Why did the transformation occur?
The effort to transform undergraduate education began in 2004, when President Richard L. McCormick and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Philip Furmanski appointed a task force charged with examining undergraduate education at Rutgers–New Brunswick. A year later, a major report was issued covering all aspects of the undergraduate experience, including student recruitment and admissions, core educational requirements, facilities, student life, and the academic structure of the university. After a lively and thought-provoking discussion about the report’s far-reaching proposals, President McCormick issued recommendations to reinvigorate the undergraduate experience at Rutgers by creating a more satisfying, more coherent, less frustrating, less confusing, and more rational academic environment for all students. These recommendations have now been implemented, culminating with the enrollment of the first students to the new School of Arts and Sciences in the fall of 2007.
How has the transformation affected the undergraduate liberal arts colleges at Rutgers–New Brunswick?
The four undergraduate liberal arts colleges—Douglass College, Livingston College, Rutgers College, and University College—have been combined to create the School of Arts and Sciences, a new school with many advantages for undergraduates. Students at the School of Arts and Sciences now have an expanded choice of majors—more than 100—in the humanities, social sciences, biological/life sciences, and physical and mathematical sciences.
What about Cook College?
Cook College continues as a distinct school that is now called the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and is located on the George H. Cook Campus. The school continues to offer both professional and preprofessional majors.
How has the quality and reputation of a Rutgers education been affected by the transformation of undergraduate education?
The transformation increases faculty engagement in undergraduate education while reducing unnecessary complexity and frustration. Liberal arts students in New Brunswick are now enrolled through the School of Arts and Sciences, whose faculty have set uniform admissions, general education, scholastic standing, honors, and degree requirements. The changes ensure that all undergraduates can take full advantage of every opportunity Rutgers offers.
What are the campuses at Rutgers–New Brunswick?
Rutgers–New Brunswick now includes five campus communities—Busch Campus, College Avenue Campus, Cook Campus, Douglass Campus, and Livingston Campus.
What role do the campuses play in student life?
The campuses provide a cohesive and welcoming environment that encourages students’ active involvement in learning. Each campus is now headed by a dean who oversees and coordinates students’ academic, cocurricular, and cultural life. A local office of student affairs coordinates housing, dining, student life, health services, and counseling. No matter where students live, they continue to have full access to all academic and cocurricular resources in New Brunswick.
What are Byrne Family First-Year Seminars?
Byrne Family First-Year Seminars are small, 1-credit, elective courses designed and taught by distinguished Rutgers faculty members. With class size limited to 20 students, the atmosphere is intimate, dynamic, and collaborative. These seminars introduce first-year students to the heart of Rutgers as a research university. Learning together through engaged dialogue and inquiry, students and faculty investigate new intellectual territory, with plenty of space for curiosity, imagination, and discovery. Small classes offer opportunities to find friends and to enlarge the mind. Additional information is available at the Byrne Family First-Year Seminars website.
What is a residential college?
A residential college is a portion of a campus that has a clearly defined mission and purpose involving most of the students who live and/or study there. Connecting classroom learning with students’ living experience, a residential college provides a supportive community that enriches the intellectual, social, and personal growth of undergraduates. The college, which includes a residential component, offers increased faculty participation, enhanced academic, cultural, and cocurricular programs, faculty mentoring, and on-site classes. The first residential college that has been formed is the Douglass Residential College.
What is the Douglass Residential College?
The Douglass Residential College gives women enrolled in any undergraduate school at Rutgers–New Brunswick the opportunity to join a community providing a supportive intellectual and social environment that empowers them regardless of major, area of study, or career goals. As a residential college, Douglass connects classroom learning with students’ living experience by offering enhanced academic, cultural, and cocurricular programs, faculty and alumni mentoring, and on-site classes.
What learning communities and residential colleges are available at Rutgers–New Brunswick?
Learning communities on all of our campuses provide students with special intellectual opportunities to interact with students and faculty who share their interests, while the Douglass Residential College offers special curricular and cocurricular opportunities for women. See a list of options at the website of the Office of Undergraduate Education.
What programs and services does the Office of Undergraduate Education provide?
The Office of Undergraduate Education provides academic support, programs, and courses designed to enhance the undergraduate experience and to increase intellectual engagement between undergraduates and faculty at Rutgers-New Brunswick. The office’s responsibilities include the Byrne Family First-Year Seminars, Aresty Research Center, study abroad, Educational Opportunity Fund programs, learning centers, disability services, campus academic programs, academic support for student athletes, residential colleges, learning communities, career services, and an Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Postgraduate Guidance for students applying to graduate and professional schools. Additional information is available at the Office of Undergraduate Education website.