General Education Committee
11 February 2014
In Attendance: LaFaun Barnhurst, Gregory Wright, Richard Squire, Melanie Jenkins,
Clinton King, Adam Larsen, Joseph Papenfuss, Steve Hood, Susan Larsen
I. Minutes (4 February 2014). Lafaun motioned minutes be approved; Clinton seconded. All voted unanimously.
II. Discussion Items
Melanie asked for feedback on strategic prioritization material. Most people responded with editing comments, which Melanie incorporated. We had a discussion about adding a line dealing with majors, since not everything we do is general education. Melanie reported that she presented the “descriptors” to the curriculum committee and that they will be voting shortly.
Dr. Steve Hood took the remainder of the time to discuss credit hours, rigor, and consistency. He mentioned that USHE has asked schools to look at programs and understand how credit is being awarded. They are looking for consistency amongst institutions. He began looking at our syllabi and noticed unevenness in terms of rigor and time commitment at Snow. He mentioned that this unevenness was not division or department specific.
It was discussed that as we go through general education syllabi, the GE committee could be a model for looking for consistency. Dr. Hood mentioned the 3:3:1 model, which means that students should spend 3 hours out of class preparing for each hour in class. GE courses should keep the spirit of the formula; in fact, they should become the “gold standard.”
Dr. Hood also mentioned that when he looks at syllabi, he has noticed that there are often no formal writing assignments, no analysis of quantitative information, no essay exams, etc. He asked us to take this information back to our divisions and begin a discussion about ways we can maintain consistency and rigor on campus. A 3 credit hour course should have a consistent workload.