GE Minutes 11-26-2012

Snow College General Education Committee
November 26, 2012
In attendance: Richard Squire, Melanie Jenkins, Clinton King,
Mel Jacobsen, Joseph Papenfuss, LaFaun Barnhurst, Gary Smith,
Jeff Carney


Minutes of the 11.19 meeting were not ready to be approved.


Melanie reported that the Humanities Division has met to discuss a definition of GE courses in the Humanities. Richard reports that the Social and Behavioral Sciences have begun discussions as well. Joseph continues work on the Life Sciences definition. Clinton reports that several members of the Physical Sciences area have begun general discussions via email.


Dr. Smith initiated a broad discussion of the meaning of GE at Snow College. One concern he raised was that it might be counterproductive to define GE areas and approve GE courses without a strong sense of the big picture. He and the committee agreed that GE needs to be a coherent program and not simply a list of boxes that students check off. Melanie indicated that her own experience drafting a definition of GE in the Humanities has helped her to clarify her own understanding of GE in the larger sense. She suggested that her experience might apply to the other GE areas as well. A discussion ensued in which several questions were raised:
• To what extent should GE courses focus on content as distinct from skills?
• To what extent is it even possible to develop critical thinking skills without first developing a solid foundation
of facts?
• To what extent would students benefit from GE courses that take an interdisciplinary approach?
• To what extent is the GE program bound by the expectations of the institutions to which Snow students will transfer?