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Diversity in the Texas State University General Education Core Curriculum

Overview

The core curriculum at Texas State helps students develop principles and habits of social and personal responsibility for living in a diverse world, gain knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, gain knowledge that will enable our graduates to compete and work in an international environment, and advance competencies for learning and citizenship.

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  • There are nine areas of study called Foundational Component Areas included in the Core Curriculum. These are prescribed by Texas law, which means students at all public institutions in Texas take courses in these areas. Each of the Foundational Component Areas has a set of semester credit hours (SCH) required for completion:

    • 010. Communication (6 SCH)
    • 020. Mathematics (3 SCH)
    • 030. Life and Physical Sciences (6 SCH)
    • 040. Language, Philosophy and Culture (3 SCH)
    • 050. Creative Arts (3 SCH)
    • 060. American History (6 SCH)
    • 070. Government/Political Science (6 SCH)
    • 080. Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 SCH)
    • 090. The Component Area Option (6 SCH)
  • When completing a bachelor’s degree, students are prepared not only for their major field of study, but also to be successful in a rapidly changing world as a result of completing coursework in six Core Competencies that are determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board:

    • Critical Thinking Skills (CT) - creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information
    • Communication Skills (COM) - effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication
    • Empirical and Quantitative Skills (EQS) - manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions
    • Teamwork (TW) - ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal
    • Social Responsibility (SR) - intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities
    • Personal Responsibility (PR) - ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making
  • Texas State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which requires universities to provide a general education program of at least 30 hours for bachelor’s degrees. In addition to meeting SACSCOC requirements, Texas State must meet the State of Texas Core Curriculum requirements for a 42-hour Core. The Texas Core Curriculum is established in Texas Education Code Chapter 61, Subchapter S. The State of Texas has assigned oversight of the Core Curriculum to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Ultimately, the THECB must approve all courses for Texas State’s General Education Core Curriculum through an established process.

  • In order to meet requirements established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the university has established a process to propose and approve General Education Core Curriculum courses. Faculty have primary responsibility for the content, quality and effectiveness of the Texas State curriculum, so any new course must be proposed by faculty at the department/program/school level (AA/PPS No. 02.01.10). This is a fundamental expectation of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the university's primary accreditor (Section 6.2b, SACSCOC, 2018. Resource Manual for the Principles of Accreditation:  Foundations of Quality Enhancement, p. 47). If students have an idea for a Core course, they may want to begin by talking with faculty members who teach in the academic area of interest. The route for approval includes internal reviews at the university, as well as external reviews:

    • Department or school faculty propose a course for addition
    • Department or school curriculum committee
    • Department chair, program director, or school director
    • College Curriculum Committee
    • College Council
    • College Dean
    • General Education Council
    • General Education Chair
    • Other college deans
    • University Curriculum Committee
    • Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
    • Provost
    • Texas State University System Board of Regents
    • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

    The review process usually takes one year before a course may begin.  In the event that a course proposal receives a negative vote or is denied at any level, the proposal will be returned to the originating faculty for review and possible revisions and can be resubmitted for future consideration.

  • Texas State is dedicated to increasing multiculturalism in the curriculum. Faculty from all colleges and departments are invited to attend the annual Multicultural Curriculum Transformation and Research Institute. The Institute is a week-long experience that focuses on enriching the curriculum by re-envisioning goals, content, teaching strategies, assessment, and classroom interactions with a multicultural lens. Institute topics include: faculty identities and the challenge of diversity; framing questions to manage conflict; ability/disability; LGBTQ+; Mis(understanding) race – strategies for teaching about race and racism in the college classroom; teaching diversity via the classical canon of literature; infusing a global perspective into the curriculum; feminist pedagogy in the classroom; infusing diversity into the curriculum; and culturally responsive teaching.  After attending the institute, faculty transform their syllabi and courses that are then identified using the multicultural classification system.  Courses with 60 percent multicultural content (U.S. or international) are designated as MULT (Multicultural Content courses), and MULP (Multicultural Perspective) courses are those that use a variety of strategies to encourage multicultural literacy including content, instructional strategies, assessment, and classroom interactions.  Courses may be designated as both MULT and MULP.  In addition to courses being designated by virtue of faculty attending the institute and transforming the course, Dr. Audwin Anderson, Director of the Center for Diversity and Gender Studies at Texas State, also helped to identify MULT courses by studying the course title and course catalog descriptions that would qualify as having multicultural content.  He also conferred with department chairs to determine the reliability of the designation. These courses were then “grandfathered” into the MULT designation.

  • Listed below are 45 courses (out of 100 courses) in the Texas State general education core curriculum that address diversity, social responsibility, intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities.  Students who seek to take courses addressing diversity would be able to select courses in all but two component areas (020 Mathematics and 030 Life and Physical Sciences) and take 11 courses or 33 hours of the 42 required general education credit hours at Texas State.  This means that students may be able to take 78.5 percent of their core in diversity related courses should they choose to do so.

     

    The following Texas State general education core curriculum courses are listed to demonstrate: 1) Texas State general education core curriculum courses that are assigned the Social Responsibility Competency (intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities) by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; 2) MULT (Multicultural Content courses), and MULP (Multicultural Perspective) course designations; 3) general education courses offered through study abroad faculty-led programs (all of which enable students to gain global learning experiences); and 4) catalog descriptions that highlight the diversity and multiculturalism present in the content of general education classes.

    Component Code Course Prefix Course Title Diversity Designation or Description
    010 Communication ENG 1310 College Writing MULT & MULP - all sections
    010 ENG 1320 College Writing MULT & MULP - all sections
    010 HON 2301A Writing to Change the World Students choose a global issue on which to focus their writing, and perform related community service.
    030 Life and Physical Sciences HON 2303A Teaching Physical Science to Children Offered through study abroad faculty-led program, enabling students to gain global learning.
    030 HON 2303C Building a Greener Future: One Home at a Time Offered through study abroad faculty-led program, enabling students to gain global learning.
    040 Language, Philosophy, and Culture PHIL 1305 Philosophy and Critical Thinking Social Responsibility Competency
    040 PHIL 1320 Ethics and Society

    Social Responsibility Competency;

    Robert W. Fischer - MULT & MULP

    Jonathan Surovell - MULT

    Isaac Wiegman - MULT & MULP

    Global issues such as poverty, minority rights, and stem cell research are studied.

    040 HON 2304A The Meaning of Death Social Responsibility Competency
    040 HON 2304B Eating Animals in America Social Responsibility Competency
    040 HON 2304C Nonviolence and Sustainable Social Change Social Responsibility Competency; This course examines nonviolence as the systematic endeavor to break cycles of violence, poverty, and racism.

    050 Creative Arts

    ART 2313 Introduction to Fine Arts

    Social Responsibility Competency;

    Anastacia Easterday - MULT & MULP

    Darryl Patrick - MULT & MULP

    An introductory course designed to give the student a fundamental understanding of the creation and appreciation of diverse modes of expression through the visual and performing arts.

    050 DAN 2313 Introduction to Fine Arts

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT - all sections; An introductory course designed to give the student a fundamental understanding of the creation and appreciation of diverse modes of expression through the visual and performing arts.

    050 MU 2313 Introduction to Fine Arts

    Social Responsibility Competency; Offered through study abroad faculty-led program enabling students to gain global learning. An introductory course designed to give the student a fundamental understanding of the creation and appreciation of diverse modes of expression through the visual and performing arts.

    050 TH 2313 Introduction to Fine Arts

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT – all sections. An introductory course designed to give the student a fundamental understanding of the creation and appreciation of diverse modes of expression through the visual and performing arts.

    050 HON 2305A African American Popular Music: Society, Politics, and Culture

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT; This course is a reading-, writing-, and listening-intensive interdisciplinary survey of African-American popular music in America and its relationship to American culture, society, politics and the other arts.

    050 HON 2305B Women and Texas Music

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT

    050 HON 2305C Italy and Arts of the Islamic World

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT

    050 HON 2305D Honors Creative Arts

    Social Responsibility Competency

    060 American History HIST 1310 History of the United States to 1877

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT – all sections

    060 HIST 1320 History of the United States, 1877 to date

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT – all sections

    060 HON 2306A American History through Memoirs

    Social Responsibility Competency

    060 HON 2306B Baseball and the American Experience

    Social Responsibility Competency; This study of baseball focuses on American history since the end of the Reconstruction period. As a testing ground for the persistence of racial prejudice and the expansion of civil rights, and with advances in technology and management structure, the study of baseball will expose the American experience.

    060 HON 2306C America in the 1960s: A History of Movements and Ideas

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT; This course in the history of American social and protest movements from the end of Reconstruction through Occupy focuses in particular on the movements of the 1960s - the Civil Rights Movement, the New Left, the Women's and Homosexual Liberation Movements, and the Counterculture - and their enduring legacies in contemporary society. 

    060 HON 2306D Witches, Whores, Murderers & Thieves: Capital Crime in Early America

    Social Responsibility Competency

    060 HON 2306E Early American History through Biography

    Social Responsibility Competency

    060 HON 2306F Rethinking American Exceptionalism

    Social Responsibility Competency

    070 Government/Political Science POSI 2310 Principles of American Government

    Social Responsibility Competency; Offered through study abroad faculty-led program, enabling students to gain global learning.

    070 POSI 2320 Functions of American Government

    Social Responsibility Competency; Offered through study abroad faculty-led program, enabling students to gain global learning.

    070 HON 2307B Contemporary Issues in American Politics

    Social Responsibility Competency; In considering conflicts between liberty and equality with emphasis on how these principles are defined within the American system of constitutional, students will examine literature addressing race, gender, class, and sexuality in relation to events such as national elections, and to works in modern and contemporary political thought.

    080 ANTH 1312 Cultural Anthropology

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT – all sections

    080 ECO 2301 Principles of Economics Social Responsibility Competency
    080 ECO 2314 Principles of Microeconomics

    Social Responsibility Competency

    080 GEO 1310 World Geography

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT – all sections

    080 PFW 1310 Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Physical Fitness and Wellness

    Social Responsibility Competency; The course focuses on social and cultural influences on motivation, values and beliefs related to physical activity, as well as the impact of physical activity on individual, community, and population.

    080 PSY 1300 Introduction to Psychology

    Social Responsibility Competency;

    Natalie Ceballos - MULP

    080 SOCI 1310 Introduction to Sociology

    Social Responsibility Competency; MULT - all sections; A survey of the basic concepts in sociology including social organization, culture, socialization, groups, and human population leading to the development of a sociological perspective of human behavior.

    080 HON 2308 Economic Anthropology

    Social Responsibility Competency; This course covers central issues in economic anthropology including the production, exchange, distribution, consumption, property, economic surplus, inheritance, and types of economic structure in various cultures. Materials will cover hunter-gatherer societies, simple agricultural societies, pre-capitalist complex state societies, and issues of development in non-industrial countries.

    090 Component Area Option COMM 1310 Fundamentals of Human Communication Offered through study abroad faculty-led program enabling students to gain global learning.
    090/094 ENG 2330 World Literature before 1600

    Social Responsibility Competency; Representative authors and works of literature from the ancient world to the early modern world. Readings may come exclusively from the Western tradition or from various literary traditions, such as those of Africa and Asia.

    090/094 ENG 2340 World Literature since 1600

    Social Responsibility Competency; Representative authors and works of literature from the modern world. Readings may come exclusively from the Western tradition or from various literary traditions, such as those of Africa and Asia.

    090/094 HON 2309A Origins of Civilization

    Social Responsibility Competency; By studying literary, mythic and philosophical works selected with special attention to narratives about the origins of humanity and civilization, students will encounter a variety of explanations of human existence. The course will broaden students' perspectives and provide insight into the background of contemporary world cultures

    090/094 HON 2309 Magic Realism in the Works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Social Responsibility Competency; A study of selected works of Nobel Prize author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this course offers unique insights into Latin American culture, filtered through the literary and journalistic vision of Colombia's world-renowned author. Additional readings and films emphasize the complex nature of the Latin American culture and literature.

    090/094 HON 2309E Preserving Humanity in the Face of Conflicts: The War Story Genre

    Social Responsibility Competency; This course provides students the opportunity to consider the human impact of several global conflicts that have occurred over the past forty years by focusing on novels, short stories, essays, and a memoir written about post-World War II conflicts in Vietnam, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

    090/094 HON 2309J Memoirs from Lives off the Neurotypical Map

    Social Responsibility Competency; To understand the growing neurologically differently abled/disabled, -ordered, and mentally different/ill population and our perceptions of them and ourselves, we will analyze memoirs and aesthetic works by this true fringe group and consider what being fundamentally different means, and how labels affect people in and out of the neurotypical majority.

    090/094 HON 2309M From Jay-Z to Kendrick Lamar: Politics, Power, and Identity in Hip Hop Literature

    Social Responsibility Competency; Students will read, discuss, and write about the poetry of Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar along with other texts to analyze the artists' political engagement, power to effect change, command of language, and struggle with identity formation.

     

The General Education Council welcomes additional course proposals that include diversity and multicultural perspectives in the core curriculum.  Increasing awareness of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity as well as issues related to socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality, and cultural competence, can be a part of almost any academic course.  Faculty have the opportunity to learn more about enriching and reconceptualizing the curriculum with a multicultural lens by participating in the Multicultural Curriculum Transformation and Research Institute at Texas State University. Students may learn more about the General Education Core Curriculum in the student guide provided here.