Report on Reports

13. Reinventing Undergraduate... 1998 - National Commission on Education



Make research-based learning the standard

  • Beginning in the freshman year, students should be able to engage in research in as many courses as possible.
  • Beginning in the freshman year, students must learn how to convey the results of their work effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Undergraduate must explore diverse fields to complement and contrast with their major fields; the freshman and sophomore years need to open intellectual avenues that will stimulate original thought and independent effort, and reveal the relationships among sciences, social sciences and humanities.
  • Remove barriers to interdisciplinary education

  • Lower division courses should introduce students to interdisciplinary study.
  • Academic majors must reflect students’ needs rather than departmental interests or convenience.
  • Customizing interdisciplinary majors should be not only possible but also readily achievable.
  • Use information technology creatively

  • Planning for academic units, such as block-scheduled courses for freshman or required courses for individual majors, should include conscientious preparations for exercises that expand computer skills.
  • Active exchange between units on campus and through professional meetings should encourage and inspire faculty to create new computer technologies for teaching and to share ideas about effective computer-based learning.
  • Reinventing Undergraduate Education…1998


    Two- and four-year colleges and universities should:

  • Eliminate the barriers of course transferability by articulating transfer agreements between two-year colleges and four-year institutions that are mutually established through open communication concerning specific course content and expectations.
  • Reduce the cultural barriers and misconceptions between two-year colleges and four-year institutions by encouraging the exchange of faculty and facilitating STEM topical workshops.
  • Increase the number of partnerships between two-year colleges and four-year institutions.
  • Develop collaboratively a teaching track for M.S. and Ph.D. STEM students whose career goal is to teach at two-year colleges.
  • Increase sustainable joint STEM professional development opportunities (co-teaching, teacher exchange, and others) by preK-12 institutions and two- and four-year colleges for full-time and adjunct faculty.
  • –Investing in Tomorrow’s Teachers: The Integral Role of Two-Year Colleges. Report from an NSF Workshop, 1998.