Skip to main content
Vanderbilt Background Photo


Home | Curriculum Framework | Core Office | Implementation | Timeline | Background


FALL 2025:

Full implementation of the new curriculum; all entering first-year students will complete the A&S College Core requirements.

  • Assessment and redesign of first-year pilots, assisted by the Pilot Review Team, including sequential structure for 2024–25
  • Co-curricular planning for 2024–25
  • Preparation for May faculty development workshop, expanded to ~60 instructors
  • Exploratory Core course development: collaborative workshops and faculty grants
  • Postdoctoral fellow recruitment for 2024–25
  • First-year pilot program launched: 21 sections underway after a collaborative syllabus and teaching guide development process last spring and summer
  • Recruitment for the expanded first-year pilot: information sessions; teaching interest audit; plan for 30 sections of “Being Human” (Fall 2024) and “Science, Technology, Values” (Spring 2025)
  • Core Office established: Paul Stob, director; Liz Catania, associate director, to oversee pilots, manage Brightspace and course packets, pod meetings, Core newsletter, and Core Living Room
  • Detailed assessment plan developed: pre- and post-surveys for pilot students and faculty, midterm focus groups, peer observation, weekly pod surveys
  • Website development for A&S Core: to include Core Office, first-year syllabi, point people for course development, programming, outreach, and assessment
  • “Phase two” working groups constituted:
    • Lab Study Group
    • Computational Thinking Working Group
    • World Languages Working Group
    • B.S. Degree
    • Academic Policies
  • Capacity tagging: guidance for departments and programs; preliminary meetings on tagging and developing general education classes; early adopter program
  • Fall Faculty Meeting presentation: progress report on the pilot
  • College of Arts & Science faculty voted (70.1% in favor) to approve the new proposed curriculum in May 2023.
  • Final proposal for the new A&S curriculum circulated.
  • Committee members explored questions connected to course development, faculty recruitment, learning outcome development, majors and pathways, world languages, and academic policy
  • Committee designs potential governance and leadership structure for the Core Committee and plans for leadership and staffing.
  • Steering Committee presented proposals in progress during feedback sessions to all Arts & Science departments and programs.
  • Students took pilot courses on "Being Human, Becoming Citizens" (Paul Stob) and "Science, Technology, Values" (Michael Bess).
  • Undergraduate Advisory Group met to provide input on proposed changes.
  • Paul Hanstedt (Washington & Lee University) and Roosevelt Montás (Columbia University) gave public talks on undergraduate education and college curricula.
  • Committee solicited feedback from faculty and students during "Coffee and Curriculum” drop-in meetings.
  • Preparations began for a faculty vote in April 2023.
  • Chairs and Directors meetings and continues meetings with key stakeholders, including undergraduate students, faculty, alumni, donors, the Registrar's Office, the Provost's Office, Faculty Heads of Residential Colleges, and Deans of other undergraduate schools.
  • Standing Committees (Data, Communications, Pedagogies, College Core, Course Load & Calendar) began work.
  • Capacity Committees (Reading/Writing/Communicating, Information/Data/Media Analysis, Civic/Ethical Engagement/Dialogue Across Differences, Research/Exploration/Discovery) started to meet.
  • Assessment of potential reforms included creating a stronger “core” and a common intellectual experience, an emphasis on exploration, including expanded pass/fail options, a shift to a four-course/four-credit norm, a focus on capacities and modes of inquiry versus disciplines, clearer pathways between general and specialized study.
  • An institution-wide review of undergraduate advising model was undertaken.
  • Planning began on convening committees dedicated to exploring student life, major pathways, and classroom practices.
  • A day-long retreat at the Wond'ry innovation center marked the culmination of the fall semester's work.
  • Working Group members formed reading groups and met to discuss recent publications on the future of higher education and the liberal arts.
  • The Steering Committee held a summer workshop and continued meetings with campus partners, developed a public-facing website, and created a campus engagement plan.
  • Faculty formed Standing Committees and Capacity Committees.
  • Future of the A&S Curriculum Committee, chaired by Dean Sarah Igo, convened in January 2022.
  • Working Groups discussed fundamental questions and issues: What is college for? What is the purpose of an undergraduate education? How do we define the liberal arts? What pressures do they face? What has changed—in terms of our students, Vanderbilt, educational philosophies, and the world—since 2004? What assumptions about how and what we teach need examining? What alternative curricular models should we investigate?
  • Research by the Working Groups and the Steering Committee included the creation of a research library, fact-finding on AXLE and the broader curriculum, a survey of first- and second-year students on course selection, institutional research with the Office of Data and Strategic Analytics, consultations with experts in curricular reform, and a study of alternative models.
  • Outreach efforts by the Steering Committee included visits to A&S departments and programs, DUS divisional meetings, and consultations with the Vanderbilt Student Government, the CAS Undergraduate Advisory Board, the Faculty Council, the Associate Deans of Blair, Engineering, and Peabody, and the College of Arts and Science Board of Advisors.