General Education Curriculum Report/Update

February 11, 2008

 

On November 12, 2007, the General Education Committee (GEC) received a second charge letter from Faculty Senate requesting that the GEC make some recommendations regarding the approved revisions to the university core, as well as those that were not yet approved, in response to the results of the campus survey that was conducted by the Senate Executive Committee last fall. Excerpts from this charge letter follow:

 

“As you are aware, while a majority of all respondents support the current program, results differed by college.  Respondents in the College of Science and Health generally do not support the current program; respondents in the Colleges of Liberal Studies and Business administration generally do support the current program.  Also, a minority of respondents support the GEC approved revisions as well as continued investigation of a Core III component.  These results reflect global views and do not indicate any reasons behind the ratings.  During the faculty senate listening session on November 8, 2007, a small group of faculty discussed the results.  The general consensus among this group was that the any revisions to the university core program be based on analyses of assessment data and discussion among the faculty and be gradual.  Several faculty believed that while the faculty and staff generally did not support the GEC approved revisions as a whole, that some of the revisions may, in fact, have support. 

 

“The general perception is that many faculty and staff are ready for some resolution to the long standing debate about revisions to the university core program.  To that end, the SEC is requesting that the GEC present the GEC approved revisions to the university core program…

 

“The GEC certainly can present the revisions as a package, if the members so choose, however that is not a requirement.  The committee may choose to present revisions individually…”

 

When the GEC received this charge, we had only two meetings left for the fall semester, and we were waist-deep in the middle of a writing emphasis instructor approval, a course approval, and the Assessment Task Force proposal. Therefore, some of the members of the GEC agreed to meet over January break to examine the university core curriculum proposals to try to meet this Senate deadline. We called this sub-committee the “Salvage” Sub-Committee as we were going to salvage as much of the work as possible that had been done by so many hard-working and creative individuals before us.

 

The first two GEC meetings held this spring on January 28th and February 3rd were devoted entirely to hammering out a plan. Although we were short on time, I was impressed with the tireless tenacity of the group and their stubbornness to move forward. Each of the two meetings was just over three hours in length.

 

In the end, the GEC accomplished two things in our short time. First, we voted unanimously to eliminate the University Core Curriculum package as a whole. The results of the survey conducted by the SEC indicated to us that the university was not ready for any major changes to the content of General Education without assessment first. We are asking for Senate to vote on this unanimous recommendation from GEC.

 

Second (and before you start freaking out completely), we worked diligently to put together a “salvage” plan that was heavily plagiarized from the University Core Curriculum package. However, with only two meetings together, we simply ran out of time and were not able to bring our ideas to a formal vote as we still had a few sticking points left to discuss. The plan in progress as it currently stands is found at the end of this document. Items in red are the sticking points. Items in black have been informally agreed upon by the GEC.

 

We are obviously not requesting a vote from Senate on this second issue. However, in our continued interest to have our work be visible to the entire campus, we are including it in our report in its current state. As Chair, I promise a formal recommendation from GEC regarding a curriculum proposal prior to the completion of Senate business this spring.

 

 

Respectfully submitted by Anne Galbraith


 

University Core: Salvaging a Compromise

·                    All current GenEd courses will remain in the program unless a department or instructor wants to eliminate one of their own

·                    GEC will place courses into categories based on their understanding of the course. However, departments or instructors will have the final say with regard to where a course is best placed so long as argument behind the placement makes sense from a General Education perspective (i.e., is not based on course enrollment predictions, etc.)

·                    Any proposed changes to General Education would take effect in the new catalog year

 

Tier I: Taken within first 60 credits

13 credits min.

A. Writing (ENG110)-3*

B. Oral Communication (CST110)-3*

C. Mathematics-4

D. Well-Being (HPR105, SAH105)-3

 

FYE** (such as UWL100, CST110, HPR105)  0-1

 

* Taken within 1st 30 credits

**Strongly recommended to be taken first semester (assuming expected resources fall into place)

 

Tier II: Taken any time

33-35 credits min.

A. Fine and Performing Arts [4 min]

B. Global Perspective [3 min]

C. Humanities [3 min, 1 lit req]

D. Math/Logic/Language [3 min]

E.  Natural  Science [4 min]

F.  Social Science [3 min]

G. Diversity [3 min]

H. Historical Foundation [3 min]

I.  GE Electives (minimum of XX credits from A-H)

 

WE/WIMP [0-6]