Core Curriculum Task Force
DATE AND Friday, March 17, 2006
TIME: 10:00 a.m.
LOCATION: SU 80, Room 223
Marina Banchetti; Oliver Buckton; Jeff Galin; Paul Hart; Mark Jackson; Lee Klingler; Tim Lenz; Anthony Lombardo-chair; Cliff McCue; Don Ploger; Allen Smith
Mary Ann Gosser-Esquilin; Robin Jordan; Don Torok; Fred Fejes; Maria Petrie; Debbie Raines
Guest(s): Tom Pusateri
Chair Tony Lombardo stated there was one change in the minutes and asked if there were any other changes. There were none. The minutes are approved.
1. Status of Freshman Convocation/Freshman Reading
Tony stated the Provost’s Advisory Council agreed that the Core Curriculum Task Force should select the book for the freshman reading. He also mentioned that President Brogan has given approval for a Freshman Convocation. Tony went on to say a subcommittee should be formed and its goal is to find at least three book titles or even an alternative written work such as an editorial and come back with a progress report. Tony would like the subcommittee to consider finding a book where the writer could come here and speak at the Freshman Convocation. He also wants them to consider issues such as cost, who will pay for the books, who will be responsible for sending them out and when they will be sent. Tony asked for volunteers and the three selected were Mark Jackson, Marina Banchetti and Oliver Buckton. He passed out a few publisher’s brochures for them to look over on first year experience books.
2. Report on the AAC&U Phoenix Conference
Tony presented some details from the conference. He described Buffalo State University’s approach to their core curriculum program which they call the Intellectual Foundations Program. (Giving the core a name is something we should consider.) Their approach is a core course (interdisciplinary) taken by all freshman (3500), plus a menu to round out the overall general education requirement. They are assembling a common text for the core course. It is called Foundations of Inquiry and is taught by regular faculty who must follow the core goals of critical thinking, moral reasoning, evaluation and methods of learning. Buffalo State has rewritten their gen ed outcomes.
Valparaiso also has a core plus gen ed approach, but their Human Experience course is 10 credits - 2 five credit courses that are taught by all disciplines and have a common syllabus. There are no English comp courses in the core. It is covered in Human Experience. There are four class contact hours per week – the “5th” hour is for faculty meetings and approved student activities.
Tony handed out a synopsis of what the faculty at the University of North Dakota need to know about student’s experience with and attitudes about general ed. Students were interviewed every term, and faculty analyzed over 500 interview transcriptions as part of a longitudinal study of general education. Based on the study team members developed a list of 10 recommendations.
On another note, Tony offered some details from the Civic Engagement Workshop – The American Democracy Project that he attended on the Boca Raton campus on Thursday, March 16. The subject of the workshop was “What is the public purpose of public education?” The speaker’s response to the public purpose of public education is to prepare citizens. His philosophy on public education is based on institutional intention, programs and activities, and ability to measure the results.
3. Subcommittee for Paragraphs
Cliff McCue volunteered to review the purpose paragraphs written by the Task Force and come up with a single rendition. He will report on it at the next meeting.
4. Development of Transition Paragraph
Tony expressed that there should be a transition paragraph that would relate the higher purpose of the core curriculum to the courses that make it up. He asked the Task Force to come up with something and send it to Diane. He stated that all syllabii should relate to the two paragraphs. It was agreed that work on the transition paragraph would begin after Cliff forwarded his purpose paragraph.
5. Challenges for FAU Core/Gen Ed Reform
a. Tony will meet with Bill Covino, the Chair of the Council for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (CEUE) and student focus groups starting next week to understand student attitudes.
b. Interdisciplinary courses: getting faculty involvement and agreement.
c. Determining if there is a consensus at large from UUPC, UFS or individual colleges that change needs to be made.
d. Developing themes/emphasis
e. Service learning in the core: still in its infancy but the Task Force should be prepared to discuss it.
Next meeting date TBA
Meeting adjourned at 11:54 a.m.