MINUTES 2002-2003 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING # 8
November 6, 2002, 8:00 a.m. Behmler Conference Room
Present: John Schwaller, Mike Korth, Jenny Nellis, Jooinn Lee, Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Chris DeVries, Van Gooch, Tom Johnson, Amanda Johnson, Dorothy DeJager, and Nancy Helsper
Absent: Judy Kuechle, David Bohlander, Chris Pifer, Danielle Stuard,
Ruth Thielke, and Clare Strand
Visitors: Tom McRoberts and Bart Finzel
Schwaller highlighted the revisions for the Interdisciplinary courses.
MOTION: (Gooch, Nellis) To accept the Interdisciplinary changes
A member expressed concern and confusion about the description of the course IS 3111H Honors: The End of the World as We’ve Known It: The Apocalypse Then and Now. After discussion among the members a motion was made.
MOTION: (Korth, DeVries) To remove IS 3111H from the IS packet for separate consideration
VOTE: Motion passed (5-2-0)
Discussion on original motion:
A member asked why, with the new honors program, are the new honors courses listed as IS and not as a separate Honors designation. Schwaller indicated that the nature of the new honors program is to be interdisciplinary and have IS courses. There will continue to be honors courses in single disciplines. The member suggested that it appears the honors courses are being hidden in IS and suggested a different designation to show Honors courses. Another member agreed that this is an important question and something to think about, something to make the program more prestigious.
VOTE: Motion passed to approve IS changes without IS 3111H. (7-0-0)
MOTION: (Korth, DeJager) To accept the concept of the course IS 3111H and allow the committee to give an electronic vote within 48 hours on a clarified description from the principal faculty sponsors.
VOTE: Motion passed (7-0-0)
Schwaller presented WSS 2321 CE: Group Fitness Instructor Training and WSS 2331 CE: Personal Training Preparation. DeVries explained that these are interest courses and were brought to WSS but went to CE because of lack of funds in WSS to cover instructor costs. The student member stated that on behalf of all students she was opposed to these courses because they are not the type of courses that should be offered at UMM because they are not Liberal Arts, they are the type of course one would take at a Technical School. DeVries stated that these courses are not involved in the WSS curriculum and that is why they are offered through CE. Another member stated that there are various types of courses offered though CE that are of community interest and those that mirror day school courses. The courses are of a wide variety, from the very rigorous to those of community interest.
The student member restated her objection. McRoberts responded explaining that UMM has a number of programs that are career oriented. CE courses and programs share in the program at UMM but are system wide, some programs are appropriate through CE, and these courses are within that spirit. A member stated the students have raised objection to courses that don’t fit a Liberal Arts education and is pleased that our students recognize that and speak up about it. The point is well taken that the students object and yet we must maintain the integrity of Continuing Education.
McRoberts explained that however these issues are resolved the core mission of this institution has always included WSS and Education. He would be willing to join in a broader discussion of the issue but would not like these courses to be singled out from the rest of the program. A member stated that the mission statement in the current catalog on page 3 is listed as threefold, 1) Research and Discover, 2) Teaching and Learning and 3) Outreach and Public Service. Under the Outreach and Public Service the member read the statement “Extend, apply and exchange knowledge between the University and society by applying scholarly expertise to community problems, by helping organizations and individuals respond to their changing environments, and by making knowledge and resources created and preserved at the University accessible to the citizens of the state, nation, and world.” The member stated that these courses do exactly that and that health and fitness has changed over the years. The University should at least keep up if it isn’t leading. Schwaller also noted that these courses do not carry a GER designation. A member asked McRoberts his opinion of using a CE classifier before the discipline classifier. McRoberts explained that CE offers many different courses in service to the Institution and it really doesn’t matter how the courses are classified as long as CE courses are not given a leper status. Schwaller explained that he is somewhat concerned with this method because Ceramics, Sign Language, Geology of Minnesota, Dakota Language, for example, are central to their programs and he does not want to see CE marginalized.
MOTION: (DeVries, Korth) To approve CE changes for the catalog and the two additional course proposals, WSS 2321 and WSS 2331
MOTION: (Bezanson, Johnson) To pull out WSS 2321 and WSS 2331 for separate consideration
VOTE: Motion failed (2-5-0)
A member questioned the rationale for the WSS courses being 2xxx level courses. McRoberts explained that it is likely that students will have had intro WSS courses and the level of sophistication for these courses is greater than the 1xxx level. Another member suggested that these WSS courses are not seen as introductory courses and McRoberts concurred.
A member suggested and editorial change that the FL designator should not be on the first semester language courses, just for the 2nd semester and intermediate courses. Schwaller agreed that this is an editorial change not requiring a vote by CC.
A member asked for clarification on the motion. The motion is to approve all Continuing Education proposed changes and additions.
VOTE: Motion passed (5-2-0)
Bart Finzel presented the changes in the Honors Program and explained that the report from the Task Force was modified as little as possible. The changes are noted in the information provided to CC. The program is centered on interdivision work and students need to take an honors course each semester in residence. In residence was used to accommodate students who are studying abroad or at other institutions.
MOTION: (Lee, DeJager) To approve the Honors Program as proposed.
A member questioned the course Traditions in Human Thought enrollment being limited to 15 students. Finzel explained that two sections will be offered in the fall and currently he is not sure of exactly how many students will be in the honors program. A member questioned item #2 in the second paragraph of the catalog copy, complete one honors course per semester of participation while in residence at UMM, provided the students complete at least 3 other Honors courses at the 3xxx level at UMM. Finzel explained that it allows students to be off campus and yet meet the 3xxx level requirements. A member suggested that the statement be split into two sentences. A member stated that if the intent is for students to take an Honors course every semester he has a problem with that and that pre-med students for example have a heavy load as it is and may not be able to fit in 2 more credits. Another member suggested that Education students would also have the same problem with their heavy course load. Finzel explained that one of the intentions of the task force was to address this problem by having the courses 2 credits instead of 4. A member suggested that May term courses may work for an Honors course and be an option for such students as pre-med and education who have full schedules during the semesters. Korth explained that one overreaching goal of the task force was to have a simplified program and that they intended 3 courses in the Jr and Sr year and didn’t specify 1 per semester. He suggested taking out the requirement of completing one honors course per semester in residency and leave in the 3 courses at the 3xxx level. Finzel noted that this may cause a bunching problem where students would try to take all 3 courses at one time.
A member questioned how workload would be affected. Schwaller explained that this was discussed between himself and the Chancellor and both were willing to include it in the workload through a process of banking. Several members were still concerned with the workload issue and Schwaller assured CC that the issue has been discussed between the Chancellor and himself.
A member suggested that with the Honors program at UMM, we need to be aware of quality vs. quantity in the students mind. Not necessarily more work but better work and she is not sure doing more is better. Finzel stated that the task force also wrestled with this issue and is looking for a distinctive experience for the students. The member questioned the use of IS courses and stated that she was not sure that they provided intellectual distinction.
Wording corrections were suggested and agreed upon by CC. The first sentence of the fourth paragraph will be changed to read “The senior honors project is a substantial scholarly or creative work that shows the student’s intellectual engagement and ...“ and the wording of #2 in the second paragraph will be changed to read “students complete at least 3 Honors courses at the 3xxx level at UMM.”
VOTE: Approved as amended (6-0-1)
Meeting adjourned 9:30 a.m.
Submitted by Karen Van Horn