University of Minnesota, Morris
MINUTES--1996-97 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #17
March 11, 1997; 3:00 p.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Ballou, Bauer, Farrell, Frenier, Hansen, Imholte, Kissock, Korth, J. Lee, M. Lee, Schuman, Thielke, Vickstrom, Whelan
Absent: Barbour, Ellis Guest(s): DeJager, Togeas
MOTION (Kissock, Understood): To approve the proposal to move IS 1220, Human Sexuality, to Psy 1401 with no other changes.
Imholte agreed that every IS course should have a home in one of the divisions, but he also felt there should be more IS courses. Ballou wondered if IS 1220 could be double-listed with Psychology. Schuman said that he was never approached about a double-listing. Given the way the course has been taught, it should be housed entirely in the Psychology discipline. Kissock noted that, given the way the course has been taught, it could also be a Wellness course.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (10-0-0).
[Farrell arrived at the meeting at this point.]
Frenier said she was concerned that the current "non-Western" requirement has been merged so that it would be possible for students to graduate from UMM without knowing that non-Westerners think very differently. Togeas said the GEC thought the current definition of "non-Western" was not clear. Schuman wondered if "British Poetry of the 18th Century" would fit in the Global Village category of the GER. Some CC members thought that it did fit the definition of "international," but Togeas did not.
Whelan thought UMM was "marching the wrong way" if Frenier's concern was not addressed. Also, what about overseas programs? Has there been any discussion of giving credit for international perspective if the student participates in an overseas program?
Schuman said he had heard two issues which should be brought back to the GEC: 1) Do we want to restrict IV.F.3 (Global Village/International Perspective) to non-Western cultures? and 2) Do we want to include an experiential option?
Farrell said the "International Perspective" category did not necessarily include non-Western countries. Schuman said the GEC needs to clarify whether the International Perspective requirement simply means "not the U.S." or "not Western cultures."
Thielke said she had raised a concern for transfer students, especially those coming from community colleges, who might have already met an international perspectives requirement defined as any culture outside the U.S. Understanding other groups inside the U.S. could be included as well. If UMM wants a requirement for non-Western culture, then it should be called "non-Western." Bauer wondered if "non-Western" or "non-Eurocentric" is really meant. Frenier clarified that Ecuador would be non-Western, according to the current UMM definition.
Whelan noted that UMM currently has a non-Western requirement in the GER. There are many ways to fulfill that requirement. Frenier agreed; Native American and Black American cultures are included in the non-Western definition.
Thielke reminded the group that one of the criticisms of the GER which the Prosper Assessment Committee considered was the prescriptive nature of the current GER. She is concerned about students being able to put together enough courses for the GER when there will be fewer courses taken under semesters. The Global Village could be a theme requirement fulfilled by other categories as well. Togeas said the GEC had discussed "double-dipping" in the GER. The GEC had looked at the student demand for general education courses and determined that there would be enough courses. Thielke said her concern was not about the number of courses available, but rather the number of courses that each student must take. If we want students to be able to explore the liberal arts curriculum, they need to have room in their curriculum for electives. This is the time to consider that.
Imholte said he thought this was an excellent idea. If it doesn't work to have the CC doing all of the work, then the CC could create a subcommittee. Whelan said the role of the CC is to review everything in the curriculum, so it is appropriate for the CC to be dealing with general education requirements. Eliminating the GEC would, however, remove another acknowledgment of general education. It is important for someone to stand up for general education. Schuman said the elimination of the GEC could suggest that general education is an integral part of the curriculum.
J. Lee said the merit of having a GEC is that we checked general education changes twice. If the CC has a subcommittee, the double checking could continue. Korth said he was in favor of eliminating the GEC. He also felt there needed to be a simplification of the course change process.
Hansen was concerned for transfer students. He transferred into UMM and many of his previous courses did not count. He had to appeal to a committee to get them to count.
Whelan commented that students can't double dip on E categories now. If we want students to take a different course for each category, we should be up front about it. Ballou said she was not sure of the intentions of the GEC, but if they mean to limit the number of categories that a faculty member could assign to any one course and thereby limit the choices that students would have, then she is opposed to the proposal. Students need the flexibility. Having options eases problems in trying to meet the requirements. Thielke agreed; she also is concerned about reducing the number of options available to students. Now students can double dip by using one E category from a course, but also using Process or non-Western categories from the same course. Currently, courses are doing quite a bit of double duty.
Schuman said he was hearing strong concern that this proposal might constrict students.
J. Lee said there could be a limit on the number of designators on a course. A suggestion was made to limit the number of designators to two. Schuman said the CC could have operating principles limiting the number of designators and that aspect would not have to be part of the general education proposal.
Togeas said the GEC intended that all courses would fit someplace in the GER unless they are specifically excluded. He will take the concern back to the GEC.
Vickstrom wondered if this would place a hardship on disciplines who have already finished designing their semester programs. Farrell said he has cautioned disciplines in his Division that we may have to make modifications to the semester proposals, depending on what happens with general education and the common experience. He did not think it would be a problem.
Schuman thought the suggestion to move C2 and W requirements into the majors made a lot of sense. Students should have their computing applications and second writing course in the area of their major. Whelan said he tended to agree, but also wondered why students shouldn't have the option to get a W course outside their major. Farrell commented that, if a writing course is to be meaningful, it must be relatively small. He liked the idea of every major taking care of its own students. Students would get their first writing course through College Writing and the second one in the major.
Hansen said that students need to get C2 and W courses in the freshman year. These requirements should be incorporated into the skills that students get when they first arrive.
J. Lee wondered if there was any major which would have difficulty incorporating a C2 or W course. He thought that both might be universally required in UMM majors, especially writing. Schuman felt sure that all disciplines also use computer applications.
Korth thought it was a good idea to move these two requirements into the major, but the requirements should not be limited to specific courses. Pieces of the requirement could be included in several courses.
Schuman wondered if faculty would be able to limit a course to S-N or A-F grading. J. Lee said the grading system would be determined by the students when they register. Jeri Mullen says that freshmen have a tendency to sign up for A-F grading.
Kissock said that the common experience should be offered in both semesters. Then more faculty will be available to teach. He also noted that 100 minutes is not a problem for freshmen. Many high schools have 80-minute classes.
Schuman said the discussion of the Common Experience Proposal would continue at the next meeting. He commended the CETF for altering their proposal after listening to discussion at the campus forums.
Meeting adjourned 4:05 p.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney
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