General Education Committee



September 17, 2012


Present:          Mark Jacobson                                     Bernie Quetchenbach

                        Melinda Tilton                                     Kurt Toenjes

                        Rhonda Dillman                                  Mike Havens

                        Jennifer Lynn                                       Tom Regele

                        Mark Fenderson                                  Leanne Gilbertsen

                        Patricia Nichols                                   Michael Scarlett

                        Elizabeth Fullon                                  Megan Thomas (for TyRee Jenks)

                        Becky Lyons (ex-officio)




Guest:             Ardyce Endresen



The meeting was called to order at 2:30 p.m. in the Missouri room.


- By acclamation, Mike Havens was elected Chair and Kurt Toenjes was elected Chair Alternate.


The minutes of April 10 were accepted as presented.




Item 42  Gen Ed course:  WRIT 221 Intermediate Technical Writing.  Submit for General Education category I. B. English.


- Motion by Bernie Quetchenbach, seconded by Mark Jacobson to approve Item 42 for inclusion in General Education.


Ardyce Endresen, English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages, noted that this course used to be in the Gen Ed writing category back in 1993.  It has not been taught for many years due to lack of staffing.  This course is most appropriate for students in programs like science and pre-engineering.  It was noted that it would be helpful to the department to have a greater variety of courses to offer in Gen Ed.


- Motion carried.


- Motion by Tom Regele, seconded by Kurt Toenjes to waive second reading of Item 42.


- Motion passed by general consent.




A.  Representative to the Assessment and Accreditation Council


Kurt Toenjes agreed to serve on the council representing the GEC.


B.  COMPASS and Writing Courses at the COT/City College


It was noted that on both campuses, east and City College, students who score in the 99th percentile on the COMPASS test are given a “P” grade in WRIT 101.  The issue is that in the two-year programs at City College, students end up taking no writing courses, as they have tested out of WRIT 101.  About 10% of the City College students end up doing this.  The Academic Support Center is also burdened with these students who need lots of writing help.  This is an accreditation issue because we are using the COMPASS test as a CLEP exam.


It was cited that a comparison between students who take WRIT 101 and those who don’t would be really valuable.  Perhaps we need to create “advanced” sections of WRIT 101 for those students who do score high on the COMPASS.  The students would still be required to take a writing class, but it would be adapted to their level.  An actual written test, rather than the multiple-choice COMPASS, could be administered to all our students, but who would grade them all?


It was agreed that the committee members will discuss with appropriate leaders the impact of requiring all students take a writing course, and report back at the next meeting.


C.  Gen Ed Assessment Database


We are continuing with the database as it is, so please encourage all faculty teaching Gen Ed courses to enter their data every semester.



The meeting adjourned at 3:32 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, Rita J. Rabe Meduna.