Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Gerald Krockover

Committee Chair

Gerald Krockover

Committee Member 1

Andrew Hirsch

Committee Member 2

William Zinsmeister

Committee Member 3

David Eichinger


The Dean of the College of Science at State University, a large public Midwestern research university, in a memo to the faculty and staff initiated what he called a "review" of the undergraduate science core curriculum. He formed a task force that was to investigate on three issues; a reassessment of the undergraduate core curriculum, the recruitment and retention of qualified undergraduate students with an emphasis on diversity, and strategies that would address these issues. The age of the curriculum, 40 years since the last significant change, was an important factor in the review of the curriculum. This qualitative study seeks to understand how a group of four administrators and five faculty, all from the College of Science, participated in the task force, perceived the old curriculum, and perceived the changes made and the resulting new curriculum. They were also asked to rank both the prior and new curricula. As part of an ongoing theme in higher education they were also asked if they thought the changes made to the curriculum qualified as reform and why or why not. This resulted in a discussion of what a reform might look like at State University and ultimately a definition of reform.