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Senators: Please Provide Input-Forensic Discussion on One Penn State 2025’s Goal of Curricular Coherence

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Senate Input on One Penn State 2025’s Goal of Curricular Coherence


The University Faculty Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs (SCCA) acknowledges that faculty expertise and resulting academic scholarship are essential to the development and delivery of outstanding curricula. As elected representatives of the faculty, University Faculty Senate has primary responsibility for the undergraduate curriculum, broadly defined as the courses required of our students to earn an undergraduate degree (University Faculty Senate has delegated responsibility for the graduate, medical, and law curricula to those schools, respectfully). In their role in the Senate, SCCA is responsible for the review, recommendation, and implementation of curriculum proposals. SCCA’s procedures are based on the committee’s understanding of Penn State’s unique structure and our policies guiding curricular development at the University, policies developed and refined over several decades in the Senate.

For the 2019-2020 academic year, SCCA is charged to consider improvements to curricular processes at Penn State. To this end, a Curricular Reform Task Force was formed to liaise with SCCA on future curricular development. SCCA also seeks general input from members of the Senate, and their home caucuses, on One Penn State 2025’s guiding principle of “achieving curricular coherence.”

Broad input from our university community, including faculty, students, staff, alumni, and external stakeholders is important for all discussions about curriculum. So that our committee can make progress on its charge, SCCA is first requesting Senate input and guidance on the following questions:

  1. What does a coherent curriculum mean to you?
  2. How is our curriculum broadly serving our undergraduate students?
  3. What are faculty doing well to support faculty engagement in curriculum?
  4. What are the barriers to faculty engagement in curricular processes? What are the limitations or barriers to curricular coherence?
  5. What would help support faculty to fully engage in curricular design, review, innovation etc.?