General Education Committee Minutes
December 17, 2001
325 Graff Main Hall
3:30 P.M.

Members Present: Emily Johnson, Brenda Soto Torres, Jean M. Hindson, Sandy Grunwald, Mary Leonard, Mike Winfrey, Gretchen Reabe, Jess Hollenbaek

Consultant Present: Bill Cerbin

The minutes of December 3, 2001 were approved (no changes).

Department of Modern Languages Writing in the Major Proposal

First reading of the proposal.  Jean M. Hindson and Barbara Rusterholz presented an overview of the proposal.  Highlights from the proposal:

!    It’s different from previous proposals because the department does not prepare students for “a profession.”  Most students are double-majors or minors.

!    All the courses will have writing components. 

!    The department took components from writing emphasis courses and distributed them over the curriculum.

!    It includes levels of proficiency (developed by a national professional organization).

Jean and Barbara responded to the “concern” raised about the use of language in other contexts (i.e.- students writing in other languages).  Consultant Bill Cerbin suggested that if this is a major concern, an assessment of the primary language could be done later on.  Committee members discussed that other departments/majors may have similar concerns, like math and computer science (they use different languages/codes).

Chair Emily Johnson recommended that the proposal must ensure that writing components are not just an add-on piece.  [Refer to the last page of the yellow section of the proposal: If French, German Studies or Spanish minors are in need of a second writing emphasis course and their own major department is unable to accommodate them, the Department of Modern Languages will consider giving such students special assignments to meet the writing emphasis course requirement, provided they are enrolled in a course that was previously offered as a writing emphasis course.]  Jean responded to this concern.

A motion to forego the second reading of the proposal was approved unanimously.

General Education Goals
Chair Emily Johnson distributed a draft of the General Education Goals based on the committee’s previous discussions.  Highlights:

!    All the areas that currently exist in our program are represented.

!    What do we want students to learn across the board, not just by categories?

!    Think about a General Education Program that is integrated, where the overall experience leads to progress/development of a certain area.  Students achieve outcomes through the General Education Program, not from particular courses.

!    Includes ability, knowledge, and skills to demonstrate learning.

Student learning outcome # 4, demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific and mathematical information, raised the following concerns:

!    Do we want separate goals for math and science?

!    It specifies courses, it’s not broad.  Maybe it should be included under another outcome.

Committee members discussed the draft and will continue the discussion in subsequent meetings.

Change of Meeting Date
Chair Emily Johnson will be attending a conference in Madison during our next scheduled meeting.  The February 4, 2001 meeting is cancelled.  Instead, the committee will meet on February 11, 2001.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Brenda Soto Torres