UMM CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

2009-10 MEETING #17 Minutes

April 21, 2010, 8:00 a.m., Behmler 130

 

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

Absent: Clare Dingley, Talia Earle

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

 

In these minutes: EDP Subcommittee Recommendation; Final Discussion of Capstone, Internship, and Directed Study Courses

 

1.  Approval of Minutes – April 7, 2010

MOTION: (Thoma/Rudney) to approve the April 7, 2010 minutes.  Motion passed by voice vote.

 

2.  EDP Subcommittee Recommendation

 

Rudney stated there were more requests than the budget could fund.  One proposal clearly did not meet the criteria for the grants.  The EDP subcommittee could have chosen to fully fund some proposals and not fund others, but the majority of the proposals were for courses that will have to be taught (including education and IC courses), so the decision was made to recommend support for all but one at reduced amounts.  Eleven proposals were submitted for a total requested amount of $22,018.50.  Five IC Courses were recommended for funding at $1,000 each, and five new or revised courses were recommended at $1,400 each.  The total available to award and the total recommended was $12,000.

 

Korth asked what the rationale was for choosing to fund the IC courses at $1,000 and the others at $1,400.  Rudney answered that some at the $1,400 were to new people or new courses.  Stewart added that one included a $1,000 request to travel to Washington DC, which was not funded.  One proposal requested $1,000, and one IC course was related to an older course that wouldn’t require as much development as some other courses.  One was cut to $1,000 because the faculty member had submitted two requests, and the subcommittee felt both should be funded.  All IC courses dropped to $1,000, for different reasons.

 

MOTION: (Ericksen/Thoma) to approve the 2010 EDP Grant recommendations.

 

VOTE: (11-0-0)

 

 

3.  Final Discussion of Capstone, Internship, and Directed Study Courses

 

Contant said that after the conversations the committee has had regarding capstones, internships and directed studies, the division chairs agreed to make recommendations on revising the process, requirements, and forms.  The proposed changes are coming forward to the committee for comment, review, and action.

Capstone

 

The first hand-out was a statement that would go into the next catalog, explaining what a capstone is and how it can be fulfilled in a variety of different ways.  The last paragraph states:

 

Each academic major includes a capstone experience appropriate to the discipline.  Faculty members in the discipline determine the shape and form of the experience.  Capstone experiences are credit bearing and usually are assigned as part of a required course.

 

The hand-out provides an inventory of the 33 majors on campus and the capstone experiences required.  Contant stated that this was a topic that came to the committee from the student members because they were concerned about the inconsistencies across campus.  The table shows that 1) virtually all majors have capstones, and 2) the capstones vary in length, form, and quantity of experience.

 

McBride stated that he was one of the students who had originally brought up the issue that there were inconsistencies in capstones across campus.  Including the explanatory paragraph in the catalog will go a long way toward making the differences clearer to students.  Thoma stated that, as a student who also brought the issue forward, she really appreciates the effort put in by the committee and division chairs to find a way to make it helpful for students to understand why capstones are not the same experience for every major.

 

McBride added that it looks as though about half of the capstones involve an overload for faculty.  He asked if that was normal or disconcerting.  Contant answered that most of the capstones that show an overload have smaller credits assigned to the capstone, and smaller majors with fewer students, which makes it difficult to assign workload to the faculty.  Exceptions were noted such as theatre and CMR.  Roberts said that he thought the overload issue is very prevalent.  Ratliff-Crain noted that the chart should be corrected to show the capstone for LAHS at 4 credits.  The requirement for the major is 4 credits.  Also, areas of concentrations do not mandate a capstone.  Contant suggested that we change the beginning of the paragraph quoted above to read “Each of our 33 academic majors include. . .”  Ratliff-Crain asked if we want to require a capstone of our areas of concentration.  Contant answered that since all formalized majors will include a capstone, she should have no trouble requiring it of areas of concentration.  Areas of concentration cause alarm for several reasons and should be looked at by the committee in a future meeting.

 

Rudney asked if the language in the catalog will change if not every major has a capstone at the time the catalog goes to press.  Social Science has a major that does not currently include a capstone, as well as areas of concentration.   Contant answered that she will make sure the statement is true before going to press.  Helsper suggested that the paragraph go in the front part of the catalog by the directed studies and internships.

 

Lawrence asked if any majors were missing from the inventory.  European Studies was mentioned.  Thoma asked if it has a capstone.  Korth answered that it doesn’t appear to list one in the current catalog.  Ericksen stated that it will have to have one, although there have been very few majors in European Studies in recent years.

 

MOTION: (McBride/Thoma) to approve the language addition to the 2011-13 Catalog, with the understanding that the first words of the last paragraph will be adjusted for accuracy if necessary.

 

VOTE: (11-0-0)

 

Internships

 

Contant stated that we have a variety of types of internships on campus.  Some are specifically within majors and others run through interdisciplinary studies.  Internships were reviewed in order to make sure they all meet the minimum necessary requirements to grant credit for majors.  Disciplines and majors have their own forms, but they will need to revise them to address these issues.  The key issues were 1) to ensure we documented the three parties involved in the internship, 2) to ensure we understood how long the student was going to be on site, and 3) to then determine the academic content of the work done on site and subsequent reflection or academic work related to the internship.  The current form is very brief.  The proposed new form is requires more information.

 

Thoma asked when the new form would be effective.  Contant answered that, if approved today, it would be used as soon as it is available and would be required for next fall.  Those already approved for this summer and next fall will not need to be redone.

 

Squier suggested that the maximum limit for single internship needs to be changed to note specific course numbers.  She asked if the Dean would be signing the forms.  Contant answered that the division chair’s signature would be required in the division in which the faculty member is located, because it has workload implications.  For IS courses, she would like to get an initial from the division chair of the faculty member who is supervising the internships.  Squier will check on whether prereqs can be enforced for those requiring them for a major.

 

Rudney suggested removing the word “written” from the second box on page 3.  Number 2 should read “Assignments that document….”

 

Pareena asked how disciplines should be informed.  Contant answered that she will send an email on behalf of the Curriculum Committee to faculty asking them to use the new form, and to disciplines with unique forms asking them to adopt this form or revise their current form.

 

MOTION: (Thoma/McBride) to approve (with suggested changes) the new Internship form.

 

VOTE:  (11-0-0)

 

 

Directed Study

 

Contant stated that the proposed revised form is intended to be used across campus and across all disciplines, majors and IS programs.  The purpose of the revision is to be clear about what a directed study is used for.  The catalog already includes a statement describing it that is now included on this form.  The sets of questions are intended to have the student explain why they want or need a directed study, and what they hope to learn from it.  Ratliff-Crain asked if it will be evaluated based on the answer a student gives regarding their wants.  For instance, if a student states that he/she needs one more credit to get financial aid for the summer, is that a good enough want?  Ericksen answered that, as a division chair, she would want to know that students are signing up for directed studies for that purpose and would then try to find a better solution.  Stewart asked if an entire reading list is going to be required.  Contant answered that the intent is to get beyond the “reading list to be determined” answer frequently used currently.  Stewart replied that in certain experiences, a student may want to do a work on a broad topic.  He would, in the first week, provide the student with a list of readings and ask the student to then tell him which narrower area he/she wants to pursue.  Contant answered that, if written that way, it would be accepted, as long as there is a sense that more readings will be required after the diagnostic phase.  Contant added that the intent is to ensure and demonstrate academic integrity.  Ericksen stated that this will put the burden on the student and not the instructor.  Lawrence added that it will cut down on phone calls she has had to make asking for an explanation on what the directed study will consist of.  Contant stated that the intention is not to set policy, but to help us understand why we are doing directed studies.  Ratliff-Crain asked if there is a 5-credit cap on directed studies.  Contant answered that there is.

 

MOTION: (Johnson/Thoma) to approve the new Directed Study form.

 

VOTE: 11-0-0

 

Contant stated that the forms will be revised and placed on the Web site.

 

McBride introduced Tara Greiman, the 2010-11 MCSA secretary of academic affairs, who will replace McBride next year on the Curriculum Committee.

 

 

Adjourned 8:26 a.m.

Submitted by Darla Peterson