University of Houston-Victoria

Institutional Research Effectiveness

Core Curriculum

In order to add a new course to the core curriculum, the normal approval process must be followed, so that the course will be added to the course inventory. Additionally, the course must be approved by the Core Curriculum Committee (a Faculty Senate subcommittee).

New core courses require THECB approval. We may only submit new core courses for approval ONCE each year, but there is no limit on the number of courses we may submit for approval. The deadline for submitting new core courses to THECB is June 1.

The following information is required for all new core courses. There are prompts in the course development form to collect this information.

  • A sample syllabus
  • An justification for how the course supports the core curriculum
  • An assessment plan for each core learning outcome associated with the component area

Information about the Core Curriculum


Assessment of the Core

A report from the core faculty of the assessment activity is due each year in October and should be submitted to the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. Both THECB and SACSCOC require a decennial report of our assessment of student learning in the core curriculum. The report is due to both agencies in 2024.

SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation Standard 8.2.b. reads:

The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results in the areas below:

b. student learning outcomes for collegiate-level general education competencies of its undergraduate degree programs. (Student outcomes: general education)

Student learning outcomes, as defined by the UHV Core Curriculum Committee

  • Students will demonstrate the capacity to analyze and synthesize information to arrive at a conclusion. (Critical Thinking)
  • Students will demonstrate effective communication of an idea by developing and organizing cogent supports and expressing these via appropriate media in competent and contextually suited presentations. (Communication Skills)
  • Students will demonstrate ability to make appropriate conclusions based on available data or facts. (Empirical and Quantitative Skills)
  • Students will demonstrate ability to consider different points of view and work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal. (Teamwork)
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge, skills and attitudes that support competent interaction and/or effective engagement in a variety of communities and cultural contexts. (Social Responsibility)
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to decision‐making. (Personal Responsibility)

Matrix of component areas and assigned student learning outcomes, as defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

This matrix shows which student learning outcomes are assigned to be incorporated in core classes within each component area. It is expected that instructors will include activities that help students develop these skills, and instructors will assess the students' skills, even if the results of the assessment won't be used for program-level assessment.

Communication X X   X   X
Math X X X      
Life and Physical X X X X    
Lang, Phil & Culture X X     X X
Creative X X   X X  
History X X     X X
Political X X     X X
Social & Behavioral X X X   X  
Optional Component Area X X ? ? ? ?

Courses added to the Optional Component Area should have the same learning outcomes as the component area in which they would other best fit. If a course is added to the optional component area that doesn't otherwise fit into any other component area, it must have at least three learning outcomes, of which Critical Thinking and Communication must be two.

A course that is already part of one component area may also be added to the optional component area.

  • Critical Thinking Skills (CT): includes creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.
  • Communication Skills (COM): includes effective written, oral, and visual communication.
  • Empirical and Quantitative Skills (EQS): includes applications of scientific and mathematical concepts.
  • Teamwork (TW): includes the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal.
  • Social Responsibility (SR): includes intercultural competency, civic knowledge, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities.
  • Personal Responsibility (PR): includes the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Assessment Schedule

Assessment in the Core will follow a two-year plan. For every year, students will be measured in some learning objectives. At the end of two years, all objectives will be measured at least once. All Core curriculum classes are subjected to assessment, and all students taking any course in the assigned component area during the academic year will be assessed on the student learning outcome.

"Odd" or "even" refers to the academic year that begins in a fall semester in an odd or even calendar year. For example, the academic year 2020-2010 is an even year.

Student Learning Outcome to be assessedYear to be assessedComponent area classes to be assessed
Critical Thinking odd



Communication Skills even


Component Area

Empirical and Quantitative Skills odd


Social and Behavioral

Teamwork even Life and Physical
Social Responsibility odd Language, Philosophy and Culture
Personal Responsibility even Communication


Core Curriculum Revisions submitted to the Texas Coordinating Board, Fall 2013