Snow College General Education Committee
October 8, 2012
In attendance: LaFaun Barnhurst, Richard Squire, Melanie Jenkins,
Clinton King, Mel Jacobsen, Rick White (ex officio), Jeff Carney
Melanie moved, with Clinton seconding, that the minutes of 10.01 be approved. LaFaun, Clinton, Richard, Melanie, and Jeff voted yea, and the motion carried. Mel Jacobsen arrived late and did not vote.
The committee was in agreement that we should create a template for assessment reports. The template would serve two purposes. First, it would outline exactly what the committee needs to know to evaluate an assessment of a GE outcome. Second, it would serve as an aid to anyone preparing an assessment report. The reports themselves would become a permanent record of the assessment process. Anyone wishing to verify that assessment of the GE Programs is taking place would be able to examine the reports in a single location. The stakeholders who administer the reports would also be able to upload them to TracDat as supplementary documents. Melanie pointed out that a similar, but shorter, report should be made prior to the administration of any assessment. This would allow the committee to ensure that an assessment is at least headed in the right direction. Jeff pointed out that he worked closely with the Math Department prior to their assessment last year in a similar capacity. The short report would be a formal record of this initial step in the process. Melanie's further point was that we should create a template for the short report as well. Jeff agreed to prepare drafts of the two templates.
Melanie wondered how the committee would be able to enforce the assessment process. That is, if a stakeholder refuses to participate, do we have any recourse? Jeff pointed out that the committee constitution gives it wide powers. The "nuclear option" would be to say that courses addressing an outcome could be suspended from the GE worksheet until an assessment has been completed. It was pointed out that this option would make it impossible for students to complete their requirements and graduate. Eventually the committee discussed the need to work closely with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Deans' Council to ensure that GE policy is enforced.
The committee was in agreement that stakeholders should agree on criteria that must be met if a course is to be designated for GE credit. This would ensure that MCS authors, department chairs, deans, and this committee can all agree that a new course or a course up for review does indeed qualify as a GE course. By the same token, it would create a justification for removing courses from the GE Worksheet when such action is appropriate. It was agreed that Jeff would make a presentation to the Deans' Council on this matter. Now that the new GE Outcomes have been added to the online Syllabus Database, it is likely that new GE courses will be proposed or updated soon. This makes the writing of such criteria a high priority.