General Education Task Force
Minutes, Friday, February 27, 2004
Present: Mary Cisar, Phyllis Larson, David Booth, Solveig Zempel, Jo Beld, Gerald Hoekstra, Charles Umbanhowar, Jr.
Mary Cisar convened the meeting 8:00 a.m.
Minutes of the meeting of February 20 approved.
Cisar announced that she will submit a proposal for a team from St. Olaf to participate in an AAC&U sponsored Institute on general education in Rhode Island in late May. Task force members applauded Cisar's draft of the proposal.
Task force members continued discussion of existing information regarding the effectiveness of General Education (inventory of available data presented by Beld).
Task force members examined evidence presented by the registrar's staff regarding the progress of students towards fulfillment of GE requirements. Evidence suggests most seniors have completed most requirements before spring of the senior year. In terms of when they complete the requirements, it appears very few students have difficulty completing GE requirements.
Task force members expressed the conviction that many perceptions of GE are not support by facts. Beld proposed publishing a "myth debunking sheet."
Task force members discussed different ways a faculty may declare their convictions about the total shape and content of general education: for example, by imposing requirements or by committing to teach certain subjects.
Task force members laid plans for discussion with colleagues at the chairs and directors lunch scheduled for March 11, 2004.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00 a.m.