2009-10 MEETING #15 Minutes

March 31, 2010, 8:00 a.m., Behmler 130


Present: Cheryl Contant (chair), Clare Dingley, Janet Ericksen, Mark Fohl, Nicholas Johnson, Michael Korth, Pareena Lawrence, Mike McBride, Dave Roberts, Gwen Rudney, Jeri Squier, Dennis Stewart, Elizabeth Thoma, Tisha Turk

Absent: Talia Earle

Visiting: Jayne Blodgett, Nancy Helsper, Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain


In these minutes: IC course proposal review process; Continued discussion of capstone, internship, and directed study courses.


1.  Approval of Minutes

Review of prior meeting minutes was postponed due to the illness of the regular Curriculum Committee secretary, Darla Peterson.  At the next meeting, there will be two sets of minutes to review.


2.  Review of IC Course Proposals

Contant indicated that IC course proposals were due last Friday.  Most of the proposals have been through discipline and division reviews.  The Curriculum Committee meeting schedule will need to be revised to accommodate the review of the IC proposals.  Squier said that ECAS shows 16 IC course proposals: 11 courses at the 2-credit level and 5 at the 4-credit level, coming from Humanities (7 courses), Social Sciences (6 courses), Science and Math (1 course), and Education (2 courses).  Contant did not believe this was a complete list of the IC proposals.  Korth indicated that there will be a total of 3 IC course proposals from Science and Math.


Contant noted that because of registration for new students on April 16, it was agreed in Campus Assembly that the Curriculum Committee would approve IC courses to be offered next year and bring the list to Campus Assembly for information.  Next week’s meeting was to have been only for the EDP Subcommittee.  In order to get the approved IC courses scheduled before April 16, the full Curriculum Committee will need to meet next week on April 7 and the EDP Subcommittee will then meet on April 14.  On April 7, the Curriculum Committee will consider IC courses that have been reviewed by a subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee.  At that point, the IC courses will go through the provisional approval process.  In future years, IC course proposals will go through the regular approval process.  In the meantime, the Division approval process for the IC proposals should go forward.


Ratliff-Crain said the IC Subcommittee will fall on the original First-Year Experience Curricular Component Subcommittee that was in place fall semester.  The subcommittee will meet tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in IH 115.  If members of the Learning Outcomes Subcommittee wish to attend, they are also welcome.


3.  Meeting with NCA HLC Visiting Team

Contant thanked Curriculum Committee members who met with the NCA HLC visiting team on Tuesday.  We will learn more about the visit today.


4.  Capstone, Internship, and Directed Study Course Discussion (continued)

Contant asked the Committee to continue the discussion from prior meetings about capstone, internship, and directed study courses.  She said it was her sense, from reviewing numerous internship proposals, that there is not one uniform set of standards for how to translate internship work into course credits.  For instance, if a student works 4 weeks full-time and writes a 5-page paper, how many credits should the internship be worth?  The assignment of credits for internships currently seems to be all over the map.  The big issues on her mind related to internships are 1) assignment of credit; 2) learning outcomes; and 3) how learning outcomes are demonstrated by products produced at the end of the internship.  The current internship proposal form does not require this information.  Contant often sends proposals back for additional details.  A side issue is the three-way relationship among the student, faculty adviser, and the site superviser:  the stewardship issue.


Helsper distributed handouts with data related to internship, field studies, and practicums such as enrollments, credits taken, and student credit hours generated over the past three years.  Contant commented that an annual average of 716 SCH in internships is not a huge amount considering that the total SCH generated by the campus is over 50,000.  We allow each student to use 32 credits of internship in the 120 credits for the degree.


Contant said we should require the same level of academic integrity for internships that we do for the rest of the curriculum.  Some disciplines have established standards for internships.  Ericksen suggested a combination model be devised as an example of how hours worked and number of pages of written papers translate into credits.  Ratliff-Crain noted that field supervisors would like to have that information as well.  McBride said financial aid requirements often play a part in determining how many credits the student needs.  In order to increase the credits of internship to qualify for aid, the student may add journals and lengthen papers.


Roberts suggested that a starting point for the discussion of standards should be the University of Minnesota standard of 45 hours of work for one credit.  Contant mentioned that there is downtime in an internship where learning is not occurring, at least to a greater extent than in the classroom.


Dingley noted that some of the courses with “internship” in the title do not have the standard course number that ends in xx96.


Contant said she is less concerned about the IS internships, as they are not necessarily a requirement in a major.  Ratliff-Crain said the LAHS and Psy internships use the University Senate guidelines.  There has been some variation over the years related to the standard that going over 4 credits should correspond to the introduction of a distinct set of learning outcomes.


Contant asked if it would be appropriate to start the discussion with 45 hours/credit as a standard for any discipline that doesn’t already have its own set of standards.  A student, then, could never register for more than 12 credits over the summer because there wouldn’t be time to get all of the work time accomplished.  Lawrence said some students want to register for 16 credits over the summer, knowing that they will finish the work in the fall.  Contant said those students should register in the fall for the work being done in the fall.


McBride thought that advising by the faculty member should bring all of these standards into consideration.  He was not sure how to “better advising.”  Contant said we can stimulate the discussion between the student and faculty adviser by the questions asked on the internship proposal form.


Turk noted that, in addition to employed hours of work per week, there is additional written work and/or readings, along with work on the paper, that the student will be doing.  McBride said it would help students if there was a template for internship proposals.  For instance, the template could indicate that 40 hours of work/week with a 20-page paper means the student should register for a certain number of credits.  Ratliff-Crain noted that the Career Center does have guidelines like that.


Korth commented that the hours of work for an internship should not simply be employment hours, but academic work hours.  There should be a statement on the form that only academic work hours matter when determining the number of credits assigned.  Roberts thought that some of the internships, like ELTAP, were based on experiential learning and so the employed hours would be equal to the academic work hours.  Contant said that quality control is important.  There is a great deal of variability among the internship experiences.  We should try to find out what the purpose, goals, and outcomes of the internship will be, and find out how that will be demonstrated by the student.  There could be an average formula for IS internships, if discipline internships already have standards.  Rudney said the Education internships are carefully considered.  Student teaching equates one credit to a full week of teaching (35 hours).  In addition, for one credit, add another 20 hours of prep time or assignments.  Weekly journals, reflective papers, and feedback from the supervisor are also required.


Contant wondered if there were written internship standards for the courses listed on the handout.  The answer was “yes” for Mgmt, WSS 3201, Geol, Pol, Ed, ElEd, SeEd, and Psy.  She wondered if the grading system was usually S-N.  The answer was yes; only a few have A-F as an option.


In summary of the capstone, internship, and directed study discussion, Contant noted the need for action in three areas:

1)      Need for greater discussion about the purposes of the course, goals, and learning outcomes (in other words, a better description);

2)      Need to revise the forms for directed studies and internships;

3)      Need for some way to provide metrics.  For the average student doing average work, how much of x work means x credits.


Contant indicated that the discussion would continue in a couple of weeks with drafts to be reviewed.


Ericksen requested a definition of “discipline” at UMM.  Korth thought there had been a discussion about that about five years ago.


Adjourned 9:00 a.m.

Submitted by Nancy Helsper