Millersville University, Faculty Senate

### Attachment 1

### Faculty Senate Meeting

#### 5 May 1998

### Millersville University

### Objectives of the General Education Program

#### as presented by the

### General Education Review Committee

Brief History: During the Fall of 97, the General Education Review
Committee established nine different clusters of possible outcomes
objectives, and a working group for each cluster. Each group was headed by
a member of the committee except one, which was headed by a faculty
volunteer. Each committee member was also a "second," or helper on a
second working group. Faculty members from various departments were
recruited to serve on the working groups, and ideas were circulated at
meetings, through e-mail, and on the web site to obtain feedback at
various stages of development.
We are still investigating means of assessment for some of these
objectives. As only three to five objectives will be tested at any one
time, we are most concerned immediately with specifying means of
assessment for those objectives which are to be assessed first. This
summer, we will be examining several nationally normed general education
tests. If we find one that adequately tests a means of assessment for at
least some objectives, and may administer it to a sample of our
undergraduates as a sort of pilot program by the end of next year. (This
was recommended to us by Nichols.) Available exams test students on math,
critical thinking and writing skills as well as on knowledge in several
subject areas.
In addition to national tests and course-embedded assessment, we also
could create our own general education test. All students could be given a
version of the test after they have completed 60 credits, though they
would randomly be assigned to different parts of the test, and while most
would take a scantron version, a small sample would have to actually write
short essays, solve problems, etc. As part of motivating students, and to
make it more useful, all students' advisors would be sent the results of
the test for the purpose of advising students about their strengths and
deficiencies, how to remedy deficiencies in the remainder of the students'
educational career, and what the results imply for further education and
career possibilities. Another possible means of assessment would involve
interviewing graduating seniors, alumni, employers, and so on. All of
these and more are being considered. We are very interested in getting as
much feedback as possible on what you think is likely to work.
General education objectives are divided into three tiers, as follows:
###
Tier 1: Fundamental Skills - Six Objectives

Rationale: Students need these skills by the end of their first year of
college. while we teach these in courses that fall under specific
disciplines, at the fundamental level our main purposes of instruction are
(1) their importance for success in higher level courses in a multitude of
disciplines and (2) their general usefulness for a wide range of personal,
civic, and career purposes.
**1) Mathematical Reasoning:** Students completing 30 credits at MU
will demonstrate that they can:

a) formulate problems from the real world in the abstract language of
mathematics;

b) select and perform mathematical procedures appropriate for solving such
problems:

For a) and b), in particular assess:

i. Solving basic algebraic equations that model real world phenomena
AND

ii. Understanding and interpreting statistical data

c) understand mathematical concepts and procedures appropriate for further
learning.

For c), in particular assess:

i. Comprehension of basic geometric concepts AND

ii. Using calculators to solve mathematical problems
**2) Critical Reasoning:** Students completing 30 credits at MU will
demonstrate that they can:

a) demonstrate an understanding of and ability to recognize, analyze, and
appreciate arguments supporting theories and perspectives other than one's
own;

b) provide reasoned support for their own beliefs;

c) fairly and competently compare and evaluate competing arguments.
**3) Inquiry:** Students completing 30 credits at MU will demonstrate
that they can:

a) generate research questions/pose problems;

b) find reliable sources;

c) select relevant information;

d) integrate what they have learned into a final product.
**Communicating using a variety of speaking and writing processes:**
Students completing 30 credits at MU will demonstrate that they can:

a) generate, draft and revise ideas;

b) take into account others' critique of their ideas;

c) present ideas publicly in spoken or written form;

d) reflect on their ability to work through these processes.
**Communicating within different contexts:** Students completing 30
credits at MU will demonstrate that, effectively and deliberately, they
can:

a) use speaking and writing for a variety of purposes (e.g., for learning,
pleasure, persuasion, exchange of inofmration);

b) target different audiences according to those purposes;

c) select appropriate written and spoken strategies (e.g., genre,
conventions, style, vocabulary) for those audiences and purposes;

d) demonstrate awareness of their decisions.
**Technology Literacy:**
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