General Education Committee



December 10, 2012


Present:          Bernie Quetchenbach                          Melinda Tilton

                        Kurt Toenjes                                       Mike Havens

                        Jennifer Lynn                                       Tom Regele

                        Leanne Gilbertsen                               Michael Scarlett

                        TyRee Jenks                                        Matt Redinger (ex-officio)


Absent:           Mark Jacobson (excused)                       Rhonda Dillman (excused)

                        Mark Fenderson (excused)                     Patricia Nichols (excused)

                        Scott Harris (excused)                            Elizabeth Fullon (excused)

                        Daniel Barnhart (student) (excused)



Mike Havens called the meeting to order at 2:33 p.m. in the Missouri room.


The minutes of November 19 were accepted as presented.




A.  Reducing Gen Ed to 30/31 Credits


The Academic Senate has asked us to create a framework to move us to 31 credits, with a reporting deadline of Spring Break.  It was noted that when the MUS core was built, it was a chaotic process and no one expected it to become the standard.  However, to start the discussion of the BOR initiatives of reducing student debt and student completion time (which, to the BOR, go hand-in-hand), we are being asked to discuss reducing Gen Ed.


It was noted that perhaps we could reduce the Gen Ed total after we have some data from the standardized testing.  It was argued that the Chancellor will likely not want to wait 2 years for data to be gathered before starting on this initiative.


The question is, where do we cut 6 credits?  It was suggested we cut the English category to 3 credits, but still require students to take an additional WRIT course.  Another option would be to require students to take a course in their major that is a writing course.


Another suggestion was to cut the 3 credits in the Humanities subcategory and reorganize those courses into Fine Arts and English.  Humanities is the hardest category in Gen Ed to fulfill, because the courses are rarely offered.


Another suggestion was to cut the 3 credits in the Cultural Diversity subcategory and require students to take one course with a cultural diversity focus.  This could also be done with the second writing course.  Basically, we would have a core with some fine print below about requirements for a second writing course and a cultural diversity course.


It was noted that if the English category were cut to 3 credits, the English Department could cut their 100-level courses, and offer only the 200-level courses.  The issue is, students will not be ready for a 200-level course coming in, so the 200-level courses will have to be more lenient.  We would have to change the scores required in the COMPASS test.  We may also end up with prerequisite courses that amount to hidden Gen Ed prerequisites.


B.  ETS Testing Decisions


The abbreviated test is the choice.


The best way to get a large number of majors sampled is to use a quota system of majors.  It was suggested that COMT 200 be used as a sample, along with a percentage of City College students and some students from major capstone courses.


The test itself will be administered to an entire class, but only three of them will count.  We will need a bogus test for the other students to take, because we are paying per-test with ETS.  It was agreed we could use old GRE questions.



The meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, Rita J. Rabe Meduna.