General Education Committee Minutes, 3/22/11 Members present: J. Adams, J. DeBoer, J. Edwards, J. Luckowski, J. Rabinovitch, D. Reisenfeld, D. Sloan, T. Thibeau Ex-Officio Members Present: E. Johnson Members absent: E. Adams, D. Klapmeier A. Lawson, A. Walker-Andrews, N. White Guest: S. Bradford The minutes from 3/8/11 minutes were amended and approved. Communication: Professor Sue Bradford has had discussions about the need for a civil discourse component to general education with the Faculty Senate leadership and Associate Provost Walker Andrews. On their recommendation, she is bringing her idea to the General Education Committee. A summary document was provided to committee members. It is clear from the news that civil discourse in the political process is deteriorating. A seminar that integrates interdisciplinary topics and civil discourse (including the use of appropriate language, listening, and speaking) should be added to the general education program. Students would benefit from leaning how to engage opposing sides in a respectful collaborative inquiry. A public institution has an obligation to teach skills that are essential to citizenship. One of the value rubrics among the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Essential Learning Outcomes is Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global. Therefore a civil discourse component may be appropriate for assessment. The committee may consider how civil discourse could be incorporated into current general education courses or added to the Big Idea pilot project. Chair Thibeau gave an update regarding the meeting with Phi Beta Kappa. The representatives indicated that a symbolic system requirement is often used as a substitute for foreign language for credit-heavy programs. Business Items: The symbolic systems issue was discussed. Several programs with exceptions to foreign language are not credit heavy according to a cursory credit count. If students in these programs are required to take a foreign language, then they must also satisfy symbolic systems courses because they are required by the major. Anthropology = 36 credits Communication Studies =36 credits Geography =36 (min) 60 (max) Psychology = 38- Gen Option, 41- Research Option Sociology= 36- General Option, 42- Other Specified Options The pending motion was revised to the following: Effective autumn semester of 2012, undergraduates must fulfill the general education modern and classical language requirement unless enrolled in a program of study requiring more than 48 credits leading to a first baccalaureate degree. The motion requires further clarification in terms of how credits are counted. It will be discussed further at the next meeting on April 12th. The meeting was adjourned at 5:03 p.m.