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General Education Review - Phase II Report

Report of Phase II
Committee Summary of Comments
Received on Outcomes and Competencies

How Were Comments Solicited?

During the Fall Semester 2009, the General Education Review Committee developed a draft set of outcomes and competencies based on LEAP (Liberal Education America’s Promise), review of other General Education programs and campus input.  Feedback on the draft set of outcomes and competencies were solicited by:

  • Electronic surveys from individual faculty
  • Department chair surveys
  • Department meetings with faculty representatives from the Committee answered questions about the process, recorded faculty concerns and gathered information to help with the development of the content of the General Education Program.  

The comments for each competency are summarized below.  The proposed revisions to the competency are also provided.  The full text of the Faculty and Department Chair surveys are available on the General Education Review Committee Website.

Committee Members

The members of the Phase 2 Review Committee are Daniel Schierenbeck, Associate

Professor, English & Philosophy; Darlene Budd, Associate Professor, Political Science; Harry Harmon, Professor, Marketing & Legal Studies; Eric Nelson, Assistant Professor, Management & Business Communication;  Scott Wilson, Associate Professor, School of Technology; Nick Baeth, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Computer Science; Carol Smith, Assistant Professor, Library; Marian Davis, Assistant Professor, Library;  Karen Bradley, Associate Professor, Sociology & Social Work; Blaine Duesing, Assistant Professor, Communication Disorders; Kelly Edmondson, Assistant Professor, Career & Technology Education; Rochelle Barabas, Assistant Professor, Career & Technology Education; Ryan Peterson, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Human Development; Robert Yates, Professor, English and Philosophy; Nicole Nickens, Associate Professor, Elementary and Early Childhood Education; Mike Grelle, Provost Office; Alice Greife Dean (chair); and Joseph Kyser Student Member.

Future Steps

Future steps of the General Education Review Committee will include the development of general education program structure, policies, and assessment. We will seek feedback at each step.

Implementation of the General Education Program

The Faculty Senate General Education Committee is responsible for the implementation of this program, including certification of courses.

Summary of Comments from the Faculty Survey, Department Chair Survey and Department meetings with Committee members.

The following is a summary of the comments received and the proposed revisions, if any to the competencies.  These outcomes and competencies are still a work in progress and may require further modification as the process progresses.   

Outcome 1 (Skills) UCM graduates will demonstrate mastery of intellectual and practical skills by

Competency 1 (Distributed Version)

Writing texts that respond to specific audiences and purposes, using appropriateconventions of format, structure, and documentation.

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

7

5.0

Somewhat disagree

3

2.1

Somewhat agree

29

20.7

Strongly agree

99

70.1

No opinion

2

1.4

    • “Writing texts” is an odd phrase. Causes confusion. Sounds funny. Sounds too technical. “Texts” is likely to be translated/interpreted as “books” or “textbooks”.
      • Suggested changes
          • Drop the word “texts” altogether
          • Replace “texts” with “products”
          • Replace “texts” with “text”
          • Replace “texts with “documents”
  • Stress writing clearly, articulately.
  • What about reading skills?

Outcome 1, Competency 1, Proposed Revision:

Writing with clarity and purpose using appropriate conventions of format, structure, and documentation.

Outcome 1 (Skills) UCM graduates will demonstrate mastery of intellectual and practical skills by

Outcome 1, Competency 2 (Distributed Version)

Presenting and interacting effectively in professional, group, and interpersonal settings

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

5

3.6

Somewhat disagree

8

5.7

Somewhat agree

36

25.7

Strongly agree

90

64.3

No opinion

1

.7

  • Interacting” is not the same as “presenting”
  • Very vital skill

Outcome 1, Competency 2, NO Proposed Revision:

Presenting and interacting effectively in professional, group, and interpersonal settings

Outcome 1 (Skills) UCM graduates will demonstrate mastery of intellectual and practical skills by

Outcome 1, Competency 3 (Distributed Version)

Solving problems, drawing inferences, and determining reasonableness by using mathematical, computational, statistical, and/or formal reasoning (including reasoning based on principles of logic)

Summary of Comments:

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

3

2.1

Somewhat disagree

8

5.7

Somewhat agree

29

20.7

Strongly agree

97

69.3

No opinion

3

2.1

  • And/or should be changed to or
  • Math and logic are the essential skills
  • Very wordy, needs to be simplified

Outcome 1, Competency 3, Proposed Revision:

 Using mathematical and formal reasoning to perform analysis, determine reasonableness and draw inferences

Outcome 1 (Skills) UCM graduates will demonstrate mastery of intellectual and practical skills by

Outcome 1, Competency 4 (Distributed Version)

Thinking creatively and critically

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

8

5.7

Somewhat disagree

6

4.3

Somewhat agree

25

17.9

Strongly agree

98

70

No opinion

3

2.1

  • Important skill
  • Should it be a separate competency

Outcome 1, Competency 4, NO Proposed Revision:

Thinking creatively and critically

Outcome 1 (Skills) UCM graduates will demonstrate mastery of intellectual and practical skills by

Outcome 1, Competency 5 (Distributed Version)

Acquiring and managing information effectively through research and the application of current and emerging technologies

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

4

2.9

Somewhat disagree

7

5.0

Somewhat agree

37

26.4

Strongly agree

90

64.3

No opinion

2

1.4

  • Research is important, but definition of what is research may be hard to determine
  • Research is more than just doing “library research”

Outcome 1, Competency 5, Proposed Revision:

Acquiring and managing information effectively through research and the uses of current and emerging technologies 

Outcome 2 (Knowledge)

UCM graduates will demonstrate knowledge of the world in which we live by acquiring

Outcome 2, Competency 6 (Distributed Version)

Cultivating knowledge and appreciation of literature, languages, and the arts that conveys an understanding of aesthetic analysis, historical and cultural perspectives, critical interpretation, and standards for evaluation appropriate to the humanities and the arts 

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

4

2.9

Somewhat disagree

9

6.4

Somewhat agree

40

28.6

Strongly agree

82

58.

No opinion

5

3.6

  • Suggests students should study a foreign language or be proficient in one 
  • Writing skills are important
  • A lot for one competency/broad/vague 
  • This is/are what gen ed is all about—the rest is window dressing
  • Hopes students will be required to learn material from all of the listed areas—unclear
  • Some arts and humanities are a waste of student time and resources—are we doing them a disservice?
  • Rewrite it
  • Important for a “well rounded individual”
  • Should it be “applying knowledge” like Competency 8 or just “acquiring and cultivating”?
  • Will all of the faculty have the same definitions for these terms?

Outcome 2, Competency 6, Proposed Revision:

Knowledge and appreciation of literature, languages and the arts using the standards of evidence and reasoning appropriate to the humanities and the arts 

Outcome 2 (Knowledge)

UCM graduates will demonstrate knowledge of the world in which we live by acquiring

Outcome 2, Competency 7 (Distributed Version)

Applying fundamental knowledge of mathematics, the physical and natural world and the role of technology that conveys an understanding of how to approach problems through the use of inquiry, experimentation, and scientific analysis 

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

4

2.9

Somewhat disagree

6

4.3

Somewhat agree

41

29.3

Strongly agree

86

61.4

No opinion

3

2.1

  • We are strong in this area; a strong foundation. All of these subjects are critical.
  • We need to better define all terms. Rather than “applying” how about “gaining, acquiring or cultivating” and maybe add the terms “sustainability” and the “sciences”.  “Physical and Natural World” is vague. The competency is garbled and convoluted.  “Conveys an Understanding” is not measurable. 
  •  Is the “technology” term about higher order thinking or being able to use technology or is it an extension of science? Will technology and math courses cover current and practical skills? Is “Math” covered in another competency?  
  • Are we creating competencies that will require more resources? Are all of the subject areas listed mandated for all students?  What is the hierarchical organization of these skills? Is there an order than needs to be followed?
  • Subjects should be taught by the departments best qualified for that area. Biology & Earth Science wants a rep. from the sciences on the committee.
  • More specific outcomes are needed for assessment, and will students actually “solve” them?  Experimental labs are critical in this competency.  
  • Too many subject areas in one competency, it should be split.
  • Other areas besides math and science use inquiry, experimentation and scientific analysis to solve problems.

Outcome 2, Competency 7, Proposed Revision:

Knowledge of the physical and natural world using of the standards of evidence and reasoning appropriate to the sciences, mathematics and technology

Outcome 2 (Knowledge)

UCM graduates will demonstrate knowledge of the world in which we live by acquiring

Outcome 2, Competency 8 (Distributed Version)

Acquiring multi-faceted knowledge of the human experience that conveys an understanding of how to use historical perspectives, scientific analysis, critical interpretation, and standards of evidence appropriate to the social and behavioral sciences 

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

4

2.9

Somewhat disagree

6

4.3

Somewhat agree

41

29.3

Strongly agree

86

61.4

No opinion

3

2.1

  • Too much for one competency
  • Too much jargon
  • Needs to be reworded

Outcome 2, Competency 8, Proposed Revision:

Knowledge of the human experience using the standards of evidence and reasoning

appropriate to history and the social/behavioral sciences

Outcome 3 (Responsibilities and Valuing)

UCM graduates will demonstrate an understanding of individual and social responsibility by

Outcome 3, Competency 9 (Distributed Version)

Evaluating individual actions, intercultural relationships and social alternatives within  local/global frameworks using ethical reasoning, civic principles, and cultural values  

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

5

3.6

Somewhat disagree

12

8.6

Somewhat agree

45

32.1

Strongly agree

73

52.4

No opinion

5

3.6

  • Should be built into all teaching
  • Alternatives is a “loaded” word

Outcome 3, Competency 9, Proposed Revision:

Evaluating individual actions, intercultural relationships and social choices within  local/global frameworks using ethical reasoning, civic principles, and cultural values

Outcome 4 (Integration-Application)

UCM graduates will demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply skills, knowledge, and responsibilities acquired in general education and discipline-specific courses

Outcome 4 (Distributed Version)

This outcome did not contain a competency.  

Summary of Comments: 

Faculty Comments

Number of responses

Percent

Strongly Disagree

9

6.4

Somewhat disagree

8

5.7

Somewhat agree

27

19.3

Strongly agree

95

67.86

No opinion

1

.7

  • What does “discipline-specific” have to do with general education? Disciples should reinforce the skills and knowledge learned in general education courses, but how can discipline-specific skills and knowledge be assessed in the general education program?
  • How can this be assessed? How do we implement this? Can one course realistically integrate all other competencies?
  • This is the purpose of higher education. Students need to understand how the skills and knowledge assed by the general education courses both complement and supplement their major. Our current program is too segmented.
  • The implementation of this outcome needs to involve individual departments and their majors. Although building on skills and knowledge from other general education competencies, departments should administer this.
  • There needs to be a list of competencies associated with this outcome.

Outcome 4 (Integration-Application)

UCM graduates will demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply skills, knowledge, and responsibilities acquired in general education and discipline-specific courses

Outcome 4, Competency 10, Proposed Addition/Revision: Creating a cumulative work that demonstrates the integration and application of knowledge in new settings.  Note – this competency was added.