Advisory Group Reports

In academic year 2014-15, the Core Curriculum Review Committee formed three focus groups to address questions of particular interest as the University enters into deliberations about its general education requirements. The groups were led by CCRC members but also included other members of the Notre Dame faculty.

The focus groups served in an advisory capacity to the committee and were been asked to prepare short reports (see below) that the CCRC could use to inform its deliberations during summer 2015 and as a spur to continued conversation during the 2015-16 academic year.
 Later in the spring 2015 semester, the CCRC also convened three smaller working groups to inform committee deliberations related to writing skills, integration courses, and major credits.
The general scope and membership of each group is listed below.
Catholic Mission Focus Group
The Catholic Mission Focus Group examined how we can "not only sustain but also deepen our commitment to Notre Dame's Catholic character" through the core curriculum. The focus group was asked to weigh the learning goals and the “knowledge, dispositions, and skills" that are central for our Catholic character and consider the content and delivery of courses that could meet those goals as well as possible overarching thematic emphases that resonate with our distinctive mission. 
  • Chair Mark Roche, German and Russian Languages and Literatures (CCRC member)
  • Susan Collins, Political Science
  • Peter Holland, Film, Television, and Theatre (CCRC member)
  • Timothy Matovina, Theology (CCRC member)
  • Edward Maginn, Engineering
  • Mark McKenna, Law School
  • Christian Smith, Sociology
  • Jeff Speaks, Philosophy
  • Ann Tenbrunsel, Management
  • Thomas Tweed, American Studies
  • Rebecca Wingert, Biological Sciences (CCRC member)
You can download and read the Catholic Mission Focus Group's report here:
ND Core Curriculum Review Committee - Catholic Mission Focus Group - final report

Academic Advising Focus Group
The Academic Advising Focus Group was asked to consider our current advising structures within First Year of Studies and the colleges and how we might better assist students as they engage the core curriculum, discern their courses of study, and achieve the goals of their undergraduate programs.
  • Chair Michael Hildreth, Physics (CCRC member)
  • James Foster, Assistant Dean, Science
  • Daniel Graff, History
  • Holly Martin, Associate Dean, First Year of Studies
  • Collin Meissner, Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Letters
  • Catherine Pieronek, Associate Dean, Engineering
  • Katherine Spiess, Finance (CCRC member)
  • John Stamper, Architecture (CCRC member)
  • Michelle Whaley, Biological Sciences (CCRC member)
You can download and read the Academic Advising Focus Group's report here:
ND Core Curriculum Review Committee - Academic Advising Focus Group - final report

Advanced Placement Focus Group

The Advanced Placement Focus Group examined the use of AP credit at Notre Dame and at peer institutions, and considered whether and to what extent Notre Dame should accept credit in the core curriculum.
  • Chair Kasey Buckles, Economics (CCRC member)
  • David Bailey, Associate Vice President, Strategic Planning, Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research (ex-officio CCRC member)
  • Donald Bishop, Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Enrollment, Enrollment Division (ex-officio)
  • JoAnn DellaNeva, Romance Languages and Literatures
  • Leo McWilliams, Engineering (CCRC member)
  • Annette Pilkington, Math
  • Joseph Stanfiel, Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Letters
You can download and read the Advanced Placement Focus Group's report here:

Writing Skills Working Group


This working group looked at ways in which skills in writing can be both assessed and developed most effectively in Notre Dame’s undergraduate students.
  • Chair Kasey Buckles, Economics (CCRC member)
  • Steve Fallon, English and Program of Liberal Studies
  • Robert Goulding, Program of Liberal Studies, History

Integration Courses Working Group

This working group reviewed courses at Notre Dame and other universities to identify possible criteria for developing new “integrative” courses that would bring together two or more academic disciplines to address pressing issues or enduring questions.
  • Chair Katherine Spiess, Finance (CCRC member)
  • Rebecca Wingert, Biological Sciences (CCRC member)
  • Michael Hildreth, Physics (CCRC member)

Majors Credit Working Group

This working group examined best practices at Notre Dame and peer institutions for setting a maximum number of credit hours that might be required by individual majors.
  • Chair John McGreevy, College of Arts and Letters dean (CCRC member)
  • Peter Kilpatrick, College of Engineering dean
  • Yih-Fang Huang, Electrical Engineering