Trends in Undergraduate General Education in the U.S., the Texas Core Curriculum, and Communication Course Requirements




Henschel, Sally
Lewis, Mitzi
Wade, Kelly Calame
Schwertner, Danielle

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Texas Education Review


In October 2011, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board revised Texas Core Curriculum (TCC) rules impacting all public higher education institutions in Texas. The new rules were implemented in the fall semester of 2014. In this study, we review the history of undergraduate general education requirements in the United States and recent changes to the TCC. Then to determine how recent changes reflect historical trends in general education and affect the course offerings of departments of English and communication, we use descriptive statistics to examine courses included under the TCC Communication Foundational Component Area of 37 state universities and 53 community colleges. Findings indicate the number of re-quired English and speech communication courses decreased both at community colleges (-11.5%) and universities (-15.9%), signaling a shift toward providing students greater choice in course selection which could impact academic programs in the years to come.



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