General Education Committee Minutes

November 15, 2004

325 Graff Main Hall


Members Present:  Mary Leonard Anderson, Sandy Grunwald, Jess Hollenback, Emily Johnson (Chair), Eric Kraemer, Cris Prucha, Bruce Riley, Brian Udermann, Mike Winfrey

Consultants Present:  Chris Bakkum, Terry Beck, Keith Beyer, Bruce May, Diane Schumacher

Guests Present:  Katie Lindemann, Diane Sewell


I.        M/S/P to approve the Minutes of 11/01/04 with a change in the date listed from November 18, 2004 to November 1, 2004.


II.     Writing in the Major Proposals

A.     Health – Moved to next meeting because no representative was present.

B.     Clinical Lab Sciences (Diane Sewell) – Committee members raised concerns about addressing student learning outcomes, correspondence of writing activities with learning outcomes, and formal vs. informal writings.  They decided to give ongoing provisional approval (students who are in the major now will still receive WIMP) but would like to see another more-developed version in a year after the Director has had more time to review the curriculum.


III.   Old Business

A.     Rethinking our timeline and goals for 2004-2005 – Considerable discussion centered around trying to establish what the GEC wants to do for the rest of this year.  By consensus, the GEC decided to do the following:

§         Eliminate the request asking departments to select one class to conduct assessment in using SLO during Spring 2005.

§         Ask faculty and staff teaching GE courses to list the outcomes identified in their course reviews on the syllabus for the course and discuss them so that students will gain a better understanding of what to expect from the course.

§         Ask departments to send the GEC any information from their assessment of student learning in GE that they think the GEC would find interesting and helpful.

Summary remarks made by Emily about the timeline/goals discussion were:

§         The months will be removed from the timeline and combined into “Spring Semester”

§         We will wait to see what the review tells us and look at program assessment and Sandy’s report first.

§         GEC may already have data from past surveys, focus groups, and assessment of student learning that may suggest some recommendations for change.

§         If possible, GEC should consider development of one or more revised structural models, depending upon feedback from multiple sources

§         Revising Learning Outcomes should be in the Timeline for early Spring (January and February).

B.     Assessment (Sandy and Terry) –

§         Sandy distributed a handout about the audiences and purpose for assessment in the GE Program.  She mentioned that a lot of assessment has already been done assessing the General Education Program (not necessarily Student Learning)  in the last ten years (listed on blue handout) and recommended that the GEC look specifically at #3 (Report of a Series of Focus Groups-1996)  and #4 (Graduate Senior Survey – 1996).  Sandy is working on compiling a summary of assessment and results.

§         Terry distributed a handout on an electronic portfolio program called ePortfolio that he proposed as a long-range assessment tool for GE.  A screen display of ePortfolio will be shown at the January extended meeting.

C.     Wording for Call for Proposals (Innovations in General Education Fund) – Significant discussion occurred about funding guidelines and wording.

·        M/S to change “…and $3000 for group projects…” to “and up to $6000 for group projects depending upon complexity and number of individuals involved.”  Withdrawal of motion. 

·        M/S to add “stipends” to the first sentence and strike the last sentence. 

·        Final wording was not agreed upon. Emily will re-write and send via email asking for  feedback.

D.     What makes a course a GE course – Emily again asked committee members to send feedback on the draft of “What makes a course a GE course?”

IV. New Business

  1. Long range goals (Structure Subcommitte’s work) – Emily asked committee members to please look at the handout “A quick draft of GE Plan (five year?).”  Will be discussed at next meeting.
  2. Policy re: Second Writing Emphasis course if in a WIMP minor – Not discussed.
  3. Alumni Survey – The Structure Subcommitee recommends attempting to conduct an Alumni Survey again.  GEC will work with Stefan Smith and ITS to see if it can be done this year.  Emily asked committee members to look at the distributed copy of last year’s survey and suggest changes.


V. Announcements

A.     Faculty Senate actions and motions – Not discussed.

B.     Task Force on the Liberal Arts and BoR – Emily briefly mentioned that having Board of Regents support for Liberal Education is something we could help build support for General Education Programs as vital aspects of the Baccalaureate Degree.

C.     AAC&U Liberal Arts conference and annual meeting – Emily distributed a document from the AAC&U with information that represents students’ rankings of what they view as the most important outcomes of a college education and asked members to review and consider in light of our own program and students.


VI. Other

  1. Emily asked for feedback on the draft letter for chairs and program directors asking for class periods during which assessment of student learning can be assessed.  She also asked members to weigh in on whether it should also go out to all faculty. 


VII. Next Meetings:

  1. Monday, November 29 (First reads likely from SAH, Music, Physics, W-S)
  2. Monday, December 6 (second read on course proposals; first look at course reviews)


Meeting Adjourned at 5:35pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Katie Lindemann