CURRICULUM GEN/ED COMMITTEE of the EDUCATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
September 15, 2004
SYLVANIA CAMPUS, CC BLDG, OAK ROOM
3:00 - 5:00 pm
Kendra Cawley, Jeff Josifek, Michael Marciniak, Dan Findley, Moe O’Connor, Pam Kessinger, Adrian Rodriguez, Joe Wright, Marlene Eid, Michael Cleghorn, Doris Werkman
Amy Alday-Murray, Frost Johnson, Guy Sievert, Susan Wilson, Brett Williams
Diane Kamali, Diederich Steinmetz
Karen Jolly, Porter RaperAt 9:02 the meeting was called to order, and introductions made.
As soon as SACs are notified form submissions will need to be submitted online. The intent is to eliminate the time and expense of preparing copies of the needed information for the Curriculum Committee. Also everyone will be using the most current form.
Signatures will still need to be submitted on hardcopy. To facilitate this, the electronic form will be forwarded to the curriculum office. The requestor will then need to print a hard copy with a signature page and send it through the regular approval queue.
Eventually the process can be completely automated with an electronic approval queue. However, ITS is not ready to support this function of the portal.
Resources will be saved by the electronic process. The time used and copies created by the old process alone will have a large impact on the Curriculum Office. As electronic forms are received they will be posted to a pending agenda on the web. This would allow for earlier review by committee members. As the signed hardcopies are received they will be placed on the official agenda for the next curriculum meeting. After the deadline date an e-mail will be sent to the committee members with the finalized agenda, thereby cutting down on amount of copies.
The deadline for items to get on the official agenda will be 5:00 on Monday of the week prior to the Curriculum Committee meeting. Brett will try to have the agenda finalized and the notice sent to the committee on Wednesday prior to the meeting.
SACs will be notified of the process at the in-service on Wednesday, September 22.
Kendra introduced the current forms table and a matrix showing signature requirements. She then introduced a prototype condensing several forms. The intent is to reduce the paperwork, duplicate information and signatures required for multiple changes to a single course. The required signatures will be SAC chair, SAC administrative support, Curriculum Committee Chair, Dean of Instruction, and Vice-President of Academic Services. This will add the Dean of Instruction back into the approval process for course number and title changes.
The Curriculum Committee had been taken out of the course number change process. The new form will put the committee back in the approval again. Likewise, the Deans of Instruction were eliminated from course title changes. Hopefully this new format will bundle things together. The Campus Presidents are on the credit change form so will not be on this form.
Kendra mentioned that if the Curriculum Committee needs to make changes to the proposal, it is sent forward with a hard copy of the minutes to the Dean of Instruction. Items referred back to the SAC are listed as “Postponed” or “Withdrawn by Requestor”, but the paperwork and minutes are not actually sent back. Discussion was held regarding how it would work if one item within a set of requests (on the new combined form) was not approved, but others were.
The committee agreed that it probably would be clear that the change in the minutes was what was being approved by subsequent signers. Per Guy, any change to a request that is made after the Curriculum Committee has reviewed it should go back through the signature process again (from the SAC, through the CC).
Kendra shared that administrative supports or chairs have been oppositional at times when changes are suggested, due time and effort involved in taking a request back to the SAC. If the Curriculum Committee talks about a modification that a SAC doesn’t want to change, the committee could make recommendations and note it in minutes, but approve the proposal as it stands.
Regarding the new process, Kendra asked what happens after the recommendation leaves the committee. It gets sent to the Dean of Instruction and then it is of sight. It should go to Guy and then to curriculum office. Faculty do not always know when a change has been approved and it has been put into Banner.
To help with this a contact person will be required to be entered on the electronic form and notice will be sent. There will not be any entries made prior to the Curriculum Committee reviewing a request as has occurred in the past.
In regards to Course descriptions, Marlene pointed out that the schedule descriptions do not always match with the catalog descriptions. Frost explained that the department administrative assistants can change a title or description for an individual course when it is being entered. Brett shared that this feature is primarily for CEU and CED courses. Changes to LDC and PT courses should not be made, but the ability to change it cannot be “turned off.”
Susan mentioned advisors are seeing students that are challenged by our brief descriptions when trying to compare descriptions of other colleges for transferability. At one time there was a 50 word limit on descriptions. Frost does not know of anything preventing longer descriptions and is reluctant to put a limit on in order to achieve concise yet complete descriptions.
The form will be available in electronic format by the SAC in-service on September 22.
Kendra presented a version of the by-laws with recommendations for change.
Discussion was held regarding the number of committee members. It was decided to change the membership to 12-16 members keeping in mind the need to diversify campus representation.
The Meetings section is a new item. The quorum section has been cleaned up.
Curriculum supervisor will be omitted as they do not typically attend.
It was moved and seconded to accept the by-laws as modified. The motion carried.
4 Credit Conversion
Karen presented some history about the cabinet meeting Porter and Karen present. It seems that the conversion will happen, but a timeline is not clear. There has been little discussion about the issues at hand. Karen requested a written report, and Dr. Pulliams agreed with request. It appears that there could be a small cost impact. There are no indications that administration will not move forward. One concern is for a streamlined process. Guy is adamant on input and support from the Curriculum Committee.
Porter went on to recap that the EAC in June had decided that a course-by-course approach could be cumbersome. A forum should be used that faculty could make arguments to remain 3 credits since the whole group of courses should change as one.
A modified credit/contact hour change request form was presented with a check off area for the reason causing change. The main justification for increasing credits is a change in outcomes which justifies the move, or the faculty determines that more time is required to achieve current outcomes. Contact hours could be another impacted area. Another option is a separate form three to four credit conversion.
Karen stated that the question seemed more about the process and not the forms. If the committee functions the same way it always it will become bogged down quickly. If there is a special process there should be a special form for this.
Frost added that signatures should be a consideration also since they can hold up the process. Karen informed that committee that it has the latitude to change the process and signatures. Opinions were that the administration is mandating this so the VP of Academic Services needs to signoff but the Deans of Instruction could be bypassed. Guy agreed with this.
There was extensive discussion about wanting to know the amount of detail about how a course will be changed. If the entire SAC is making the conversion for the same reasons for ALL courses (i.e. to do in-depth study of existing outcomes) they could submit one form with a block request. It was brought up if a sequence is reduced that such a form would not work because of the changing learning outcomes.
During discussion it was mentioned that transferability was a driving factor in this conversion process. It would be good to find out from faculty if they have explored this during their reconfiguration.
A recommendation to form a sub-committee to review submissions and present a consent agenda of all conversions was made. As part of process it was felt that there should be a brief narrative explaining the justification for the move from 3 to 4 credits. Kendra suggested a check off area for the reason could be used unless outcomes are changed. Signatures will include SAC chair, support, committee, and then VP. Guy agreed that the cost impact could be omitted. The sub-committee will have some discretion in determining the process and timelines. Prior to October 25 SACs should be convened and the process shared to help in understanding the details and share a desire to eliminate bottlenecking at the Curriculum Committee approval step.
At the SAC meeting on September 22 a introduction will occur explaining the of options for group or individual course changes depending on circumstances. There will be one form for modifying a group of courses for simple “depth and breadth” of outcomes changes. A separate form for sequence changes that comprise explanation of reducing the number of courses and the redesigned outcomes for the course will also be created.
It was decided to review the requests form by form as opposed to SAC by SAC to allow larger SACs to split up the work. Autonomy of SAC’s is important. The Curriculum Committee can designate dates and times for SACs to present. There are approx 16 SAC’s affected by this process – this does not include business, CIS, or languages. This would facilitate ability for SAC to explain any justification for not changing and courses they deem appropriate to leave as 3 credits.
The VP of Academic Services would be responsible to designating the SACs required to participate.
Karen informed the committee that the understanding by the EAC has been for implementation in Fall 2005 all along. Feasibility of this, based on direction of President, will be an issue for discussion by EAC. Frost added that changes to courses offered in Sept ’05 must be completed in April to make catalog and other deadlines.
Guy advised people involved to think about what has to be done by April and by Sept 2005, etc. There may be projects that can wait. Non instructional days can be used. The reason for doing this is to make it better for students. Every term the college waits is disadvantaging students. There need to be consideration of the worth in waiting. Porter added it is a balance to consider, but the Curriculum Committee needs to make sure there is faculty support and that it is done the right way.
Guy noted that SAC’s that have extensive work need to make sure they have support and resources to do the work. We need to have a process that will support the faculty. The Curriculum Committee will be crucial to this.
The Curriculum Committee does not need extensive details, however some examples of how “breadth” would be impacted would be necessary. A sample page may help in limiting the extent of the proposals.
Sequence changes would require an inactivation and change in outcomes of two courses.
Pam, Dan and Joe volunteered to serve on the committee. Other individuals who will be invited to serve are Rowan Wolf and Nancy Bennani.
During the SAC administrative support meeting they will be told that 2:30-4:00 on Oct 15 has been reserved to present and answer questions about the streamlined process. Adrienne Flagler will find a room.
Kendra will send a proposed form to the committee members.
The sub-committee will give a brief report to Curriculum Committee monthly. Adrian recommended protected time to deal with conversion business. One-half hour at the beginning of future meetings will be dedicated to conversion issues. At 3:30 the committee will begin general business and guests will be directed to report at that time.
Gen/Ed and Transfer Distribution Lists
The two lists are very similar. Each contain three sections Arts & Letters or Arts & Humanities then Social Science and Math & General Science. The established precedent is that if a discipline is in a distribution area, all courses are to be in that area. Also, WS 101 is the only course that sits in two areas. There have been some issues with courses being requested in distributions outside their designated section. The Curriculum Committee relies on the expertise of the requesting faculty to make a determination of appropriate placement. If there is not agreement, the SAC’s may be referred to the VP of Academic Services for a mediator to make the decision.
The gen/ed course list is not a complete transfer list. All courses designated as a LDC course are courses which could be accepted at another institution. The purpose of the lists are primarily basic use by students and therefore not all-inclusive. When students are told they need a certain amount of credits in gen/ed they can be shown which courses will apply. If they request which courses will apply to the AAOT they would be given the other list of qualifying courses. Many other lists can be created and/or may exist, however the Curriculum Committee only deals with these two lists.
An example of dispute was when Sociology determined they would host a course for a SAC outside of social sciences. Others in the group objected and wanted to have the curriculum committee determine the appropriateness of the designation.
The Curriculum Committee had implemented a policy last year for SACs requesting inclusion on the list(s) in a distribution area that they are not generally listed in need to be sponsored by a SAC within that distribution area. If there are discrepancies they should be referred to the VP of Academic Services.
The web page will be changing, so it will be important to provide feedback as it evolves. Kendra had e-mailed a sample “Frequently Asked Questions” page for review. Feedback on that is also requested
199 & 299 courses
The question has been raised about scrutiny of experimental course. Some SAC admin supports have been signing without reviewing the content. Discussion was held regarding the role off the curriculum office in reviewing these requests. It was determined that the curriculum office should not need to refer experimental courses to the committee unless there is something educationally unusual.
The division deans are to be directed to review what they are signing and accept responsibility for the appropriateness of the course.
The Accrediting body requires that PT programs have demonstrated instruction in the areas of computation, communication, and human relations. As part of accreditation an issue has surfaced that the gen/ed has been imbedded in the PT courses (which is acceptable), but not directly reported. It is becoming necessary to point out exactly how this is embedded. To define this it will be necessary to have these designations it in the CCOG. Michael Cleghorn pointed out that the instructor must also be qualified to teach that additional portion.
Some SACs are preparing to pull out these portions and require an additional class for the degrees and certificates. If this is the way that departments move, curriculum will not have to deal with it. If they remain as part of the course the curriculum committee may become involved.
If the SACs want to leave the requirements embedded they may be told that they will need to be prepared to adjust outcomes to reflect the amount and specificity of instruction in the designated areas. The accreditation handbook did not define how much of each area should be included, but that they simply needed to exist.
The meeting adjourned at 2:10.