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New General Education Program on Track for Fall

Date: May 29, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Photo by: Dottie Stover
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: Campus News

There was no break this spring for the General Education Coordinating Committee. Members are now deep into the implementation stage of the revised program, which required reviewing the Breadth of Knowledge coding on more than 11,000 undergraduate courses.

Ann Twinam, committee chair, says thanks to the work of UC faculty, unit heads, administrators and staff, more than 90 percent of the courses are accurately coded to meet the General Education guidelines. She adds the committee poured over 600 pages of printouts to verify the coding for the thousands of courses.

"Thanks to the hard work across the entire university, it's astonishing to see how much the committee in cooperation with the faculty got done and it got done well. I've never served on a committee that has worked this hard. The entire committee went through every one of these books, page by page, to review the coding."

The university-wide implementation of the new General Education program is now on track for fall quarter. The next challenge for the committee was how to explain the General Education program to incoming freshmen. Committee members Amy Pettigrew, College of Nursing, and Stephanie P. Schlagel, College-Conservatory of Music, will lead a multimedia production for UC summer orientation July 2- Aug. 2.

Orientation 2000

Pettigrew and Schlagel wrote the content for the multimedia show. It was narrated by Rocco Dal Vera, a CCM associate professor of drama. Dal Vera has done voice-overs for numerous commercials, and is the resident vocal coach for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival. The CCM Electronic Media Division provided technical support.

"Incorporating the dramatic performance talents of Rocco Dal Vera and the technical expertise of the Electronic Media Division into the General Education presentation makes perfect sense," says Schlagel. "This project is a real-life example of the four baccalaureate competencies at work."

Pettigrew says the presentation will be produced on a CD-ROM that will also be transferred to videotape. "It gives a general overview of the program, hitting on the Breadth of Knowledge requirements that will be of primary interest to the incoming students." Pettigrew says. Students will receive a brochure to accompany the presentation. The CD-ROM and videos will also be available on all UC campuses later this year.

The Coordinating Committee wanted the production to be visually appealing to young viewers who grew up with all the bells and whistles of new technology. That's when Peter Simon - an employee of the College of Nursing Center for Academic Technologies and Educational Resources (CATER) - was tapped for his talents. "He just graduated from college and he worked the script into student-appealing language," says Pettigrew.

"We had the challenge of explaining a major program," says Simon, who adds UC students also participated in the project. "On one section, we featured different languages, like Chinese, Spanish and French. We'll also have images from UC's past, present and future, all done in a computer presentation like what you might see on the SciFi channel. We're going to have some techno music with a lot of eye candy, including three-D graphics."

Simon says the production should stay up-to-date for four years. He's been working on the presentation for about a month and plans to finish by mid June.

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