MINUTES-1998-99 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING
November 18, 1998; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Cerar, Farrell, Frenier, Haugen, Korth,
Lee, McIntosh, Neuharth, Thielke, Utoft
Absent: Busch, Kissock, Leroux, Taylor, Woll
[In these minutes: Scholastic Committee decision to convert current 15 credits of D under quarter system to 10 semester credits; Chem 1005, new course for Spring 1999; computing and writing statements from Science and Math and Social Science Divisions; designation of C2 and W semester courses for use in quarter-based GER from Science and Math and Social Science Divisions; semester courses for quarter P7 GER requirement; and continuation of Honors Program Committee discussion.]
MISCELLANEOUS: Veenendaal distributed revised copies of Social Science Division's summary of the writing and computing skills requirements in each major.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Korth
asked for corrections or additions to the previous minutes. There
were none, so minutes were approved by a voice vote.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (8-0-0)
FOR INFORMATION: Korth informed Curriculum Committee members that the Scholastic Committee has acted to convert the current 15 credits of D allowed under the quarter system to its numerical equivalent of 10 semester credits. Frenier noted that 10 semester credits is equivalent to 2 1/2 courses. Korth confirmed that this was the case; the assumption was that a student would be taking some courses that are not 4-credit courses. Frenier wondered if this would be forwarded to the Campus Assembly. Mooney said it would not be necessary since this would be a straight 2/3 conversion.
CURRICULAR ITEMS: Korth stated that Item D - French course proposals - should be withdrawn from the agenda at this time. Korth would like to replace Item D on the agenda with the handout from Social Science that defines how students will acquire writing and computer skills within each Social Science major and listing C2 and W semester courses to apply to the quarter GER. Frenier questioned why the decision about C2 and W courses was being made by division faculty. Mooney stated that the lists of C2 and W courses are semester equivalencies for the quarter GER. Any quarter courses being proposed for C2 or W would go through the normal approval process.
Item (A) New course for Spring 1999: Chem 1005. Korth stated that this course is a quarter course that will be offered once. Korth said that in essence this is a topics course offered for non-majors, but Chemistry does not have a topics umbrella at this level. Thielke wondered if there is a comparable topics number in semesters. Korth said there is nothing comparable at this time, but that Chemistry does have topics numbers in semesters. Mooney noted that the semester topics numbers for Chemistry are at the 4000 level. Lee wondered if there was only one instructor teaching Chem 1005. Korth said yes, one instructor who has had a long term interest in this area. Korth requested a voice vote to approve adding this course.
VOTE: Unanimous (8-0-0).
Item (B) Computing and writing statements from Science & Math. Korth introduced the copy of the computing and writing statements from the various Science and Math disciplines that was sent with the agenda. Lee wondered if there was a statement from the Biology discipline. Korth stated that the Biology discipline had already submitted a statement which appears in the Semester Transition Course Catalog. Since there was no discussion or questions regarding the statements, Korth asked for a voice vote.
VOTE: Unanimous (8-0-0)
Item (C) Designation of C2 and W semester courses for use in quarter-based GER from Science and Math. Korth stated that the CC would be forwarding this all to Campus Assembly since it is GER related. There were no questions or discussion so Korth asked for a voice vote to approve the C2 and W semester courses.
VOTE: Unanimous (8-0-0)
Item (D) Computing and writing statements from Social Science. Korth referred CC members to the Social Science statements handed out before the meeting. Mooney noted that the statement was missing for the Liberal Arts for the Human Services (LAHS) major and for the Social Science major. Farrell wondered if LAHS was in Interdisciplinary Studies. Mooney said LAHS was moved from Interdisciplinary Studies to the Social Science Division 5 or 6 years ago. Korth asked Lee if the statement for Psychology was the same statement as listed in the Semester Transition Course Catalog. Lee said he thought the statement was basically the same, but more formal. Lee felt that CC should keep the more formal statement that was already printed. He requested that the CC cross off the proposed statements for Psychology since they didn't need to be considered for approval. Korth then asked for a voice vote to approve the remainder of the Social Science statements.
VOTE: Unanimous (8-0-0-)
Item (E) Semester courses satisfying C2 and W for Social Science. Korth asked if there were any questions or comments regarding this handout. Since there were none, Korth asked for a voice vote to approve the course lists.
VOTE: Unanimous (8-0-0-)
Korth noted that page three of the handout was essentially advising information and thus it was not necessary for CC to act upon.
P7 GER REQUIREMENT: Korth stated that this is a semester transition item. UMM will have students graduating in the future under the quarter GER requirements who may still have to satisfy the advanced-course-outside-the-division-of-the-major requirement. The CC needs to decide what courses will satisfy this requirement. In the quarter system the course outside the major had to be at the 3000 level. The question is whether all courses numbered 2xxx-level and above should qualify or only 3xxx- and 4xxx-level courses. He reminded CC members about the table of 2xxx-level semester courses and their quarter equivalencies that Mooney prepared that was distributed earlier. Most of the 2xxx-level courses map back to 3xxx-level quarter courses.
Utoft asked if most 2xxx courses have prerequisites. Thielke stated that she believes they do. Farrell asked what reasons there would be for the CC not to approve the 2xxx and above courses. Thielke wondered if the CC did consider 2xxx courses as advanced courses, would UMM accept 2nd year courses from community colleges as meeting this requirement. Farrell stated he had no idea, so he wondered why the CC would consider 2xxx courses. Lee pointed out that 2xxx means it is a sophomore level course. If it is a junior or senior course, it shouldn't be at the 2xxx level. Therefore, a 2xxx course would not be considered an advanced course. Farrell stated that in his field, the 2xxx courses are considered intermediate level courses. Thielke said the 2xxx level was not available in the quarter system. Lee said the dilemma is that some 2xxx courses are lower level and some are higher.
MOTION (Farrell, McIntosh): That 3xxx- and 4xxx-level semester courses qualify for the P7 (advanced course)
quarter GER requirement.
Lee asked how many 2xxx courses are upper division. Korth questioned how CC would judge which courses would be considered upper division. Utoft wondered if the reason for requiring an advanced course outside the major was to require a student to take the prerequisite courses, too, so they would have a couple of courses outside the major. Korth said it was not simply the number of courses taken that was important, but that the student would reach a certain level of awareness or knowledge in another area. Thielke stated that the Twin Cities campus formerly had a requirement of 72 credits from the advanced level with only 44 of those credits from within the major. This meant that 28 of the advanced level credits had to be outside the major.
Frenier reminded the CC that Schuman has suggested that UMM should be lenient in semester conversion. Frenier said that allowing the 2xxx courses would be the lenient approach. Frenier worries about making this difficult for a student in the transition. Thielke felt that was a good point. She stated that students could use the semester GER which has no advanced course requirement.
Utoft stated that students frequently leave the upper division course outside the major for their last year. She wondered about situations where a student may not have done the prerequisites or may have done prerequisites but the course has now been eliminated. Frenier wondered how many petitions this will create for the Scholastic Committee if CC requires this to be a 3xxx or above course. Thielke said this transition process will continue until 2004, when she believes most transition students will graduate. Korth stated that with his freshman advisees he has been using the semester requirements. Last year he worked through the requirements with his advisees and generally used the semester requirements also. He stated there may be a relatively small number of students involved in this semester P7 equivalency. Korth noted that students who will be seniors next year will be the largest group of transition students. Korth reminded CC that there was a motion on the table.
VOTE: In favor 4
The motion failed.
MOTION (Farrell, Frenier): To accept 2xxx, 3xxx, and 4xxx courses to fulfill the quarter-based P7 GER
VOTE: In favor 5
The motion carried.
HONORS PROGRAM COMMITTEE: Korth remarked that the CC has been learning about the Honors Program in the previous meetings. He reminded the CC members that the CC needed to make a decision regarding the direction to take for Honors Program Committee oversight. Korth then handed out a motion for discussion. Korth read aloud the proposed motion and pointed out the specific UMM bylaw changes he would recommend as written in the handout.
MOTION: (Korth, Frenier) To eliminate the Honors Program Committee, transferring policy oversight of the
Honors Program to the Functions and Awards Committee. To reaffirm that the Curriculum Committee
will continue to designate courses as honors courses.
Lee stated that his understanding of honors is different than just a recognition of awards. He believes that serious consideration needs to be given to the academic substance of the Honors Program. He does see some overlap for the Functions and Awards Committee oversight. He is not opposed to this, but UMM allows all students to be honors students. Traditionally honors meant a challenging program for gifted students that need the additional challenge. In view of that, the CC has not fulfilled that need on this campus . For this purpose, Lee feels we need to have people with expertise in this area to oversee the Honors Program.
Farrell wondered what the difference would be if a student graduated with honors under the Functions and Awards Committee or graduated with distinction or high distinction. Farrell stated that he never did understand graduating with distinction. He commented that a student should not graduate with distinction, but with distinction in a certain field. Lee stated that the Functions and Awards Committee recognizes a student with distinction and defines what the distinction is, which is why there needs to be a Functions and Awards Committee. Lee is concerned that if honors would be combined with all other awards, it sometimes waters down a healthy program.
Farrell asked if Lee meant the honors only or if he was including UROP and MAP. Lee said the Honors Program is the primary concern. Farrell said honors is a group of courses, the other two programs are paid. He asked if there had been any discussion in the Functions and Awards Committee regarding this. Have they been consulted? Korth said he had discussed this with a Functions and Awards Committee member. Lee asked if they were amenable to this idea. Korth was not sure. Frenier said she is undecided on this issue. She said if we do away with the Honors Program Committee, the Honors Program might dwindle away. She learned in the Honors Program presentation last meeting, that one very good thing that is happening in the program is the community of honors. She said this seems to be a new initiative and seems to actually be working. She stated that if we plan to have honors, do it or else eliminate it.
Frenier was aware that the charge to the CC was not to decide about eliminating or keeping the Honors Program , but to decide about an Honors Program Committee. Korth reminded the CC that the suggestion from the Honors Program Committee itself was for discontinuation. The director of the Honors Program and an advisory group were running the program. The committee felt they had nothing to do except policy changes.
Frenier asked if the Functions and Awards Committee would see to the development of the honors community. Korth said no, the Director of Honors would see to that. Thielke said that the Functions and Awards Committee would change policy. Frenier asked if there was currently an Honors Program Committee (HPC). Korth stated that as of now there is not. He mentioned that Senior would like alterations in the policy and rules of the Honors Program. Since there is no HPC, this defaults to the CC.
Farrell said he is uncomfortable with the move to the Functions and Awards Committee. He said Honors is largely an academic program and should therefore stay under the Curriculum Committee. Utoft said she would agree. Honors or awards mean little, but it does mean something if it is academic or beneficial to the student's experience. Utoft feels that at this point it is more an award than an academic experience and therefore means less.
Frenier wondered if the CC moved the Honors Program to the oversight of the Functions and Awards Committee, would it have to go to Campus Assembly for approval. Mooney stated that it would. Korth stated that whatever we do it will be a bylaw change.
Farrell asked if CC had accepted the Honors Program Committee suggestion to discontinue the committee. Korth said CC had agreed and forwarded the recommendation to Campus Assembly who directed the CC to form a committee to oversee the Honors Program, MAPs, and UROP. Farrell wondered why a subcommittee of CC couldn't serve as the Honors Program Committee if there was a need for it. Lee said this could be done, but in order to keep the academic importance of the Honors Program, a separate committee would need to oversee the Honors Program. If the Honors Program were to expand the mentor/mentee relationships, it would be too much for the sub-committee to handle unless there was a strong Honors director . Lee suggested keeping the honors advisory board to help direct the program. However he feels that one person directing the Honors Program is dangerous.
Farrell asked why the Honors Program Committee doesn't work with the director , since they should be a consultative body. Without this, there is a single individual running the program and the success of the program depends on the commitment of the director. Farrell feels it would be wise to have a consultative body.
Lee questioned dropping honors entirely. He feels if UMM is not going to have a strong program, then UMM should drop it. Farrell stated that the program is not strong only because not enough courses are developed. Frenier said students find it superfluous. Farrell said some do and some don't. Frenier agreed. Lee said currently the Honors Program is too much credit counting and course counting. He feels the quality of the courses needs to be addressed.
Korth chose to withdraw the motion he had on the table. He requested that committee members bring concrete proposals to the next meeting.
Meeting adjourned 8:50 a.m.
Submitted by Melody Veenendaal