California State University, Bakersfield
John Tarjan, Ph.D., chair of the Management and Marketing Department at CSU Bakersfield, is recognized for his leadership in redesigning a new general education program, Achieving Integration and Mastering Skills (AIMS).
The AIMS GE program is designed to increase the success of all students, including first generation and underrepresented students, by increasing content relevance. The curriculum provides a strong first-year experience, integrates high-impact practices, introduces or reinforces communication and critical thinking skills, and increases intentionality through life and career planning.
An important component of the AIMS program is the requirement of ongoing faculty professional development. Faculty from across the campus continuously assess and adjust student learning outcomes by collaborating with other faculty members and through instructor feedback. After initial approval, courses must receive subsequent recertification to ensure that students have comparable learning experiences across every required course.
Under Tarjan's leadership, the AIMS program was approved by the Academic Senate and implemented in one academic year, in the midst of CSUB's conversion from a quarter system to a semester system. Tarjan was instrumental in securing grants that facilitated the successful implementation, including a $2.5 million multi-year grant.
“John is selfless of his time and energy and has led faculty in creating a state-of-the-art general education program in order to create a more comprehensive and innovative learning experience for our students," says Lori Paris, Ph.D., faculty director of general education at CSU Bakersfield.