Results from Faculty Forum on General Education Vision/Mission April 6, 2005 (approximately 28-30 participants) [Vision/Mission Statements are bulleted in black with comments bolded underneath.] Vision: Group 1: Demonstrate mastery of a (common?) body of knowledge. #1 of group #6’s vision Broadly educated in many fields w/ specialty in major. Skills—communication, oral speaking/writing, critical thinking, problem-silving, math reasoning, etc. at collegiate level. o Early o Added skill information literacy. o Students need to understand scientific method. o Communication can occur in many ways. I would want to see the arts specifically included. Each student is competent using multiple modes of inquiry. o Plus knows the excitement of learning. o Great phrase—multiple modes of inquiry. Integrate with major. o #2 of group 6’s vision o Integration with major—would want to know more about how this relates to a broad body of knowledge. Group 2: Core competencies: math (redress enumeracy), language(s), information literacy [filter flood of info—evaluate info.], written communication [textual analysis], social-historical analysis, process of ethics. o Early. o Oral communication beyond public speaking is identified by employers as a top weakness of college grads. Where does it fit in? o Too much of a list or set of skills. o Understanding of scientific method. o Only written communication? No arena for artistic expression. I like the creative participation statement. o If we don’t teach U.S. History, will students have little sense of what the US is in the world? And the world is in real trouble. Introduce students to a range of disciplines. Citizenship. Global awareness. Power and oppression. Exposure to arts, creative participation. o I like this—you shouldn’t be able to get out of the university w/o at least one fine arts course. Creative participation? I hope that implies doing. o No “squish-ness”. I like the squishiness comment and would like to know more about how that would happen, and what is squishy? Squishiness is good for exploration. You never know where it may lead. Group 3: Students understand why they are here. Students see the relevancy/value of general education requirements. Courses they want and need are available. o Too what extent do we design a gen ed curriculum based on what students want? It is courses they want? Experiences? Intellectual development? o Ideally, yes, but quality curriculum should not be hostage to students’ notions of relevance. o Fit specific citation style with major requirements.?? o Gen ed would contribute to the growth of students as citizens of a democracy. o Public (and legislature) would value liberal arts. o Should general ed be liberal arts? I think so!! o Students would develop enthusiasm, excitement, and confidence in themselves as learners. I like this comment. o Enthusiasm, excitement, and confidence—wonderful language and goals. o Even dumb ones? Students will know how to access, evaluate, and use informational resources. Students can think critically and analyze ideas effectively. o Including application of scientific methods. Students are comfortable with diversity in terms of cultures, people, ideas, etc. Inculcate shared values of compassion, community, responsibility, social justice. Gen ed program should be more interdisciplinary in focus. o Why? Maybe they need disciplinary knowledge first. Group 4: The structure of MTC with the options of the SCSU depth experience offerings (gen ed curriculum). Breadth as well as depth. o Here, here—but, is this possible? o Work to make MTC work for us. o Too vague. Freedom of choice. o Too much choice. Students need to focus or we steal their opportunities for greater growth. o Can students be overwhelmed by choice? By streamlining, how do we maintain choice? o Choice within required areas? o Not unlimited freedom of choice. Streamline and user friendly. [Vision is clouded by the current application and implications of the MTC] o Should/could the gen ed curriculum be a response to the narcissism of our society/of our students? Group 5: To be a learning lush. Inculcate a sense of intellectual adventure—i.e. “binge knowledge-ing”. o Encourage and facilitate lifelong learning. o I love the idea of binge knowledge. o Binging w/o skills—not an effective strategy for nibblers. o Provide skills and tools that all students need for successful and fulfilling life. Successful in what sense? Integration of major classes with general education. o Integration critical for students to see relevance of g.e. and for faculty to respect gen ed. Why does its “relevance” have to be interpreted in terms of its connection to a major? o How does integration promote a broad exposure to many topics, ideas, and learning? Provide critical links between disciplines and specialties. Interdisciplinary nature of education. o Interdisciplinary = career choices—yes! o Our group agreed with this. Gen ed needs to move beyond its current department alignment. Group 6: Part I. Foundation—critical to university success. o Yes! What skills do you even need to be a successful learner? o May not work for all programs. Some can’t afford proscribed year #1 courses. o Yes, if they don’t have foundations, their dreams remain dreams. How many times have you had to tell a student “that won’t work— you don’t have sufficient preparation.” o Foundation could be in written and oral comm. And math reasoning only. Leave room for major foundation courses. Part II Exploration/distribution/breadth o Continuum of or blend with the major Part III Interdisciplinary set of courses Part I take early,Part II distributed. o Is this a gen ed program focused on selecting a major or gen ed contributing to the educated graduate as a whole person, not just an employee?] o Clarity of design. o Limited prescribed curriculum—9 units. o “Passion” for learning seems missing here. o Quant. Oral/written, science, social science. Group 7: Highly functioning people/global citizens. o Define “highly functioning”. We don’t want success seminars here. Never give children’s cut flowers—only the seeds to grow their own. General ed complementary to major. Helps them see connection to community, become functional citizens. o I like the words “complementary” and “connection”—implies a bigpicture emphasis. General ed as well-rounded education. Learning how to learn integrative knowledge beyond skill sets learned in major. o Gen ed should be beyond skill sets of major, but somehow connected. Perhaps these are still sets large enough to include those more specific to a major. Gen ed intrinsic value. Gen ed is knowledge that contributes to human flourishing. May vary at different historical moments. Example: Beginning 20th and 21st centuries. o Does my own great affection for my gen ed education 35 years ago have no relevance for what’s appropriate now? I wonder. Intellectual curiosity. Serve the greater good of most students. o Does this mean no extra support for the underdog? I can’t agree. o Who gets to say what’s good for them. Results from Faculty Forum on General Education Vision/Mission April 6, 2005 (approximately 28-30 participants) [Vision/Mission Statements are bulleted in black with comments bolded underneath.] Mission: Group 1: Expose students to allow them to discover interests and skills beyond expectations. o Beyond expectations, yes! o Beyond theirs, not mine. o I like this one. Provide foundational base enabling students to appreciate/explore things beyond specialty or vocation. o I like this one, too. Group 2: Serve needs of local community, nation, and world by preparing students to be successful citizens through a general education program that: Provides basic skills such as oral and written comm., critical thinking, and problem solving. o Early. o Gen ed needs to be inherently valuable and not “need” to be justified in terms of the other needs it serves. Exposes students to a variety of disciplines to expand horizons and provide opportunities. o I like the “expand horizons”. Instill an appreciation of multiculturalism and an ethic of active antiracism and anti-oppression. o I like the overt emphasis on antiracism. o Recognize these courses inside of dept. majors. Do not overdose #3. Group 3: General education will: Help inspire the loyalty of SCSU alumni and the community. o I’m not sure I like the idea of loyalty. o Does this mean that getting a university education was a good worthwhile experience? Worth repeating? Provide opportunities for students to explore and articulate alternative perspectives so they can develop a point of view of their own. Enable students to develop the ability to locate, analyze, manage, and share complex information. o This is critical thinking, isn’t it? o “Information” is overrated.—how about “knowledge”? It’s typical of our age that we reduce knowledge to information. Enable students to communicate competently orally and in written form both as individuals and in groups. o Group work! Assist students in being able to explore ideas and conduct research using a variety of methodologies. Support students’ identification of a sense of self. Open students’ eyes to the breadth of possibilities available to them (courses, fields of knowledge, careers). o I like this one. Expose students to diverse cultures, experiences, etc. (notion of diversity and more global perspectives). Support students’ explorations of their creativity through the arts. Group 4: Provide students with the ability to synthesize their entire college experience. o Capstone. Students can draw on previous experiences. o Capstone. Help students see how all of these areas of learning relate to each other. Maintain student learning in all areas by allowing them to have more upper-level courses and by taking multiple courses in an area. o Isn’t general education about breadth? o This seems to focus on the student as an individual discrete unit. Where are the students relative to the community, to the world? Devise a way to have the general ed program integrate all of the students’ learning experiences from all of the separate courses they’ve taken. o Nah—the capstone course. Does synthesis only have to occur in the major capstone? Create a culture that supports an appreciation of the full learning experience. o Yes! Appreciation of full learning experience. o Yes! Group 5: Mission: Preparing students for handling real-life situations. (Preparing and handling would need to be defined.) o This assumes these real-life situations are a given. I would like to see gen ed shape what real life is. Seeing “real life situations” with a “global perspective” and through multiple perspectives. Intro to global perspectives = part of the preparation. Intro to multiple perspectives on problem solving = part of the preparation. Group 6: High retention. Unit/department-based. Pre-course, one-credit. Student satisfaction. Categoric divisions. Foundation for “major” success. Clear path choices. Equal advisement into gen eds. Few wasted credits. Process to switch majors with knowledge (?) Group 7: Students will learn how to learn. Students will value learning and continue to learn throughout their lives. Students will be encouraged to self-reflect and evaluate/criticize their own values and interests. o Self-reflection is good. Something we all usually can improve. Students will learn how to integrate knowledge and use it beyond their professions. Students will respect all disciplines and varieties of peoples. Encourage students to develop an appreciation of and abilities for participation in civil engagements with others who have different points of view. Develop a deeper appreciation for experiences of life. o Yes!