General Education Initiative Task Force:
Minutes of Meeting - October 1, 1997
Members Not Attending:
Some possible conference ideas:
- AACU, Washington DC - January 15-17, 1998: Annual Meeting
- University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL - January 8-11, 1998: Transforming Campuses into
- AACU Work conference, Tampa, FL - February 12-14, 1998: Discover What Works in
- University Planning Day, January 23, 1998
Anyone who is interested in possibly attending one of these conferences, send your name to Pat
Minutes were approved as amended.
Jim Lackie has arranged a special section in the library for Gen Ed literature. Jim will distribute
bibliography will continue to update.
Check the Gen Ed Web site.
Reviewed handouts briefly. Read for next meeting
Assignments for next week:
Look for ideas for speakers and topics for faculty development sessions.
Develop your short list of knowledge, skills, and dispositions attributes for next meeting.
Procedures for voting were discussed:
The following points were made:
1. The issues that are decided by this committee will be limited in scope.
2. There are two issues types that will be discussed - procedural and substantive.
The following methodology was approved:
- Simple majority on procedural issues
- Consensus on substantive issues.
The Time Line was discussed and issues were brought to the table:
- K. Shannon: Open hearings need to be held and information sent to the Senate and/or
- P. Creighton: The time line must have concise objectives for Year 1 with more general
objectives for year 2 and 3 which will be reevaluated in terms of outcomes and results from
- Mike Garner: The method for evaluating and choosing models needs to be more defined in
years 2 and 3.
- K. Shannon: Clarification that the pilot program will run parallel with current general ed
requirements beginning in Fall 1999/Spring 2000
- V. Hutchinson: Cited information from the College of New Jersey. Initially, put 2 core courses
into the curriculum and then by the 5th year we should be able to define the criteria for
qualifying a course as a fulfillment course for a gen ed requirement. The idea is to limit the
number of brand new courses but find opportunities for collaboration and integration of gen ed
- Suggested that the first pilot occur in Fall 1999 using summer and spring to gear up, followed
by the second pilot in Spring 2000 using fall and winter to gear up.
- Asheville suggested offering a regional interdisciplinary course such as the Chesapeake Bay
integrating art, literature, history, culture, economics.
- Spring 1998 - we may have seen a model that we like that has one particular course in it that is
of interest to us. We might be able to run that our model of that course as a special topics
course to see how well if flies.
- F. Kundell: This is a very tentative schedule
- S. Hetzler: All of the time line components are optional as necessary. Some may never happen
- J. Lackie: May keep all the gen ed classes that we have currently and simply make minor
adjustments to them.
- B. Zak: What is the time line - a rough draft for the campus or a promise .
- F. Kundell: Whatever we do, we must keep the faculty involved in the process.
- B. Zak: Suggested that we restrict ourselves to page 1 of the time line and create a
subcommittee or charge Phil's office with a study on:
The Cost of implementation
Practical ability on delivery of the product
What is workable within the idea framework
Reasonable explanation of deliverables
- P. Richards: Whatever we decide, we need to have an endpoint, a goal to work towards.
- B. ZAK: Closure is important but time is a large variable
- M. Garner: It takes a minimum of 1 year to develop a multi disciplinary course, more like 18
- Use Jerry Gaff and other presenters as an opportunity to open discussion from the campus,
although we will want to have discussion sessions when the 'guru' is not present.
- Need to set up a list of issues that bring the issue to a dialogue - Everyone should think about
possible topics and speakers to schedule. Bring your names and suggestions next week.
- The revised Time line needs to be distributed to the campus - See attachment:
- P. Creighton suggested an overnight retreat to build camaraderie. It will be on January 21 and
22. P. Creighton's office will coordinate. Possible locations: Ocean City or Wye Mills.
- The committee will need to look at the mechanics of transfer and articulation agreements
- For next week: review the Mission statement along with the Vision, Values/Outcomes also in
context of Gen Ed requirements.
- Discussed the concept of knowledge, skills and dispositions and which are the important issues
that emerged from the last meeting's exercise:
Ability to think interdisciplinary manner
Rubrics must cross disciplines
Must be seen in a more broad and general application of knowledge and skills.
Use different lenses to see same issues differently
- It is exciting to students when vocabulary crosses disciplines and they can make connections.
- General Ed needs to be broadly interconnected and the faculty need to be more purposeful
- It is easy to assess knowledge, but hard to assess ability to reason in an interdisciplinary
- Part of the problem is a question of deliverance. How that broad base of knowledge is imparted
into the student. Students can approach the same problems differently and the relationship to
the different modes of inquiry must be recognizable.
- Gen Ed goal is to get the student to recognize the possible contributions of others and to
synthesize the material. The ability to assess a subject does not require a discrete set of
knowledge about the subject, but a guide or process of looking at things.
- Integrative learning - Disciplines strive to isolate problems down to a level where the problem
can be controlled and assessed.
- What about the idea of Advanced General Ed- where students should recognize the connections
between course, people and cultures.
- Not all of these recognition skills come from Gen Ed but you can use Gen Ed courses as a
prerequisite to courses to build more strongly developed process and skills.
- We need to assess what we have currently
- Develop for next meeting a list of indicators or 'must haves' that a student should leave SSU
with...these indicators are the ones that you are willing to go to the mat for... Ex. IDIS courses,
- Gen Ed should not be limited to Fresh/Soph years - it is good to mix upper and lower
- P. Creighton indicated that he wanted to look more closely at the Cal State University of
Monterey Bay and their University Learning Requirements. It is a way to create a commonality
among subjects and fit them into your major.
Common Attributes: One Person's View - Greg Cashman
Publication list for General Education Task Force
General Education Circle
Conceptualizing an Outcomes Oriented General Education Curriculum by Don Farmer
Interdisciplinary General Education by Julie Klein
What's Julie's 'Must Read' List? By Julie Klein
Diploma's and Degrees are Obsolescent by Donald Langenberg (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
|Tentative Time Line of the General Education Task Force|
|AY 1997-1998: Information Gathering, Fact finding and Study|
||* Conversations: Workshops and Seminars
Professional Organizations (in concurrent sessions)
* Surveys and assessments of current program
* Reading lists
* Other Conferences
* Conversations - Brown Bag, E-Mail, Discussion of 15-20 models
* Faculty Development - Gaff, Workshops, Conferences
* Newsletter and Web Page posting
* Open hearings
||* January retreat
* AACU meeting in Washington DC (January 15-17)
* Site visits start in January
* Survey and preliminary assessment of models
Narrowing the field
* Look at articulation agreements
* Faculty Development
* Newsletter and Web page posting
* Open Hearings