Gen Ed Meeting 3/26/18

In attendance: George Dehner (GD), Sally Fiscus (SF), Kathy Delker (KD), Kim Sandlin (KS), Aaron Rife (AR), Amy Drassen Ham (ADH), Steve Oare (SO), Kamran Rokhsaz (KR), Chris Broberg (CB), Shelby Rowell (SR)

Meeting minutes approved (3/12/18)
Brief discussion of minutes, nature, what to write, Chris agrees to do minutes for next meeting

Two more meetings, next meeting we will be discussing and choosing a chair for next year.

Curriculum Change forms:

CJ 315—Review from last meeting. SO: Not sure changes made meet standards, particularly writing—AR agrees. Question about is the course going to meet for CJ majors or not, it is not a gen ed for CJ majors, but is for Forensics. Question—send back with not approval?

GD—is there a missing page, not seeing an attached revision? Also, it looks like a lot of the stuff brought up in the meeting is not addressed—could be didn't send through all docs? KD: Is there enough time for CJ to send us docs for next meeting? SF—yep, that works. KD—let’s have them send missing materials for next meeting. GD—call vote? Yep. KD will ask CJ dept to look to see if revised pages did what we asked and to resend. Committee voted to send back to department.

ID 300—SO: question about meeting requests, showing which gen ed will meet? I&P. Questions about writing objectives, meeting writing. General agreement that writing not in this at all. GD: How is this an Issues and Perspectives course? CB: In business/entrepreneurship, some touching upon design innovation, this course would go more in-depth. But I don't think they lay out how to evaluate skills (writing?)—they gave us a rubric, but it doesn't address our concerns. SO: Where is evaluation taking place? Send back ID 300? Committee voted to send back for revision.

SOC 540—KD: Same issue, writing and speaking? SR: From previous minutes, needed to revise because it was not originally a gen ed course, need to demonstrate how meeting written and oral communication. Questions about graduate and undergraduate objectives—KD—those are deeper in the docs. GD: There is no writing on the undergraduate level—which doesn't meet gen ed, need some writing. Committee voted to send back for revision, to review again in April 9th meeting.

WSUA 102—Revision. SO—writing has facebook posts, small papers. Speaking, two presentations. AR: Switching from literature to food, I believe a lot of the outcomes are the same. KD: We are looking closely at gen ed requirements this time around to make sure the course complies. SO: lot about critical thinking, not sure how it is measured. KD: Section on form about how gen ed goals are met? CB: She outlines how they are addressed, but not very specific. AR: I like what I see in the syllabus—GD: There is critical thinking there, look at video and paper assignment. ADH: I look at the discussion posts and see it there. CB: We shouldn't have to hunt through the syllabus. KD: We should make that clear to people, they need to make it clear in their answers.
SO: Everyone assesses writing differently, what do we do about how writing is assessed in gen ed. KD: Good point, but we can't get into that now per time, something to discuss. General discussion on how much latitude professors given versus guidelines provided by gen ed committee.
GD: Motion to accept this as a FYS course, vote by hands. (AR seconds) 5 vote yay, 3 vote to send back for re-working. Course passes.

Recommendation about FYS Program,
Handed out rough draft and Rick Muma additions. Layout of the document. KD: George, can Executive Committee nix this before sending to Fac Sen? GD: Not job of ExComm to block legislation, will suggest changes, organize what gets on the agenda for FacSen, if have questions will ask them, but any senator can bring to the floor. KD: ExComm needs this by the end of the month, because of their own meeting schedule and needing two readings to vote on the recommendation.
Proposed changes:
KR: Concern for students in Engineering, what does the course count for?
KD: Different courses meet different pieces of gen ed. Designation not tied to college the professor is in.
KR: Can Engineering submit a Social/Behavioral Science course?
SF: Yes.
KR: Cool. All good.

Question about wording provided by Carolyn Shaw—we can accept or not do wording.

GD: Concern over insertion of adjuncts. This gets in the way of ideal of FYS.
ADH: Rick brought up some departments have 20 year adjuncts. Allow long term instructors to be able to teach FYS courses.
GD: But this is not what we are encouraging.
AR: Also, supposed to tie freshman to researchers.
KD: There could be a misunderstanding here, because of discussion at last meeting and emails with Muma, I can double-check. Make sure we are staying with parameters on document.
GD: Two meetings ago, Rick Muma brought adjuncts up, we disagreed.
SR: Language added about freshman definition okay?
KD: Kamran’s suggestion to remove line about permanent part of Gen Ed curriculum—committee agreed.
SO: Not sure what bullet 4, 5 of committee considerations are getting at:
Student support and success aspects of FYS; Evolution of FYS program over time


Instructor “poo-pooing” aspects, such as library research? How do we fix?

ADH: We talked about this before, what are the elements that are suggested, and which are required? We need to clarify.

GD: We went round-about this for a while when creating FYS guidelines—we decided roughly 2/3 content, 1/3 success outcomes, left vague on purpose to give leeway for professors. Since the course is for credit, FYS needs to supply academically rigorous courses.

ADH: Communication to instructors unclear on this.

KS: Our document was given to professors after they began designing their courses, already approved to teach.

ADH: Sure, but we need to make sure our communication is clear.

KD: Should we send a statement about not all professors suited to teach FYS?
General feeling that this is unnecessary.

AR: Proposal: reword 5th bullet to —“Concern about faculty teaching FYS courses balancing student support and success aspects of FYS Program with academic content and rigor.”
CB: how do we know if success content being covered?

KS: Success coaches, generally used by FYS instructors—report on whether being implemented or not (such as financial literacy)

SO: Hammer analogy—do coaches, who are students, understand what instructors/faculty are doing?

KS: No hammer needed. Coaches can give insight into what is happening in courses—part of their own training.

Little side-tangent on Rate My Professor

Discussion on how going to get people to teach these courses—given restrictions, concerns over faculty being held responsible for retention.

Back to bullet point 5: flavor stuff. ADH: Can we remove flavor stuff and just make a statement that FYS will evolve over time. Just leave general statement?
Committee votes to leave general statement “FYS program will evolve over time” and remove the sub-bullet that mentions flavors.

KD and GD: Give brief statement to ExComm about statistics on retention, but do not have to go into great detail.

GD: Will want to post supporting docs/information for Faculty Senate.

Recommendations for changing the program:

1. Make clear what is recommended, strongly recommended, and what is required of course.

KD: Library asking for responsibility to assess information literacy and library research.

Rick Muma clarified, the writing assessment will continue beyond the pilot of FYS.

KD: Question previously that will there be a coordinator for training of FYS professors, an office of 1st year seminars?

Back to required vs recommended outcomes for FYS.

ADH: Rationale is not analogous to the syllabus statement. Getting lost. The student success outcomes are not outlined.

KS: Different ways to meet student success—can be creative. Work the outcomes in, don't have to give instruction on how to take notes.

GD: Think about these goals as a template, not a checklist. We cannot dictate to the professor how to teach the course. We should not be micro-managing the courses.

KD: Although the last six pieces on the back page are the outcomes.

GD: Then the future gen ed committee can decide future courses meeting or not meeting, but cannot go into classroom and police the professor. CB concurred.

KD: Can we say that the six outcomes in the original proposal are required, and what is in the syllabus is strongly recommended?

ADH—I would like recommended ways to meet student success outcomes?

KD: Suggested change: Transform the student success outcomes into ways that professors can meet the goals of the FYS program?

GD: Again, we approve the course and let professors have flexibility to meet goals and teach as see fit.

KD: Motion to include in proposed recommendations?

GD: Let’s be vague—“start your journey”—what can you do to start students on journey.

ADH—again, the student success outcomes (SSOs)—not a checklist, but am worried about SSO being a required element.

GD: Let’s let Faculty Senate worry about this.
KD: Library doing assessment?

AR: Leery of required assessment for library research.

ADH: Can't individual instructors report themselves?

KD: This would be for library to monitor and tweak tutorials.

GD: Can this discussion be tabled for next meeting?

KD: Suggestions have to go with recommendation.

GD: I can bring it up as a friendly amendment and let faculty senate hash it out.

AR: Have library piece suggested directly to FacSen, instead of through GenEd.

GD: Library has a rep on FacSen, can suggest themselves.

Meeting adjourned