General Education Committee’s Report on the following 2009-10 charge from Senate:

 

Consider the possibility of requiring that the lower level English competency course, math general education requirement, and perhaps the required speech course be completed within a certain time frame (e.g. by the completion of the first 30 credits or by the end of the students third semester) and make a recommendation to Senate.  Please plan to provide a report to faculty senate at the January 28, 2010 meeting.  

The General Education Committee has unanimously approved the following recommendation that we bring to Faculty Senate: 

Require students to complete ENG110, CST110, and a General Education Math course prior to earning 60 total degree credits.

 

NOTE: This proposed requirement would apply to all new students beginning Fall 2010.  

  • The catalog language approved is as follows (with new language in bold):

General Education Requirements

Students must earn a minimum of 48 credits of General Education courses.

Students must earn the minimum credits within each category (totaling 39 credits).

Students earn the remaining credits from any combination of categories.

Students must complete ENG110, CST110, and a General Education Math course prior to earning 60 total degree credits.

 

  • In addition to the additional sentence, the following (in bold) will be added to the section of the catalog where the courses involved are listed as follows:

 

CST 110: Communicating Effectively (complete prior to earning 60 credits)

 

ENG 110: College Writing I (complete prior to earning 60 credits)

 

(Minimum of 7 credits required; a minimum of 3 credits must be taken in mathematics from List 1 –complete prior to earning 60 credits. In List 1, only one course in each of the “or” pairs may be used to meet General Education.)

 

  • Similar language will be added to the Student Academic Reports on Wings and a separate entry will be added on the AR to emphasize this proposed requirement.


Rationale/Justification

Why these courses and not others? These three courses are the most “skills-based” of all courses in the program. By taking them early, the skills learned can be used in other courses taken both in General Education and in a student’s major program of study. Although arguments can be made that other courses might also provide useful skills, we only considered these three at this time.

Why 60 credits? By giving students two years to complete these three courses, negative impacts on programs/majors with large credit requirements will be minimal. In addition, a 60 credit window improves the chances that transfer students can comply. Finally, this allows ample time for students needing remedial courses prior to enrolling in the appropriate General Education course(s).

Effect on students? Most students are doing this already. Data from Spring 2006-07-08 (see appendix A) indicate that about 99% of second semester sophomores have taken ENG110 and about 95% have taken CST110. The data that we received regarding the Math course did not allow us to know the exact percentage of students who completed one General Education Math course because some students take more than one. We noted that since math placement scores are only valid for two years, if students are in their appropriate math course prior to 60 credits, the number of math placement test retakes will decrease.

Effect on departments? All three departments involved were informed of the proposed changes and allowed time to respond. The chairs of each department have indicated that they support this proposal, and will be certain that seats are made available to allow students to comply with the new requirement. In addition, the Provost expressed support of this proposal and will provide extra session money during the transition if needed to accommodate the change.

Enforcement? After many discussions, we decided to wait to see if formal consequences are necessary. The data in Appendix A indicate that most students already “comply” with this proposed requirement. After one year, a query will be done to determine compliance and the Registrar’s Office will send emails to non-compliant first year students to remind them of the 60-credit requirement. After two years, a query will be done again to determine compliance. If it appears that formal consequences need to be in place, we will implement a mechanism for enforcement at that time.  

 
APPENDIX A

 

Class Standing

Second Semester Freshmen

Second Semester Sophomores

Course

Term

Spring 2006

Spring 2007

Spring 2008

Spring 2006

Spring 2007

Spring 2008

Total

1265

1186

1152

1028

1109

1103

ENG110

#

1152

1094

1065

1016

1092

1094

%

91.1%

92.2%

92.4%

98.8%

98.5%

99.2%

CST110

#

1064

994

998

969

1048

1050

%

84.1%

83.8%

86.6%

94.3%

94.5%

95.2%

HPR105

#

634

582

619

724

759

811

%

50.1%

49.1%

53.7%

70.4%

68.4%

73.5%

SAH105

#

82

57

56

122

133

99

%

6.5%

4.8%

4.9%

11.9%

12.0%

9.0%

MTH126

#

0

15

14

2

8

49

%

0.0%

1.3%

1.2%

0.2%

0.7%

4.4%

MTH150

#

222

185

188

302

313

291

%

17.5%

15.6%

16.3%

29.4%

28.2%

26.4%

MTH151

#

208

208

197

241

228

254

%

16.4%

17.5%

17.1%

23.4%

20.6%

23.0%

MTH175/207

#

287

288

300

334

378

380

%

22.7%

24.3%

26.0%

32.5%

34.1%

34.5%

MTH145

#

340

309

328

497

586

546

%

26.9%

26.1%

28.5%

48.3%

52.8%

49.5%

MTH208

#

51

54

51

63

70

73

%

4.0%

4.6%

4.4%

6.1%

6.3%

6.6%