University of Minnesota, Morris
                                                                                                        Morris, Minnesota
 
 

MINUTES­1999-00 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #8
February 23, 2000; 10:30 AM; Behmler Conference Room

Present:    Carlson, Evans, Farrell, Finzel, Gooch, Korth, Lee, Neuharth, Urness
Guest:      Mark Fohl
Absent:    Busch, Kissock, Kolle, Mooney, Richardson, Thielke, VanEps

[In these minutes: WSS 1200 - Variable Topics in Wellness Skills, EDP request for proposals, revised curricular change forms.]


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Korth asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the last Curriculum Committee meeting which was held February 9, 2000.

     MOTION:  (Farrell, Neuharth)  To approve the minutes as written.

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

WSS CURRICULAR CHANGE FORMS: The CC agreed to consider agenda item three before item two since Mark Fohl was present to discuss the proposed change in WSS 1200 - Variable Topics in Wellness Skills courses.  Fohl stated that Form C proposed that the credits earned for the activities courses be increased from 1/2 to one credit per course.  He stated that under the quarter system, students earned one credit for each activity course and the courses were quite popular.  Now, under the semester system, there has been a marked drop in enrollment.  In talking with students and others, it seems that students felt a 1/2 credit was not worth much to them.  The department is hoping that if the credit value is increased to one full credit, enrollment might increase.

Various CC members mentioned discomfort with increasing the credits earned without evidence that the content of the course had changed.   Fohl was asked if there had been any increase in the work required to merit a full credit.  He stated that nothing significant had really changed.  Under quarters, the classes met five days per week for five weeks.  They now meet for three days per week for 7 1/2 weeks.  The number of contact hours is slightly more under the semester system than under quarters.

A CC member wondered how this compared with the one-credit music courses.  The response was that one credit was earned for each semester, with the class meeting five days per week for fifteen weeks.  A CC member stated that if the CC grants one credit for these activity courses, perhaps students taking the music courses will want to earn two credits.  It would set a precedent that the member did not want to see.  In response, a CC member stated that the CC must consider what role the activity courses have at UMM.  If the courses are a vital part of the UMM curriculum, one way to solve the current ailment is to increase the credit value.

A CC member wondered why the courses couldn't be offered for one credit and meet for the full semester.  Fohl responded that some could, but courses like golf, skiing, and tennis are limited because of weather.  Another CC member suggested that the courses be offered for half a semester, some in the first half and some in the second.  This way a student could earn a full credit in a semester.  Fohl responded that some are offered that way, but timing can be a problem.  The courses can not always be made available at the same time of the day throughout the semester.

The CC student representatives were asked if the 1/2 credit would be an issue to them.  One of the students stated that the credits would not personally play into the decision for taking a course.  Another CC student representative mentioned that the courses are generally taken to learn the activity, not to earn the credit.

The comment was made that perhaps the decreased enrollment in the courses may not be a reflection of the 1/2 credit, but rather an indication that the students are still wary of the change to semesters.  The students don't want to take on more than they can handle.  It may be premature to double the credits earned without asking the students to take on more workload to earn those credits.

Another CC member stated that there were a number of changes in the enrollment patterns because of semesters.  The patterns were not stable yet, so the CC should not jump to conclusions.  Increasing the credit value may not solve the decreased enrollment problem.  The University Senate has set a standard that three hours of work per week is equivalent to one credit earned.  If the course does not require three hours of work per week for the fifteen weeks of the semester, then there will need to be sufficient rational to justify the change.  A CC member suggested that this course proposal be tabled, allowing the discipline to bring back sufficient rationale for making these activity courses one-credit courses.

     MOTION:  (Lee, Farrell)  To send the WSS 1200 course proposal back for rationale for the increase in credit allocation.

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

EDP REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS:  Finzel reported for the EDP subcommittee that the subcommittee does not recommend a priority for use of the EDP funds this year.  The subcommittee would like the faculty and P and A staff to have the freedom to allow their imaginations to devise creative proposals.  Finzel stated that the timeline for the EDP proposals was tight.  The letter will request that proposals be returned to the subcommittee by March 17.  The subcommittee has agreed to review the proposals over the weekend and make their recommendations to the CC at the March 22 meeting.  Recipients will be notified of the awards on March 24, before spring break.

     MOTION:  (Understood)  To endorse the EDP subcommittee proposal regarding EDP funds.

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

REVISING THE CURRICULAR CHANGE FORMS:  Korth mentioned that a small group had met to design what they hoped were simpler versions of the curricular change forms.  He noted that there was now a separate sheet of instructions so the forms themselves could be shortened.

Form A had no changes other than the elimination of the instructions previously imbedded in the form.  The group had talked about the frequent confusion regarding when to submit Form A.  The small group is proposing that the CC ask for this form only in a year in which UMM is doing a catalog.  The only exception would be the need to use this form when there is a new major offered.

Form B is the same with the exception of the change in the "note" section at the top of the form.  The form has been changed to read "Note: All changes become effective fall 1999 the fall semester following Campus Assembly approval."  Course changes are effective immediately upon Campus Assembly approval, but the major/minor changes that occur once per year are effective the fall after Campus Assembly approval.

Form C is now two forms, Form NC and Form RC.  Much of the information needed on the new-course form is not needed on the revised-course form.  The revised-course form has consequently been streamlined.  There is room for five course revisions on one Form RC.  The hope is that several changes will be submitted on one form to reduce the paperwork.  The Form NC has been trimmed to a minimum of information. There is no repetition of requested information on the new form.

Korth brought up a point for discussion to the CC members.  The major impetus of the provisional approval was to get a new course approved so the course could be taught.  The informal small group that revised the curricular change forms suggested that only new courses be allowed to go through the provisional approval process.  Therefore, the Form RC was created without the provisional approval section.

CC members discussed situations where courses needed to be revised right after the catalog was out.  Sometimes the changes are not in the instructor's control; something new enters the picture.  If the instructor is not able to go with the change until the course goes through the regular process, the time lag could be critical.

     MOTION:  (Finzel, Neuharth)  To add the provisional approval process to the Form RC.

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

Korth noted that the UC: Form NC and UC: Form RC are the same except for the question regarding listing the course in the day school catalog.  The provisional approval process just approved for the Form RC will be added to the Form UC: RC also.

Korth noted there were some minor changes, such as typos, to make in the instructions.  He asked if there were any comments or questions regarding the forms or the instructions.  There were none, so the forms were approved by a voice vote.

     MOTION:  (Understood)  To adopt the revised curricular change forms and instructions.

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

Meeting adjourned 11:25 a.m.
Submitted by Melody Veenendaal
 

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