Goals for “Astro 101:” Report on Workshops for Department Leaders
Roughly 10% of all U.S. college students take an introductory astronomy course while in college. The vast majority of these students are not science majors, and this course often represents the only college-level science these undergraduates will ever encounter. The challenges posed by these courses were recently discussed at two workshops for chairs and other department leaders from selected research universities. Here we report on a set of goals for such courses formulated by the participants, and list some strategies to help accomplish them. The Executive Summary (section ) provides a brief description of the workshops and a list of goals for “Astro 101” endorsed by all participants at the meetings. Section  is a longer report on the structure and organization of the meetings, and a detailed presentation of the set of goals and strategies developed there. It provides illustrative examples of how the goals might be met in an Astro 101 course. This section was prepared by two of the participants in the meetings, Bruce Partridge and George Greenstein, and reflects their views, not necessarily those of all participants.