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Symposium Celebrates 10 Years of Flags in the Curriculum

A panel at the Flags Symposium

10 years ago, the Center for Skills & Experience Flags (CSEF) was formed as a part of the Commission of 125’s call to equip undergraduates with degree plans that teach students to think critically, write cogently, engage in inquiry and discovery, examine ethical questions, and learn about other cultures. As part of the ongoing effort to further those aims, the CSEF hosted a recent symposium featuring faculty and students.

The symposium consisted of six panels featuring presentations by faculty and students from across campus. Presenters focused on teaching and learning in courses fulfilling Flag requirements at UT Austin in Cultural Diversity, Ethics, Global Cultures, Independent Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning, and Writing. Panel topics included: Adding an Ethics Flag, Course Transformations, Challenging Communications, Structuring a Course (or not!), Changing the World, and Hearing from Students.

The symposium, designed to foster peer-to-peer learning among faculty members from various departments, sparked conversations about their successes and struggles to implement the Flags into coursework.

An audience member asks a question at the Flags symposium

“The symposium was a wonderful way of marking the 10th anniversary of the Skills and Experience Flags, which are now part of every undergraduate degree plan at UT Austin,” said Jeanette Herman, assistant dean for academic initiatives in UGS. “With over 1.2 million student enrollments in flagged courses to date, we know the scale of this program; the symposium showcased impact in another way, by demonstrating the thoughtfulness, creativity, and dedication faculty across disciplines have brought to their teaching of flagged courses.”

Today, the CSEF works with the vision that all undergraduates leave UT Austin as versatile, informed, critical thinkers, prepared to be engaged citizens of the world.

The student panel at the Flags symposium