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GE Minutes 9-17-2012

Snow College General Education Committee
September 17, 2012
In attendance: LaFaun Barnhurst, Clinton King, Richard Squire,
Melanie Jenkins, Patty Meredith, Mel Jacobsen, Rick White (ex
officio), Jeff Carney (chair)


Patty moved, with Clinton seconding, that the minutes of 4.17 be approved after correcting the list of those in attendance. The motion carried unanimously.


Richard Squire now represents the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences.


It was generally agreed that the following items should head up the agenda for the coming year:
1. Verify that all Spring 2012 assessments were completed and reported.
2. Review the assessment results and the plans for improvement that arose as a consequence. Suggest additional improvements as needed.
3. Review the assessment process itself.
4. Construct an assessment schedule that would, over a 3-4 year cycle, assess all our GE outcomes.
5. Identify the 2012-2013 KPIS, thresholds, and targets.
6. Review the mapping of outcomes to GE courses.
7. Cooperate with the newly formed AAS Committee.


Rick pointed out that the AA and AS degree programs have no required outcomes apart from those that are designated GE Outcomes. This means that in certain contexts, such as the upcoming accreditation visit, it makes more sense to refer to the GE Outcomes as the AA and AS degree outcomes. Internally, we may still refer to the GE Program and GE Outcomes as we always have.


Rick pointed out that assessment of the AAS and APE degree outcomes might be simplified if some of the work done by this committee can be applied to those programs as well. Jeff noted that, while this committee can certainly assist with assessment, in some cases this will not necessarily mean a simplification.  Examples include Math and Writing outcomes, which are often satisfied by taking different courses. Jeff also wondered if, given the small enrollment of the APE program, it would be more meaningful to assess that population directly, rather than assuming that the results obtained by sampling the college population will apply to the APE students.


Rick reminded the committee of the types of issues most likely to be raised by the accreditation visitors.


Rick followed up that discussion with the following email: It has been reported to me that I may have raised the
anxiety level for some of you regarding the visit of our Northwest evaluators. Let me reassure you that the folks visiting Snow are doing the same kinds of assessment work at their institutions as we are doing here. They may well be no more nor less proficient in the whole process than we are. They are coming to make a few observations and then share those with us. Therefore, if asked by an evaluator, I would invite you to simply describe what we have been doing, perhaps give an example or two of improvements we have made as a result of our assessment, and explain how we have a plan in place to continue to improve our processes to assess general education. They are not going to expect perfection from us, because they have not achieved it themselves. In our Comprehensive Self-Evaluation Report to Northwest, we said the following about our assessment of the Core Themes. “Because this is the first year that the College has used the 39 KPIs and assessed them as such, it is
expected that revisions and improvements will be made for the coming year. In fact, because NW Standard 4.A.1 states that ‘the institution engages in ongoing systematic collection and analysis of meaningful, assessable, and verifiable data,’ the process of identifying targets, conducting assessment, and making revisions will repeat itself for many years to come at Snow College.” In my opinion, we can have the same attitude about our work to assess General Education outcomes. We have done some assessment in the past, we have made some improvements as a result, and we have a plan to continue to improve each year in the future. Plans for the meeting Tuesday at 11:00 with Curt Freed, it is scheduled for only 30 minutes, so I would not be too concerned about bringing a truck-load of data to the discussion. Again, it is my opinion that describing our work to this point and explaining our plans for the future should be sufficient. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.


Last year, Jeff wrote and revised a list of bullet points that should eventually be incorporated into a Constitution for this Committee. Jeff emailed the committee a finished Constitution for final approval before submitting it to the Curriculum Committee and Faculty Senate. Those who voted by email were sufficient to constitute a quorum, and the informal motion carried unanimously. Jeff will present the Constitution to the CC at the earliest opportunity.