GEC Meeting

Monday, March 6, 2006

3:30 p.m. 325 Graff Main Hall



Present: Members – Sandy Grunwald, Jon Fields, Emily Johnson, Becky Belter, Cris Prucha, Robert Ragan, Bruce Riley, Soojin Ritterling, Brian
                                      Udermann, Student Rep DeVyne Strand

                Consultants – Chris Bakkum, Betsy Morgan, Diane Schumacher

                Guests – Victor Macias-Gonzales, Dick Sullivan, David Riley


  I .  M/S/P Unanimous approval of Minutes February 20, 2006


II.  Discussion/Action Items  

A.  Structure Proposal

        Chair divided GEC into smaller groups to discuss the following questions:

                        1.  What makes it a CORE?

                        2.  Do we want a smaller program?  Why?  What are the benefits to student learning?

                        3.  What do we really want to accomplish with a revised program?


First 20 minutes of the meeting were used to discuss the above questions and to identify points of consensus regarding the draft structure presented.

Points of Consensus:

Number of core credits should be reduced from current requirements, providing that all bases are covered.

Core competencies should be identified in the program to make goals clear to students.


Questions about proposed UFIII – what is the feasibility of requiring students to do internships and other applied experiences?  Feedback that most students already accomplish these applied methods.  But does it belong in the Core?  Additionally, if it is already accomplished, do we need to mandate it in the program?  One goal as previously discussed has been to integrate the major with the Core Curriculum, and requiring applied courses would further this goal.   Also, currently the level of engagement and significance of the experience is varied.  More discussions on resources and faculty time in mentoring if every student was required to engage in internships or independent studies.  One suggestion was to reduce the credit requirement for these experiences.


Discussion regarding science requirements and increasing them.  Associate’s degree requires two lab sciences.  Point was made that an Associate’s degree includes 60 credits and this proposed core is 40.  While many disciplines feel a desire for more courses included in the core, the first three questions discussed need to remain at the forefront.


Suggestion was submitted that GEC require one class in each of the five UFII headings.  Colleges could then implement further requirements based on their priorities.


The idea of differentiating within the core for BA/BS degrees was introduced.  BS could have two lab sciences required, and BA could require additional humanities and a proficiency level in a modern language.  Questions were discussed regarding late changes in major, advantages of differentiating within general education, and whether GEC can propose the BA/BS distinction and make it a part of the GE program.  What would be the implications for colleges?  Could these decisions be made without taking a detailed look at each college requirements?  Suggestions were made that GEC create a starting point that would allow for innovation later.


M/S Keep the 5 categories as written in UFII proposed structure, and require one course minimum in each category.  Amendment to specify the numbers of credits:  Physical & Natural Sciences (4), Behavioral and Social Systems (3), Language or Logical Systems (4), Aesthetic Meaning (3), Humanities (3)

Passed unanimously 




Discussion ensued regarding the concept of civic engagement. Is this something that is achieved outside the classroom?  Feedback was that there would be no guaranteed consistency.


Possibilities were discussed of requiring an interdisciplinary course or a civic engagement course.  Some departments may have strong motives to develop either of these courses to be included in the core, and each department will have equal ground to tap into their creative energy and ability to try new things.  A point was made that a civic engagement course allows students to draw on previous knowledge and apply it.  Several different scenarios were discussed regarding the structure of UFIII.


M/S  UFIII will include 6 credits:


 1.    A 3 credit course with a focus on civic engagement (possibly interdisciplinary)


        3 credits of International experience



2.  3 credits focused on the application or integration of knowledge at the 300/400 level in some combination of the following:

§         3 credits of:

§         A 300/400 level course from UFII

§         A 300/400 level interdisciplinary course

§         A 300-400 level internship

§         A 300-400 level Capstone within the major

§         A 300-400 level University or Departmental Honors

§         A 300-400 level Research Experience


Passed unanimously


BA/BS requirements were then revisited, discussion was that GEC can recommend differences within the core.


M/S/P unanimously:

GEC recommends that the university core differentiates…

BS – 2 sciences within the core

BA – 2 humanities courses and 4 credits of modern language at 102 level or above


More Discussion needed on:   Criteria for FYE courses


III.  Innovations Fund.  Committee approved the following priorities:

§         Revision of courses to be eligible for FYE designation or

§         Development of First year seminars

§         Modification of 100 or 200 level courses to 300/400 level courses

§         Development of Interdisciplinary/Civic Engagement course  


IV.   Meeting Dates

                March 20

                April 3 & 17 & May 1

                May need an additional meeting


V.  Other


 Adjourned 6:00pm