Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Angelo State University

Actions WILL speak louder than words:
The Power (and dilemma) in Assessing the New Texas Core Curriculum Objectives

Teddy Roosevelt stated that actions speak louder than words. His claim is a great description of the Texas Core Curriculum Reformation – student actions will be much more important to assessment of learning than our traditional approaches. The purpose of the Texas State Core Curriculum reformation is to not only ensure students gain a foundation of knowledge specific to the traditional disciplines of a liberal arts education, but gain skills for the application of such knowledge. The focus of the new core curriculum debate has primarily focused on the six new objectives (critical thinking skills, communication skills, empirical and quantitative skills, teamwork, personal responsibility, and social responsibility) and the courses in which these objectives must be demonstrated and assessed. The proposed core curriculum reformation generally and appropriately leaves course content requirements to the faculty and disciplines. However, the revolution of the core curriculum reformation will be in the innovative, applied, and active teaching strategies that MUST accompany any course used to fulfill these new objectives. Assessment and evaluation must serve as the intersection between student learning and professor pedagogy. 

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart

Russell Lowery-Hart

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart currently serves as Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Amarillo College, after a lengthy stint as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at West Texas A&M University.  With both positions, Dr. Lowery-Hart focused on improving general education requirements and first year student initiatives. He has created several institution-wide initiatives targeting a common reader program, international travel programs for first year students, curricular reform, instructional improvement, poverty, and partnership development across campus “silos.”

Dr. Lowery-Hart currently serves as the chair for the Executive Committee for the Amarillo “No Limits/No Excuses” Partners for Postsecondary Success Gates grant. He is a P-16 Regional Advisor for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, where he also served as the chair for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee charged with evaluating and redesigning the state of Texas general education requirements and assessments centered on LEAP initiative principles.

He received his Ph.D. in Gender and Diversity in Communication from Ohio University in 1996. He received his MA in Communication Studies from Texas Tech in 1993, and his BS in Speech from West Texas A&M University in 1991.