FS GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE

October 5, 2006

MINUTES

Library 2405

 

 

 

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Dan Schierenbeck, Chair, with the following members present:  Dr. Nicholas Baeth, Ms. Rochelle Barabas, Dr. Kelly Boyd, Dr. Karen Bradley, Ms. Kelly Edmondson, Dr. Victoria Jackson, Dr. Qingxiong Ma, Dr. Mike Grelle, Faculty Senate University Assessment Council (liaison), Dr. Stefan Cairns, Chair, FS University Curriculum Committee (liaison), Mr. Travis Bingham, SGA Representative, Dr. Peter Viscusi, ex-officio and Ms. Traci Butler, Secretary. 

 

Approval of Minutes

Dr. Schierenbeck asked the committee to approve the minutes of the meeting held on September 21, 2006.  Dr. Jackson made a motion to approve the minutes, Dr. Ma seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved as written. 

 

Announcements

Dr. Schierenbeck introduced Travis Bingham, the Student Government Association representative, and welcomed him to the committee.

 

Dr. Schierenbeck reported that the FS University Assessment Council passed a motion that a student needs to score 235 on all four areas of the C-Base exam.  A second motion was that once students have completed the required 15 credit hours of General Education and they have taken the C-Base exam and failed, a hold would be placed on their account each semester until they pass C-Base.  The third motion was after students earn 90 credit hours, they must pass the C-Base exam to graduate. 

 

Dr. Grelle gave an example on a student who had 80 credit hours and is currently enrolled for 15 credit hours.  By then, the student is already enrolled for the next semester, so if the student fails the C-Base exam, the account would be blocked the following semester until he or she passes the exam.  Students who fail the exam the first time around will be directed to the Office of Assessment and Testing Services for suggestions on how to improve their performance on the exam. 

 

Dr. Viscusi suggested that when students are notified they failed the exam they should be given information on resources to help them improve their score.  Ms. Reinke and Ms. Ahlering are currently at a conference to evaluate a new software program that tutors students for the C-Base exam. 

 

Dr. Schierenbeck spoke to Dr. Yelton, and it was determined that only IGEN 4231 and IGEN 3116 were approved last year.  No ICAPS were approved.  Ms. Edmondson confirmed that matches her records as well.  Dr. Jackson said she finds it hard to move forward with new course approvals with all of the old ones left hanging. 

 

Old Business

Dr. Schierenbeck would like to go ahead and send the Evaluation Form to the departments.  A suggestion was made to reference the major objectives in the letter and add the materials to the University Curriculum website.  A question was raised as to why we would want to know the answers to questions 4-6.  It was determined it is more of a validity crosscheck.  An example would be if a Personal Interaction course claimed to meet the competency of class discussion participation and yet 100 students are enrolled in the course.  Those competencies would be nearly physically possible to meet.  In order to help departments relate their outcomes to General Education, the following question was suggested to be added to question 12, ďAre your General Education course objectives aligned with primary competencies and are they noted on the syllabus?Ē  A question was raised about when a new faculty member joins a department, how the General Education competencies are communicated to the new member.  Some departments get together and talk about General Education competencies, while some offer no guidance.  A resolution passed by the committee several semesters ago stated that a syllabus for a class with multiple sections must have the same competencies for the same course, but the pedagogy could be different.  Whether the Extended Campus office gives guidance on online competencies or not is not known. 

 

Workshop scheduling will be discussed at a future meeting.

 

New Business

The committee agreed to postpone evaluating Honors 3000 and 4000 to allow time to discuss issues raised by Provost Shah.

 

The Provost wants to trim General Education from 48 credit hours down to 42 credit hours to align with the statewide transfer and articulation agreement.  Dr. Schierenbeck said we will not be in trouble with the state, but we still have to make sure competencies are met.  Dr. Grelle pointed out that the Interaction categories are not required by the state. 

 

Dr. Viscusi suggests merging Cultural and Personal Interaction categories as laid out in the General Education Policy Handbook under tab 5, page 7, labeled Human Interactions.  The current General Education Program has 42 credit hours in Divisions I and II while the remaining 6 credit hours in Divisions III and IV are Additional Institutional Requirements.  He also has seen the way departments approach Integrative Studies.  They subsume courses into the major by changing the prefix to a department category, so they can continue doing what they are doing. 

 

Dr. Schierenbeck pointed out that this committee does not make curriculum.  We report to the FS University Curriculum Committee, so our job is only to make a recommendation.  We are a Faculty Senate Committee and the Provost can not force this, but Dr. Schierenbeck feels as though the committee wants to make a change.  Dr. Viscusi noted that curriculum is faculty driven.  He suggested that the committee come up with ways of accommodating the 42 credit hour goal doing the least violence to the program. 

 

Dr. Schierenbeck said that the real issue is what to do with the IGEN and ICAP courses.  Dr. Viscusi suggested combining the Personal Interaction section with the Cultural Interaction section.  He also suggested that the IGEN and ICAP courses be re-prefixed in departments so that the courses were preserved but that they become part of the studentís major.  Dr. Bradley likes the idea of getting rid of IGEN and ICAP courses but thinks we need to keep Cultural Interaction and Personal Interaction separate.  Dr. Viscusi said in terms of historical background, the General Education Program was not meant to have ICAP courses.  Students should have a menu of courses to choose from.  Dr. Grelle said this committee needs to respond to its own conscience.  Curriculum needs to be for the students. 

 

Dr. Viscusi said that most IGENs are ICAPs by default and courses would not be gotten rid of, they would just get new prefixes.  Ms. Edmondson thinks a neutral prefix appeals to more students.  Dr. Jackson asked if IGENs could be encouraged to find another section to fit into, and Dr. Viscusi said that that brings us back to the original issue that we need to segregate out IGENs that really are IGENs. 

 

Dr. Boyd suggested adding an Additional Institutional Requirement that would capture health risk behaviors.  Dr. Viscusi said adding an additional requirement outside General Education is not beyond the realm of possibility.  Anything the committee decides is fine, but we need to address it and not ignore it. 

 

Dr. Grelle thinks we need Cultural Interaction and pointed out that most schools have additional credit hours beyond 42.  He would like to see us offer a Civic, Moral, Responsibility and Leadership course as well as the personal health course mentioned by Dr. Boyd.  Dr. Bradley suggested dropping ICAPs and moving the qualified IGENs up to Personal Interaction and thinks that if it is attached to the movement of getting rid of required minors, it will be more accepted.  Dr. Cairns said the FSUCC is meeting in two weeks to talk about these issues so the timeline is unknown at this time. 

 

Dr. Grelle reiterated that Dr. Shah just says these are his ideas, and if you can convince him otherwise, thatís fine.  You need to evaluate critically your curriculum while balancing market, quality, and education.  Dr. Viscusi said Dr. Shah wants to look at the best practices compared to other universities.  If everyone else can do it in 42 credit hours, why canít we?  We could consider a way to find other homes for these courses in other categories.  We would, however, face tough going from the other courses in the categories to which the courses might be reassigned.  We should try not to hurt individual departments or courses.  We should do the best we can to recommend what is best for students and faculty. 

 

Dr. Schierenbeck summarized how best to proceed.  He does not feel a strong sentiment from the committee to keep ICAP courses in the General Education Program.  The next step is to look at courses, and he would like to start with the IGENs. 

 

Dr. Viscusi suggested making the FS University Curriculum Committee chair an official part of this committee.  Ms. Edmondson made a motion to officially make the chair of the

FS University Curriculum Committee a non-voting member of the FS General Education Committee.  Dr. Boyd seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.  Dr. Cairns is the current FSUCC chair.

 

Below are the upcoming scheduled meeting dates for the remainder of the semester, all of which will be held in LIB 2405 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.:

 

October 19, November 2, November 30, December 7 and December 14, 2006

 

The meeting was then adjourned.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Traci Butler, Secretary

 

 

FS GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE

October 19, 2006

MINUTES

Library 2405

 

 

 

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Dan Schierenbeck, Chair, with the following members present:  Dr. Nicholas Baeth, Ms. Rochelle Barabas, Ms. Kelly Edmondson, Dr. Victoria Jackson, Dr. Qingxiong Ma, Ms. Joanne Reinke, Dr. Stefan Cairns, Chair, FS University Curriculum Committee (liaison), Mr. Travis Bingham, SGA Representative, Dr. Peter Viscusi, ex-officio and Ms. Traci Butler, Secretary. 

 

Approval of Minutes

Dr. Schierenbeck asked the committee to approve the minutes of the meeting held on October 5, 2006.  A correction to the minutes was noted in the last sentence on page 3, paragraph 4 as follows, Dr. Cairns said the FSUCC is meeting in two weeks to talk about these issues so the timeline is unknown at this time.  Dr. Ma made a motion to approve the minutes as amended, Dr. Jackson seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved as amended. 

 

Discussion of Implementation of 42-Hour General Education Program

Dr. Schierenbeck has been to three subsequent meetings since the last time we met and the Provost has made it very clear about his goal of a 42-Hour General Education Program.  Dr. Schierenbeck would like to see the committee move to a 42-Hour General Education Program if at all possible and to figure out what is best for the students and faculty.  If we come up with anything over 42 hours, we would need to have a good justification as to why.  Since catalog changes need to be in by January 31, 2007, it may not be realistic to expect these changes to be in the next catalog. 

 

IGEN/ICAP Courses

Dr. Viscusiís office staff gathered information to help us understand the IGEN/ICAP situation.  The following handouts were distributed to committee members:

           

ICAP/IGEN Summary by Course as of October 2006

ICAP/IGEN Summary by Major as of October 2006

IGEN Course Section History 2004-2006

General Education Program Requirements - Missouri Institutions

 

You can see the beginning list of majors that donít require a specific ICAP or IGEN on page 6 of the ICAP/IGEN Summary by Course as of October 2006 handout.  Dr. Viscusi made the observation that it was important to understand that Provost Carter had certain policies and procedures to follow when he was here, Interim Provost Wilson tweaked those policies, and now Provost Shah is following a different path and is not particularly concerned with the number of semester hours generated.  We now need to follow the policies laid down by our new President and new Provost. 

 

Dr. Viscusi continued saying it is a national trend that departments should have Capstone courses.  If we approach the ICAP courses as Capstones we would not be violating the General Education Program.  Just because a major does not have a required ICAP in the General Education Program, does not mean they arenít requiring something else. 

 

The IGEN Course Section History 2004-2006 handout shows the impact of IGENs.  Of the ten IGENs, two courses have not been offered in the last two years.  In addition, the Department of Communication has three IGENs listed for their majors, so it makes it a little more clear how courses can be re-prefixed by the department.  The other IGENs and ICAPs are also used as capstone experiences in one way or another. 

 

Ms. Barabas has tracked IGEN 3116 over the last three years to get an idea of the students who take the course and the majors that require the course.  CJ majors had the highest enrollment, but it is not a required course for them.  Dr. Viscusi said this is another example of how re-prefixing courses will not deprive students of the opportunity to take these courses. 

 

In whatever we do with these courses, we need to find a way to limit any negative impact on departments.  It is not a criticism of any particular course or department so we should not look at it as abolishing a course, but finding a new home.  One proposal can be submitted to the FS University Curriculum Committee which would cover the whole list of recommended changes. 

 

ICAP 4233 was incorrectly listed as IGEN 4233 in the ICAP/IGEN Summary by Course as of October 2006 and ICAP/IGEN Summary by Major as of October 2006 handouts.  Corrections will be made and revised handouts will be provided at the next meeting.

 

Ms. Reinke made a motion that we eliminate the IGEN and ICAP categories from the General Education Program.  Ms. Barabas said she likes what IGEN 3116 was supposed to do, but looking at statistics and facts, itís hard to see it go, but feels it is eventually inevitable.  She will be satisfied as long as the course content is still offered to students.

 

Ms. Reinke amended the motion to eliminate IGEN and ICAP categories from the General Education Program and re-prefix them within departments so that the courses continue in existence and meet departmental and program needs.  Dr. Schierenbeck, Dr. Cairns, and Dr. Viscusi will word the justification and send it back to the committee for further comment.  Ms. Edmondson was concerned that since we havenít moved yet on the 42-Hour General Education Program, she was not comfortable eliminating the possibility courses might be included in other areas of the General Education Program.  Dr. Viscusi agreed there was still that possibility but that we need to be very careful about moving General Education courses into other sections.  Dr. Baeth seconded the motion.  There was no further discussion and the motion was unanimously approved. 

 

Enrollment Management Concerns

Dr. Schierenbeck said Dr. Melvin was asked to provide a list of specific areas in the General Education Program that might be causing problems for transfer students.  Dr. Schierenbeck is not sure he sees where the General Education Program can change.  Ms. Edmondson noted that our list of choices in Area C is precise and short.  We need to determine the core thing we want students to get out of General Education.  The list could be expanded to include all kinds of Literature, Art, etc.  Dr. Viscusi clarified that German Literature was only an example by the Provost, when in truth and fact advisors do give credit for German Literature.  We need to deal with reality versus perception. 

 

Dr. Schierenbeck pointed out issues that are General Education issues versus departmental flexibility issues.  Dr. Viscusi appreciates the challenge for Enrollment Management because their job is getting more students to come here while majors might require certain competencies.  From a student perspective, advisement needs to separate General Education requirements from major requirements.  If a student changes his or her major 60 credit hours into a degree program, it is not our General Education Program impeding the process.  Dr. Cairns said that sometimes departmental curriculum restraints are at fault and that is why some departments have mandated their students take certain courses in the General Education Program.  If we remove the limit on majors, departments might be able to put their requirements back into their major instead of in General Education.   

 

Dr. Viscusi addresses the eight bullet points in Dr. Melvinís Memo. 

 

1.  This is part of the statewide Transfer and Articulation Agreement.

 

2.  This is part of the statewide Transfer and Articulation Agreement.

 

3.  All institutions have their own General Education Program requirements.

 

4.  These are departmental issues, not General Education.

 

5.  AS degree programs throughout the country do not require any General Education courses.  AA does require General Education completion.  That is the basic difference.

 

6.  The university is in the process of changing this. 

 

7.  This is an administration issue.

 

8.  We do accept exit exams from other institutions. 

 

Basically, the points in the memo are generalities and not specifics as requested. 

 

Dr. Viscusi suggested asking Jennifer Pint and Lisa Runyan questions relating to specific transfer issues since they were both past Directors of Academic Advising.  Dr. Viscusi will also explain to Provost Shah the problem of looking for specifics. 

 

Below are the upcoming scheduled meeting dates for the remainder of the semester, all of which will be held in LIB 2405 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

 

November 2, November 30, December 7 and December 14, 2006

 

The meeting was then adjourned.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Traci Butler, Secretary