General Education Committee

Meeting Minutes (as amended)
December 12, 2005

 

MEMBERS PRESENT: Johnson (chair), McDougal, Ragan, Fields, Udermann, Grunwald, Kraemer(arrived after first vote), Prucha, Strand, Ritterling,
Excused:  Riley

 

 I.   Approval of 12/5 minutes tabled until next meeting (1/18/06)

II.  Discussion of Motions

A.     Motion #1:  All UW-L 1st Year Students take a set of core courses in their first 30 credits (not to exceed 12) – Suggested that motion be submitted to amend this motion so number of core courses not exceed 9, this based on feedback from various departments.

 

M/S/P – 7 Yeah, 1 abstention :  All UW-L 1st Year Students take a set of core courses in their first 30 credits (not to exceed 9).

 

B.     Motion #2:  First year core courses will be CST110, ENG110, 

      HPR/SAH105. – Further discussion and questions were as follows:

 

Q:  Could the above courses accommodate the number of students that would be required to take them in the scenario that they were required for all first year students?

A:  Eventually, but there will be an inevitable overlap while upper-class level students remain who haven’t taken them, especially CST110.

 

Q:  Do instructors feel CST110 should be taken earlier?

A:  Research involved is especially important to learn early.

 

ALTERNATIVE SCENARIO was proposed and discussed:  All incoming first-year students would be required to take:

 

1.  ENG110

2.  Choice of one of the following:

§         UWL100 (ideally linked with another academic course)

§         UWL110 as described in Design Team Report

§         FYE Linked set of courses

§         FYE Content Course – General Education course that incorporates elements of First-Year curriculum (some have been taught last year in Modern Languages (Spanish 303) and Economics) 

3.  Core course determined by student’s college.

 

Some discussion focused on funding questions and discussion of resources. Student Senate might be approached to ask if some of the differential tuition could be set aside for Freshmen experience courses (smaller class sizes needed).   UW-Eau Claire funds their freshmen experience courses through differential tuition. Some logistical questions were asked regarding numbers of faculty/sections required to accommodate this model.  Chair suggested that if there is general support of the model as a viable alternative, it may take time to fully implement, but that we should vote on it and move it forward to faculty senate.  Further discussion included questions on the lack of globalization in the core requirements, the reality of the culture at UW-L, general campus faculty buy-in, and an appropriate timeline.  Concerns were expressed that if this plan is implemented too quickly it will fail, but we also need to be action-oriented and not discuss options to death.  Perception on campus is that GEC is taking too much time and accomplishing little.  Questions were raised regarding willingness of faculty in content-courses to give up some content to include FYE elements.  General feeling that some won’t, and many will.    

 

Further discussion focused on communication with students, especially if we include linked classes.  Linkages should be listed as “learning communities.”  Students would sign up for a learning community that consisted of 2  or 3 courses, not register for the courses individually. Freshmen experience courses must be offered in the fall semester—it is the transition period.  Some could be offered second semester for new freshmen and transfer students.  Some good Freshmen experience courses might be those recommended as the freshmen core in the Design Team Report, such as CST 110, HPR/SAH 105, etc. 

 

 

      M/S  The first year core courses will be CST110, ENG 110, HPR/SAH 105.

 2 Yes, 6 No, 1 abstention. Motion failed

 

M/S/P.  Alternative First Year Core as described above (ENG 110, FYE option, a course determined by student’s college)

9 Yeah; 1 abstention.

 

Other motions pertaining to Design Team Recommendations will be considered at the January 18, 2006 retreat.

 

Meeting Adjourned.