FS GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE
SEPTEMBER 7, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Dr. Jeffrey Yelton, Chair, with the following members present: Dr. Kelly Boyd, Ms. Kelly Edmondson, Dr. Victoria Jackson, Dr. Qingxiong Ma, Ms. Joanne Reinke, Dr. Daniel Schierenbeck, Ms. Ruthann Williams, Dr. Beverly Wallace, Dr. Peter Viscusi, ex-officio member, and Ms. Traci Butler, Secretary.
Approval of Minutes
As the first order of business, Dr. Yelton asked the committee to approve the minutes of the meeting held on August 1, 2005. Dr. Schierenbeck made a motion to approve the minutes. Dr. Jackson seconded the motion and the minutes were approved by acclamation.
Update on Committee Membership
Ms. Cheryl Riley, Chair of the FS Committee on Committees sent the revised committee charge language and the updated website information to Dr. Yelton. Dr. Yelton provided handouts for committee members to reference. Dr. Boyd cannot be an official voting member since she was elected for a position that was vacant with less than a year left.
A discussion ensued regarding term limits for committee members. The committee felt that one third of the members should rotate off yearly with a second year person as chair.
Dr. Ma joined the same time as Dr. Yelton, yet the terms are different. It was suggested to have 2-3 members with a 2008 term rotate off in 2007 to help spread out terms. A new position will be added and an At-Large position will be elected for the ninth position. To help spread out the At-Large positions, we would suggest to Ms. Riley that the term limits of Dr. Ma and Ms. Edmondson will be changed to 2007.
Old Business – SAFE 2010
This course was talked about twice last December and was tabled because it was unclear and the committee had not seen the Personal Interaction proposal. The only change made was the last 1 1/3 page.
There are fundamental issues whether particular courses are appropriate for General Education and the committee has not had a chance to compare it with the existing courses. The Safety department feels it is a good course and they have addressed what we asked.
The other concern is we don’t want a proliferation of General Education courses. The courses added in the past “plugged holes” in the program. The question was asked if there was a timeline for Personal Interaction decisions. We anticipate there are 1-2 courses that will elect not to be in Personal Interaction. The matrix and competencies will show the gaps.
Safety department members; Ms. Leigh Ann Blunt, Mr. Larry Womble, Mr. John Zey, and Dr. Dennis Laster joined the meeting. Ms. Blunt said the course was tabled in December 2004. On December 17, 2004, Safety supplied Dr. Cole with Table 2.5, which covered Personal Interaction competencies and they were told the committee would need to look at other courses.
Dr. Yelton explained the committee is trying to look at unresolved courses in Personal Interaction and we still do not know where we stand. Three 1 hour PE courses have already been dropped from the category.
Dr. Laster said their application has been delayed since December 2003 yet no timeline or deadline has been set to defend it. There needs to be more direction and a concrete timeframe. Dr. Laster said Safety tried to give the committee time to work on it and they were told the course would be reviewed shortly. Dr. Yelton let him know the committee met every month during the summer to handle unresolved courses, but we are still waiting on other departments.
Dr. Viscusi said the general hope in the beginning was to evaluate the program and list gaps or needs and then put out a general invitation to departments to fill the gaps. The review is not yet complete in this category. He asked the Safety department to not feel put-upon because of the committee’s silence.
Ms. Blunt said the Safety department does appreciate the committee’s efforts. Mr. Zey noted certain courses keep popping up when looking at General Education studies, but Safety isn’t listed. He also noted there was a Cultural Interaction course added in July 2004, Africana Studies.
Ms. Blunt stated the course meets personal interaction very well and is immediately applicable to quality of life. Dr. Laster said there are many arguments for the course, but the bottom line is, when will the approval process be completed? What are the deadlines? Those who participate need input.
Dr. Viscusi said the year begins with schedules and deadlines, but departments can’t always meet the deadlines. It is unfair to keep Safety dangling but the committee is working with departments as well as it can.
After Safety faculty left, Dr. Wallace said they have a valid point about scheduling. Dr. Yelton asked if we could expedite things. Dr. Viscusi noted that he suggested to the Safety department to hold off on submitting the course, but they didn’t take that advice.
Is the course appropriate? It covers the basics of what goes on in society. Ms. Williams said General Education is more academic in nature. Dr. Viscusi said the committee has to face the issue of whether this course belongs in General Education. Ms. Edmondson said in theory the benefit or function of General Education is to help students get exposed to a field of study. Dr. Viscusi disagreed and said that the General Education Program was to equip students with the intellectual skills to be successful.
Dr. Jackson asked Biology seniors what the benefit is of General Education courses and they said they like them, can see the worth, and can understand how they provide a more well-rounded education. However, they did feel there should be more options. Ms. Reinke believes many students choose their majors based on their exposure to General Education courses.
One of the original course problems was the lack of student interaction with each other in a group setting. Ms. Edmondson mentioned the Safety department thinks they addressed the concern in the packet. Ms. Williams and Dr. Schierenbeck are not sure the course fulfills the people skills category. Tables 1 and 2 don’t tell how, but Table 2.5 does.
Ms. Edmondson suggested if a department hasn’t met the deadline after a set time, their course should be removed from the catalog. Dr. Viscusi pointed out that some departments made the original deadline.
Dr. Wallace moved that the committee move on to new business.
New Business – Assignment Reviews
The original yellow sheet in your blue folder was never done for Integrative Studies and it wasn’t meant to have the same answers to questions sent for General Education. A small task force consisting of Ms. Williams, Dr. Wallace, Dr. Jackson and Dr. Yelton will create a new form to send to departments. A draft will be ready for committee approval by October 5 and the new department deadline will be October 31, 2005. Ms. Williams suggests letting departments know that if they already did the work to not bother recreating it. Dr. Yelton agreed to send the email.
Dr. Boyd asked to be removed from the committee since she isn’t a voting member. The committee reluctantly agreed.
Old Business – Course Reviews
All of the language courses use pretty much the same approach except on the individual syllabus. There does not seem to be any consistency and the committee agreed they are not ready to pass any of them.
Dr. Schierenbeck noticed that the syllabus competency Managing Information says 4 but he thinks they mean 5. A discussion took place regarding what personal interaction is, because it is interpreted differently among committee members. Ms. Williams says this course satisfies competencies 2, 3 and 6. Dr. Wallace sees both in the HED course but not Safety class interaction and she can’t evaluate what she can’t see.
Ms. Edmondson thinks personal interaction can be a philosophy or concept of your place in the world. Dr. Boyd said then we’re asking to assess a delayed behavior. Dr. Yelton mentioned that COMM 3010 was already approved, so does that mean only communication courses apply? Everyone admitted the answer was no.
Dr. Wallace made the motion to approve HED 1100 and Dr. Ma seconded the motion. Since there was no further discussion, the course was approved by all members.
Below is a list of fall semester meeting dates, which will be held in UN 123 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm:
October 5, 2005
November 2, 2005
December 7, 2005
The meeting was then adjourned.
Traci Butler, Secretary