Millersville University, Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate Minutes
November 29, 2005
Summary of Proposed Gen Ed Revisions
Len S. Litowitz
Goals of this Proposed Revision
This proposal seeks to accomplish the following:
- maintain academic rigor while providing the increased flexibility that is needed to deliver quality degree programs within a four year span,
- create a less restrictive gen ed scheme than our current scheme,
- work within the existing gen ed framework, maintaining much of what is good about the current framework,
- minimize affects on departmental load so as not to be particularly detrimental to any specific department,
- broaden gen ed so as to include more opportunities to for students within gen ed
- encourage students to pursue minors by allowing them to complete up to three courses (50%) of the minor within gen ed, and
- reduce general education requirements from 51 to 48 semester hours minimum.
Proposed Credit Distribution
G1 Humanities & Fine Arts (9s.h.)
G2 Mathematics & Science (9s.h.)
Must include at least one gen. ed. Approved
Math class and one gen ed approved
Laboratory Science class
G3 Social Science (9s.h.)
G4 Core Competencies (12s.h.)
G5 Exploration (9s.h)
Proposed Modifications to Existing General Education Requirements
- Courses selected in blocks G1,G2 and G3 must come from at least two different departments. Rationale: Encourages breadth
- Omit "two from one department" rule in gen ed blocks G1, G2 and G3. Replace with a "two from one department" rule that must be met once across all of gen ed. in addition to the two ENGL courses that are already required as a feature of this proposal. (Note that all education majors would have to complete two Math courses that are mandated by PDE) Rationale: Helps to achieve greater understanding in an area other than the major
- Omit COMM 100 from gen ed, but require all majors to identify two courses where a significant speaking assignment will occur. Majors could choose to specify COMM 100 as a required related course in G1 if they have a strong affinity for this course. Rationale: Many majors include speaking assignments as a natural portion of the major. These speaking assignments are delivered in context as opposed to a generic speaking environment.
- Require five courses at 200 level or higher across all gen ed distribution blocks. Two of those courses would be met by the AW and P requirements. Rationale: Would require that students take some courses with depth as opposed to all "Intro to"… courses
- Limit number of required-related courses that can be completed in gen ed to five (instead of six) Rationale: Proposal transfers three credits from gen ed back to the discretion of each individual major
- Modify the four course "W" requirement as it presently exists as follows:
Rationale: Would help to ensure significant writing is occurring in a number of courses
- Keep existing "W" courses on the books
- Require that all Departments identify courses where significant writing assignments routinely occur.
- Departments would be free to designate courses from within the major as W courses, rely on W courses to be completed concurrently with gen ed electives, or use a combination of gen. ed. and major courses to ensure that students do significant writing in a number of courses while at MU
- Create a new G5 block that is comprised of purely free electives including all courses presently approved for gen ed and additional courses that have not traditionally served as gen ed courses ( to be proposed by departments)
Rationale: The G5 block would allow both students and major programs increased flexibility in gen ed that is desperately needed. Examples: At present education majors cannot take a computer science course in block G2 as a part of their gen ed program, nor can many take a foreign languages part of gen ed.. However, they could take such courses in the G5 block crated within this proposal. Additionally, students cannot take any courses in gen ed from some departments on campus because the departments do not have offerings that fit neatly into the present G blocks. This does not mean the departments do not have any offerings that might be of value to enhancing the general education of students.
- Courses within G5 must be from at least two different departments
- Only one course within G5 could come from within the major
- A Freshman seminar course (departmental or campus-wide) could fulfill one G5 requirement
- Departments outside the mainstream of gen ed would have the opportunity to propose a limited number of courses to be approved as suitable for gen ed in the G5 block only. The procedure for proposing a course as a G1, G2 or G3 would remain the same as at present.
- Consider implementing an International Perspectives (IP) requirement that could be completed anywhere within blocks G1 - G5. The IP requirement could be fulfilled by any foreign language course, certain history courses that address other cultures, cultural anthropology courses, or many other courses with an international flavor. Rationale: The students of today are living in a global economy. As a result of technology the world is now a much smaller place. Interactions and understandings of other cultures is becoming more essential.
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