December 10, 2010

Interim General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC)
Date of Meeting: 
Friday, December 10, 2010
Location of Meeting: 
Student Center, Rm. 228
Members Present Ex-Officio Present Guests Present
Ruth Beattie Richard Greissman Nikki Knutson
Jane Jensen Mike Mullen Rebecca McCulley
Derek Lane Bill Rayens  
Roxanne Mountford Mike Shanks  
Karen Petrone Debbie Sharp  
David Royster    
Ben Withers    
Ernie Yanarella    



Information Items

1.   Update on seats versus classes

After this clarification and a short discussion, it was suggested that this committee be encouraged to step back and do a critical analysis of class size and whether there are breakouts being provided for larger classes. Richard G. volunteered to look into whether large lectures without breakouts are prohibited.

Comment was made about the impressive diversity within the US Citizenship and Global offerings.   However, Dr. Jensen pointed out that there is relatively little activity within the Inquiry in the Social Sciences are and, in fact, several recognized social science areas are going unrepresented with the current list of courses to be offered.

Committee briefly discussed what to do about courses that have been vetted, received suggestions for revisions, and then were revised and resubmitted.  Should these go back to the host College for approval? The sentiment was that the changes were typically minor and it was suggested that any such course be sent back to the appropriate Academic Dean with a deadline for comment. Language suggested was “if we don’t hear an objection to the changes within 7 days, we’ll move ahead with the revised course.”  It was left unresolved as to who would contact the Academic Deans.

Consent Agenda

1.   A‐S 245 (AC)

2.   A‐S 270 (AC)

3.   TA 110 (AC)

4.   HIS 105 (Inq Hum)

All of these items were moved forward. After the meeting it was agreed that HIS 105 was also approved for Global as well

Discussion Items

1.   PHY 231/241

There was some discussion about Information Literacy for this course. Decision was to move forward, conditional on syllabus change. Comment was made that there should perhaps be a librarian in every review pool. No action was taken on that suggestion.

2.   PLS 104 ‐ Guest:  Dr. Rebecca McCulley, Assistant Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences

Dr. McCulley very succinctly outlined the goals for PLS 104, which is being considered for approval for Gen Ed credit. In its original form, PLS 104 sought approval in either Inquiry in the Natural, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences, or Global Dynamics, depending on which recitation section the student signs up for.

Dr. McCulley made a convincing case, and the mechanics of how to do this were what were largely discussed.   It should be clarified that Dr. McCulley is not arguing that all the learning outcomes for Global, say for example, can be mapped to the one hour recitation. Same for Inquiry in Natural, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences. Rather, the implication was that all the outcomes of Global could be satisfied with the course plus the Global recitation, and similarly for the Inquiry branch. To that end, the Committee recommended first sitting down and mapping the learning outcomes for the course as initially proposed to each of the two Gen Ed categories being addressed.  Various models were discussed for facilitating a course such as this, though no final resolution was reached.  As an example of what might be possible, the Committee suggested considering:

a.   Two courses being submitted, say PLS 104 and 105, with one have a Global focus and one having an Inquiry Science focus.

b.   Pairing each of these with a lab/recitation (say PLS 106, PLS 107), depending on the Global or Inquiry Science focus.

c.   Structuring the pairings in an innovative way, say a 1 credit hour PLS 104 and two credit hour PLS 106 (if those two are paired), that best accomplishes what Dr. McCulley and her colleagues want to accomplish.

Committee members were very impressed with the presentation and emphasized not only that they wanted to help make this happen, but to use this case as a way of sending a message that IGEOC is willing and interested in different and innovative course proposals.

It could not be clear at the end of the meeting what form the course would take upon resubmission, but Dr. McCulley left with a promise to get back to the Committee with a plan that worked best for her Department, and with the full support of the Committee.

3.   Honors Program (please read document circulated by Mike Mullen)

Committee members reviewed the document that summarized a revised proposal to revamp the U.K. Honors Program.  Part of that proposal suggested that Honors would not be required to meet Gen Ed requirements in the same way that other programs and departments had to. IGEOC members felt strongly that there was no defendable rationale for this suggestion, and felt strongly that HON could not be exempt from Gen Ed requirements. Dr. Mullen provided some context by noting the original proposal out of HON that had a rigorous mapping into Gen Ed. Committee members still felt that the revised proposal emphasized structure over vision.

4.   General Education: Pilot Assessment Critical Thinking (please review attachment and be prepared to offer feedback on content and format).

There was not time for substantive discussion. It was suggested that perhaps the Senate Council should have a subcommittee on Assessment, and perhaps a session on Assessment in their February Senate meeting.

5.   Policy language (only if there is time). Was not discussed.


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