University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, Minnesota

 

MINUTES     2000-01 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #2
September 27, 2000; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room

Present:           Carlson, DeJager, Evans, Farris (replacing Bos), Finzel, Gooch, Kissock, Korth, Mooney, Nellis, Ostrowski, Thielke, Urness

Absent:            Chabel, Lee, Neuharth

[In these minutes: approval of minutes, schedule for reviewing catalog revisions, topics courses.]

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Korth asked for additions or corrections to the minutes of the last Curriculum Committee (CC) meeting which was held on September 13, 2000. There were none.

MOTION (Kissock, Carlson): To approve the minutes, as distributed electronically, for the 9/13/00 CC meeting.

VOTE:            Unanimous in favor (9-0-0)

SCHEDULE FOR REVIEW OF CATALOG REVISION FORMS: Korth indicated that this is probably the "calm before the storm" in terms of CC activity. At the last CC meeting, there was agreement that the Division of Education changes would be considered first. However, we need to change that schedule because the Chair of the Education Division cannot attend the next CC meeting.

Nellis said the Division of the Humanities would be meeting later today to approve curricular change proposals. It was noted that the Division of the Social Sciences held its curricular revision meeting last week. Korth said the Division of Science and Mathematics will hold its curriculum meeting tomorrow night. He thought some disciplines in each Division should be ready for action by the CC at its next meeting.

There was a question related to the teacher preparations requirements being moved in the catalog from the various individual discipline sections into the secondary education section. Will the changes related to teacher preparation requirements be discussed with the various discipline packets or only with the secondary education packet? Kissock said the teacher preparation requirements will be part of the secondary education packet, but each of the individual disciplines and divisions has approved of the requirements. Nellis wondered if the teacher preparation requirements need Division approval. Kissock said they should be reviewed at the Division level because it is the individual disciplines, not the Division of Education, who are putting forward the teacher preparation requirements. It was mentioned that the Social Sciences Division did not review teacher preparation requirements last week. Korth said he would send proposed teacher preparation requirements to his faculty for the Science and Math Division meeting. The discussion in the CC will occur with the Division of Education packets.

One member asked for the reason for moving teacher preparation requirements from the discipline sections into secondary education. Kissock said the change will make it easier for education students to find all of the licensure requirements in one place. It may also be helpful in explaining the education program to students and to accrediting agencies. The member understood the advantages but thought it would be a disadvantage to students in a particular major who might want to consider adding licensure. Korth thought another reason for the move was that the licensure areas had changed significantly and were no longer aligned as closely with UMM disciplines as they were in the past. Kissock said that is true. Moving the teacher preparation requirements makes the differences between the major and the licensure requirements more distinct. Thielke said she could put text into the APAS reports for liberal education majors that explains the requirements for adding licensure. That has already been done for the English major.

Korth commented that the CC could standardize the language in the catalog for directing students from the individual majors to the teacher preparation requirements. Kissock suggested doing that when actually reviewing the Secondary Education packet.

Thielke was concerned that any changes to the major, minor, and teacher preparation requirements should indicate whether the changes are retroactive to the beginning of semesters (Fall of 1999). There may need to be a statement in the catalog related to retroactive changes. Korth wondered if that was necessary since students can graduate from the catalog in effect when they first enroll at UMM or any subsequent catalog.

Korth noted that the Division of Science and Math will be bringing forward a proposal to create a statistics discipline.

Thielke reminded members that she needs quarter equivalents to any new semester courses. Mooney assured her that the question about equivalents is on the Form NC.

TOPICS COURSES: Korth commented that there is some complexity in dealing with topics courses. Once the umbrella course has been approved, faculty are free to create specific courses under that umbrella without approval. We are finding more and more that the GER or some other aspect of the specific course differs from the umbrella. The variations in the specific courses then need approval. Mooney needs information to set up the courses in PeopleSoft and ECAS (the web database). After the last meeting, some questions came up about how to get specific topic courses into the system. Mooney created another form in an effort to make it easier to deal with topics courses. If the topic course does not differ from the umbrella, then the form does not require approval. The advantage of having topics courses is to be able to get new courses quickly into the system. That advantage is lost if the specific topics differ from the umbrella course and have to go through Campus Assembly.

One member thought the provisional approval process allowed any course to get into the system quickly. Korth suggested that we could stop drawing distinctions between topics and regular courses since we have the provisional approval process. Another member said that, rather than eliminate topics courses, we could limit the amount of variation allowed under an umbrella course. Korth said most umbrella courses have the prerequisites fixed, for example, but some disciplines do not want the prereqs limited. The CC should look at alternatives. He asked CC members to talk to their colleagues and get wider feedback.

The comment was made that the purpose of topics courses is to make it easy to offer a course that might only be offered once. Korth noted that even one offering of a course requires information to get the course into the system. The member said that the biggest problem is having a process that discourages faculty from teaching a course. Division secretaries are confused about the process. Mooney indicated that she had sent the Form TC to division secretaries who asked that it become an official form. They believe it eliminates confusion to have a specific form for all topics courses.

MOTION (Kissock, Urness): To approve the use of the Form TC for topics courses.

Korth said this form would be used with the understanding that it comes to the CC only if the course differs from the umbrella course. The suggestion was made that umbrella courses be made more encompassing so that there will be fewer differences. Another member added that there could be one umbrella with each GER possibility. Korth noted that disciplines already have the option of doing that. Another suggestion was to add the prereq of instructor consent to the course. Another member said that instructor consent does not keep students out of a class.

A member found the text with the approval sections at the bottom confusing. A suggestion was made to copy the italicized sentence at the top of the form and repeat it just above the approval sections. Another suggestion was made to add a question: Does this course differ from the umbrella? Korth didn't think all of the complexities of topics courses should be covered on the form.

MOTION TO TABLE (Carlson, Nellis): To table the motion to approve the Form TC.

VOTE:            Unanimous in favor (9-0-0)

ISSUES TO COME: Korth mentioned a couple of issues that are likely to come to the Curriculum Committee this year: (1) A suggestion is going to the Executive Committee that we eliminate Campus Assembly approval of curricular changes. Divisional approval would be the final approval. (2) Another suggestion has been made that we modify the 40-credit limit in the discipline of the major. Even though the major requirements would continue to be limited to 40 credits, students would be allowed to have 48 credits in one discipline count toward the degree.

Kissock said that, because many students are affected by the changing licensure requirements, he is planning to advertise to students what the proposed licensure requirements are for the new catalog so students will be informed when they register for spring semester courses. One CC member thought students would be allowed to use the licensure requirements from the catalog under which they entered. Kissock said the State of Minnesota has in the past allowed four years of grandfathering with old requirements. That is not the case with the latest changes. After September 1, 2001, all students will have to meet the new rules.

Meeting adjourned 8:56 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney

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