Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

L. Eric Lassiter

Second Advisor

Ronald B. Childress

Third Advisor

Lisa A. Heaton

Fourth Advisor

Frances Hensley


The purpose of the case study was to examine the perceptions of university faculty regarding the impact that integrating interdisciplinarity into the undergraduate curriculum had on their work in curriculum development and teaching; specifically, as it related to the navigation away from their discipline specializations, and through completion of professional development, creation of new courses (First-Year Seminar), and teaching FYS. Because they serve roles in the development and delivery of the curriculum that are integral to the institution and its culture, faculty perceptions about the process of change and the establishment of interdisciplinarity in the undergraduate curriculum are significant. A researcher-developed survey and participant interviews were used to collect data. The study population consisting of faculty who taught the First-Year Seminar (a required general education course in the undergraduate curriculum) were surveyed. A sample of faculty representing a cross-section of disciplines was interviewed for their perspectives on preparation, development, teaching, and reflections of their interdisciplinary courses. Findings from the case study revealed that FYS faculty perceived their role as integral to university-wide initiatives to establish interdisciplinarity in the undergraduate curriculum; that they focused on interdisciplinary learning activities and assignments supportive of the university’s learning outcomes; that they spent a greater amount of time researching and designing different types of projects focused on active learning than in their disciplinary-specific courses; processes instead of products were stressed in FYS classes (e.g., critical thinking and problem solving, the core modes of thinking in FYS); and, their interdisciplinary backgrounds prior to completing the required professional development course were important to their interdisciplinary curriculum development and teaching. Overall, the study’s participants perceived that their interdisciplinary work provided opportunities to explore new approaches to teaching and learning outside of their disciplinary specializations. While they valued their interdisciplinary work, FYS faculty reported unexpected challenges such as an unusually large of amount of time required for interdisciplinary work, a need for increased knowledge in unfamiliar disciplines, and development of new classroom strategies focused on teaching primarily freshman students.


Interdisciplinary approach in education.

General education -- United States -- Huntington -- Case studies.

Marshall University -- Case studies.