General Education Meeting Minutes April 23, 2018
Present: George Dehner (GD), Shirlene Small (SS), Aaron Rife (AR), Amy Drassen Ham (ADH), Kathy Delker (KD), Gina Crabtree (GC), Rick Muma (RM), Kamran Rokhsaz (KR), Chris Broberg (CB).
1. Approval of Minutes April 9th
2. CCFs—PHIL 365—previously looked at, but did not have oral component, also questions about student learning outcomes. Now revised, what do we think?
GD: I wasn't here for previous draft, but this one looks good, seems to hit all the
I suggest we quickly vote on it and send it on its way.
KD: I agree. He did make improvements.
SOC 540—KD: no substantive writing assignment for undergraduates? Did it improve?
GD: It looks like there is a pre-req for this course? Doesn't that conflict with gen ed?
RM and GC—not sure there is a pre-req for this course, and don't know if there was a rule outlawing pre-req.
RM: We have several courses that have a pre-req
GD: Okay—also, not sure what some of these assignments are, what they are doing. I see they say they are going to do essays/assignments, but different than what is in the syllabus. Still unclear graduate v undergraduate expectations
KD: I agree—I don't see a change on their statement about the gen ed goals. There is a later statement about how many written essays, but it isn't put into the syllabus.
GD: Also on the change form, #16 says open to non-majors and no pre-req—so what is going on?
SS: Changing it now will remove the pre-req.
GD: One more, on the proposal form, they do not indicate if gen ed will be retroactive.
GC: People leave it blank because they don't know what it means.
Not passed, 1 abstention—this goes back to department, they can re-submit in fall
RM: KD needs to send me an email with what the issues are, we will let them know instead of stating “failed” or “not passed.”
3. Gen Ed review of student learning outcomes—
KR: Some of the numbers in some of these sections are so small, concerned people will
CB: One of the pages has a wrong date, needs to be changed.
RM: I will change the date.
4. Gen Ed qualifications, in light of transfer courses—
GC: Question: How should Registrar’s Office handle requests for Gen Ed designation
to be given to Gen Ed sounding courses taken at other institutions for which WSU does
not have a similar course.
System set up to review courses, give gen ed attributes when applicable, for student
degree audit. (Introductory courses). Some courses, particularly intro courses, get
reviewed by Sally Fiscus--only for courses inside the United States. Also, only if we have similar or same course here. But question arises for transfer students and international students. Also, getting some pushback because some courses do not have a match here—do we lift this restriction (Harry Potter in films course as an example) or do we extend role of gen ed committee to review transfer courses that are requested to be gen ed? Do we want to open that box?
KR: In those cases, can a student request to send the course to the department for equivalency?
GC: Yes, but departments do not qualify courses being gen ed or not.
RM: We have a mechanism for study abroad classes to get a gen ed designation—would this be an extension of that? Fine Arts/Music is recruiting from places where students are getting different gen eds, so this is going to continue to be an issue.
GD: If it isn't in the books as a gen ed, then somebody has to make an equivalency/attribute decision—do we want this to happen in the registrar’s office, or in the gen ed committee? We are talking about courses that sound gen ed, but we don't have similar courses.
RM: I am confused, we are already bringing the study abroad syllabi to this committee, wouldn't we do the same with transfer?
GC: But now we are talking about the entirety of transfer students across the United States.
GD: Better we review instead of registrar’s office.
GC: We have some options—can be front-loaded/prepared by our office then brought to you.
Concern about workload, watering down of gen ed program.
GC: Do we hold off until gen ed changes go into effect?
SS: Do we hold off, but only look at cases where people give push-back.
Concern that students and advisors will learn of this and floodgates could open. More concern about changes to gen-ed program coming and how this would or would not fit in.
ADH—how many of these requests do you all get?
GC: We get them, regularly
ADH—Ok, how many give push-back when they get rejected.
GC: Nearly never—this is one of first ones.
ADH—then let’s not rush on this one.
RM: Why not let Russ, advisor for student who took Harry Potter in films course, present this to the committee himself, the committee can take care of it then.
GD: Can have situation where rejections by Registrar’s Office can be appealed to Gen Ed Cmte, but student must provide syllabus.
Group agrees that student can appeal to Gen Ed Cmte as long as student provides the syllabus for Cmte to review.
5. Proposed Revised Description of the Gen Ed Committee for the Faculty Senate webpage for Standing Committees
Review/questions about draft of proposal created after discussion during previous meeting.
RM: #2 should state something about compiling general education outcomes annually. We collect data, evaluate it, and recommend changes based on the data.
Discussion on wording, what to put under #2 and what goes to #3.
KD: Leave #2? Make change to #3—compile and review data on general education outcomes annually and issue a report. New #4—Recommend changes to Gen Ed Program.
GD: Are our reports available on the website? RM: Yes. GD: Can we add to #4, “as needed” instead of “when necessary”?
KD: Yes. Rick, is this adequate?
GC: Are representatives from registrar’s office by invitation or are we members of standing committee?
Change to Composition—13 members… to include “Registrar or designee”
KR: Question—how does former WATC come into this?
RM: They don't –it is an affiliation, not a merger.
Changes approved. KD will send proposed revised description to Carolyn Shaw, president of Faculty Senate, to be included on agenda for May 7th meeting of the Senate.