International and Domestic Off Campus Studies Committee
Minutes for IDOCS Meeting on October 25, 2006
In attendance: Katherine Baker, Jeane Delaney (chair), Maura DeChant, Dona Freeman, Karil Kucera, Eric Lund, Kris MacPherson, Cate Redman, Solveig Zempel [ex-officio – Dean’s Representative]
- The meeting was called to order by Chair DeLaney. The minutes of the October 18, 2006 meeting were approved.
- DIS: Denmark’s International Studies Program Review
i. The committee was joined by Margaret Hayford O'Leary
- DIS includes some government funding; considered a good value
- Students usually live with local families
- DIS offers fall, spring, summer and internship programs.
ii. Senior Heidi Henriksen joined the committee to share her experience with the DIS program in autumn, 2005
- Praise for the international focus of the program that allows students to meet others from across Europe. The "host family" experience allowed her to immerse in Danish culture
- Easy access to health care and personal services through the program's main office
- Favorable reports of classroom and field learning experiences
- Academically comparable to St. Olaf.
- Discussion of the BORSC (Board of Regents Student Committee) recent report:
i. In the past week Eric and Cate have spoken to several BORSC members who worked on the report
- Members of BORSC knocked on Ytterboe dorm rooms to create an informal opportunity for random students to voice reactions to St. Olaf's International and Off-Campus study programs and practices
- Since there is a new committee each year, often the current group doesn't know what previous committees have done.
ii. Eric observed that the survey was "quite good," but wondered about survey methods, especially numbers of surveys given
- Cate reported that she has asked for this information from BORSC twice
- IDOCS might be interested in using this survey data for upcoming review
iii. Discussed the importance of IDOCS being made aware of such surveys.
iv. Eric recommended that BORSC access JoBeld's office when creating surveys.
v. Eric has beenin e-mail correspondence with Peter Hill of BORSC. Eric observed that BORSC seems not to be aware of IDOCS-generated reviews.
- Novgorod Program Review
i. Committee was joined by Irina Walter
- Students need at least 4 semesters of language to participate in the Novgorod program. The preference is that students participate during the senior year.
- Jeane asked about the low cost of the program. Irina attributed this to it's being a program that is "completely St. Olaf's."
- Irina discussed service-study concerns raised in report, and the challenge for faculty in finding such experiences for interested students.
- Kris contributed that "experiential learning" might be a more accurate and useful term to use than "study-service."
- Eric asked about student safety in Novgorod.
- Marc Robinson will establish contact with the new dean during his trip there this Interim.
ii. Novgorod Program was approved by the committee
- Jeane mentioned that there are currently no other programs to review
- Eric reports that open house will take place November 1
i. Kris asks about timing the open house earlier inthe term so that students con attend it before meeting with advisors before Interim and spring semester registration
ii. Karil advised that IDOCS office should consider sending a registration reminder to advisors
iii. Eric will send a letter to the faculty about this.
- Eric mentioned the BORSC report's stated concern that the IDOCS office is "inaccessible and unhelpful"
i. The committee discussed ways to keep the student body aware of the IDOCS office, services and programs
ii. Jeane asks if the issues raised inthe BORSC survey are "really problems"
iii. Karil suggested off-campus semester-long programs could be included in a link to class and lab schedule
- A drop down link to International Studies would help
- Focus on off-campus programs for various majors in the online information students receive would be a positive addition.
iv. Faculty should be reminded that they can access Helen Stellmaker for help in advisiong students.
- Back to discussion of the current 1st years' petition for off-campus Interim program
i. Committee agrees that Eric and the first-year dean can make a decision regarding these exceptions. Solveig offers to weigh in as Associate Dean
ii. Committee supports Eric ingranting these 2 students' exceptions
- Jeane handed out information regarding the advisability of allowing the First Years to participate in off-campus Interims
- No meeting next week.