Millersville University, Faculty Senate

Attachment A

Faculty Senate Minutes

19 November 1996


I. Composition ofthe Task Force
The TaskForce shall consist of 10 members to be selected in the following manner:
1. Four facultymembers appointed by the APSCUF President
2. Four faculty members selected by theFaculty Senate,
3. Two non-voting members serving in an ex-officio capacity appointed by the President.
The chairperson shall be a faculty member from this group appointed by the APSCUF President.
II. The Charge to the Task Force
The Task Force shall consider reports submitted by the three task forces created by the Provost, the General Education Review committee, various administrative and faculty bodies, and individual faculty members, and following an analysis of these finds, the Task Force will issue a report consisting of specific recommendations regarding the interim curriculum measures as well as any other matters pertaining to general education specifically and/or to the university curriculum in general.
III. Methodology
The Task Force will hold hearings in schools, solicit recommendations from departments, individual faculty, and the administration, and review data submitted by the Faculty Sente's General Education Review Committee and the Provost's appointed task forces.
IV. Process
The Task Force will submit its report to the Faculty Senate by the end of the spring 1996 semester. After receiving the recommendations of the Task Force, the Faculty Senate will deliberate and send any revisions and/or recommendations back to the Task Force by October 1, 1996. the Task Force will consider the suggestions of the Faculty Senate and submit its final report to the Faculty Senate for an "up or down" vote by November 1, 1996. The APSCUF President will send the Task Force report along with the Faculty Senate endorsement or rejection to the full faculty for a referendum by December 1, 1996.

Rev. 2/14/96

Task Force on General Education Curriculum and Academic Resources

Historical Background
Three factors led to the formation of this task force:

1. The shrinking support from the Commonwealth for public higher education.
2. The consensus that budgets will continue to shrink in the foreseeable future.
3. The realization that the existing curriculum can be made more cost effective.

This recommendation on General Education is an attempt to address these issues. We have tried to preserve the goals and philosophy of General Education at Millersville University. We feel that this is preferable to the administration imposing a solution or to other outside parties dictating remedies to us. We welcome your comments.

Rationale for why we want/need to revise the General Education Program:
1. Simplify the General Education Program for the student and for the university.
A simpler program will help with the planning of seat needs in the schedule, will reduce the number of curricular exceptions currently being processed, and will make advisement less of a number counting activity and allow advisor and advisee to focus on meeting the educational goals of the student. Furthermore, streamlining makes it more feasible for students to graduate in a timely fashion.
2. Quality and cost
In order to enhance quality and reduce costs, it is necessary to streamline and increase the efficiency of the current curriculum. This can be accomplished by using University resources more effectively to maintain small sections at the advanced undergraduate level while increasing class size at the introductory undergraduate level in certain identified courses. Certain curriculum requirements in the General Education portion of the curriculum can be eliminated and/or modified in such a way as to ensure quality, but bring about important cost savings.
3. Need to develop a process for demonstrating to ourselves, our students, their parents, and other constituencies that the general education program does, indeed, deliver what it claims to deliver.
The goals of the General Education Program are not stated in a measurable form. The way in which we currently show that students have met the objectives of general education is simply by verifying, before graduation, that they have taken the required number of labels. This is not sufficient to demonstrate that they have, in fact, acquired the skills which our general education program purports to deliver.

Time frame: Phase 1 will be developed and implemented by Fall 1997, Phase 2 by Fall 1999.


1. Keep the current general education curriculum of 54 hours. Blocks G1, G2, and G3 remain the same. Create a Block G4 in which ENGL 100, COMM 100, AW, HPE and one P course and one Elective are required (18 s.h.)
a. This provides a place for existing P courses from the School of Education.
b. The elective in G4 may be a second P course or it may be a course normally counted in Blocks G1, G2, or G3. It should be useful for the hundreds of students who are undeclared or who change majors.
2. Consistent with past practice, up to four courses from the list of "Required Related" courses for a major may be counted in the Gen. Ed. Curriculum. One of these four may be counted as the elective in Block G4, in which case, only three may be counted in Block G1, G2, or G3.
Rationale: This will provide more flexibility for the student.
3. Drop all C and Q labels from the requirements for all students enrolled in Fall 1997 and thereafter.
Rationale: Very few students have difficulty satisfying the CQ requirement. Many students take more courses with these labels than required. The committee believes that removing the requirement will not diminish the enrollment in these types of courses and students will continue to take the same number of CQ courses even without the requirement. This will assist in meeting our goal of simplifying the curriculum.
4. Drop the QARC label but require that every student take at least one MATH or CSCI course.
Rationale: This is viewed as a basic liberal arts requirement in the same sense as ENGL 110, COMM 100 and HPE. The current QARC requirement is really a MATH/CSCI requirement and dropping this obscure label will simplify/clarify the requirement.
5. Reduce the requirement of four 200-level courses in gen. ed. to three.
a. This is intended to reduce the number of requirements for graduation and to increase the probability of graduating in four years.
b. This should make room for some large enrollment 100-level courses and thus address Rationale #2.
6. Keep the four W requirement without the 10-page revised prose requirement.
Faculty teaching W courses W courses will be encouraged to fulfill the W requirement in a variety of ways. The workshops in Writing Across the Curriculum given by Dr. Centola and Dr. Tim Miller provide dozens of ways and means to introduce writing activities. These alternatives may incllude short papers, essays exams, and in-class writing exercises. Each instructor can select an appropriate combination for his/her course.
Rationale: This is in response to the increased class size in W courses.


Preamble: The Task Force members felt that an alternative approach to fulfilling the goals of General Education is worth considering. The course labels of W, C, Q and QARC were intended to ensure that certain kinds of learning experiences took place for all students.

A criticism leveled at the current General Education curriculum is that it is too prescriptive, too inflexible, and too complex to cope with. It presents difficulties for students and advisors who are trying to negotiate it and it presents difficult staffing and scheduling problems in a time when resources are scarce.

Members of this task force have extensive teaching experience and they have participated in the course approval process at several stages in hundreds of cases. We came to the realization that any general education course is likely to have its own unique combination of W, C, and Q components. As an alternative to designating courses as either W, C, or Q, courses may possess these components in some combination.

The steps recommended below are not intended as major changes in the overall purposes of Gen. Ed. They are intended to make approval of Gen. Ed. courses easier.

There is a second task we are trying to deal with via this process. MU must undergo a Middle States accreditation in the next three years and Middle States has mandated that institutions implement an outcomes based assessment program.

1. The Faculty Senate, by whatever means it deems appropriate, shall review and revise the mission and goals of general education, and create objectives which are stated in a measurable form. Accompanying these goals shall be a compilation of ways to write Gen. Ed. course proposals and descriptions. This shall include ways to incorporate W, C, and Q components. Faculty Senate shall develop an assessment program which will evaluate whether the General Education Program is meeting its intended outcomes.
Rationale: These goals have not been reviewed since the mid-1980's. The Middle States accrediting agency has mandated the outcomes assessment process.
2. Once the goals of general education have been restated, each department shall review its approved general education courses and restate their objectives. These restatements shall be reviewed and approved by Faculty Senate or by a committee designated or established by Faculty Senate. Departments will be cencouraged to propose additional courses for inclusion in the General Education Program, and to consider whether some courses should be dropped from the approved list.
Rationale: This is intended to be a relatively simple process for existing courses. Emphasis will be on the General Education goals and how they are addressed in each course.
3. Departments will be encouraged to develop courses that take advantage of the new, broader criteria for gen. ed. courses. Departments also will be encouraged to develop additional courses that fulfill the AW requirement.
Rationale: This should provide more options for student and more opportunities for faculty. If departments develop AW offerings, it should provide some relief for the staffing pressures in the English Department.
4. Drop the requirements connected with C, Q, W and QARC. Retain the labels for course approval, advisement, and assessment purposes.
Rationale: This will relieve students and advisors of the onerous task of satisfying gen. ed. requirements in their present form. At the same time, the course designations will preserve the overall goals of gen. ed. Furthermore, we can identify where and how gen. ed. goals are achieved.
5. Other existing rules of General Education will remain in place.


12 credits
G1 - Hum & Fine Arts
12 credits
G2 - Science/Math
12 credits
G3 - Social Sciences
18 credits
G4 - Funadmentals and Electives
Art Biology Anthropology ENGL 110
Comm. & Theatre Chemistry Business COMM 100
English Computer Science Economics AW*
Foreign Language Earth Science Geography 1 Perspective
Humanities Mathematics Gerontology HPED
Music Nursing History 1 Elective
(may be a P)
Philosophy Physics Political Science
Social Work
Sociology *AW courses in English
or an elective if AW req. is satisfied in the major

Task Force on General Education Curriculum
Dr. James Sheridan, Chair Mr. Colin McLeod
Dr. William Dorman Dr. Alice Meckley
Dr. Albert Hoffman Dr. Charles Scharnberger
Dr. Terry Madonna Dr. James Stager
Dr. Joseph McCade Ms. Dawn White
Dr. Robert Wismer