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Clemson to apply next-generation general education curriculum


The re-envisioning of the Clemson University general education curriculum is now entering the implementation phase. The change is spurred by the ClemsonForward strategic plan.

New undergraduate students starting at Clemson in Fall 2022 will begin on the Crossings curriculum for their general education. The most notable change is the new area called Challenges that seeks to infuse critical thinking, perspectives and ethical analysis as faculty lead students in exploring global challenges, wicked problems and other types of issues.

The model provides the academic structure whereby skills, knowledge, and intellectual development acquired in the general education curriculum crosses with those in the major course of study. It is where theoretical knowledge crosses into engaged learning and practical applications. It is where students cross from novice to professional.

A new graphic and website – Crossings – accompany the re-envisioned curriculum. The graphic demonstrates how all Clemson undergraduate students will engage with knowledge and skill across three areas: Communication (oral and written), Ways of Knowing (discipline-based courses in arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social science) and Challenges. Students from the Clemson Pearce Center for Professional Communication were instrumental in creating both the graphic and the “Crossings” name.

“We have had input from over 600 Clemson stakeholders to get to this point,” said Bridget Trogden, associate dean for engagement and general education. “Revising a general education curriculum is not an easy task. The general education committee members and the earlier general education task force have been instrumental in getting us to where we are now. From listening to faculty, students, staff, alumni, employers and other individuals over the past few years, we believe that we have been able to establish a forward-looking plan for continuing a high-quality Clemson undergraduate education for all students.”

Faculty and staff from the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation (OTEI), the Office of Global Engagement, the Division of Undergraduate Studies and the Watt Family Innovation Center have created a page for faculty and instructors to think through how Challenges can be integrated into multiple courses.

Clemson will also be hosting award-winning author and frequent speaker Paul Hanstedt at 10 a.m. Friday, March 26, for a keynote talk and idea session on the topic of “Creating ‘Wicked’ Students.” The event will be virtual and recorded, and all are welcome.