Core Curriculum 2014


The core curriculum refers to the curriculum in the liberal arts, humanities, sciences, and political, social, and cultural history that all undergraduates of an institution of higher education in Texas are required to complete.  In October 2011, The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) approved changes to the rules that affect the core curriculum, and these changes require each institution to update its core and to submit a proposal to the THECB by November 2013. The new core must be fully implemented in the fall of 2014.

New Objectives and Component Areas

PVAMU must propose a core that aligns with new core objectives in communication, critical thinking, empirical and qualitative skills, teamwork, personal responsibility and social responsibility. Although component area knowledge remains important, it is crucial that units understand the shift to competencies across courses in the core. All courses must, therefore, teach critical thinking and communication skills. In addition, each component area has its own objective requirements, and assessment must align with those objectives. Component areas include:

  • Communication (6 SCH)
  • Mathematics (3 SCH)
  • Life and Physical Sciences (6 SCH)
  • Language, Philosophy, Culture (3 SCH)
  • Creative Arts (3 SCH)
  • American History (6 SCH)
  • Government/Political Science (6 SCH)
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (3 SCH)
  • Component Area Option (6 SCH)

Core Assessment

Before approving changes, the THECB considered the need for transferability of the core across Texas and the 42 semester credit hour requirement mandated by the state. It also settled on the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ (AAC&U) “Liberal Education and America’s Promise” (LEAP) essential learning outcomes and VALUE rubrics for assessment as a starting point for revision.

The six core objectives must be assessed across core. The following is required of PVAMU:

  • Measures, methodology, and timeline must be in place.
  • Results of assessment must be reported to CB, to include:
    • Level of attainment targeted and achieved for each objective.
    • Analysis of results and use of data to improve student learning.

General Resources

The changes approved by the THECB create an opportunity for PVAMU to transform learning in fundamental ways. Below are resources that will assist the University during the revision process. These include resources from the THECB, a TAMUS outcomes mapping guide, LEAP Value rubrics for assessment purposes, student survey data on our existing core, and a PVAMU presentation made regarding the “new” core requirements in April of 2012.