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Washington State University
UCORE: University Common Requirements Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

UCORE committee approves revised student learning outcomes

May 4, 2022.

The UCORE Committee is pleased to announce the completion of a two-year long course designator student learning outcomes revision project. Begun in Spring 2020, revisions represent a needed review and refresh, after 10 ten years, of UCORE’s learning outcomes across nearly all course designators.

These revised student learning outcomes at the UCORE level will continue to advance WSU’s Seven Learning Goals of the Baccalaureate, which all other undergraduate programs also support.

For more context and for access to the revised outcomes, click here.

All relevant areas of the UCORE website, including downloadable learning outcomes grids, will be updated in May 2022 to reflect these revisions.

The UCORE committee asks that faculty begin to integrate revised outcomes into course materials in Fall 2022, with a firm implementation expectation by Spring 2023.

All new course proposals and course renewals submitted beginning Fall 2022 should demonstrate alignment with the relevant revised designator student learning outcomes.

Please address any questions or comments to Clif Stratton, UCORE Director, at ucore@wsu.edu.

 

 

WSU Law Awards presented to Probst, Whitehall for 2022

PULLMAN, Wash.— Washington State University faculty members Tahira Probst and Anna Whitehall are the latest recipients of the annual Richard G. Law Excellence Award for Undergraduate Teaching.

First presented in 2013, the award commemorates the high value WSU places on those who teach University Common Requirements (UCORE) general education courses across the university, and who help undergraduates make progress toward achieving WSU Learning Goals and Outcomes.

“The Law Award selection committee was impressed with how both Probst and Whitehall have developed and refined innovative, student-centered pedagogies—ones that are process-oriented, collaborative, experiential, and curiosity-driven,” said William B. Davis, vice provost, at the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement award ceremonies in April.

Probst, a professor of psychology at WSU Vancouver, was cited for being actively engaged in UCORE design and implementation—including assessment—for many years. The committee noted her commitment to the program as evidenced through her teaching practices and outcomes as well as her involvement in service toward general education.

She is said to listen to student feedback about her courses, modifying them to make them meaningful and relevant. She has sought grants to develop easily scalable interventions to instill a growth mindset among students and instructors in math-intensive gateway courses. And she’s committed to using curricular design components to ensure equitable access to all students so they can achieve the learning goals.

Whitehall, a human development professor,  was commended by the committee for being a faculty member who does not “rest on her laurels but instead continually strives to improve her craft, embodying the spirit of general education.” She uses a student-centered approach to teach and experiential activities that lead to learning, always encouraging students to integrate and apply course material to real-life situations. She incorporates evaluations to her courses, reads and acknowledges students’ written comments on evaluations, pursues professional development, and contributes to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The award honors Dick Law, retired English professor who served as a university-wide director of general education from 1990 until his retirement in 2009.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Clif Stratton, UCORE Director, clif.stratton@wsu.edu

Beverly Makhani, DAESA Communications Director, makhani@wsu.edu

WSU student Ella Kisor named UCORE Ambassador Award recipient

PULLMAN, Wash.— Washington State University’s University Common Requirements (UCORE) Ambassador Award for 2022 was presented to student Ella Kisor, international business and Spanish major and member of the Honors College.

The award is given each year to one who has carried the spirit of general education to the WSU community.

Kisor is a member of the ASWSU student body executive staff and sits on the UCORE Committee and the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee.

Regarding the award, Kisor was praised for “being extremely attentive to, an involved in, the proposal to create an equity and justice requirement in UCORE, among other UCORE matters,” said Clif Stratton, UCORE director. She “asked pointed questions, raised concerns on behalf of students, and generally took part in the democratic process that is meant to produce these kinds of curricular changes.”

Said Stratton, “I have not in my brief time as UCORE director and slightly longer time as a UCORE Committee member encountered such an engaged ASWSU representative.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Clif Stratton, UCORE Director, clif.stratton@wsu.edu

Beverly Makhani, DAESA Communications and Marketing Director, makhani@wsu.edu

Applications Due March 10 for Law Excellence Award for Undergraduate Teaching

Washington State University announces that applications for the next Richard G. Law Excellence Award for Undergraduate Teaching will be accepted through Thurs., March 10, 2022.

Detailed information about the award and the online application process is available on the Law Award webpage. Following reviews by the Law Award Committee, the recipient will be announced mid- April at the annual awards event for the Division of Academic Excellence and Student Achievement (DAESA).

Presented since 2013, the Law Award recognizes outstanding teaching by faculty on all campuses who teach courses in the University Common Requirements (UCORE) general education curriculum. » More …

Efficient Assessment: Aligning Grading Rubrics with WSU Learning Goals in UCORE [CAPS] Courses

UCORE Capstone [CAPS] courses bring opportunities for integration, application, and closure to the undergraduate experience. In place since 2015, [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE is intended to gauge student learning achievement on WSU’s Learning Goals of Undergraduate Education in the context of the general education curriculum as students near graduation. This spotlight offers insight into a tested, efficient approach to assessment of student learning achievement in a UCORE Capstone [CAPS] course through grading rubric alignment.

NEUROSCI 490: Senior Project is a UCORE [CAPS] course where seniors majors demonstrate skills and knowledge in final oral presentations of their semester-long research projects. Worth 20% of the course grade, these presentations also provide direct assessment of student performance on WSU’s Learning Goals for [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE. Dr. Samantha Gizerian, who teaches this course, has designed a grading rubric and the following three-step process to streamline the production of senior-level achievement data for [CAPS] Assessment Reporting for UCORE. » More …

WSU Core-to-Career Program Enhances Career-readiness Preparation in General Education Courses

The inaugural Core to Career cohort are learning to infuse career-ready skills into their UCORE courses. (l to r: Lisa Johnson-Shull, Amy Heile, Kate Watts, Eugene Smelyansky, Ken Faunce, Karen Phoenix, A.J. Miller, and Anna Whitehall).

PULLMAN, Wash.—Starting early in their college program, Washington State University students will soon directly experience how college coursework prepares them to be career ready, thanks to a University Common Requirements (UCORE) general education pilot program.

The inaugural Core to Career cohort are learning to infuse career-ready skills into their UCORE courses. (l to r: Lisa Johnson-Shull, Amy Heile, Kate Watts, Eugene Smelyansky, Ken Faunce, Karen Phoenix, A.J. Miller, and Anna Whitehall).

Fifteen educators make up the first Core-to-Career Program cohort. Throughout fall semester, they are attending workshops and revising course plans to include lessons and assignments that tie to desired job competencies.

“In this way, classes across several disciplines will feature messaging about career-readiness, and these lessons will impact students even before they declare their majors,” said Clif Stratton, UCORE director. UCORE is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

“From some of their first college courses, this unique initiative aims to help students learn, cultivate, and be able to communicate about specific, valued skills. Ultimately, this could help them reach future professional and personal goals.”

» More …

WSU Accepts Smith Teaching and Learning Grant Applications through March 15

Retired WSU President Samuel H. Smith.

Washington State University faculty with innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning are encouraged to apply by March 15, 2021 for a Smith Teaching and Learning Grant of up to $5,000, announced Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. There are two focus areas of this year’s awards: increasing course completion and student progress by reducing high C-DFW rates and redesigning large lecture courses for active student engagement in a flipped or hybrid course design.

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University faculty with innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning are encouraged to apply by March 15, 2021 for a Smith Teaching and Learning Grant of up to $5,000, announced Mary F. Wack, vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement.

There are two focus areas of this year’s awards: increasing course completion and student progress by reducing high C-DFW rates (grades of C-minus, D, F, or Withdraw) and/or closing equity gaps; and redesigning large lecture courses (100+ students) for active student engagement in a flipped or hybrid course design. Proposals should address one of the areas through innovative practices that improve student learning.

Retired WSU President Samuel H. Smith.
Retired WSU president Samuel H. Smith.

“Creative faculty have received dozens of Smith grant awards over the past two decades, and their diverse projects have resulted in many educational advances and new programs and pedagogies,” said Wack. “Thanks to Smith grants, thousands of undergraduates have reaped the benefits of faculty innovation throughout their educational experience at WSU.”

» More …

Previous UCORE Committee Chair Named Associate Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence

Lisa Guerrero, previous chair of the UCORE committee.
Closeup of Lisa Guerrero
Lisa Guerrero

The Office of the Provost has named Lisa Guerrero, who has previously served as chair of the UCORE Committee, as Washington State University’s associate vice provost for inclusive excellence.

Guerrero has been an active advocate for diversity and inclusion since joining the WSU faculty in 2004. She is currently a professor of comparative ethnic studies in WSU’s School of Languages, Cultures, and Race. She will maintain her faculty position, while serving as associate vice provost in a half-time appointment.

» More …

WSU Joins WICHE Interstate Passport Network Promoting Students’ Transferability: First in Washington

Official logos of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and its Interstate Passport program.

MEDIA CONTACT: Clif Stratton, institutional liaison, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Interstate Passport program, 509-335-2230, clif.stratton@wsu.edu

Beverly Makhani, director of communications and marketing, WSU Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA), 509-432-3430, makhani@wsu.edu

Official logos of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and its Interstate Passport program.PULLMAN, Wash.—Students transferring to or from Washington State University who have completed their lower-division general education courses will have a more seamless transition, thanks to a new partnership with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

WICHE’s Interstate Passport program provides that students who have attained agreed-upon learning outcomes from those courses can enroll at other member schools with confidence that many general education requirements have been met. It further indicates that they are equipped to tackle and complete upper-division requirements, said Clif Stratton.

» More …