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Committee on Undergraduate Education Meeting Minutes 

 

Date:

11/12/09

Time:

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Room:

Old Main 465

Attendees:

Listed below

Approval: CUE 1/14/10

 

Called to order by Kathleen Kennedy.

I.            Approval of the minutes

Minutes from 10/29/09 meeting approved.

 

II.            Chair Announcements

·         Due to many conflicts, the committee has decided to cancel the December 10 meeting date with the option to add another meeting in January if needed. 

·         Matt Miller will send out invite to committee members to work with him on a subcommittee for those interested in beginning alignment between the AAC&U performance rubrics and the GUR competencies

·         Kennedy would like to have submitted curricular forms posted on Blackboard.  To reduce the need for paper copies, the committee has elected to view curricular forms online via a mediated room.  Future room locations for CUE meetings to be determined.  Committee members suggested MH 162, Art 110B, or Library 268.

·         Kennedy also announced that the committee would not be reviewing the Honors Program proposals at this meeting. 

III.            Curricular Proposals/Requests

 

Course

GUR Category

Requested Action

Reason/note

CUE Action

HIST 261: Black History in the Americas

Block B – CGM (domestic)

Cancellation of GUR

No longer have faculty to teach course.

APPROVED AND SENT TO ACC

HIST 199: Thinking Historically

HUM Option 1

Cancellation of  GUR

No longer have faculty to teach course.

APPROVED AND  SENT TO ACC

HLED 210: Introduction to Public Health

SSC

New GUR Course

Note: Currently offered as HLED 297B.  CUE recommends that one or two of the GUR competencies be added to the HLED 210 course syllabus (but course is approved as is).

APPROVED AND SENT TO ACC

 

Beginning Qtr – Fall 2010

THTR 297:  Film Genre

HUM Option 1

New GUR Course

Syllabus title “Contemporary World Cinema” does not match Course Request Title.  Concerns regarding repeatable credits. Unclear if repeatable for GUR credit or not.

HELD

Resubmit for beginning quarter of Fall 2010 and with correct syllabus.

 


 

 

REQUEST FOR NEW GUR COURSE

HLED 210: INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH

4 credit lecture course, SSC, Community Health Elective, not a FYE course

 

Catalog description:  

A survey of public health principles, history, philosophy, services, ethics, tools, systems, interventions, and applications to current events.

 

Rationale/goals for course:

The Educated Citizen and Public Health Initiative aims to fulfill the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that “… all undergraduates should have access to education in public health”. This initiative was developed in conjunction with the LEAP Initiative of the Association of American Colleges. The overall goal of this course is to help students become part of the educated citizen tapestry by investigating the field of public (population) health.  Objectives and learning outcomes are specified in the course syllabus.

 

GUR content:

1.        The general education program at Western is designed to develop knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, and the following academic competencies and perspectives.  Mark all the appropriate competencies that will be developed by the course being proposed.

Intellectual and Practical Skills

  • Analyze and communicate ideas effectively in oral, written, and visual forms.

X

  • Analyze and interpret information from varied sources, including print and visual media.

X

  • Use quantitative and scientific reasoning to frame and solve problems.

  • Apply tools of technology, with an understanding of their uses and limitations.

  • Work collaboratively and manage projects to effective completion.

X

Personal and Social Responsibility

  • Understand and evaluate assumptions, values, and beliefs in context of diverse local, national and global communities.

X

  • Understand and assess the impacts of interactions among the individual, society, and the environment.

X

  • Recognize the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of participating in, and contributing as a citizen in, a diverse society.

X

  • Reflect on one’s own work and on the ethical dimensions of academic pursuits.

X

Integrative Learning

  • Identify and analyze complex problems.

X

  • Explore, imagine and create.

2.        In narrative form, explain how the different competencies marked above will be achieved/ addressed in the course.

 

Intellectual and practical skills will be achieved through two types of assignments in class. The first of these assignments will be case studies in which students work in small groups to address a public health issue and come to a consensus regarding the problem, etiology, recommendations, and interventions. Furthermore, these case studies are discussed in a large-class format after the small groups have done their work. The second of these assignments include small group discussion of public health issues in the news. Students are required to find an article from a newspaper, magazine, or the internet based on a public health issue. After evaluating the article, they compose a review of the information and present these articles to their small group and several are discussed in class further as they relate to the material being covered in the course.

 

Personal and social responsibility is addressed in this course through two additional assignments. Students are required to compose a letter to the federal representatives for the state of Washington. This letter is to be a proposal advocating for a specific set of recommendations to improve some aspect of public health; this quarter it happens to be health care access. These letters require students to be familiar with local and national issues surrounding access and to be familiar with access to health care issues around the globe. The recommendations proposed in the letters are to be practical and reasonable while considering the impact on society. By completing this task, students are engaging in their right and responsibility of being an educated citizenry.

 

The second assignment around the competency of personal and social responsibility is to read the book, Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Upon completion of the reading, students are to compose a paper reviewing public health issues on a more global perspective.

 

Throughout the course, students are also engaged in viewing documentaries, reading peer-reviewed articles, and class discussions regarding public health issues. This exploration of ideas and current topics allows students to integrate their learning, apply course concepts to complex problems, and become an educated citizenry related to public health concepts and issues.

 

3.        How will the course being proposed meet the description established in the catalog for the specific GUR category selected in the form (i.e. Humanities, SSC etc.)?  Please refer to the description in the introductory paragraph of each GUR category in the catalog, pg. 45-49.

 

Through the use of small-group and large-group investigations, the course will explore the diversity of human culture, social and political behaviors, and the development of approaches to investigate the commonality and difference in human activity patterns. Beyond participation in discussion groups, students will engage guest speakers who discuss the field of public health as it exists locally and the ramifications abroad. Additionally, students will engage political leaders with ideas and potential solutions for a variety of social, political, and economic issues. Finally, students will review and discuss empirical-based research and interventions to existing and emerging public health issues on a local and global level.

 

IV.   Discussion generated by course approval process:

Committee does not want courses with the X97 rubric to be approved mid-year only to be offered for GUR credit under a new “permanent” rubric the next fall.  CUE would prefer that departments that plan to offer a course as GUR credit propose the course with the permanent rubric and not submit temporarily under the X97 rubric.   CUE members expressed that in some departments there is a perception that it is protocol to “try out” a course under the X97 rubric before seeking GUR credit.  CUE encourages departments to avoid this process if the course is not truly an experimental or one time course.   

 

Linda Luke shared that the Registrar’s Office has some difficulties with X97 courses that become GUR courses. When students take a course under the X97 rubric and later see that the course becomes a GUR, students often request retroactive GUR credit from the Registrar’s Office.  The Registrar’s Office would like students to be able to receive GUR credit for those situations (X97 courses that become GURs). There are also difficulties with X97 courses that are later assigned a “permanent” rubric in that a student could possibly get repeat credit since there are two different rubrics.

The committee also discussed whether applicable GUR competencies should be included on a GUR course syllabus.  CUE members did not reach consensus on how or if GUR competencies should be included on a course syllabus, but did confirm that faculty need to better communicate to students the value of GURs and the applicable competencies.   Concerns were raised regarding intellectual property, imposing forms of pedagogy or use of specific language on a syllabus, and the ability to enforce any potential policy.   Committee members also expressed the value of a common language in helping students understand the value of the GURs.   Some committee members expressed that when a faculty member/department submits a course requesting GUR credit that the faculty member is endorsing the GUR competencies (have to spell out the competencies on form) and that those should be transparent on the syllabus as well.   The narrative explains how the competencies are “done” in a discipline.  “Liberal arts education” sometimes gets more buy-in than the language of “GUR competencies”.  Some felt that including the competencies/narrative on a syllabus would improve the course and that a well-written syllabus is motivating and stimulating for the course (and can take many forms). 

Options for further discussion:

1)       Highlighting applicable GUR competencies on syllabus (instructor determines in what form).

2)       Attaching a “GUR Content Form” to the syllabus; using narrative from the submitted GUR Course proposal form.

3)       Including GUR competencies in the student evaluation.  Did this course address the GUR competencies that were stated at the beginning of your course/on syllabus?  Or, which GUR competencies did this course address?  

4)       Allow instructors to frame competencies within the discourse of the discipline.

GUR Program Discussion:

·         How are we (WWU) keeping track of what is being cancelled from GURs?

·         Nice to have a menu/matrix that shows clearly which competencies are available in the curriculum.  Isn’t there a database already?

·         It would be good to know from departments who are canceling or revising GUR courses how the department is addressing the loss of the GUR competencies (e.g. available in another existing course).

·         Often new faculty (or veteran faculty teaching a newly assigned GUR course) are assigned to teach a GUR and haven’t had the GUR competencies shared with them.  It would be helpful to new faculty to have more background on the course’s role in the GUR program.

V. Chair Closing

Chair and committee appreciated the discussion and will continue at future meetings. CUE will continue to review courses in January.  CUE members should email Kennedy any agenda items before end of quarter.  Topics to address: CLA, subcommittee on AAC&U and rubrics (led by Miller).

Meeting was adjourned at 5:30 pm.  Minutes submitted by Wendy Knight.

Present

Name

Role

Area

Voting

P

Borda, Emily

Faculty

CST

Voting

P

Grimm, Jeffrey

Faculty

CHSS (2)

Voting

P

Kennedy, Kathleen

Faculty

CHSS (1)

Voting

P

Miller, Matthew

Faculty

Woodring

Voting

--

Rinonos-Diaz, Ramon

Student

Appointed by AS

Voting

P

Rossiter, David

Faculty

Huxley

Voting

P

Tag, Sylvia

Faculty

Western Libraries

Voting

P

Takagi, Midori

Faculty

Fairhaven

Voting

P

Thorndike-Christ, Tracy

Faculty

ACC representative

Voting

P

VanderStaay, Steven

Ex Officio

VP Undergrad Education

Voting

P

Vassdal-Ellis, Elsi

Faculty

CFPA

Voting

P

Werder, Carmen

Ex Officio

Director Writing Instruction

Voting

P

Wonder, Nicholas

Faculty

CBE

Voting

P

Knight, Wendy

Recorder

Admin Asst to VPUE

Non-Voting

P

Luke, Linda

Guest

Registrar’s Office