University & Global Miami Plan Requirements

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Hello, and welcome to this academic advisor training module.

This module will focus on providing you with an overview of the University curriculum and its most important hallmark, the Global Miami Plan.

Miami students who enter in fall 2017 or thereafter and are pursuing a bachelor’s degree must have at least 124 semester hours to graduate.

Since we want our students to graduate in a four-year time frame, they should be taking on average 15-16 hours per semester.

A large portion of the 124 credit hour graduation requirement is the Global Miami Plan.

This module will focus on the version of the Global Miami Plan which was approved in fall 2015.

If you need a refresher on the previous version because you are advising students who entered Miami prior to fall 2015,

you can review the requirements of that previous GMP on the Office of Liberal Education website.

The Global Miami Plan includes six major components: the Foundation, Intercultural Perspectives, Advanced Writing, Experiential Learning, Thematic Sequence and Senior Capstone.

It typically takes students 46 semester hours to complete all components of the plan.

Several academic divisions, such as the College of Arts & Science and the Farmer School of Business, have requirements for all students who major in their division,

and, of course, every degree program has particular requirements that include related hours. Most bachelor’s degree programs include at least 36 semester hours of requirements.

Because Miami has a strong value in liberal arts education,

we value the opportunity for students to take elective courses where they can explore new topics and gain new skills beyond the major and the general education requirements.

Students should be encouraged to meet the Global Miami Plan foundation requirements as early in their undergraduate experience as possible.

This is because this portion of the plan is designed to expose students to important questions, introduce basic knowledge, and promote competencies

such as critical thinking, analysis, and writing--that will make their upper-division experience more successful and enriching.

The Foundation is divided into five parts that are delineated by Roman numerals.

For example MPF – Roman Numeral I indicates the English Composition portion of the Miami Plan Foundation.

It is important to note that some courses may be listed in more than one of these foundation course categories.

However, students can only meet one Foundation requirement per course taken.

In other words, ATH 175, Peoples of the World, meets both Foundation II for social science and Foundation III for Global Perspectives.

When a student takes it, it will only fulfill one of those Foundation requirements, not both.

Foundation I (English Composition) is typically met by completing ENG 111 in the first year.

About 40% of our students, however, will come into Miami already having met this requirement.

Most often they have met this requirement through Advanced Placement credit.

But some may have submitted a portfolio to the English Department once admitted to Miami, and the English Department awarded them credit based upon the portfolio.

In more rare cases, students have received this credit because they took it at another university and transferred to Miami.

Or they met it through dual enrollment (College Credit Plus) courses completed while they were in high school.

We will discuss Advanced Placement and similar issues in more detail in a subsequent module.

Foundation II encompasses three cognate areas—fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Students must take three semester hours of each of these cognate areas to fulfill Foundation II.

These cognate areas are delineated by a letter.

For example, when students fulfill the creative arts part of the Foundation II requirement, they have fulfilled Foundation IIA.

There are numerous courses that fit into the A, B, and C cognate areas, so students have an array of options for meeting each area of Foundation II.

Foundation III focuses on gaining global perspectives and helping students to learn and communicate across cultures.

Students can meet Foundation III in several different ways:

For option A, they can take an approved study abroad program of six or more credit hours.

Approved study abroad programs can be found on the Global Initiatives website.

OR for option B, they can complete six credits of approved global perspectives courses.

A list of these courses is available on the Liberal Education website.

OR they can take a combined A/B approach and

complete three credits of approved global courses AS WELL AS an approved study abroad workshop of at least three credits.

International students may complete this requirement in the three ways I mentioned (A, B or combined A/B).

But because they are essentially studying abroad while here at Miami,

they may also simply complete six credits of any Global Miami Plan course to fulfill this requirement.

If they wish to take this latter option in fulfilling Foundation III,

they will need to go to their academic divisional advising office for a special petition.

The petition form is also on the Liberal Education website.

Foundation IV focuses on six credits of natural science.

At Miami, natural science encompasses both the biological and physical sciences.

Students need to take at least three hours of biological science and three hours of physical science.

At least one of the natural science courses needs to have a lab element.

When advising students, it is important that you make sure that they select at least one-lab based physical or biological science course.

Sometimes labs are embedded in the course itself.

For example, BIO 113, Animal Diversity, or CHM 131, Chemistry in Modern Society both include the lab within the course.

However, in a few situations, the labs are separately numbered but are meant to be taken in conjunction with the lecture-based course.

For example, CHM 141, College Chemistry, is a lecture based course, and the lab is CHM 144 and called College Chemistry Laboratory.

The two are meant to be taken simultaneously.

The General Bulletin will indicate which courses include laboratories with the phrase LAB written next to it in capital letters.

It will also indicate whether a lecture course needs to be paired with a laboratory course by listing them together.

Foundation V relates to mathematics, formal reasoning and technology.

The list of courses meeting this requirement come not only from the Math and Statistics departments,

but also from music, computer science, philosophy, engineering, and architecture.

The list can be found on the Liberal Education website or in the Bulletin.

The revised Global Miami Plan includes three new requirements.

The Intercultural Perspectives requirement expands on the learning outcomes of the Global Miami Plan foundation requirements.

These courses prepare students for effective citizenship in a diverse multicultural society in the US or beyond

by helping students to recognize new perspectives about their own cultural rules and biases.

There is a list of courses meeting this requirement on the Liberal Education website.

One point to note: A few study abroad courses may also meet the intercultural perspectives requirement.

Study abroad courses approved as meeting the Intercultural Perspectives requirement

may fulfill BOTH the Foundation IIIA (Global Perspectives, Study Abroad option) and the Intercultural Perspectives requirement.

Experiential learning is the process of making meaning from direct experience in a real world or an “out of the traditional classroom” context.

It offers students the opportunity to initiate lifelong learning through the development and application of academic knowledge and skills in new or different settings.

The E.L. requirement can be met through a Global Miami Plan course or course in the major (at the lower or upper-division level) that has been approved for this requirement.

Some of the approved courses include designated service-learning courses, credit- and non-credit-bearing internships,

, independent studies (numbered 177, 277, 377 or 477) that involve significant independent work focusing on research and including a presentation, lab, or archive component (carrying the “R” modifier), and student teaching.

Advanced writing courses (200 or 300 level) are offered by instructors in disciplines, departments, and programs across the university

and feature student writing as the central focus, frequent opportunities to write

with instructor feedback on multiple drafts of major projects, and substantial writing projects.

Because of the nature of the course, students should be advised to take an advanced writing course in their second or third year when they have more experience and skills.

The thematic sequence is met by completing related courses (at least nine hours) in an approved Thematic Sequence outside the student’s department of major.

One foundation course may be part of the thematic sequence.

Each sequence will collectively include opportunities for written communication & critical thinking plus advance at least three other competencies,

and students should be encouraged to focus on the Thematic Sequence after they have completed or as they are nearing completion of the Foundation requirement.

There is one thematic sequence that can be met if a student studies for a semester at MUDEC in Luxembourg.

It is important to note that students need to DECLARE what their Thematic Sequence is.

Students need to go to the particular department that is responsible for the Thematic Sequence to make that declaration.

For example, in the case of the Thematic Sequence which is listed as MGT 1, the student would go to the Management Department to declare that sequence.

Because the goal of the thematic sequence is to enable a student to pursue a topic in some depth,

Miami has determined that a second major, co-major, or minor outside of the student’s department of first major can count for the Thematic Sequence.

Minors that count for this requirement must be completed outside of the student’s primary major

and the minor must have at least nine credit hours that are not owned by the department of the student’s primary major.

Six of the credits in the major need to be above the 200 level.

Students may also propose self-designed sequences.

The goal of this opportunity is for students to dream up new pioneering ways of looking at a theme or topic.

Ideally it should not be used a means of cobbling together some vaguely related courses to meet the requirement prior to graduation.

So, as the advisor, you should encourage students to use this option sparingly.

And you should remind students to submit this proposal BEFORE they have completed all of the courses in their proposed sequence.

The proposal form is on the Office of Liberal Education website.

The final requirement of the Global Miami Plan is the senior capstone.

This course helps students to integrate liberal education knowledge with knowledge gained through specialized study in the major.

It includes a student-initiated group or individual project. It may be taken in or outside of a student’s major requirements.

Because it is designed to be a culminating experience,

students need to complete this course when they are registered for 96 semester hours or after they have earned 96 semester hours.

Students may also propose their own capstone experience.

If students wish to propose a course or learning experience to meet the capstone requirement,

they must do so by completing a proposal form on the Liberal Education website BEFORE they take the course.

The graphic on this slide illustrates the ideal sequence a Miami student should follow

when meeting all of the liberal education and other University requirements.

By following this plan, students will have a greater chance of succeeding and benefitting from their undergraduate experience.

However, some degree programs such as those in engineering and creative arts are highly structured

due to accreditation or other requirements making it challenging for students to follow this sequence perfectly.

As noted earlier, some academic divisions have core or divisional requirements for all students pursuing their majors.

These requirements will be discussed in the next Powerpoint and they—along with all of the major and minor requirements–

are spelled out in detail in the General Bulletin and on the student’s Degree Audit Report or DAR

which will be discussed later in one of the advisor development modules.

Finally, it is easy to forget to discuss electives with your advisees.

But electives are a key way for students to try out new fields, broaden their thinking, or pursue a side passion or hobby.

Taking time to encourage the advisee to select electives purposefully

in ways that advance their personal and academic goals can yield beneficial results.

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