PSF 9 06/07
The membership of the General Education Committee for 2005-06 was as follows: Lori Allen (Director), Erika Behling (Associate Chair-website), Suresh Chalasani, David Glaub, Patrick Goldsmith, Gerald Greenfield (Administrative Representative), Frances Kavenik (Co-chair), Farida Khan, Zhaohui Li, John Longeway (APC), Alex McNair, Sue Norton (Academic Assessment), Carmel Ruffolo (First Year Experience), Megan Shuemake (student), Dean Yohnk, Evelyn Zepp (Co-chair); along with regular "guests" Mary Louise Edwards (FYE), Mary Power (Advising), Christine Tutlewski (Academic Skills).
The Committee met nine times (monthly) through the academic year, with subcommittees on Literacy and Critical Thinking meeting at other times.
The Committee evaluated, made suggestions, and added thirteen courses to the distribution list for Fall 2006, of which 3 are DV courses (marked with an asterisk*):
*ETHN 243: Latinas/os in the U.S. (SB)
HIST 101: U.S. Origins to Reconstruction (SB)
HIST 102: U.S. History, Reconstruction to Present (SB)
HIST 119: Europe 1300-1815 (SB)
HIST 128: World History, 1800-Present (SB)
HPEA 280: Sport and Fitness Nutrition (NS)
*HUMA 103: Diversity in the U.S. (HA)
MIS 221: Business Programming (NS)
PHIL 206: Introduction to Ethics (HA)
POLS 104: Introduction to International Relations (SB)
POLS 203: Women, Power, and Politics (SB)
*SOCA 206: Race and Ethnic Relations (SB)
TEDU 200: Art in Elementary Education Theories (HA)
One course, CHEM 113, was removed from the distribution list at the request of its department.
The Committee also certified for fall 2006 nine sections of GNED 101, after receiving sample syllabi, goals, and rubrics for those courses:
GNED 101: University Seminar [Pre Health] (2 sections)
GNED 101: University Seminar [FYE] (3 sections)
GNED 101: University Seminar [TRIO] (2 sections)
And it certified two sections of GNED 290, Diversity Circles.
After consultation with the Advising Center and the Registrar's Office, the Committee presented the following motion to the Faculty Senate on November 29, 2005:
"New transfer students during the 2005-06 year are subject to the 2003-05 general education requirements."
The motion passed the Senate on a voice vote.
The Literacy Subcommittee (Evans, Kavenik, Snell, Tutlewski, Walasek) met over the summer and during the fall. It produced a protocol and meta-rubric for assessing literacy in distribution courses which identified it as a goal. It held several focus groups of students and faculty/staff, in collaboration with the Teaching/Learning Center, over the fall semester, and concluded its study with the following recommendations:
I.Attach developmental reading courses (ACSK 085) to General Education courses so that the general education coursework can be studied in those reading courses.
II.Create experimental 4-credit General Education courses, in which the fourth credit is devoted specifically to reading and writing skills, in an extra one-hour session per week. [Would require additional staff, preferably drawn from those already employed in English or ACSK courses.]
III.Attach a specific tutor to specific General Education courses; s/he would attend class and offer assistance to students throughout the semester. [Would require screening and training tutors and supervision by Learning Assistance staff.]
IV.Make alliances with regional high school English teachers to improve communication and articulation between high school and college-level reading and writing. This alliance could be sponsored by the Teacher Education department, through Learning Assistance, and/or through Education Outreach at CCP.
V.Connect library staff and services more closely to General Education course content and activities, either course-by-course, department-by-department, or distribution category-by-category.
The Critical Thinking Subcommittee met during the fall semester and produced a document which identified and linked the courses which cited critical thinking as one of their general education goals. It also sponsored a Brown Bag discussion on Critical Thinking in April, attended by a diverse group of faculty/staff who might form the core of a reconstituted subcommittee.
The Teamwork Subcommittee made no progress over the year and will be reconfigured and begin work in fall 2006.
The Committee discussed enforcement of the 60-credit rule for completion of general education requirements, and became aware that APC was considering it simultaneously. The Committee was also persuaded by some of its members, that there is often good reason to advise students to postpone completion of their distribution requirements until junior or senior year. At the same time, there is widespread support for completion of basic skills requirements much earlier than 60 credits. We will continue this discussion in 2006-07.
Several Committee members attended the one-day UW-System conference on assessment at UWM on February 17, 2006, and many also attended the March OPID conference in Madison. No one attended the June AAC&U GNED conference in Washington, D.C.
The Director and several Committee members worked with the Committee on Teaching and Learning to write and submit a grant to OPID in March. The grant was not funded.
The Committee conducted initial discussion of the issues surrounding Information Literacy, and how successful the current online tool is in teaching students how to amalgamate outside information and expertise with their own. All agreed that the current requirement and its fulfillment are unsatisfactory at achieving our goals and that Information Literacy will be a primary project for review and analysis in fall 2006, with a recommendation to the Senate ensuing. The plan includes:
--form a focus group of librarians, faculty and staff to find out what students need, lack, or should know at what stages of their college career;
--ask departments what they have in place to deal with information literacy at higher levels, the major;
--talk to various constituent groups of students and others about "information anxiety";
--try to define what "research" means and how it informs much of what is expected of college students.
Submitted May 24, 2006
Frances M. Kavenik, Evelyn Zepp (co-chairs)