CAA drafts purpose for general education

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

The general education committee worked Thursday on establishing a statement of the purpose of general education courses, noting that Eastern students lack in critical thinking.

Rebecca Throneburg, learning goals co-chair and member of the Council on Academic Affairs, asked council members for their input on the goal of general education courses.

“What do we think the purpose of general education at Eastern Illinois University is?” she asked. “What are we trying to accomplish?”

Committee member Teshome Abebe said that in order to establish a mission, members must first determine how general education has performed at Eastern.

“I think those things should be discussed first so we have a common understanding of what it is we are trying to fix,” Abebe said.

Throneburg said the assessment data indicated that improvement was needed.

“We have numerous indicators over periods of years that some of our learning outcomes are not as strong as we would like them to be,” she said. “Our critical thinking numbers are at the 7 percentile compared to other institutions.”

She said data on general education will be presented to the committee before discussing the mission for general education.

Throneburg said once the mission is established, the committee could then infuse the learning goals within general education.

“As a university we have to be intentional to get a change in outcome,” she said.

The council also elected CAA member Marita Gronnvoll as the new chair, and approved four new members to be on the Honors Council.

New members include Mary Konkle, Menghistu Sallehu, Peter Andrews as new faculty members, and Ben Feltes as a student member.

The new dramaturgy theater class will be presented and discussed on Oct. 6 at the CAA meeting.


Debby Hernandez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].