Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Update: December 29, 2010


Humanities Commons underway

This Fall, the Humanities Commons has made progress toward implementation of CAP. Dr. Bill Trollinger has been appointed the FirstYear Humanities Coordinator, starting officially on January 1, 2011. An RFP has been distributed for developing Humanities Commons Pilots; proposal due date is January 30, 2011. The Humanities Chairs wrote Learning Goals for all Humanities Commons courses.

Humanities Commons Student Learning Goals (approved by the First-Year Humanities Chairs, November 01, 2010)

In each of these courses students will:
1. read a variety of primary texts closely and critically (including self-critically).

2. analyze, in writing, a variety of texts contributing to larger historical conversations, debates, and traditions and as resources for understanding and
appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience.

3. develop an understanding of their place in community, country, and world in relationship to multiple others, with particular attention to differences - such as class, gender, and race - upon which social inequalities are constructed and maintained.

4. engage central concepts of Catholic intellectual tradition as they contribute to humanistic inquiry and reflection in the relevant academic discipline (English, History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies).

5. examine the question of what it means to be human from a disciplinary perspective, and in the process make connections among disciplines and develop an appreciation for the ways in which learning is a process of integrating knowledge.

6. understand and practice academic honesty as foundational to the making and sharing of knowledge in a community of learners that is both local and global.

Each department in the first-year Humanities Commons will develop disciplinary-based and assessable student learning outcomes for their introductory course(s) that align with these common goals. In addition, a series of shared co-curricular and/or connected learning activities will contribute to these shared goals and highlight the seven CAP outcomes.

CAP Faculty Half-Day Workshops to Be Offered in January

A series of stand-alone faculty workshops seminars will be offered during the intersession for faculty interested in topics related to student learning outcomes, the learning paradigm, learning and the brain, and assessment and evaluation. In addition, a CAP Conversation will be available to learn more about the history and trajectory of CAP. For more information on these workshops, contact Deb Bickford.

Announcing the Appointment of CAP Sciences Coordinator

Dr. Paul Benson, Dean of Arts & Sciences, recently announced the appointment of Dr. Allen McGrew, Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Geology, as the Sciences Coordinator for the Common Academic Program. Al's responsibilities as a CAP Coordinator will begin in January. This appointment is being funded by the Office of the Provost as part of the design and implementation phase for CAP.

The CAP Sciences Coordinator will work with department chairs, faculty, and with the professional schools to develop academically meaningful, intellectually coherent, and pedagogically effective science courses, as they are being created, piloted, and assessed for the full implementation of CAP in 2013. One of Al's first activities as coordinator will be to host a series of conversations connected with the CAP science initiative. A recent NSF subaward provided through SENCER ( will help to fund these conversations and will begin early in 2011 and continue throughout the spring, summer, and fall.