Snow College Ad Hoc General Education Assessment Committee
November 11, 2011
In attendance: Tracie Bradley, Patty Meredith, Mel Jacobsen,
LaFaun Barnhurst, Clinton King, Joseph Papenfuss, Jeff Carney
(chair), Rick White (ex officio)
Clinton moved, with Patty seconding, to approve the minutes for 10.28.11. The motion was carried unanimously.
Joseph moved, with Mel Jacobsen seconding, to approve the minutes for 11.11.11. The motion was carried unanimously.
Patty indicated that the Fine Arts Division remains concerned about the removal of old GE Outcome #9 ("responds with informed sensitivity about an artistic work or experience"). The group discussed the merits of merging some of that language into new Outcome #5, so that it would read as follows: "can reason analytically, critically, creatively, and with informed sensitivity about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy;" Clinton moved, with Mel Jacobsen seconding, to approve that change. See the addendum to these minutes for more information on this topic.
Jeff pointed out that the ad hoc committee's charter expires at the end of the semester. Part of the committee's purpose is to decide how GE should be handled in the future. Jeff described a number of options and indicated those that he favored. These are as follows:
• That an official GE Committee be created;
• that it be a sub-committee of the Curriculum Committee;
• that it be responsible for developing, reviewing, and assessing the college's GE Outcomes and curriculum;
• and that it be a true legislative body, reporting its actions to the Curriculum Committee as consent items.
The assumption is that, if the curriculum committee approves this recommendation, the existing committee would carry on in this new capacity. Clinton moved, with Joseph seconding, to approve the recommendation and forward it to the Curriculum Committee. The motion was carried unanimously.
Shortly before the college recessed for Thanksgiving, Jeff emailed the committee with concerns about changes made to Outcome #5. His concerns and the short email discussion that ensued are reproduced below:
Here is the revised [outcome]: can reason analytically, critically, creatively, and with sensitivity about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy; In the original version of Outcome # 5, we were saying that
a student should be able to think analytically, critically, creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy. The revised version adds the ability to think with sensitivity about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy; I don't think this is what we mean. Taken literally, we will now expect a physics class to teach students to reason with sensitivity about electromotive force. The intent, I think, is for students to think with sensitivity about the kinds of things people think with sensitivity about. Like the arts. To keep this intent AND the word sensitivity, I think we'll have to go back to the language of the original outcomes: Respond with informed sensitivity to an artistic work or experience. Otherwise, I don't see a neat way of inserting "sensitivity" into the current framework.
So do away with the new outcome and go back to the old one? Or create two?
Jeff, will this be added to outcome #5 as a second statement, or given its own outcome? Either way works for
Jeff, I trust your instincts on this one. You seem to have a finger on the collective pulse of the faculty and I agree
that "sensitivity" might be problematic in certain G.E. outcomes. If the word "sensitivity" is not included as
part of a G.E. outcome, this does not exclude the possibility of including the word in an SLO of an individual course. If certain courses and respective faculty members in Arts & Humanities wish to emphasize sensitivity, then by all means write SLO's and cowpies to reflect your "sensitive" feelings about "sensitivity."
If we use the "informed sensitivity" outcome, I was imagining it as a distinct outcome, much as the quantitative reasoning outcome is now.
I agree with you. [quote redacted] Thank you for being sensitive to this issue. It
is very important to a segment
of our faculty – me included.
I think two separate outcome statements would work. In Business Technology, we use the current GE Outcome #9 for some of our courses.
I honestly have no strong opinions either way on this topic. I understand the need to use precise language that means what we think it means, but I also think that the course level slo's and kpi's that are chosen to match a particular program level outcome (such as the one under discussion) go a long way toward explaining what we actually expect to occur.
I would like to make a motion that we: 1. Remove the sensitivity language that we added Friday to
new outcome # 5. 2. add the following as a new outcome "Respond with informed sensitivity to an artistic work or experience" LaFaun seconded the motion. Votes in favor were received from Jeff, Melanie, Joseph, and Mel Jacobsen. Technically, the motion carries.
A student who graduates from Snow College with an AS or AA degree:
1. has a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, with particular emphasis on:
• American institutions;
• the social and behavioral sciences;
• the physical and life sciences;
• the humanities;
• the fine arts;
• and personal wellness;
2. can read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information using a variety of traditional and electronic
3. can speak and write effectively and respectfully as a member of the global community, and work effectively as a member of a team;
4. can reason quantitatively in a variety of contexts;
5. can respond with informed sensitivity to an artistic work or experience;
6. can reason analytically, critically, creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy; can address complex problems by integrating the knowledge and methodologies of multiple disciplines. A student who graduates from Snow College with an AA degree:
8. can speak, read, and write a foreign language with basic proficiency.