Millersville University Faculty Senate

General Education Review Committee

Annual Report 1997-98

97-98 Members Department
Colleen Stameshkin
Dorothee Blum Math
Ana Borger-Reese Foreign Languages*
Jamie Byrne Communication and Theatre
(Added Spring 98)
Bonnie Duncan English*
Fred Foster-Clark Psychology
Ed Kovacs Student Senate
Ryan Kunkle Student Senate
Elizabeth Masciale English
(Added Spring 98)
Jay Mone' Biology
(Served Fall 97)
(Barbara Montgomery) Social Sciences and Humanities
Ed Rajaseelan Chemistry
(Returned Spring 98)
Kathleen Schreiber Geography
Barb Stengel Ed Foundations
Marjorie Warmkessel Library
(Added Spring 98)

The GERC meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday when classes are in session, from 4:05 until approximately 5:30 p.m.

Actions by the Committee

The General Education Review Committee has spent virtually all of its time and energy this year on one task: developing objectives for Millersville University's general education program. After elections of new members, we spent several meetings coming up with what we felt were a pretty complete list of objectives "clusters." Next, for each cluster, one member was named the leader of each group and a second member was asked to assist with each group. Because we were short two members, we had to recruit volunteers not on the GERC to fill some spots. Finally, we solicited as many other faculty as we could to serve on the working groups, based on expressed or anticipated individual and/or departmental interests.

Each group moved at its own speed and obtained varying amounts of participation from interested faculty/departments. Two leaders had to resign in the middle of the process, and their replacement slowed our progress in a couple of areas. During the april visit to our campus by our consultant, James Nichols, we had a chance to submit our work to Nichols, who was both helpful and positive about our results. Our last couple of meetings have been spent refining the objectives and rationales our working groups have developed, in order to present them to faculty senate at the May meeting.

We expect that senators will take these objectives to their respective departments and receive feedback from them. by the second meeting of the Fall semester, we hope that serious discussion of these objectives can get underway. The objectives as released in May are considered a "work in progress;" we fully expect that senators will have a number of suggestions for improvements in the objectives, including additions, deletions, and modifications, and we welcome all such ideas. It is imperative that the faculty of Millersville University feel that these objectives are an accurate representation of what we are/should be trying to do in through our general education program.

After the senate has approved the adoption of a list of objectives, we must also decide which objectives will be assessed in the first round of assessment, and then select at least two means of assessment for each objective. At this point we will need to decide who will carry out assessment of these objectives. Nichols has recommended that in the first year, we may not wish to undertake full-scale assessment, but simply undertake a pilot program.

Our committee has had three other tasks since May of last year. In July, we met with Deans' Council to discuss the Five-Year Performance Review for the general education program, which our committee wrote the previous academic year (1995-96). during this meeting, we mainly discussed the recommendations for change that we had made in this report. One recommendation that had originally come from our consultant, Michael Knight, was to create a position of Director of General Education.

Our discussion of the possibility of creating such a position was eventually brought to senate, where several objections were raised regarding several aspects of the proposal. The idea was referred back to the GERC, and we have been in discussion with various administrators and other individuals about the best way to obtain the benefits of such a position while avoiding the difficulties pointed out in senate. We are still working on this.

Finally, we were asked to come up with a proposal to deal with various problems involved in offering general education credit for courses of fewer than 3 credit hours. Our proposal regarding this problem will be presented at the first meeting in May.

Plans for Next Year:

Once a list of general education objectives is adopted, and we have decided which will be assessed first and how, the GERC will go on to the final stage of this particular process. We need to look at our present curriculum and see whether it seems to be consistent with our revised objectives. To the extent that they clearly seem to conflict, we will make recommendations for curricular change.

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