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Ann Gabbert, Ph.D.
Lecturer and Associate Director of Student Support Entering Student Program
UT El Paso
In a classic Saturday Night Live sketch from the 1970s, Father Guido Sarducci proposes the Five Minute University, suggesting that universities should only teach what students remember five years after graduation. While I acknowledge that gaining hard factual knowledge is of course desirable, ultimately I want my students to leave my courses with the ability to think critically; communicate articulately, both verbally and in writing; be able to work with others while considering different points of view; and take personal responsibility for their actions, continually self-assessing and adjusting their behavior in order to improve. If my students can still do these things five years after graduation, even if they cannot remember the details of a historical event, I feel that I have been successful as a teacher.