General Studies Committee Minutes
April 10, 2002
3:10-4:10 p.m., Knutti 203


Voting Members Present:, Dan DiLella (NS&M, 2002), Denis Woods (B&SS, 2002), Jerry Thomas (A&H, 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), Patricia Dwyer (Assessment Coord.), Larry Daily (Assessment Statistics Advisor)

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

I. Announcements:

1) On March 27, Dr. David Dunlop conveyed his personal thanks and appreciation to the GSC for all our work preparing for North Central review. GSC work has been complex and difficult for the past three years, and Dr. Dunlop wanted the Committee to know how sincerely grateful the College is for our effort.

2) CAAP testing was carried out in the week after spring break. Thanks to those GSC members (Drs. DiLella, Shurbutt, Pantle, and Woods) who helped and to Dr. Dwyer's Assessment Office for administering CAAP tests.

3) Dr. Stern has approved a small Xeroxing budget for GS business; the English Department is very grateful.

4) Dr. Shurbutt reported Monday, April 8, to the College C&I Committee for the GSC, sharing the 2001-2002 GS Assessment Report and the Three-Year Assessment Review, as well as other business of the GSC, which serves under C&I. In particular, C&I was interested in the three new GS courses now offered as options in the GS curriculum: ENGL 103 (Writing for the Social Sciences), ENGL 104 (Science and Technical Writing)--courses options now for ENGL 102 (Written English II); and HIST 100 (Asian Traditions)--an option in the GS history course requirements.

5) Dr. DiLella reported that he spoke with the NS&M Division about the new GS course options (above); Dr. Shurbutt will speak to the A&H Division at the April 29 A&H Division meeting; Dr. Woods (B&SS) and Dr. Simplicio (PS) will speak to their divisions.

II. Approval of January 9 Minutes: MVP.

III. GS Computer Literacy Requirement and the Scarborough Library: Ann Henriksson spoke to the GSC about the Library's willingness to offer instruction to students who may need to certify the Computer Literacy Requirement. There are 13 computers in the library with web-access for student use. Ms. Henriksson noted that the full-time library staff were willing to undertake this instruction, indeed do so already. Since some advisors had indicated their reluctance to certify all of the GS computer competencies, the Library's offer to be an alternative certification resource was accepted with appreciation. The suggestion was made that the Computer Competency Checklist used for the Registrar's records be altered so that this additional certification check point (Library) might be included. Dr. Pantle said he would undertake the revision of the form. After GSC approval of the form (attached), we will forward it on to Dr. Eldridge and Dr. Carter.

IV. Curricular Issue: Dr. Bruce Kelley presented Music's proposal that Music Minors be allowed to waive the GS MUSC 111 requirement. The rationale was that this exemption follows the practice previously established in the Music Major and that since the Music Minor already requires 27 hours of music, including MUSC 310 and 311 (Music History), the overlap of content would be superfluous in an already strong minor with an unusually large number of requirements. After some discussion, MVP.

V. 2002-2003 GS Assessment Plan (April 10 Due Date): Most department chairs or department/division assessment coordinators have responded to the GSC request for 2002-2003 GS Assessment Plan. The goal is to have all departments reporting in the next assessment round, as promised to North Central evaluators in February. Dr. Dwyer noted that though the plan is due this April, the final report will not be due until November 1, 2003, which allows for a more thoughtful, less rushed process. Dr. Shurbutt will contact those departments who have not yet responded to her email.

VI. NCA Visit Follow-up Discussion: The GSC discussed the NCA visit and those areas in the program and curriculum that were questioned. While the GSC intends to wait until the full and official report reaches us prior to beginning any initiatives, several areas appear to warrant focus and attention by the Committee in the coming year: 1) diversity in the Curriculum, 2) Learning Communities, 3) Writing Across the Curriculum. Dr. Dwyer and Dr. Shurbutt reported on the useful exchange of information at the most recent assessment discussion series: "Learning What Your Students Think: Focus Groups and Assessment." Karen Vince, whose fall semester SOWK 312 class will conduct focus groups as part of course requirements, offered to work with Sylvia, Pat, and John Adams in conducting GS focus groups, which would allow us to assess some of the more difficult GS ISOs dealing with values and diversity (see GS Goals 5 & 6). The question of the WAC survey came up, and the consensus of the Committee was to hold up on informing department chairs of the results until fall, since folks are inundated with work right now and NCA has just concluded.

VII. Updating the GS Brochure: At the last C&I Committee meeting, Dr. Eldridge suggested that the GSC update the brochure this summer to include curriculum changes and the computer literacy requirement. The GSC agreed that the task needed to be done, and charged the chair to assess the needs around campus for copies of the new brochure and then contact Tim Haines about the revision. It was also suggested that perhaps the history requirements be clarified regarding the HIST 100 and HIST 101; Shurbutt asked Dr. Thomas to provide the wording from History.

VIII. GSC Committee Faculty Elections: All GSC faculty members are up for 2002 elections (Dr. Woods, B&SS, will be on sabbatical fall 2002). There was some discussion about the GSC membership and whether we had reached the point that we might make some recommendations to C&I (i.e., staggering faculty elections, increasing or decreasing the membership). Dr. Shurbutt will notify all division chairs concerning elections of faculty positions. Some informal web discussion in the coming weeks might be appropriate before we make formal recommendations next fall to C&I.

The next General Studies Committee meeting will be September 11, 3:10-4:00 p.m., Knutti 203.

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