CGS Helps Develop University-Wide General Education Program

Joshua Pederson - Trauma course

Joshua Pederson (GRS’08), a CGS assistant professor of humanities (left), designed a multidisciplinary course on trauma after watching several academic fields take up the topic for study. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

For 66 years, CGS has been a leader in general education, inspiring colleges and universities throughout the world to adopt interdisciplinary, comprehensive liberal arts curricula that provide students with the critical thinking skills they’ll need to succeed in their academic and civic lives. Now, CGS faculty and staff are helping to shape a University-wide general education program closer to home, BU Hub.

Starting in fall 2018, general education will be integrated into the entire Boston University experience. Each school and college will impart core capacities foundational to a BU degree: communication; philosophical, aesthetic, and historical interpretation; social and scientific inquiry; quantitative reasoning; and diversity, civic engagement, and global citizenship. Students will also develop their teamwork, research and information literacy, critical thinking, and life skills.

“CGS is taking an active part in this because we understand the goals of general education, and because we see this as a really valuable thing for our students,” says Megan Sullivan, associate dean for faculty research and development. “We think very carefully about what we want students to get out of our classes, how we can explicitly teach students so they will be able to meet the learning outcomes that we’ve set up. We also think about the breadth of knowledge students will need throughout their college careers.”

“At CGS, we are really pleased to see the importance of general education validated by BU’s adoption of the Hub requirements,” says Dean Natalie McKnight.