In August 2017, Dr. Thomas Nowak (Vice President of Academic Affairs) convened a committee of faculty and administrators from throughout the College to review Dominican University’s educational goals. The proposed educational goals and College wide academic learning objectives were approved by the faculty and President’s Cabinet in March 2018 and adopted by the Board of Trustees on April 7, 2018. In the summer of 2018, an ad-hoc committee began working to redesign the General Education Curriculum in light of the College’s newly adopted educational goals and learning objectives.

The specific task of the General Education Redesign Committee (GERC) is to facilitate the revision of the general education curriculum in a way that ensures a faculty-driven and faculty-led process and addresses the concerns of the multiple stakeholders in the Dominican University community. The committee began its work in August 2018.

Information and updates related to the committee’s work are available on this page.

Information regarding Dominican University’s current General Education Curriculum is available in the current College Catalog, pages 32-34.


-The General Education Redesign Committee is comprised of:

Kevin Hermberg (chair)
Professor of Philosophy

Lucinda Acquaye-Doyle
Assistant Professor of
Social Work

Anthony Bencivenga
Assistant Professor of Teacher Education

Paul Bonk
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Jim Crawley
Assistant Professor of Athletic Training

Diane DiSpagna
Assistant Professor of Teacher Education

Melissa Leigh Grau
Director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development
(through 1/2020)

Kathleen Hickey
Professor of English

Kathleen Hinge
Assistant Professor of Physics and Mathematics
(through 1/2020)

Clare Pennino
Associate Professor of Business Administration
(through 8/2019)

Gina Shelton
Head Librarian
(through 1/2021)

Ann Vavolizza
Associate Academic Dean
(through 12/2020)

Curricular Working Groups

Working groups built sample curricula based on research into current practices and trends. This work benefited greatly from the insights, commitment, and energy of many people fulfilling many roles on campus. The working group participants were:

  • Lucinda Acquaye-Doyle, Assistant Professor of Social Work
  • Anthony Bencivenga, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education
  • Paul Bonk, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Bernadette Connors, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Jim Crawley, Assistant Professor of Athletic Training
  • Giovanna Czander, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
  • Bonnie DeSimone, Professor of Nursing
  • Diane DiSpagna, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education
  • Ellen Dolgin, Professor of English
  • Jim Filippelli, Assistant Professor of Fine and Performing Arts
  • Melissa Leigh Grau, Director of Community Engagement and Leadership Development
  • Kevin Hermberg, Professor of Philosophy
  • Kate Hickey, Professor of English
  • Kathleen Hinge, Assistant Professor of Physics and Mathematics
  • Ellie Horowitz, Assistant Librarian for Information Literary Services
  • Jennifer Kaywork, Associate Professor of Teacher Education
  • AnnMarie DelliPizzi, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Christopher Libertini, Assistant Professor of History
  • Thom Nowak, Associate Professor of English and Academic Dean
  • Tara Parrello, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice
  • Clare PenninoAssociate Professor of Business Administration
  • Tanya Radford, Assistant Professor of English
  • James Reitter, Associate Professor of English
  • Jennifer Sassano, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
  • Phil Sciame, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
  • Gina Shelton, Assistant Professor and Head Librarian
  • Robert Stauffer, Associate Professor of English
  • Vicky Szerko, Assistant Professor of Business Administration
  • Ann Vavolizza, Assistant Professor of English and Associate Academic Dean


Anticipated timeline for the General Education Redesign process (click image to view in larger format):

Graphic representation of anticipated GERC timeline.

Community Input and Feedback

The general education curriculum redesign process includes many opportunities for community members to offer input and feedback. Among them:

Summary of responses to questionnaire distributed at March 2019 faculty meeting.

Summary of results of March 2020 survey ranking and rating the curricular models.

Summary of results of December 2020 refinement survey.

Complete results are available upon request.

Preliminary Curricular Models

The working groups have built sample curricula of different types based on research in to current practices and trends and informed or motivated by a particular approach. These initial proposals were presented to the faculty in January 2020 and will serve as the basis of a campus-wide discussion which will, in turn, inform the development of final proposals for approval.

Members of the Dominican University community can find all five models on the portal at

You must be logged into the portal to access the files.

The model of the original five that garnered substantially more support than the others is called the “Dominican Curriculum” and serves as the basis of further curriculum development.

Dominican Curriculum

Info graphic for "Dominican Curriculum"--a proposed modernization of the current GEC

Educational Goals

Reflective of its mission and informed by its heritage, Dominican University has as its primary educational goals for every student:

Educate the Mind– acquire knowledge, skills, and understanding through reasoned study and discourse.
Develop the Self– reflectively understand one’s identity, origins, heritage, and values while igniting the spirit.
Serve the Community– engage as civically minded, compassionate leaders, making a positive impact in the community.
Inspire Change– promote a just, ethical, and sustainable world informed by respect for the diversity and interdependence of its inhabitants.

In support of those Educational Goals, the College has committed to a number of academic learning objectives.

College-Wide Academic Learning Objectives

Graduates of Dominican University have acquired depth of knowledge in their chosen fields of study and will …

  • discover and utilize information through responsible use of appropriate technologies.
  • consider diverse perspectives, beliefs, and values in relation to their own cultural frameworks.
  • analyze, synthesize, and evaluate ideas and information to formulate meaningful conclusions.
  • evaluate the ethical implications of their actions.
  • express and exchange ideas effectively through various modes of communication.
  • demonstrate social responsibility in service of the common good.


This list is a sampling of available resources relevant to the Gen. Ed. redesign work. There are some others available in the GEC office (Casey Hall, room 108).