Minutes of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee
September 29, 2010
Committee members present: Nancy Breen, Anthony Hollingsworth (chair), Chris Menton, Jason Patch, Mark Sawoski, John Schlinke, Louis Swiczewicz, Minoo Tehrani, Dan Vilenski (ex officio)
Absent: Hasan Khan and Anthony Ruocco
Visitors: Laura Niesen de Abruna, Executive Vice President and Provost
Douglas Koritz, Associate Provost for University Studies
Peter Deekle, Dean of University Library Services
Lorene Barry, Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President and Provost
Linda Beith, Director of Instructional Design
The meeting was called to order at 3:03 p.m.
General Education Proposal:
Douglas Koritz continued the presentation of the proposed General Education program
Overlay of courses:
The secondary education double-major requires a large number of courses to complete the degree requirements. It may require an overlay (double-dip) of four courses. The proposers indicated the degree program may be given that allowance. They find that programs such as engineering, business, or architecture that require a large number of credit hours can accommodate the proposed Gen Ed curriculum with 2 to 3 course overlays.
The proposers have found that study abroad programs can be accomplished in conjunction with the proposed Gen Ed curriculum.
It was recommended that templates or outlines describing how the Gen Ed program fits (in regard to course overlays) with major programs be appended to the Gen Ed proposal. The proposers agreed to show this fit for a sampling of programs, to include the following:
- Degree programs requiring a a double-major and thus a large number of credits (example, secondary education)
- Degree programs that require a large number of credits (examples, architecture, business, engineering, or justice studies)
- Degree programs that require a smaller number of credits
Dan Vilenski volunteered to provide the proposers with data from the May 2010 graduates to show what double-major combinations are common. It was suggested that department chairs also be consulted to learn about double-majors that may not appear in large numbers in the past but may be more common in the future.
Q: Who decides what Gen Ed courses will count toward the major? Can the decision be made on fly? Can the decision be retroactive, as might be desired by students who change majors?
A: The department will decide which specific courses will make up the course overlay and the proposed Gen Ed Council will not control this decision. The proposers indicated they will add text to the proposal to explain this. An FSCC member commented that the current general view among the faculty is that departments might offer multiple Gen Ed certified courses and students could choose among them to fulfill major requirements along with Gen Ed requirements. The proposers iterated that there will be a fixed number of overlay courses and those courses will be specified by the department. Other Gen Ed certified courses offered by the department will not count toward the major.
An FSCC member requested that the proposers demonstrate how the Gen Ed program will work with students who elect to pursue minors. Dan Vilenski said he could provide lists of minors from the May 2010 graduates. The proposers indicated that they will focus on the degree programs indicated previously and documentation of the fit with minor programs will need to wait.
Q: Isn’t it likely that capstone courses offered by a department will likely not be taken by students in that department because they probably will not be included as one of the overlay courses?
A: The determination of specific overlay courses is up to the department, but assuming that the capstone course is not an overlay course this circumstance may encourage students to take a capstone course that originates outside of their department and this is considered a positive by the proposers.
Douglas Koritz explained that the term General Education Council is used instead of Committee because the group will have broader functions and these are outlined in the proposal. The council will be charged with assessing the program and deciding on revisions as needed. Those recommendations will go through the FSCC. The proposal is considered a living document by the proposers, and the opportunity to change the program will lie with the council. It is envisioned that the council (comprising 18 members) will break into work groups to consider proposals.
The process and timeline of considering the proposal were discussed. The committee members agreed that they will send additional questions about the proposal to the FSCC chair who will forward them to Douglas Koritz. The proposers will provide answers to these questions prior to the next FSCC meeting to be held Wednesday, October 20, 2010. The Provost is also contemplating additional faculty caucuses in the interim to elicit questions and discussion of the proposal from the faculty at large. The FSCC plans to devote the October 20 meeting to consideration of the proposal amongst its members.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.