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Learn about Volunteer Core

Our new general education curriculum—now known as Volunteer Core—will take effect in the 2021–22 academic year.

The General Education Committee of the Undergraduate Council is now accepting course proposals for the Volunteer Core curriculum. Courses in the current general education curriculum must be reapproved to qualify as Volunteer Core courses. For more information about the course approval process, visit the Undergraduate Council website.

Volunteer Core consists of three components: Effective Communication, Expanded Perspectives, and Engaged Inquiries. To learn more about the new categories, attend one of the face-to-face or Zoom-based information sessions being held during the next few weeks.

Effective Communication includes course work that focuses on the fundamentals of written and oral communication as well as courses that apply written and oral communication skills within a disciplinary framework.

Expanded Perspectives courses expose students to different disciplinary perspectives.  Students satisfy the Expanded Perspectives requirement by completing courses in several areas: arts and humanities (including both historically focused courses and applied arts and humanities courses that foster students’ creative impulses), natural sciences, social sciences, quantitative reasoning, and global citizenship. The new global citizenship area is designed to help students become responsible and engaged citizens in an interconnected world and includes courses with both a US-based and an international focus.

Engaged Inquiries courses require students to use applied, collaborative, reflective, and integrative learning.

Beginning with the 2021–22 Undergraduate Catalog, students must also complete a  Contemporary Issues and Solutions graduation requirement. Although it is not part of the Volunteer Core general education curriculum, the new requirement exemplifies UT’s philosophy regarding undergraduate education: Volunteers use what they learn in the classroom to make the world a better place. The Undergraduate Council website has more information about the Contemporary Issues and Solutions requirement.