It’s important for us to evaluate and strengthen our core curriculum to ensure that we continue to provide an intellectually stimulating and transformative education.”

A Signature Core Curriculum team will examine the current state of the core curriculum and ensure that changes are purposeful, challenging and coherent.  Every school at UAB that teaches undergraduates has at least one voting representative on the team, plus a student, parent and community member. Each academic department at UAB that teaches undergraduates also has a department liaison.  Three faculty co-chair the team: Professor Alison Chapman, Ph.D., chair of the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences; Professor Susan Spezzini, Ph.D., program director of secondary education in the School of Education and member of the UAB Faculty Senate; and Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., associate professor of biostatistics in the School of Public Health.

We want to engage our students in a curriculum that prepares them to be critical thinkers with global perspectives.

“We want to engage our students in a curriculum that prepares them to be critical thinkers with global perspectives,” Judd said.  She encourages stakeholders across campus and within the community to participate in the development of the Signature Core.  “There are several ways for people to be involved.  You may talk with your department liaison or a team member, send us an email, share feedback during a listening session or request a presentation via our website.” 

The team’s goal is to have a draft of the Signature Core available for campuswide discussion by 2019-20. Visit the timeline to learn more about the plans to raise awareness and gather ideas for making the Signature Core unique.