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Welcome Back Message and General Studies Requirement (GSR) Redesign Update from Provost Erting

September 3, 2019

Dear Gallaudet Community:

Welcome to the beginning of a very busy and exciting academic year.  I hope you and our students are off to a good start as we enter the second week of fall semester classes. I look forward to our work together to enhance academic vitality and the student experience. 

Today, I want to update you about progress on redesigning our general education curriculum.  We have been engaged in a review and redesign of our General Studies Requirement (GSR) for the past two years.  The review consisted of a faculty-led self-study, an on-site review of the program by three external reviewers, and student and faculty discussions to solicit feedback about the current GSR curriculum and future directions. The GSR/General Education Redesign Initiative began this past summer under the leadership of Dr. Kirk VanGilder, faculty in the Department of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology and Ms. Niesha Washington-Shepard, faculty in the Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. The summer work group included General Studies Requirements (GSR) coordinators and faculty members from a variety of academic disciplines who have taught in the GSR program, as well as faculty who played a major role in Gallaudet’s Internationalization Lab (IZN). 

As a result of the summer work, the co-facilitators produced a report presenting three possible models for redesigning Gallaudet’s general education curriculum. Click here to find the report as well as more detailed information about the General Education Redesign Initiative.

On Monday, September 9 from noon to 1:50 p.m. in MLC B111, we will hold a campus-wide forum to provide a summary of the report and begin the process of soliciting feedback from faculty, students, and staff. Dr. Van Gilder and Ms. Washington-Shepard are forming a council consisting of current GSR coordinators and members of the summer work group to gather input on the models during the fall semester and finalize a proposal for the redesigned general education curriculum for presentation to the Council on Undergraduate Education (CUE) and then the University Faculty Senate in the spring. The administration will work with the faculty to shape a curriculum that is responsive to our students, provides a foundation for student success in a changing, dynamic and challenging world, and that is sustainable.  I am confident that the excellent work accomplished by the workgroup this summer and your committed engagement in the discussions this fall will result in a redesigned general education curriculum ready to roll out in the fall of 2020. The Academic Affairs administrative team and I are committed to providing the resources needed to support this ambitious timeline and the redesigned curriculum.

Toward that end, I have relocated GSR to the Office for Student Success and Academic Quality (SSAQ) under the leadership of Associate Provost Thomas Horejes. The intentional and robust integration of the general education curriculum with SSAQ functions, including academic and career advising, student success coaching, institutional research, and learning and program assessment will facilitate better coordinated care of our students and effective and efficient preparation of our students for academic and career success. During this transition year, there is no GSR program director. Instead, Dr. Paige Franklin, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum, Policy and Operations, who has been transferred to SSAQ, will work with the GSR coordinators and Associate Provost Horejes to ensure that all the necessary administrative support is in place for the delivery of the current GSR curriculum.  

I look forward to seeing you on September 9, and wish you a productive and meaningful fall semester.


Carol J. Erting

Posted by Bonnie Simmons | Posted September 3, 2019 at 5:12 PM


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002