As advancing technologies change the career landscape students enter on graduation, higher education continues to examine how best to provide a curriculum that prepares students to thrive. At Georgia State, a provost-led, cross-university team has been working to re-examine elements of the university’s core coursework with a focus on ensuring Georgia State’s students have opportunities to develop foundational skills to help them become adaptable problem-solvers, overcoming the academic challenges they face in their studies and creating solutions to the issues they’ll tackle as they graduate into their professions and lives.
The team has developed EPIC (Experiential, Project-based and Interdisciplinary Curriculum). In fall 2019, Georgia State will pilot EPIC, with elements including a number of highly-connected Freshman Learning Communities (FLCs) and Project Labs.
Through meaningful course pairings throughout the core curriculum and highly connected FLCs for students beginning their college experience, the EPIC program will help students think critically across the curriculum, making connections between their coursework and the world around them. Course pairings will encourage students to examine what they are learning across contexts by offering themes across courses such as American government and American history.
Students in these highly-connected FLCs will also learn by doing with in-class curriculum enhanced through games, outside speakers, and activities. Outside of the classroom, students will explore course concepts on walking tours, at museums, and through events.
Project Labs will allow students to earn course credit over multiple semesters while working on faculty-led, interdisciplinary, public-facing projects that take on issues like homelessness or the development of STEM educational resources for metro Atlanta schools. Through project labs, students will have opportunities to develop and demonstrate 21st century skills like digital literacies, complex problem solving, and teamwork, while working on projects with impact and building their portfolios. Over time, faculty will build a skilled project team of undergraduate and graduate students to work in their lab.