Curriculum Review and Revision

Work to Date

Spring 2015
After discussions in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, the faculty voted by electronic ballot to approve the amended recommendations of the Curriculum Committee. The amended recommendations can be found here.

Fall 2014
This semester we will hold five open meetings – scheduled for October 1, October 16, October 30, November 13, and December 4 – to discuss different elements of the HWS curriculum, building upon foundations laid by the eight working groups in the spring semester and incorporating ideas from proposals submitted by dozens of individuals and small groups on campus.

For anyone who is unable to make these open meetings and for everyone who is interested in exploring ideas about the curriculum both beforehand and afterwards, we will hold ongoing conversations on a Discussion Board on the Curriculum Revision Canvas page. Community members with an hws username and password can self-enroll to this Canvas page by clicking here.

Our October 1 meeting focused on Foundational Questions and was structured into two sections. In the first part of the meeting we discussed the idea of interdisciplinarity and reflected on the role it might play in the next curriculum, while in the second part we discussed some of the central themes that emerged from the eight working groups in the spring and also from the many curricular proposals we have received from individuals and small groups.

Our October 16 meeting also had two sections. In the first we focused on first year experiences and the ways that they can prepare students for academic success and instill in them a sense of community. In the second half we turned to discuss capstone experiences, weighing the merits of situating capstone experiences within majors or else within the curriculum at large.

Future meetings will focus on:

  • Writing (October 30)
  • Goals and Breadth (November 13)
  • Advising and Assessment (December 4)

Summer 2014
In the summer, the co-facilitators of the Steering Committee (Rob Carson, Christine de Denus, Hannah Dickinson, and Steve Lee) worked to synthesize the work of the spring semester and developed a plan for the fall. A summary of their work can be found on our Documents page.

Spring 2014
In January, we began the semester with a launch event attended by upwards of 140 faculty, staff, and students. At the meeting, community members signed on to contribute to eight different working groups who met through the spring.

The working groups were free to pursue whichever questions seemed most promising to them as their discussions unfolded, but were also assigned a specific topic that they were responsible for considering. These topics were:

Group 1: Mission, Values, and Identity
Group 2: The Shape and Structure of General Education
Group 3: Curricular Goals and Outcomes
Group 4: Majors and Minors; Disciplinarity and Interdisciplinarity
Group 5: Curricular, Co-Curricular, and Extra-Curricular Student Experiences
Group 6: Advising
Group 7: Digital Competencies and Pedagogies
Group 8: Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The groups met through the spring, discussing, debating, and researching their assigned topics and also generating questions for a community-wide survey that the Curriculum Committee sent to faculty, staff, and students. The semester ended with the working groups submitting final reports, which can be found on our Documents page.

At the end of the semester, we put out an open call to individuals and small groups to submit any ideas they would like us to consider going forward. These proposals and suggestions are presented anonymously in a single file on our Documents page. We will keep this file updated as new submissions come in: please feel free to contribute any suggestions you may have to

Fall 2013
In the fall, a semester, a Provisional Planning Committee was convened, bringing members of the faculty and staff together with an outside consultant to design a process to review and revise the Colleges’ curriculum.


Please contact the committee’s co-facilitators Rob Carson, Christine de Denus, and Steve Lee at


Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs
Coxe Hall
Second Floor
Phone: (315) 781-3304
Fax: (315) 781-3334

More Info

Steering Committee


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.