MINUTES OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION COMMMITTEE

(4-19-04)

 

 

Meeting was called to order at 3:35 by Emily Johnson, chair.  

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Sandra Grunwald, Jean Hindson, Jess Hollenback, Emily Johnson, Bruce Riley, Brian Udermann, Mike Winfrey, Matt Palma (Student Rep)

CONSULTANTS & GUESTS PRESENT:  Diane Schumacher, Chris Bakkum, Dennis Provencher, Eric Kraemer

EXCUSED ABSENCE:  Mary Leonard Anderson, John Betton

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF 4-5-04 MEETING: M/S/P to approve the minutes of 4-5-04 as distributed.  

 

SECOND READING OF INS 250, INS 251 & INS 252 COURSE PROPOSALS: 

 

Dennis Provencher, the instructor in these courses, indicated that he would certainly be willing to incorporate into his syllabi the learning outcomes that his courses would be developing.  We also suggested that he indicate how each outcome identified in his course proposal will be addressed in terms of specific activities.  Indicating these things should be a general requirement for all future General Education courses when they come before us.

 

It was M/S/P to incorporate INS 250, INS 251, & INS 252 into the General Education Program Part II. B. (Global & Multicultural Studies) as three individual one-credit courses.  However, it was understood that to get General Education credit, students must take all three courses for a total of 3 credits.   

 

CHAIR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS: 

 

Results of our luncheon:  We had about 20 people besides General Education Committee members.  Ideas about structure were ‘all over the board.” Flexibility was seen as the key.  There seemed to be general sentiment in favor of advanced courses being incorporated into Gen Ed.  There was also general agreement that was a good thing to make students get outside of their majors and the “comfort zone” associated with that major.  

Meeting with the SEC (4-20-04) is scheduled:  What should Emily tell the SEC tomorrow about our activities?  We suggested that she should discuss the progress that each of the subcommittees is making, present in an informal way some of the ideas of the Structure Committee (but no formal proposal).  We should also discuss some of the principal things we hope to do in the Fall semester.  We also want the Senate to discuss recertification of courses once the new program is adopted and we also want the Senate to decide formally about whether or not it accepts the new learning outcomes.

Meeting with our new NCA Review Co-ordinator , Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted.  Emily will meet with her to discuss what we are doing and how this relates to the upcoming accreditation review. 

Request for new course proposals:  We discussed what we should be doing next year regarding new course proposals.  Do we keep the moratorium (partially or totally)? If we decide to review courses, what dates should be open for course proposal reviews?  We discussed these matters but no formal proposals were made.  This will be discussed at the next GEC meeting.

UWL 100 Course Proposals:  There was no formal discussion of UWL 100 course proposals.   

 

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS: 

 

STRUCTURE:  It was decided by subcommittee that the theme guiding the structure of General Education should be “Integration of Knowledge and Knowledge for Life.” A suggestion to include an extra science requirement in General Education was mentioned and was included in a proposal from SAH curriculum committee.  It was also tentatively proposed that the total number of credits in General Education be reduced from 48 credits to 40.  The document of suggestions for the General Education Program  from the SAH curriculum committee were distributed (entitled “A Perspective on the General Education Program from the SAH College Committee”).

  

The structure subcommittee is considering the following structural changes (as of 4-19-04):

 

  1. Freshman Experience (to be determined; a 1-3 credit freshman seminar has been approved by the committee; this may also count as a requirement in the core areas). 
  2. Core areas: 
    1. Aesthetic and Individual Expression
    2. Natural and Logical Systems
    3. Human Systems & Human Diversity
    4. Freshman Experience ----would include things like UWL 100 and a 1-3 credit Freshman Seminar.  This may also Citizenship & Ethical Decision-Making
  3. Integration of Knowledge (integrated throughout the General Education Curriculum)
  4. Advanced Studies (6-9 credits may be met by courses in the core areas)
  5. Capstone Experience (part of the 6-9 credits)      

 

The next meeting of the Structure subcommittee will be at 8:30 AM on Friday, April 23 in Cowley Hall 116. 

 

ASSESSMENT:  The Assessment subcommittee reported that Bill Cerbin is working on the Critical Thinking Assessment instrument results.  Terry Beck is doing the Writing Emphasis instructor survey and will be soon reporting the results of that survey.  Global Perspective assessment is in progress now.  An overall assessment plan is needed and should be considered by the committee as one of its high priorities for the coming year.

 

FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE:  The chair of the FYE subcommittee reported that the subcommittee had considered several issues at its 4-12-04 meeting.  First of all, it discussed the structure that it thought was appropriate for the Freshman Seminars.  We wanted to encourage a link between UWL 100 and the emerging Freshman Seminar pilots.  Hopefully, some of the faculty involved in the UWL 100 seminars will also be the faculty involved in the Freshman Seminars.  It would also be a good idea if the Freshman Seminars related to the year’s theme and also if students enrolling in those seminars not only enrolled in UWL 100 during the preceding fall but also have taken either in the Fall or during the current semester a course or two in Gen Ed that was theme-based.  That would certainly enhance the integration of knowledge. 

 

We also discussed Jean Hindson’s idea that Elementary Education majors might be a good cohort to go through the UWL 100 experience. 

 

The First Year Experience subcommittee also endorsed the idea of Learning Communities and focused study groups.  The residence halls should also be an integral part of such learning communities. 

 

AUGUST MEETING DATE OF GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE “MARATHON” SESSION:  There was some discussion of a marathon session during the week in August before classes start.  Emily will send out a survey to members asking them to identify their preferred date and time. 

 

DISCUSSION OF WHAT TO DO NEXT YEAR:  A variety of things were discussed. Should we form subgroups related to the Learning Outcome areas for the 1st reading of a course proposal instead of reviewing proposals by the entire GEC?  We will definitely have to keep the Assessment Subcommittee going.  We will need to review the need to keep the other subcommittees.  We also need to figure out how long it will take to review/recertify new courses for the new program.  

 

Meeting adjourned at about 5:30.