GE Task Force
General Education Task Force Meeting Minutes
February 20, 2004
Present: Beld, Booth, Cisar, Hoekstra, Larson, Umbanhowar, Zempel
Minutes from 02/13/04 meeting were amended and approved
Status of St. Olaf application to AACU institute on general education in May was discussed. The team to be sent to this conference was not complete and several names were suggested for additional faculty team members. A need to provide balance in representation on this team across the Faculties was recognized.
Much time was spent discussing information needs. The committee went through a list of information sources prepared by Jo Beld which included a variety of faculty/student surveys as well as institutional assessments including the NSSE study.
- There was much discussion about how to separate perceptions from reality in evaluating the results of student and faculty surveys without ignoring the importance of perception.
- Recent student surveys have not been efficient (e.g. very low response rate) and concerns were raised about over-surveying of students. Possibility of working with student government leaders was endorsed.
- The existence of reports on bibliographic literacy, EIN, and ORC was discussed and committee members agreed to search for these for future discussion. This conversation also raised issues of information literacy and visual learning and the need to track/consider continued changes in student experiences in K-12.
- Need to distinguish/consider student learning outcomes vs. faculty development outcomes was suggested as taskforce reviews reports and other documentation of impact of GE curriculum.
- Ways to use the current student information system to revisit question of how students are meeting GE requirements relative to number of majors and class years were discussed and highlighted limitations of current information system. Distinguishing between classes that count for a major(s) and those that count for GE or both was raised and, unfortunately, this can only apparently be done by manual inspection of transcripts. 200 senior transcripts was suggested as a possible sample size. FERPA implications were discussed and would be looked into.
- Possibility of gleaning information on GE from Dept/Program self-studies was suggested. If time permitted ARP office would search for relevant passages in the self-studies and, with permission Chairs/Program Directors add this information to the Dept. responses to the GE task force memo.
Compiled by C.E. Umbanhowar Jr.