The faculty of University of Lynchburg has approved a new general education program that will simplify students’ academic requirements while preparing them for lives and careers in a rapidly changing world.
The new program was dubbed “the DELL Curriculum,” referring to the Dell at the center of campus as well as to the acronym “Diverse, Engaged, Lifelong Learners.”
“The Dell brings together students, faculty, and staff whose interactions inside and outside of the classroom constitute the larger College community,” said Dr. Amy Merrill Willis, a co-chair of the committee that led the general education update. “The vision of the DELL curriculum is to educate students for responsible engagement in a complex world. “
The new general education program supports student engagement, the primary goal of University of Lynchburg’s Vision 2020 strategic plan. “The DELL curriculum will create a transformative student experience where students are academically engaged in the learning process,” said Dr. Sally Selden, vice president and dean for academic affairs. “It will build on what University of Lynchburg does well in providing students with a broad, tailored academic experience and helping them develop competencies they will need throughout their lives.”
Developed over the past 22 months, the new curriculum will take effect in the fall of 2019, the institution’s second academic year as the University of Lynchburg.
It will require 42 credit hours of coursework, compared to the current requirement of 51 – 57 credit hours. This change will provide more flexibility to students who want to pursue a wide variety of electives or whose majors require a large number of credit hours due to professional accreditation requirements.
The Dell Plan also will include first-year and senior seminar courses that cover broad themes and allow students to integrate knowledge while addressing themes, such as “Local and global diversity” or “technology and society.”
Dr. Willis and Dr. Laura Henry-Stone, the other co-chair, described the core learning goals of the Dell curriculum, including intellectual engagement, breadth of learning, social and personal responsibility, and global perspectives, each of which are supported by requirements for courses from various disciplines throughout the curriculum. “All of these learning goals are encircled by a commitment to our fifth learning goal of integrative learning — learning that brings together content, multiple perspectives, skills, and experience.
“The DELL grows out of University of Lynchburg’s educational vision and its mission statement, which affirm that liberal education equips students to seek larger meaning and purposeful lives through a broad education,” Dr. Willis said. “While mastering skills and disciplined-based knowledge, liberal education at Lynchburg encourages the development of students with strong character and balanced perspectives who actively engage in a global society. Grounding students in a liberal arts curriculum exposes them to diverse ideas, challenges them intellectually, and enables them to develop a global perspective through purposeful experiences.”