FS GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE
July 2, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Dr. Dan Schierenbeck, Chair, with the following members present: Dr. Nicholas Baeth, Dr. Karen Bradley, Dr. Carla Maltas, Ms. Joanne Reinke, Dr. Stefan Cairns, Chair, FS University Curriculum Committee liaison, Dr. Mike Grelle, FSUAC liaison, Dr. Peter Viscusi, ex-officio, and Ms. Traci Butler, Secretary. Ms. Rochelle Barabas and Mr. Doug Short were not present. Guests in attendance were Dr. Victoria Jackson and Dr. Carl Harlan.
Approval of Minutes
The May 24, 2007 minutes will be amended as follows; the second sentence under FSUAC Update should read, "Dr. Jackson said when ETS tested the base group of students she was involved with, only half of the questions were answered correctly." The third sentence in the fifth paragraph under Pending Business should read, "Dr. Jackson noted that over half of the entry level Biology courses are not restricted to Biology majors." The second to last sentence in the sixth paragraph under Pending Business should read, "Dr. Grelle suggested having 35 core hours and allowing departments to choose the remaining number."
Dr. Jackson moved to approve the May 24, 2007 minutes as amended, Dr. Maltas seconded the motion and the minutes were approved as amended.
Provost Wilson asked Dr. Viscusi to develop guidelines to help advisors understand the procedure on course exceptions. Dr. Schierenbeck explained that this will replace the unwritten policy of going back to department chairs.
Dr. Schierenbeck decided to push back the discussion on Evaluation Forms and Criteria and use the new course reviews as practical examples.
Review of Honors 3000/4000 Courses
Dr. Viscusi explained when the Honors Program was developed, it was agreed upon at that time that HONR 3000 would fulfill Div. III, Personal Interaction and HONR 4000 would replace Div. IV, Integrative Studies. Unless a studentís major or minor requires a specific course in the Personal Interaction and/or Integrative Studies sections of the General Education Program, the student must fulfill both requirements. The Honors College Program follows the spirit of General Education without following the exact courses.
Committee members were handed a packet of Honors materials, which contained the following: The Honors College informational booklet, a listing of past HONR 3000 course titles, the HONR 3000 Colloquia Proposal Form, copies of Honorably Speaking bulletins with recent HONR 3000 course descriptions, the Honors 4000 Project Booklet for students and the informational brochure for Honors Project mentors, and the May 2007 and December 2006 listing of Honors Projects completed by graduates.
HONR 4000, Honors Project, is meant to be the Capstone experience for The Honors College Program. Most students do their projects in their major, but that is not a requirement. Students exercise writing, critical thinking, and studying skills. The Honors College encourages the project to be complex enough for a 4 credit hour course, while also being "different, unusual, and unique."
In the assessment of HONR 3000, individual faculty members are asked to follow their departmental course evaluation procedures. Dr. Bradley thinks an honors evaluation component is important to provide documentation for both faculty and students as to what happened in the course and also will help show how the subject fits in with the goals of General Education. Dr. Grelle said faculty should evaluate the criteria before they teach the course.
It was suggested that a greater effort be made to clarify the Honors Collegeís expectations of faculty mentoring HONR 4000 students. While The Honors College provides a brief brochure to mentors, more clarity would help faculty understand their role in the mentoring of honors project students.
Dr. Grelle moved to approve HONR 3000 and HONR 4000 along with the suggestions made by the committee. Dr. Maltas seconded the motion and both courses were approved.
Review of New Courses/Course Revisions
Dr. Carl Harlan, Chair of the Department of Communication Disorders, was present to discuss the proposed American Sign Language (ASL) course. He explained that his department inherited the course from the Department of Psychology. This course is an attempt by UCM to meet student requests for an ASL course that would count towards fulfilling the Modern Language requirement. Departments will still have the prerogative to choose whether to accept it in their programs or not. The department plans to hire adjuncts until the course is established and then hire someone with a Ph.D. All instructors must be ASL certified.
Dr. Bradley would like to see a plan for which level course students should take, course titles, and how to differentiate what we currently offer vs. the new course. When Dr. Harlan was asked if they were waiting for approval from the FS General Education Committee before running the course, he said that he is worried about people seeing the course out there and misinterpreting that it counts towards General Education. When asked if they planned to bring in outside validation to prove the academic rigor, he believes it is up to the department and/or University to decide if itís equivalent to what is taught elsewhere or not. It was pointed out that it would not hurt to have people to come in to consult and look at the program. They are currently using course outlines, text, and programs from other universities. Dr. Harlan believes the course will probably morph into something else later on and he would like to see it get off and running.
Dr. Schierenbeck told him that if the committee continued with its current procedure, it will be reviewed later on. Dr. Harlan said they would like the course to be in the Fall 2008 catalog and if approved, the second course would follow. Dr. Grelle agreed that the wording needs to be very clear in titles and descriptions in the catalog and syllabus.
Dr. Viscusi pointed out that in order to count as fulfilling the modern language requirement for a B.A. degree, there will need to be a second course. One level, however, will be enough to satisfy the General Education requirement.
Dr. Grelle made the motion to approve CD 1401 with a friendly amendment for all publications to specify which course(s) count for General Education. Dr. Baeth seconded the motion. It was mentioned that students in Speech Pathology, Elementary Education, and Early Childhood would be interested in the course. There was no further discussion and the course was unanimously approved.
Course was submitted to change the name from "Introduction to Political Science" to "Introduction to Politics." Dr. Maltas moved to accept the course, Ms. Reinke seconded the motion and the course was approved.
Dr. Schierenbeck was a little unclear about this course proposal, because we already have an Ethics course in Personal Interaction, and someone pointed out that it includes a section on business. After further discussion, Dr. Maltas moved that the chair compose a letter of rejection, citing the course as too specialized to be a General Education course and that we already have an Ethics course in the General Education Program. Dr. Jackson seconded the motion. Dr. Schierenbeck said the instructor may want to attend the next meeting. The committee unanimously voted to reject the course.
The meeting was then adjourned.
Traci Butler, Secretary