In February, the Office of the Provost released their self-study for re-accreditation. This study covered four topics: planning, resource allocation, and institutional renewal; institutional assessment; general education; and assessment of student learning. You can find the entire 108-page study here [PDF], and Vox’s coverage of the Provost’s town hall in January can be found here. The majority of the report centers around administrative and institutional practices, but there are some fun bits directly relevant to students.
A huge issue tackled by the self-study is the general education requirements at Georgetown. In 2009, the standing Committee on General Education has tried to determine exactly what the goals of general education should be, and how can they assess whether those goals are being achieved by the requirements. Currently the only classes that all Georgetown undergraduates are required to take are two courses each in philosophy, theology, and humanities and writing; although, obviously each school has more requirements:
Much of the action taken on the general education requirements (including expanding the number of courses that satisfy the humanities and writing requirement) is a response to the 2007 Intellectual Life report, which basically said that the gen eds exist in their current form because no one bothered to change them in the past 60 years. Through the General Education Working Group the study says that the gen eds “ought to be a visible and distinct aspect of the Georgetown experience (p46).”
However the committee also found that both faculty and students tend to be confused as to their purpose: although most students cite well-roundedness and cura personalis as the rationale for the requirements, there is no consensus. The committee did outline some themes of how general education should function, and how people have been reporting it to function: