campus partner(s)

Willamette University

College of Idaho

and Pacific University






Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence

award date


project director

Ruth Feingold and Mark Conliffe

Willamette University

Grant Summary

$300,000 over 40 months to Willamette University, College of Idaho, and Pacific University. The partnering institutions aim to streamline their curricula, with an eye to reducing the number of courses offered in general education (Pacific and Willamette), majors (Pacific), and professional minors (Idaho), while enriching student learning. 

In the years since Willamette’s adoption of its general education curriculum in 1998, there has been programmatic drift in its goals, clarity, and integration with the broader educational experience. The campus aims to incorporate more thematically driven course clusters to reduce the overall number of courses required to meet general education requirements and to better align learning outcomes in general education and major coursework. Based on its recently ratified strategic plan, Pacific University seeks to ensure that all graduates, regardless of major, achieve a unified set of learning outcomes and engage in high-impact practices such as internships and study-abroad – without expanding the size of the curriculum. Pacific faculty will develop a common set of degree outcomes and ensure better alignment between general education and major coursework. The College of Idaho requires its students to complete a major and three minors across four domains: the humanities and fine arts, social sciences and history, natural sciences and mathematics, and a professional area. The college aims to reduce the number of professional minors and standardize credit requirements. It also aims to better integrate the four domains of the majors and minors so they do not devolve into a collection of discrete parts through college-wide implementation of senior capstone experiences. The campus partners will identify ways to reduce curricular overlap, remove duplicate courses across departments, remove under-enrolled courses and courses that do not effectively fulfill general education or departmental requirements, reduce the number of requirements in majors with more than 48 credits, and systematically incorporate high-impact practices like internships and study abroad opportunities for all majors.