General Studies Committee Minutes
November 14, 2001
3:10-4:25 p.m., Knutti 203


Voting Members Present:, Dan DiLella (NS&M, 2002), Mike Jacobs (PS, 2002), Denis Woods (B&SS, 2002), Sylvia Shurbutt, GSC Chair (C&I, 2002)

Non-voting Members Present: Jim Pantle (NCA Coord.), Karen Austin (T&CC Program Coord. for General Studies), Larry Daily (Psychology), Patricia Dwyer (Assessment Coord.)

Voting Members Not Present: Don Henry (NS&M, Div. Ch.), V. J. Brown (B&SS, Div.Ch.), Joseph Simplicio (PS, Div. Ch.), Jerry Thomas (A&H, 2002), Dow Benedict (A&H Div. Ch.)

I. Approval of October 10 Minutes: MSP

II. 2000-2001 GS Assessment Report and Three-Year Assessment Review: Where Do We Go From Here? The consensus was that the GSC's job is to thoroughly publicize the report and allow departments to construct innovations in the curriculum as they see fit. Indirectly, we can provide information and offer assistance to faculty as needed. One suggestion was to have members of the GSC make short divisional presentations concerning changes in the curriculum (i.e., new History option, HIST 100; and proposed English options, ENGL 103 & 104).

III. Higher Education Policy Commission's Mandate on Assessment and New Assessment Template: Dr. Dwyer shared the new template and forms required by the HEPC for assessment reporting. A good deal of discussion centered on how "expeditiously" the new forms might be filled out (since the template for reporting is different from the Nichols' template). The tentative date for State reports using the new template is February 15. Dr. Dwyer will get clarification about the date so that the GSC will be able to give departments some lead time. Some suggestions for standardization in reporting the requested information would be useful for departments, particularly in terms of brevity and clarity; and this should be stated at the time the new templates are sent out to departments.

IV. GS Webpage: Several changes were suggested for updating the GS webpage, which Tim Haines will now keep for the GSC. The group is still considering posting assessment data on the site.

V. English Department Curriculum Proposal: Two alternative courses were proposed for ENGL 102, Written English II; the course additions necessitate a program change: MSP
1) Course Addition: ENGL 103, Writing for Social Sciences
2) Course Addition: ENGL 104, Science and Technical Writing
3) Program Change: The two courses will serve as alternatives for the current ENGL 102 course, providing options that are more congruent with writing requirements for Social Sciences and Technical and Science majors; no additional hours will be required in the GS curriculum, as these are merely optional courses.

VI. Writing Across the Curriculum: As a follow-up to the WAC initiative two years ago, the GSC will begin to assess the extent of and encourage Writing Across the Curriculum at Shepherd. A letter or brief survey will be sent to chairs asking the extent of WAC in their GS courses at this point in time after the 1999 Thaiss workshop. Subsequent action for the GSC will follow based on those results. Dr. Bruce Kelly, whose dissertation dealt with the subject, was suggested as a resource person.

VII. NCA Update for GS: Dr. Pantle prepared an overview from the NCA report specific to General Studies. The overview provides a clear picture of GS assessment progress, innovations in the curriculum, and strengths and weaknesses of the GS Program. The GSC is grateful for the work of Dr. Pantle and others who assisted on the report.

The next GS Committee meeting will be January 9, 3:10-4:00 p.m., Knutti 203.

Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, GSC Chair

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