3-17-11 minutes by jizhen1947


									                               General Education Tactical Team Minutes

                                            March 17, 2011

                               2:00-4:00 pm, Provost’s Conference Room

Attendees: Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, Jay Chaskes, Roberta Harvey, David Klassen, Mira Lalovic-Hand,
Janet Lindman, Rory McElwee, Jim Newell, Joseph Perella, Rihab Saadeddine, Cindy Vitto.

The Team met to discuss feedback received from all of the meetings with Colleges, Deans, Advisors, etc.
We considered suggestions and revised and clarified the conceptual model in response.

We are very pleased with the amount and quality of feedback we have received from the University
community to date. We see many people invested in the process, with deep concern for our
undergraduates’ education.

We discussed feedback about the timeline. We agree that the timeline cannot drive the model and
process, and we also agree that a timeline is needed so that we can ensure that gen ed reform continues
to move forward. We recognize that after our work is done, programs will need to make plans for
modifying their majors in light of the new model. We anticipate the possibility of accelerated curricular
processes to enable this to happen. We will remain mindful of how realistic the timeline is as we move
forward and agree we will not allow the ultimate reform to be undermined by it.

Rihab distributed a reading entitled “General Education Mission, Goals, and Outcomes” and also
emailed a literature review about general education.

Other issues discussed:

        1. Could learning experiences outside of a traditional credit course be used to develop a
           literacy? We expect the answer is yes – experiential learning experiences that are
           contextualized, analyzed, and include reflection. Would have to be extensive (e.g., spending
           months immersed in a summer stock theater program, not attending a play) and contain
           formative assessment (showing that students develop the literacy as a result of the
        2. Concern that the idea of one learning experience (course or otherwise) addressing more
           than one literacy – could this be taken to extremes in a way that waters down gen ed?
           Ultimate issue is with outcomes, not inputs, so it would not be that easy. This will be
           addressed more fully when we begin implementation planning.
        3. Innovative learning experiences can continue to be developed over time; not necessarily
           100% in place in Fall 2012
        4. Redundancy issue: theatre majors who have to take Public Speaking; Science majors who
           need a gen ed science. This latter issue has led to introductory science courses for majors
           being labels as gen ed—the downside is that nonmajors take the courses, which are really
           not geared toward a gen ed orientation, while occupying seats needed for majors. Better to
           develop new courses that truly address a gen ed perspective on science.
       5. Try to keep the focus on the best possible education for Rowan undergraduates, away from
          politics, FTEs, etc.
       6. Upcoming process for identifying learning outcomes for each literacy: get input from main
          producers of the literacy (e.g., for scientific literacy, the science faculty) but also from
          faculty from outside that primary area.
       7. Make sure that meaning of gen ed is communicated effectively to students.
       8. We will ensure that the curriculum is not driven by assessment.

Revisions to model:

       -   Revise language of “transdisciplinary competencies” to “discipline-embedded
           competencies.” Programs will define and assess discipline-specific knowledge, skills, and
           dispositions, and discipline-embedded competencies.
       -   Emphasize that our committee is proposing a new view of undergraduate education at
           Rowan, part of which is “general education” (what every Rowan student should be able to
           know and do). Other parts include discipline-specific knowledge and discipline-embedded
           competencies, as well as intentional co-curricular involvement. The whole University
           experience is included; the part we are addressing is the gen ed part, but the rest of it also
           contains highly important facets of education. We are not representing that if a facet of
           education is not identified as a “core literacy” that it is less important.
       -   Clarify that the pursuit of student interests outside the major program (such as minors,
           concentrations, etc.) remains an important part of a Rowan education.
       -   Add a 6th literacy: clarify “Sociocultural” into two: “Human Context” and “Community.”
               o We envision the Human Context with an interdisciplinary focus. The literacy is to
                    understand the depth and complexity of the human experience, the ability to apply
                    multiple perspectives to an issue, and understanding complex interactions of
                    multiple issues. Perspectives of history & philosophy; social & cultural issues.
               o Community Literacy - local, global, sustainability. We envision this as particularly
                    amenable to nontraditional learning experiences such as internships, study abroad,
                    service learning, etc.
       -   We will identify the disciplines that most directly anchor each literacy. Avoid “bank”
           approach but recognize the most foundational liberal arts ties.
       -   This revised gen ed approach with 6 core literacies will translate well as we consider the
           Lampitt law and serving our many transfer students. The core literacies except for aesthetic
           and community line up fairly well with the courses community college graduates will bring
           to Rowan. Perhaps the aesthetic and community literacies could be part of a revised “Rowan
           Experience” curriculum. This will be refined later when we address implementation.

       -   Upcoming activities:
              o Discuss via email changes to the model/graphic
              o Open forums on March 25 & April 1

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