Your Institution’s Passport Block
Faculty at each institution own the curriculum in their respective areas, so only faculty members from Network member institutions are equipped to identify the learning experiences that make up their institution’s Passport Block.
The role of faculty has been central to the development of Interstate Passport®. By gathering faculty together from multiple institutions and states for conversations about student learning, much common ground about objectives and outcomes across disciplines and between institutions became obvious. Only faculty have the experience and expertise to determine what learning outcomes should result from general education, and only faculty can identify the assignments and learning experiences that make up the proficiency criteria. In the same vein, faculty at each institution own the curriculum in their respective areas, so only faculty members from Network member institutions are equipped to identify the learning experiences that make up their institution’s Passport Block. These may be courses as well as other learning experiences. In each of the Interstate Passport’s nine knowledge and skill areas, the relevant learning may be restricted to only one particular course; in others, to more than one course, or several alternative courses or combinations of courses.
Learning Opportunities that Align with Outcomes
The Passport Block is constructed by faculty compiling learning opportunities that align with the Passport Learning Outcomes (PLOs) just as they would compile the learning opportunities that constitute the institution’s general education program, academic minor, academic major or any other program at the institution. The essential consideration is that the total of the learning experiences in the Passport Block must address all of the PLOs in the nine knowledge/skills areas. As members of the Passport Network, institutions agree not to unpack other institutions’ Passport Blocks, and Passport transfer students are not required to repeat or add any learning to complete the lower-division general education requirements in the Interstate Passport’s nine areas at the receiving institution. To see member institution’s Passport Blocks, click here.
Seven Steps to Creating Your Institution’s Passport Block
1. Assemble faculty responsible for lower-division general education to participate in construction of your institution’s Passport Block.
2. Review the Passport Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for each of the nine lower-division general education areas and answer this question: Are your institution’s general education learning outcomes congruent with, not in conflict with, and at a similar level of specificity as the PLOs?
- IF yes, proceed to step 3.
- IF partially, identify where there is not congruence or there is conflict and determine if the difference(s) can be easily resolved, e.g., by examining your course-level outcomes in more detail. If yes, proceed to step 3.
- IF no, determine where there is significant and irresolvable difference(s) and discuss with your institution liaison whether or how your institution should proceed.
3. IF your institution (or your state) has identified specific learning outcomes, or competencies, for each required area of your general education program, and IF each course approved for inclusion in your general education program has been reviewed to ensure that it includes your required learning outcomes, creating your Passport Block may be very simple. You may be able to simply adopt all or part of your general education program requirements as your institution’s Passport Block. If so, go to step 5, below. If not, proceed to step 4 below.
4. Develop a list of courses/learning opportunities that fulfill the PLOs in each of the Interstate Passport’s nine knowledge and skill areas to create your institution’s Passport Block. Multiple PLOs may be addressed in a single course or in a selection of courses. Also, PLOs for crosscutting skills may be found in many of the same courses/learning opportunities identified for the foundational skill and knowledge areas. Click here to download worksheets.
5. Seek approval for your institution’s Passport Block from the appropriate campus individual(s) or body authorized to approve articulation agreements.
6. Notify your registrar of the contents of your Passport Block. If your institution’s Passport Block is different from your completed general education program, provide the approved Passport Block to your registrar so its contents can be loaded into appropriate student information and degree audit systems.
7. Establish an account for your Institution Liaison on the Interstate Passport’s website and apply to become a member of the Interstate Passport Network. The application requires your Passport Block. Upon approval for membership, your institution’s Passport Block will be displayed on your profile page on the Interstate Passport website as information for faculty at other member institutions. Institutions may update their profile at any time as they make changes to their Passport Blocks.