General Education Task Force
April 30, 2004
Present: Beld, Umbanhower, Booth, Cisar, Zempel, Larson, Bauer, Hoekstra
Minutes from April 23, 2004, were approved.
We discussed desired student outcomes for BTS-B and BTS-T.
We observed that the outcomes for these two requirements sketched by David Booth seem very consonant with the 1995 assessment of theological literacy. There is strong support on campus for theological literacy. Some faculty feel that the requirement for BTS-T is conceived too narrowly. For example, couldn't theological literacy be achieved in courses that place Christian theology in the context of world religions or other cultural and historical studies? Would a broader dialogue lead students back to theological study and reflection? Should there be a relationship between this requirement and our goal of "global perspective"?
Regarding BTS-B, we asked whether this course needs to be taken in the first year. We decided yes, because it is conceived as a point of departure for GE at St. Olaf. The sequencing of the two courses provides a common experience for students and background for other courses they take.
Note from Mary Cisar: we may be able to benefit by the work of the Committee on the First-Year Experience. They have been conducting focus groups with students.