GEC MINUTES

Monday, November 7, 2005

3:30-5:00

 

Present:  Members - Sandy Grunwald, Jon Fields, Emily Johnson, Eric Kraemer, Stephen McDougal, Chris Prucha, Robert Ragan, Bruce Riley, Soojin Ritterling, Brian Udermann.

Student Rep:  Devyne Strand

Consultants:  Chris Bakkum

Guests:  Diane Morrison, Bob Carney, Mary Leonard, Beth Cherne, Jennifer Terpstra, John Ready, Helen Skala, Sheri Ross, Lisa Heise

 

I .  Approval of October 31, 2005 Minutes - M/S/P Unanimous approval

 

II.  Announcements - Letter received from Chancellor's office informs GEC that funding has NOT been approved for a Writing Emphasis Coordinator.  Perception that perhaps the Chancellor has been misinformed regarding the history and need for funding, all GEC members invited to share their perspectives with the Chancellor.

 

Faculty Senate has expressed concerns over the AAC coordinating UWL100 in the future.  They feel that academic faculty need to oversee the course in order to maintain an academic focus. Therefore, the Director of General Education will maintain the oversight role for that course.

 

III.   First Reads

        A.  Courses

1.       Math 126:  Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II.  Proposed for GE Skills Category I B: Mathematical/Logical Systems and Foreign Language - Bruce Riley and Helen Skala presented

 

Currently Math 125 is required of all Elementary Education students, and is not a General Education course.  These students then they take an additional GE math course to satisfy requirement.  MTH126 would be the second course in the sequence and if it is GE course, students will not need to select from another Math course.  Math 126 along with Math 125 will create a cohesive math experience for students, and significantly better prepare them to take pre-professional exams to meet DPI standards for certification.  If approved, Ed Studies department will require students to take this course in preparation for Praxis exams.  Educational Studies are very much in favor of this course being implemented into GE program.  They are seeking General Education status for Spring '06.

 

Q:  Could a non-El Ed major take this course?

A:  No, since MTH125 is a pre-requisite to 126, which builds on that knowledge.  125 isn't part of GE curriculum.   

 

Q:  Would proficiencies be comparable to an existing course such as MTH145?  Concerns about content overlap with existing math courses?

A:  Perhaps better-- the content will be more broad.  No concern for content overlap, as it's geared toward a specific population.

 

Q:  Are the course numbers appropriate, considering class level of students who may be in this class?

A:  Numbers are appropriate for the introductory content of the class.

 

GEC  M/S/P to approve on the first read - unanimous.

 

2.       FIN 207: Personal Finance.  Proposed for GE Liberal Studies Category II D: Self and Society

        Diane Morrison and Bob Carney spoke regarding the course proposal.  Indicated that management of personal finances is important for students' future well-being, and this seems to be a missing piece in students’ educational experience.  Students, faculty and staff have approached the department with requests to make a course on personal finance a part of the General Education program.  Course seems to be particularly important as we witness a generational change in the concept of company/employee loyalty (and as a result, job security), it is crucial for students to make good decisions when purchasing homes, making investments, managing their income, and preparing for the future.  Three sections are currently offered in the department, and they fill each semester.  The Dean and Assoc. Dean of the college have indicated that they will supply resources to offer 3 sections x 40 students.

 

Q:  Is it possible to accommodate higher demand for the course?

A:  Yes, can reassess the structure and maintain quality, possibly a large lecture with several small group discussions using adjunct faculty.

 

Q:  Why is Self and Society the appropriate place for this course?  Seems like content is on quantitative thinking.

A:  Although the course focuses on personal financial responsibility, the course couches the personal finance in social policy and established societal institutions. The personal part of personal finance focuses on impact on both the individual and society.  Finance is the source of demise of many adult relationships.  International students currently take this course as a study in US society.  It explores unique American cultural aspects.   The ultimate goal is to help students retain confidence in making financial decisions, as well as speak the language of finance.

 

Q:  If this is the only course students take in the Self and Society category does it provide students with appropriate background.  Is ECO a better all-around course?

A:  It's in the same category, but finance majors must take econ.  ECO110 is already one of many options. Information from both courses would be ideal, but GE requirements aren’t set up that way.

 

 Feedback:  The discussion today relative to the “society” aspect of the course aren't clearly reflected in the objectives indicated in the written material.  Representatives asked to re-word the proposal objectives to indicate more societal focus and how students will grapple with social issues as they relate to finance in learning activities.  There will be a second read on 11/21.

 

B.  Writing in the Major Proposals

1.       Art Department - Jennifer Terpstra and John Ready presented. 

       

15 credits of the 39 credit major require significant writing.  The other 24 credits are in studio work where writing also occurs but is dependent upon the nature of the studio course. The amount of formal writing required in the Art History courses, in particular, far exceeds that found in a typical WE course. Most Art faculty members are WE certified and additional faculty will go through the certification process. Creative research as found in the proposal reflects the expectation that students become familiar with and “research the media, subject matter, processes for using materials, and the nature of the materials.  The Art History courses (see Appendix E) engages students in more traditional type library research. Department would like to see the effective date as Fall 2003 since the program has been engaged in these writing requirements for the past two years.

 

 Feedback:  Department asked to re-create a single page that clearly outlines requirements and electives for each major (combine pp 2&7).   Be sure to clearly indicate art history courses as requirements.  There will be a second read on 11/21.

 

2.       Theatre Arts - Mary Leonard and Beth Charney presented.

 

Curriculum in the proposal sought to gear writing to specific practical writing skills within the field of theatre to prepare students for further graduate research as well as professional theatre writing. Questions were raised as to which courses all student take versus which courses depend on the specific theatre emphasis. All students take 230, 220, then 4 semesters of 200-300 level electives. Department is asked to clarify the sequence of courses and the courses all major, regardless of emphasis take.  Students produce over 40 pages of informal and at least 10 pages of formal writing with draft, feedback, and final copy in most of the required courses.

Department should provide a chart or table that clearly indicates amount of formal and informal writing within these courses.  Regarding the assessment of student writing, no standard set of questions are used in the interviews.  The interviews are subjective and needs-based.  Students are interviewed each year in this manner.

 

 Feedback:  Please create a detailed fact sheet regarding program requirements and writing requirements.  There will be a second read on 11/ 21.

 

C.  Informal feedback on course PHL 332:  Philosophy of Art.  Proposed for Liberal Studies Category II F. Aesthetic Experience category. Sheri Ross described the course and reasons for putting it into that category.  The CLS Dean has not signed this proposal until faculty of affected departments have an opportunity to discuss the course. Associate Dean has been asked to seek feedback from faculty who teach the other courses in that category.  Emily reminded members that faculty decide curriculum, not administration.  If the course clearly duplicates another course, it would not be appropriate to include it in the program. Courses should not be looked at in terms of production of SCH, but in terms of the merit of the course and the appropriateness of the category. 

 

        Feedback:  The wording of the proposal sounds like a standard art appreciation course; may want to word description more carefully such that it’s uniqueness and appropriateness for that category is more apparent. No action can be taken at this time until proposal receives Dean’s signature.  Will be consider on 11/21 if Dean signs.

 

Members were reminded of the listening sessions on November 14 and 28.  Strongly encouraged to invite colleagues to attend.  Students are also welcome and encouraged to attend.

         

 Meeting adjourned 5:35pm