Dr. Terrance Kearns, professor of English, has accepted a new role at the university ? director of General Education.
?I feel that general education is the basis for everything we do at UCA. We help students with their communication skills and their ability to think critically before they go into a more specialized field,? Kearns said.
While many responsibilities come with being director of General Education, Kearns will continue his work in the English department where he teaches Shakespeare and general education courses.
Kearns said that as the director of General Education, he has been tasked with setting the agenda for the general education component at the university and coordinating that agenda with the university?s deans and chairs.
Kearns will serve as the chair of the General Education Council, which meets monthly with representatives from each department and general education area. The council is responsible for reviewing the current general education program, for approving new courses to fulfill the general education requirement and for initiating policies that are relevant to general education requirements.
Kearns said, ?I feel that I?m able to get people to work together in a productive way. I also provide the council members with the support and information they need in order to make good decisions.?
The General Education program also seeks to prepare students to be lifelong learners with the intellectual and emotional skills that are needed to tackle the changes they will certainly face during their adult lives, to recognize the connectedness of human life and develop a sense of how humanity’s diverse pursuits relate to one another.
Kearns says that there is a lot of variety in general education programs at the country?s universities. While programs at other schools may be either tightly structured or have little organization, he said, ?Our general education program is exceptional because there is a lot of choice about which classes can be taken for the requirements, while structure is retained.?
Kearns has been a UCA employee for 30 years. Before becoming director of General Education, Kearns served as the chair of the English Department for eight years and spent three years as the director of Exemplary Studies.
Before coming to UCA, Kearns earned a doctorate from Indiana University.