General Education Initiative Task Force:
Minutes of Meeting - September 17, 1997
Members Not Attending:
- The presentation by Dr. Jerry Gaff has been rescheduled to October 20 and 21. It will be
following the same basic schedule. Jim Lackie will distribute an updated schedule. Those
committee members who are able, may participate in the Tuesday morning breakfast meeting.
- Please note that some of the group members utilize Mac's as opposed to PC's and have difficulty
with retrieving and reading attachments in GroupWise.
- Meeting dates have been changed. The group will be meeting on the following dates:
10/1; 10/15; 10/29; 11/5; and 12/10. Jim Lackie has sent out a memo regarding where the
meetings will be held. (The 12/3 and 12/17 dates have been combined together on 12/10)
- If anyone has any suggestion regarding a General Ed topic or speaker for planning day, please let
Jim Lackie or Pat Richards know.
- Asheville was a process - the time line that you have is just a beginning. Read over the time line
and be prepared to discuss it next time.
- Steve Hetzler reported on the institution of a General Ed news group. Steve is working with Pedro
Valdes to setting up a campus wide news group on General Education. One question is whether it
should be structured for interested persons only or if it should be open to everyone. Proposed as
<ssu.generaled> the news group will allow you to read comments from others, and post comments
and questions for others to respond.
- Steve Hetzler will seek out a speedy sheet or some other type of information that can be
disseminated on how to use a News Group. A brief discussion ensued on what should go on the
News Group vs. the Web Page, which is also in development. Steve explained that the News
Group is like a bulletin board and the Web page is like a billboard. The advantage to News
Groups is that these messages, if sent by E-Mail can clog up your in box with a multitude of Gen
Ed replies. By posting the information out on a central location, everyone can access the same
information at their convenience.
- Ways to disseminate information about the Gen Ed Initiative:
1. News Groups will be used for chatting about the gen ed topics and issuing replies to
2. The Web page will provide copies of minutes, decisions and information on how to
access the News Group.
3. E-Mail distribution will be used for information pertinent to the operations of the
4. Augmenting information that is on the Web or News group either will be distributed or
put on reserve in the Library. (Jim Lackie will set up reserve section.)
5. Brief articles in the SSU Newsletter regarding Gen Ed topics and progress.
6. Initially publish a General Ed Newsletter to let the campus know how to access the web
and News Group.
7. Request permission to make announcements at the Forum by the Forum Representative
of the Gen Ed committee. The Senators on the Task Force will provide updates to the
Senate as appropriate.
- Homework: Think about procedural issues related to the functioning of the committee - should
subcommittees be set up and if so how should they be structured and how should members be
elected or appointed. When voting becomes necessary, how should it be done?
- The large group broke out to 4 smaller groups and discussed the topic that was assigned the
previous week:"What should be the qualities of an SSU Grad?" Below are the results reported
from each breakout group:
- Read, write, listen, view critically
- Read, write, speak effectively
- Broad general base of knowledge
- Aesthetic appreciation
- Numerical competency / quantitative skills
- Make connections between disciplines
- Responsible citizenship
- Exposure to cultural / global diversity: U.S. pluralism, internationalism
- Self-awareness and interpersonal relationships
- Basic computer competency
- Technology and society science
- General Ed is beyond basic skills
- Active learner
- Independent and critical thinker
- Library and information literacy
- Lifelong learner
- Effective oral and written communication (also in non-native language)
- Technology literate
- Aesthetic sense
- Moral reasoning ability
- Problem solving ability
- Evaluates, assimilates and integrates information
- Appreciates: own culture & history
other cultures & disciplines
other disciplines & fields of creativity
- Quantitative reasoning ability
- Sense of civic responsibility
- Productively work in teams
- Command of language (in the broadest sense) including:
multiple purposes such as read manuals, follow directions, understand regulations
organize information meaningfully
be able to present positions
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
- Computer / info tech literacy
- Foreign language
- Ways of thinking in social sciences, sciences, humanities
- Connections among disciplines
- Global knowledge of societies / cultures
- Curiosity, risk-taking
- Ethic of hard work / persistence
- Self-discipline, responsibility
- Tolerance & understanding of others
- Ethical thinking / behavior
- Ability to think critically
integrate & synthesize information
evaluate the value & quality of information
write about it, talk about it
move to reasoning
- Need some basic knowledge in order to get to a place where competent discussions take place
...this is hierarchical - knowledge builds on knowledge.
- Need to train to make interdisciplinary connections
- Think independently
- Recognize different modes of inquiry
- Know how to find information
- Appreciation of differences - intelligence types and communication styles
- Work with others, in particular others with different styles and from different backgrounds
- Sense of the past, possibilities of the future and how where we are now relates to both of these
- Change the questions:
what should SSU grads be able to do?
- Have a sense of aesthetics
- Sense of philosophical thought
- Miami University had 4 questions
- Force students to be exposed to subjects they think they don't like - make sure that they can't
dodge a subject area completely
- Quit asking "Why do I need to know this". Have an appreciation for knowledge and
understanding other perspectives
- Curious, open-minded, willingness to look at things from other perspectives
- We need to read what other people have written on this, what conclusions other people have made
- Gen Ed as opposed to discipline should present a broad synthesis of information
Summary of those Attributes:
Attributes Cited by 4 Groups:
1. Critical thinking, independent thinking
2. Read, Write and Speak Effectively
3. Broad base of knowledge
4. Cultural exposure and appreciation
Attributes Cited by 3 Groups:
1. Aesthetic appreciation
2. Numerical Competency / quantitative skills
3. Interdisciplinary connections
4. Civic responsibility, ethics, tolerance and self-discipline
5. Computer skills
6. Self awareness and interpersonal skills
7. Integrate and organize information
Attributes Cited by 2 Groups:
1. Curiosity - risk taking
2. Problem solving
3. Know how to find information
4. General Education is beyond basic skills
5. Ability to reason
6. Ability to work in teams
7. Ability to read what others have concluded (Manuals)
Attributes Cited by 1 Group:
1. Foreign language
2. Recognize different models of inquiry
3. Appreciate differences - intelligence and communication styles
4. Have a sense of the past and the future
5. Sense of philosophical thought
6. Force students to be exposed to subjects that they think that they do not like.
7. appreciation for knowledge and understanding of other perspectives.
- Replies to the previous posting have been received already. Anyone who would like electronic copies
of those messages let Steve Hetzler know. Otherwise, copies of those messages will be placed in the
- Steve Hetzler will send E-Mail out telling everyone that it is okay to continue to reply, discuss, think
about the question of gen ed. Encourage people to reply even if it is only addressing one small sub-topic.
- Next meeting - continue discussion of Gen Ed - SSU student qualities. Compare to the draft of the
SSU Mission Statement.
- Minutes will be distributed via GroupWise.
- Report back on dates for January AACU, planning day and retreat
- Any monographs that you have give to Jim Lackie and he will put them in the library. Jim will
prepare a list for next time of the articles in the reserve section.
- Suggestion to request catalogs from UMS institutions and peer institution's. Pat Richards suggested
rather than doing that, we look at the models that are presented in the book "Revitalizing General
Education" that was received in Asheville.
- Robert Smith suggested we look at the work that William L. Tribby in North Carolina had already
done as far as creating Gen Ed resources.
Eldred, Marilu and Brian E. Fogerty, Five Lessons For Curriculum Reform, reprint from Liberal
Education, Vol 82. No. 1, AACU, Winter 1996.
SSU Mission Statement; Vision, Values and Expected Outcomes.
Maryland Higher Education Commission: Code of Maryland Regulations: Title 13B: Maryland Higher
Education Commission Subtitle 06: General Education and Transfer, July 1, 1996
from Dick Logan, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with emphasis by Mike Garner - 'The Educated
C:\allwork\COMMITTE\GENED\MN091797.WPD September 22, 1997