Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. L. Eric Lassiter, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Campbell

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa A. Heaton

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Michael Workman


This qualitative study examined the perceptions and experiences of the faculty and students involved in the creation and administration of the General Education program at WVSU. This study focused on the themes of the creation of the original General Education curriculum that included the Origins and Race, Gender, and Human Identity classes, the redesign of the curriculum due to the state mandate, and how the new version of the General Education curriculum compares to the original. The findings provide insight into strengths and weaknesses of the program, faculty and student perceptions, government policy affecting education, and possible pathways forward to strengthen a diverse curriculum like the General Education program at WVSU. In particular, this study couches this curriculum within larger movements concerned with a “curriculum of reconciliation,” a new educational concept that has been developing internationally in places such as Rwanda and Australia. Curricula of reconciliation offer more comprehensive perspectives of history and culture that do not privilege the colonial perspective and provides an avenue for social and cultural reconciliation through education and dialogue in the classroom. West Virginia State University as an original 1891 Land-Grant Institution is a pioneer of reconciliation through education because it was established for the sole purpose of social and cultural reconciliation of African Americans after slavery. In the early 80s, a General Education curriculum was created at WVSU that included Origins and Race, Gender, and Human Identity that embodied the essence of the curriculum of reconciliation. The curriculum had to be totally reimagined due to a state mandate to lower credit hours for graduation in West Virginia. This study chronicles that process and seeks to address the role of change in this curriculum.


General education -- Curricula -- West Virginia.

Curriculum change -- West Virginia State University.