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### Crafting a New Curriculum: General Education Reform Task Force’s Endeavor

General education requirements serve as more than mere obligations—they present a chance for students to uncover newfound interests while progressing towards graduation. The General Education Task Force at Pitt was established in the summer of 2023 to revamp these requirements and enhance student success.

Braydan Issermoyer, a senior majoring in political science and psychology and a member of the SGB board, expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the current gen ed curriculum. He highlighted the ongoing national discourse on the role of colleges and the political rhetoric surrounding higher education.

Notably, Pitt has not revised its general education requirements since 2006. The task force aims to spend the next three years refining the curriculum to create unified, measurable, and flexible learning outcomes. These outcomes are designed to foster student skill development in critical areas such as critical thinking, communication, leadership, data analysis, intercultural and global competency, and collaboration.

Issermoyer outlined the three-year plan of the General Education Reform Task Force, starting with brainstorming and idea generation in the first year. The subsequent years will involve data gathering and policy implementation across campuses.

The task force comprises three working groups: curricular design, operational and implementation, and administration and assessment, each consisting of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners. This collaborative effort is expected to continue until 2026.

Standardizing general education requirements across all Pitt campuses is a key objective of the task force. This move aims to streamline the transfer process for students moving between campuses and different schools within the university.

Belkys Torres, associate vice provost for Inclusive Excellence in Education, emphasized the collaborative nature of the task force in exploring innovative approaches to student education.

The task force aims to shift the perspective on gen eds from being a mere checkbox to an opportunity for meaningful learning and skill development. This includes fostering critical engagement with media and promoting civic engagement skills among students.

Ultimately, the goal is to enrich the student experience, providing transformative learning opportunities without imposing additional financial burdens or extending the time needed to earn a degree. The focus remains on making gen eds a platform for exploration and learning, rather than a compulsory requirement.