Assessment and general education requirements

Good afternoon readers,

A recent article on Inside Higher Ed discusses the “watering down of general education requirements” for engineers.  This insightful read brings up a number of interesting points, with the most important, at least in my mind, of what assessment can do to a General Education program.

At first glance, this article seems to simply address the concern of requiring less courses for Engineering majors. But what the author is really getting at is how assessment can sometimes harm students in the long-run.

I believe in the need for a well-designed and thoughtful assessment program in higher education to try and measure how and what our students are learning. But if we make these tools so specific and directed, it feels impossible to measure skills like critical thinking, lifelong learning and other “soft skills.” As Gen Ed Chair, I see these skills as invaluable to my institution’s business students, and I’m sure the same can be said for the majority of other programs and disciplines out there.

I’d be curious to read other thoughts on this idea. I hope everyone has a fun and safe Fourth of July weekend!

Here is the article from Inside Higher Ed:

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