Academic Foundations Committee
April 22, 2008
Present: Oliver Chen Mark Hardt
Dan Lennon Lea Zoltowski
Jane Howell Shelley Tanksanen (student)
Absent: Abbas Heiat excused Tasneem Khaleel ex-officio (excused)
Jay Shaw Kathy Kelker
David Garloff ex-officio Tasneem Khaleel ex-officio
Gary Young ex-officio Mary Susan Fishbaugh ex-officio
Karen Heikel ex-officio John Cech ex-officio
George White ex-officio Stacy Klippenstein ex-officio
Presiding: Mark Hardt, Chairperson
Mark Hardt called the meeting to order at 3:43 p.m. in the Bridger room of the SUB.
The minutes of April 8 were accepted as presented.
A. VSA Endorsed Assessment Instruments
It was noted that this issue was bounced back and forth from Senate for further review and discussion. There is no longer any debate because we are now VSA members. According to an email from Valerie Martinez, Associate Dean:
Here are a few updates:
1. MSU Billings has now joined the VSA as a participant. We will be submitting our template as described on the VSA website.
2. As a member, it is required that we administer a student learning outcomes assessment at least once every three years.
3. Our participation can be considered a pilot and after four years, we have the option of opting out of VSA.
4. Instruments approved by VSA for assessment of the student learning outcomes are:
CAAP (2 and 4-year programs) Recommended because we administer COMPASS which is published by the same vendor
CLA (only 4-year programs)
MAPP (2 and 4-year programs)
B. Second/Upper Level Academic Foundations Program Assessment
It was cited that the Committee had discussed a capstone as part of major requirements, but we had not agreed on it. Most programs are now being pushed to use a capstone anyway, so Academic Foundations could be a part of that course. The original members of the AFC were enthusiastic about a capstone course.
It was stated that the instructors of the LS 125 course want to know if the students finding what they learn in the course helpful and useful. It was noted that students could show what they found useful by completing a thesis-like project which could even be submitted to the Library. That may not work for all programs, but some may like that approach.
It was suggested that perhaps the AFC should meet with Department Chairs as part of the pre-fall activities to give some information on the capstone idea and receive feedback. It was agreed that the Committee will initiate a Chairs meeting for Fall 2008.
C. Status of IT Assessment Tool
It was noted that the IT assessment tool can only receive data for one semester at a time, so we must work out a schedule to get both Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 data entered before grades are due (May 7). It was suggested that Fall 2007 data be entered April 23 to 29 and Spring 2008 data from April 30 to May 7. These dates will be sent to IT. It was also noted that, if possible, the tool could be reopened during the summer for faculty who did not get their data in during this semester. An email then needs to go out to the faculty, preferably with Academic Senate signing off on it, explaining that assessment needs to be done for accreditation purposes. Also, some instructions on entering the data should be included.
It was cited that the AFC is responsible for the assessment data. We dont want to put it on some external storage device like a flash drive or CD because those could be lost. We also need to store it for up to 10 years. It will be requested that IT store the information on a share drive so it is accessible.
The meeting adjourned at 4:01 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Rita J. Rabe Meduna.