quantitative thinking, graduation requirement


In November 2005, the faculty of Macalester College voted to institute a graduation requirement in Quantitative Thinking (QT) that is truly interdisciplinary. It currently draws on courses from thirteen departments including Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Theater, Mathematics, Environmental Science, and Geology. This article describes the process that led to the creation of this program. It explains how we were able to get broad buy-in at the beginning and the long process of trial and error—informed by formative assessment—that was needed to refine the initial vision and shape it into a viable program that would be accepted by most of our faculty. The article concludes with a description of the program as it now exists, a discussion of our ongoing assessment of the program and its effectiveness, and a discussion of the lessons we learned in the process.



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