Developing foundational courses to support undergraduate student success in animal science departmental core curriculum Conference Paper uri icon


  • Abstract Todays student population comes from highly diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, entering college with a range of life experiences and professional aspirations. The selection of and success upon entering a major is highly influenced by those factors. As society has progressed, the principle purposes of the animal science discipline have remained intact, but the industry scope has expanded as has the range of background knowledge and experience of students entering the major. To address these changes a data-driven, student-centered curriculum study was conducted. Stakeholder (comprised of industry members, faculty, current and former students) surveys (n = 289) served as a foundational component of the study. Survey responses revealed the existence of a gap between student knowledge and skills and faculty expectations upon entering disciplinary core courses, which were deemed necessary to gain proficiency in areas identified by industry stakeholders. To address that gap, collaborative efforts between Animal Science Department faculty and members of the University Center for Teaching Excellence, as well as findings from the data generated as part of the curriculum redesign process, were used to identify two new courses for development: Farm Animal Biosystems and Livestock Production Systems. Each course incorporates departmental learning outcomes, assessments, and specified teaching methods into their syllabi. Furthermore, they illustrate a novel approach to addressing the disparity in student background knowledge and skills. Rather than assuming a standardized level of skill and addressing only gaps in knowledge or vice versa, key areas have been identified and separated for individualized focus in order to provide students with a solid foundation in both the scientific and applied components of the discipline. Successful completion of these courses will enable students to enter the specialized disciplinary core classes with a more uniform knowledge base, thus promoting success throughout the curriculum

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Dunlap, K. A., Early, L., Fowler, D., & Wickersham, T. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Dunlap, Kathrin A||Early, Lonisa||Fowler, Debra||Wickersham, Tryon A

publication date

  • January 2019