General Education Committee Meeting Minutes

March 29, 2004

325 Graff Main Hall


Members Present:  Mary Leonard, John Betton, Sandy Grunwald, Jean Hindson, Jess Hollenbeck, Emily Johnson (Chair), Matt Palma, Brian Udermann, Mike Winfrey

Consultants Present: Diane Schumacher, Terry Beck

Guests Present: Chris Bakkum

Members Excused: Bruce Riley


  I.  The meeting was called to order at 3:35 p.m.


 II.  Emily Johnson made the following announcements:

A.     Emily Johnson and Mike Winfrey gave a report on the AAC&U General Education Conference they attended along with Mike Haupert.  Highlights of the meeting were as follows:

  • Assessment – Course-embedded assessment has been found effective when it is embedded in the course structure.  To do this assignments are developed that will get at assessing Gen Ed student outcomes.  How to make sense of all the different course assessments needs to be addressed.  The outcomes and the curriculum need to be aligned.  Action needs to be taken to based on assessment results for accountability, and if necessary, change to outcomes, or courses, assignments, etc. should happen.
  • A helpful Scoring Rubrics booklet is available.  Emily will inquire into getting these.
  • First year experiences are very popular and tied closely to General Ed.  Most have seminars in these. 
  • Learning Communities – There are a wide variety of these.  One theme that seemed to be prevalent is to let faculty come up with the ideas and to “volunteer” to do these and not make it mandatory for faculty to participate.
  • Honor Code – Many have one and make students aware of it via the Gen Ed program.
  • Proficiency-based Program – This is a sample structure for a Gen Ed program that Monterey Bay has.  There is no credit for Gen Ed; it is purely outcome-based. 
  • Re-certification of Gen Ed courses every 4 to 5 years.
  • Roundtable committee for Gen Ed – These would be faculty who oversee a particular student outcome category.  They would over see the outcomes, assessment, report to the Gen Ed committee, deal with faculty involved in courses for that outcome etc…
  • Grants are available from NSF and perhaps other funding sources to develop things like Learning Communities etc.  Emily will look into possible funding sources beginning with the Foundation.


  1. There are about 12 sections in the Fall 2004 Timetable designated with the Human Rights theme.
  2. One Innovation in Gen Ed proposal has been turned in.  Review for discussion next week.  By consensus it was agreed to allow more proposals to come in after the deadline (3/29/04) pending funding available.  For summer proposals, a subcommittee of at least 5 would review proposals and award/decline them. 
  3. Emily will look into availability of rooms in the Cleary Center on April 16th for a Brown Bag lunch/ information session for those interested in the pilot projects.
  4. This year the faculty senate needs to review the Gen Ed Director position and Emily Johnson in this position.  Please send a letter to Bob Hoar if you have comments on these items or suggest to Bob on how this evaluation can be performed.


III.      Gen Ed structure discussion on “What makes a Gen Ed course a Gen Ed course?”  Notes from the Gen Ed Structure Subcommittee regarding this topic were reviewed.  By consensus it was agreed that the following terminology be changed.

    • “An appropriate sense of audience (i.e, audience are not majors in that discipline)” should be changed to just “An appropriate sense of audience” or that this bullet be eliminated and at the end state “Therefore if you take into account a, b, c and D then you should have a good sense of who your audience is.”
    • “Emphasis on the integration of knowledge” should be reworded
    • “Relevant for an educated citizen, global citizen” should be the first on the list.

The structure subcommittee will review this document again and this topic will be discussed at the next Gen Ed meeting.


IV.       Report from the Gen Ed FYE subcommittee:

A.     They discussed the following for a FYE pilot project.  Students in this pilot project will enroll in select sections of UWL 100 in Fall 2004.  These students will then enroll in a 2-credit intellectually-based freshmen seminar course in Spring 2005 that is taught by the same instructor they had for UWL 100.  These students will also be required to enroll in 1-2 courses in the year that are theme-based (human rights theme). 

B.     To encourage students to be in this FYE pilot project they will be promised registration in the spring seminar course and given early registration in other Gen Ed courses.

C.     A method needs to be developed to assess if this pilot project makes a difference.

D.     Funding for this pilot project – development money for faculty and release/overload time for faculty – could come from the Gen Ed Fund.


VI.       The committee will have to meet on April 5th.


VIII.     The meeting was adjourned at 5:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sandra Grunwald, Recorder