Dearborn Discovery Core History and Development
In January 2012, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Kate Davy convened the General Education Task Force to assess the University of Michigan-Dearborn's distribution requirements and to consider alternative models of general education. A year later, the Task Force released its report recommending a transformation of general education from a distribution model that has been in place since the early 1970s to a shared-learning outcomes model, providing an organized framework for a common university-wide general education curriculum.
In late February 2013, Provost Davy tasked the General Education Implementation Committee with reviewing the recommendations of the General Education Task Force to consider how to implement its proposals. The General Education Implementation Committee issued its report in May and recommended--among other things--the creation of an associate provost for undergraduate education to oversee the planning and development of a new general education core at UM-Dearborn. In August 2013, Provost Davy created the position of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs and Integrative Learning and appointed Mitch Sollenberger to the position.
In October 2013, the Faculty Senate approved a motion to establish the General Education Transition Committee and asked that the committee report to it the structure of a new general education core for the University of Michigan-Dearborn along with the learning goals that will need to be assessed by March 2014. The Transition Committee submitted its report in early March 2014. On March 17, 2014, the Faculty Senate approved the proposed general education program.
DDC Evaluation Period (2018-2021)
In Fall 2018, the DDC subcommittee began the evaluation process, intended to assess how the DDC program was operating and whether any needed changes should be made. Nine committees for each DDC category began their evaluation work with the goal of submitting a report to the DDC Subcommittee in February 2019. The DDC category committees consisted of four faculty members and one non-voting student.
Some of the information used to evaluate the DDC included the DDC assessment reports, general education best-practice research, DDC survey data from students and faculty, and other relevant general education research (For Upper-Level Writing and Capstone categories, examples of student work exemplifying benchmarks will be included).
Once the DDC category committees finalized their reports, the DDC Subcommittee submitted a summary report which synthesized the findings and recommendations from each committee. The overall summary report was submitted to Faculty Senate in Fall 2019. The changes endorsed from the report’s recommendations will be implemented for incoming freshmen in Fall 2021 and transfer students in Fall 2023.
DDC 2.0 (2021 - current)
Faculty Senate reviewed and voted on several proposed changes to DDC in Winter 2020. The proposed changes and the Faculty Senate decisions can be found below:
- Modify the policy to allow a course to count for up to 2 Dearborn Discovery Core categories (instead of 3) plus a major/minor requirement (see page 6 of DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Provide a “Guiding Statement” for the Intersections category (see pages 9-10 of DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Require students to take a maximum of two out of three courses from the same discipline in the Social & Behavioral Analysis category (see page 11 of DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Revise the Social & Behavioral Analysis category’s learning outcomes (see pages 11-12 of DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Set the expectation that students should revise their writing based on formative feedback in the Upper-Level Writing Intensive category along with revising the learning outcomes (see page 13 of DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Recommend a course enrollment cap of 25 for upper level writing courses. The proposal was endorsed.
- Recommend enhanced supports for faculty professional development in upper level writing. The proposal was endorsed.
- Revise the Capstone Experience category’s third learning outcome to include “reflection” (see page 15 of the DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Revise the Capstone Experience category’s guidelines provided for faculty to allow capstone experiences outside of a student’s major/discipline (see pages 15-16 of DDC Report).The proposal was endorsed.
- Revise the Natural Sciences category’s learning outcomes to require only lab courses and courses with substantial lab content to assess the 5th learning outcome (see page 17 of the DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Add a category description statement and revise the learning outcomes for the Humanities and the Arts category (see page 19 of the DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Change the category title of Written and Oral Communication to Writing & Communication (see page 20 of the DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Revise the Written and Oral Communication category’s learning outcomes, eliminating outcome #4 (see pages 20-21 of DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.
- Revise the Quantitative Thinking & Problem Solving category’s 4th learning outcome (see page 22 of the DDC Report). The proposal was endorsed.