General Education Assessment at Howard University
General education is a term used to describe a required set of courses or curriculum at an institution of higher learning. This set of courses or curriculum varies from institution to institution. At their core, all general education programs seek to introduce students to a wide variety of disciplines in an attempt to prepare them to meet personal, academic, and career challenges. Indeed, it is the goal of general education programs to introduce and develop skills that will allow students to be successful while they are at the institution and throughout their lifetime after they graduate. The purpose of the Howard University general education program is threefold and aligns with Standard III of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) by:
- offering students a general education curriculum that is sufficient in scope to draw them to new areas of intellectual experience,
- preparing students to make well-reasoned judgements both within and outside their academic field,
- and offering students a curriculum wherein they can acquire and demonstrate essential 21st century skills.
Howard University assess seven general education outcomes through the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (IRA) in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUS). These seven outcomes are all represented in Howard University General Education 21 (HUGE 21), a faculty initiative that identified the skills and competencies a Howard graduate should have. While many of the HUGE 21 outcomes are assessed each semester through authentic assessment opportunities across the disciplines, IRA also gathers data to conduct broader assessments of targeted outcomes across the undergraduate curriculum. These assessments come in a variety of forms including indirect and direct measures. A list of the seven core outcomes are listed below. A complete list of the HUGE 21 outcomes can be found here.