GE Minutes 10-15-2012

Snow College General Education Committee
October 15, 2012
In attendance: LaFaun Barnhurst, Richard Squire, Melanie Jenkins,
Clinton King, Mel Jacobsen, Rick White (ex officio), Jeff Carney


Mel moved, with Clinton seconding, that the minutes of 10.08 beapproved. The motion was carried unanimously.


It was noted that several voting members of the committee cannot regularly attend, and that representation from one division or another is often in a state of flux. The result is that the number of members in attendance can easily fall below 50%. Mel moved, with Melanie seconding, that 50% attendance of voting members shall constitute a quorum, with a simple majority being required to pass motions. This motion was carried unanimously and will be treated as a bylaw of the comittee. Jeff noted that this will rarely create a problem, since it is the custom of the committee not to entertain motions until some sort of consensus has been reached.


Pursuant to last week's discussion, Jeff presented a draft of a GE Assessment Report Template. The committee discussed the draft and recommended a number of changes. Jeff will return with a revision next week.


Also pursuant to last week's discussion, Jeff presented a draft definition of an ideal GE course in the Humanities. The definition included a section on Humanities courses in general and one section each on English and Philosophy. Jeff emphasized that the document is a work in progress that has not been approved by the Humanities Division. The committee agreed that the document as written could be presented to the Academic Deans as an example of the kind of document that should be on record before a GE course can be approved or re-approved.


The committee agrees that this body should review an MCS before a GE course can be approved or reapproved. Melanie wondered if  this would require the addition of a signature on the signature page of an MCS. Jeff indicated he would raise the issue in Curriculum Committee.


LaFaun noted that a few courses earn GE credit in an academic area without being taught by the department or division that "oversees" the area. For example, several courses in business and dance earn credit for Oral Communication. LaFaun wondered if the GE Committee should be the final body of arbitration when such courses are proposed and reviewed. Melanie noted that there have been times in the past when a single person (such as a department chair or division dean) has blocked the approval of a course that would easily and appropriately earn credit in an area; she believes that currently, too much power may be vested in individuals, and that oversight by a group of individuals might be more productive. The spirit of the committee was that Melanie was correct. It was pointed out that the creation of a set of GE definitions for each academic area would help ensure that all courses proposed for GE credit get a fair review.