FS GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE
November 2, 2006
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, Ms. Kelly Edmondson, Dr. Victoria Jackson, Dr. Qingxiong Ma, Ms. Joanne Reinke, Dr. Mike Grelle, FSUAC 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 19, 2006. Dr. Baeth made a motion to approve the minutes, Dr. Boyd seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved as written.
Dr. Schierenbeck distributed pens provided by the Faculty Senate to our committee members in appreciation for their hard work put forth during the year.
Since the meeting on December 14, 2006 is during finals week, we will decide whether to cancel or reschedule it at the next meeting.
The FS University Assessment Council will bring forward the 3 motions previously discussed regarding the C-Base exam. Dr. Grelle said there is a test by Educational Testing Services that measures managing information. This test would be different from the IC3 test piloted by Ms. Williams last year, which primarily covered software knowledge and how to navigate the internet. Assessment issues have been discussed, and Dr. Grelle will meet with Dr. Eason regarding the writing portion of the test.
Continued Discussion of Implementation of 42 Hour General Education Program
The Additional Institutional Requirements are courses beyond the 42 Hour block that may discourage transfer students. Dr. Schierenbeck would like to know what the committee thinks about combining the Cultural Interaction and Personal Interaction categories.
Dr. Viscusi said the committee basically has 3 choices. Courses can be abolished, merged, or placed in new sections, and each choice has its own downsides. Dr. Grelle told the committee they should make the recommendation they are the most comfortable with. Dr. Boyd asked for clarification as to why the Provost would like to see the program trimmed to 42 Hours. Dr. Viscusi explained that the Provost wanted Central to be more in line with the state suggested number of General Education credit hours. It might make it easier for students to transfer to UCM. Dr. Grelle added that it also reduces the number of credit hours needed to graduate and increases the number of electives that will complement students’ majors.
Ms. Reinke thinks it is best to combine the Personal Interaction and Cultural Interaction sections into a Human Interaction category. Dr. Viscusi explained that Human Interaction, whether it is personal or cultural is a local competency. Our competency for those two categories straddle the state recommended 42 credit hours and the University’s Additional Institutional Requirements. Both cultural and personal are Human Interaction categories that we as a campus decided we should provide. Ms. Edmondson clarified that we basically have an institutional requirement buried within the 42 hour state requirement. Dr. Boyd said there was a purpose and intent in the decision to separate the Human Interaction category, and she is not sure combining Personal Interaction and Cultural Interaction would be what is best for the students.
Dr. Boyd pointed out that our sister institutions require their own Additional Institutional Requirements and asked why we are not emulating them. Dr. Schierenbeck said when looking at program requirements around the state that these courses do very different things and asked if we felt we needed both. Dr. Grelle mentioned most schools have an Aesthetic Appreciation and/or Moral Civic Engagement course, which we do not have. In reference to the General Education Program Requirements - Missouri Institutions handout from the last meeting, Dr. Viscusi said only 5 institutions have 42 hours, the rest have more. Dr. Jackson said dropping Div. IV is a compromise, and it still maintains the integrity of Cultural Interaction and Personal Interaction.
Ms. Reinke said another option would be to drop Div. II, Area A, Part II Technology and require a mandatory entry assessment. Dr. Boyd does not want the committee to make a rush judgment. She feels we need to do what is in the best interest of the students.
Ms. Edmondson said she can not see where the category breakdown comes from the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Dr. Viscusi explained that most universities had General Education first and then the state talked about competencies, so universities matched their courses to the competencies. The statewide meetings of provosts initially made the competencies general and not specific so that universities could align their General Education programs with the competencies as best they could. The original FS General Education Task Force Committee that set up our current General Education Program suggested a 56 credit hour program, but President Elliott decided it was too much and he cut it to 48 credit hours. Ms. Edmondson said that since we made up all the categories to begin with, another option would be to readjust the number of credit hours required in any given category.
Ms. Reinke pointed out that Business will still require BE&O 1210 regardless what happens to the Technology category. Dr. Jackson is concerned about eliminating the Technology category since the University is supposed to be nationally recognized for technology. Dr. Grelle said if the purpose of BE&O 1210 is to prepare them to use software, then that determination could be made by taking an entrance assessment during orientation. Ms. Edmondson noted that this only applies to one of the four courses in the Technology category.
Dr. Boyd suggested tabling the discussion to reduce the number of General Education credit hours until the proposed reorganization of the colleges is complete. Dr. Schierenbeck pointed out that if we are looking in terms of what is best for the students, the reorganization does not matter. Dr. Viscusi added that the departments will not go away whether they are in a different college or not.
Ms. Edmondson asked about the possibility of reducing the number of credit hours in Div. II, Area B, Social and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Ma said we could just change the number of credit hours required in various categories without eliminating any of the categories. Ms. Edmondson asked why this category is set at 9 credit hours when the state only requires a 3 credit hour History course. Ms. Reinke pointed out that if we lowered the Social and Behavioral Sciences category requirement to 6 credit hours, students would have other options in other departments. Dr. Viscusi noted that since the Missouri Constitution requirement is satisfied with either Political Science or History, students who take History fulfill both the Constitution and the History requirements.
When looking at Humanities and Fine Arts, the students are limited to only one Art, Music, or Theatre course to choose from. Dr. Viscusi reiterated that no matter what the committee decides, someone will be upset and we need to weigh all of the ramifications. Ms. Edmondson asked if Dr. Viscusi could provide statistics of the number of sections provided for each course from 2004 – 2006 within the following categories; Div. II, Area A, Part II – Technology, Div. II, Area B – Social and Behavioral Sciences, Div. II, Area C – Humanities and Fine Arts, Div. II, Area D – Cultural Interaction, and Div. III, Personal Interaction. He agreed to supply that information prior to the next meeting at the end of the month.
Dr. Jackson asked if we have been given a deadline. Dr. Schierenbeck said no, but he would like the committee to come to some sort of consensus and give our recommendation to the FS University Curriculum Committee by the end of the semester.
Ms. Edmondson said she would like IGEN 3116 Creative Problem Solving to be put back into some category. Ms. Reinke noted that the Social and Behavioral Sciences category requires 9 credit hours and there are 9 courses to choose from. Dr. Viscusi compared that to the Cultural Interaction category, which also has 9 courses to choose from but only requires 3 credit hours.
Dr. Schierenbeck recapped the four main topics of discussion as follows:
1. Eliminate Div.III
2. Combine Personal Interaction and Cultural Interaction
3. Look at the Technology category
4. Readjust the number of credit hours within the categories.
Dr. Grelle mentioned a recent survey showed more schools are offering a Civic Engagement course, and schools are using problem solving based teaching methods. If the committee thinks a new course needs to be added, now is the time, since we are changing things. Dr. Boyd suggested adding a Civic Responsibility and General Well-being requirement since that seems to be part of the movement with other institutions.
Dr. Viscusi suggested we cut Social and Behavioral Sciences to 6 credit hours, incorporate Personal Interaction into the General Education Program as Area E and encourage IGEN 3116 Creative Problem Solving to submit papers to be in the Personal Interaction category. Dr. Boyd asked if it is possible to change the name of the Personal Interaction category to something like Personal Well-being and Civic Responsibility. Dr. Viscusi said he thought it would be politically easier to separate the two procedures and to incorporate any changes in stages.
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 30, December 7, and December 14, 2006
The meeting was then adjourned.
Traci Butler, Secretary
FS GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE
November 30, 2006
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, Ms. Joanne Reinke, Dr. Mike Grelle, FSUAC 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 November 2, 2006. The first sentence under the heading Continued Discussion of Implementation of 42 Hour General Education Program was amended to read as follows “The Additional Institutional Requirements are courses beyond the 42 Hour block that may discourage transfer students.” Dr. Jackson made a motion to approve the minutes as amended, Ms. Reinke seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved as amended.
The FSUCC were updated on our IGEN/ICAP suggestions. The FSUAC sent one motion stating that students must have a 235 in all four areas of the C-Base exam. Enrollment Management does not like all of the holds on student accounts connected to C-Base testing. A “soft” hold will be implemented at 60 credit hours (reminding students of the C-Base requirement) which will allow students to remove the hold themselves, and a “hard” hold will be placed on student accounts at 90 credit hours where they will not be allowed to enroll for the next semester until they have passed the C-Base exam. Finally, the SSI link Dr. Schierenbeck sent did not work so he will re-send it.
Continued Discussion of Implementation of 42 Hour General Education Program
Dr. Jackson provided a matrix of different scenarios discussed at the last meeting. Dr. Bradley’s preference is to delete Personal Interaction from General Education, but Dr. Boyd is opposed to this scenario. The committee agreed that combining Personal Interaction and Cultural Interaction into one area and only requiring three credit hours won’t help. Dr. Boyd thinks that departments could absorb the two credit hours of Technology instead of deleting them. Dr. Viscusi pointed out that the LIS 1600 class has a large number of course sections in this area but, in terms of people who teach the LIS course, there is only one full-time instructor, while the rest are adjunct faculty. This instructor could possibly become the coordinator.
BE&O 1210 is required in certain majors regardless, and the College of Education arbitrarily chose it. T&OE 2000 is required by Technology Education but there may be other programs requiring it also. Technology, however, is supposed to be embedded throughout the General Education Program as opposed to restricting it to just one area.
Ms. Edmondson suggested reducing the Social and Behavioral Science area to 6 credit hours as well as Humanities and Fine Arts. Students are locked into the state constitution requirement, so there isn’t much diversity in course offerings. Technology and Cultural Interaction are not required by the state. Dr. Bradley asked about the possibility of dropping Technology, and Ms. Edmondson said we need to have a focus on Technology rather than just acknowledge it and she also doesn’t feel so compelled to reach 42 credit hours compared to other Missouri institutions.
Dr. Boyd asked why the Provost wants 42 credit hours. Dr. Viscusi explained that it should encourage transfer students and help lower the total number of credit hours down to 124. Other aspects that may work toward streamlining the curriculum are possibly eliminating required minors and trimming down some of the larger functional majors. Dr. Grelle said that it is safe to say the Provost is aware of the fact that outcomes are embedded in courses. Dr. Viscusi also said there has to be a happy medium between student choice and what needs to be included in General Education. General Education should be the core material valued in any University setting. In order to be fair to a transfer student, we might want to be more liberal or flexible in our interpretation as to what counts in a transfer. Dr. Bradley noted that the C-Base exam can provide some justification for being flexible because the student has to demonstrate acceptable skills. Dr. Viscusi suggested putting the flexibility issue aside to focus on reaching 42 credit hours.
Ms. Reinke asked why we don’t have the Personal Interaction and Cultural Interaction categories combined. It was explained that originally there was one category labeled Human Interaction, and it was separated later. The committee was given a certain number of credit hours to spread out and it was easy to separate.
Dr. Bradley thinks students know how to use technology and feels it is embedded enough in other courses or that strategies could be found to embed it in other classes. This appears to be the path of least resistance. Dr. Grelle pointed out that the assessment conducted by Ms. Williams last year proved that students don’t know as much as you would think. LIS does appear to be incorporated in other courses. Ms. Barabas said that T&OE 2000 is different than the other courses in this category, and if we were to drop this section, the courses wouldn’t go away, they would be adapted into another area. If we only drop this section, however, we still have three credit hours to drop.
Ms. Edmondson had a request from one of her faculty that it was a problem that students were required to take two different science prefixed courses. Dr. Jackson said that it’s not really a problem because these are all entry level courses. Ms. Reinke noted that Political Science is hardly ever taken by students, so she thinks we could only require six credit hours in the Social and Behavioral Sciences area. Dr. Viscusi thinks since T&OE 2000 covers the impact of change to people, it could possibly be moved to Personal Interaction. Dr. Bradley said it could also be moved to Social and Behavioral Sciences to give the students more choices. Dr. Boyd supported absorbing technology into other departments’ outcomes and competencies. Dr. Viscusi noted that it was part of the University’s mission at one point to ask the departments to emphasize it, so that it was more seen in courses. Eliminating the Technology category will also have minimal impact on instructors. Competencies would need to be addressed as we communicate with departments about using Managing Information and Technology. Dr. Boyd said we need to do what’s in the best interest of the students, and we would be remiss in cutting out those hours and not provide them elsewhere. Dr. Viscusi stressed that the committee would have to tell departments about the competencies that would have to be addressed.
Ms. Edmondson asked what happens to students with low level skills. Dr. Grelle said that having a proficiency exam assessment is a viable option. Ms. Edmondson then asked where they would go if they’re assessed with low level skills. Dr. Viscusi said a pre-course could be added as part of the placement process, much like the two classes of Algebra that aren’t part of General Education. Dr. Boyd thinks there absolutely has to be a baseline expectation. Dr. Viscusi noted that we have to give students an opportunity for remediation and that nothing that is to be done will be done immediately. There will be time to address the changes, but we should take a proactive position stating what we suggest. Ms. Edmondson agreed we need to have a plan. Dr. Grelle pointed out that policies represent a commitment on the part of the University. Dr. Viscusi said if we accept a student, we need to provide him/her with the courses to get him/her up to speed. We are morally and ethically committed to provide for these students and we can get the right test figured out later.
Dr. Schierenbeck said the discussion seems to be moving in a direction and asked if the committee was ready to make a motion. Dr. Viscusi pointed out that wordsmithing and justification can be worked out later but that a basic decision needs to be made. Dr. Schierenbeck said someone can draft a motion to discuss at next week’s meeting. Dr. Grelle also suggested that whoever wants to draw up another option could do so.
Dr. Baeth wondered if having to take a technology assessment will discourage students. Dr. Grelle pointed out that the C-Base doesn’t assess all of our outcomes in General Education either. Dr. Viscusi said we can add a statement regarding our level of expectation, and Dr. Boyd suggested including Ms. Williams when it comes time to wordsmith.
Dr. Schierenbeck asked the committee to think about SSI questions and email him a draft. December 7, 2006 is the last scheduled meeting date for the remainder of the semester, and it will be held in LIB 2405 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
The meeting was then adjourned.
Traci Butler, Secretary