Index of Topics 11/20/07

      Approved 12/3/2007; to Faculty Senate1/14/07

Writing Proficiency –Motion re fractional table, and discussion

 

 

WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

ACADEMIC COORDINATING COMMISSION MINUTES

Regular Meeting  --  November 20, 2007

 

Chair James Hearne called the meeting of the 2007-2008 Academic Coordinating Commission to order at 4:04 pm on November 20, 2007.  There were sixteen (16) members present and three (3) others for a total of  nineteen (19). Chair Hearne welcomed several new student members, including Kristina Mader and Aaron Hayman.  Hearne asked their majors and learned they were political science students.  Hearne also welcome Kathleen Knutzen, Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

Approval of ACC minutes

Members approved minutes of November 6, 2007 with minor corrections.

 

 

READING OF CURRICULAR MINUTES (Exhibit B)

 

 

Committee

Date

Action

9

Huxley College Curriculum Committee

   9a-Environmental Science

   9b-Environmental Studies

10-26-07

Rejected.  A set of minutes that better reflect the historical record are expected. Additionally, the rejected minutes represent two separate meetings which are not clearly identified.

11

College Humanities & Social Sciences

10/25/07

Approved with the exception of Public History Minor.  Commissioners asked for 1) clarification of the Public History description, 2) as well as a list of the methods PH courses which are acceptable for purposes of Degree Audit.  3) Commissioners asked for an explanation of the 10 credits under advisement, are they upper level?  Dr. Knutzen agreed to work with the sponsor  and noted that a lot of ground work had already been done on this minor.

Also Questioned:

Bio297A will be replaced by 245.

PoliSci requirement of 2.7 in core courses for the major. (see discussion below)

PoliSci/Economics/Philosophy.  Have the departments corresponded with College of Business and Economics?

12

General Education Requirements Cte

11/1/07

Postponed.  ACC moved to wait until the primary curricular changes come from CHSS.

13

Graduate Council

5/15/07

Accepted. *

14

Graduate Council

10/30/07

Accepted.

15

Fairhaven College

10/24/07

Accepted.

16

College Fine & Performing Arts

11/9/07

Rejected.*  See note.

 

 

Additional Comments on Minutes

College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 10/25/07.   Political Science is requiring 2.7 in  three core courses to declare the major.  Kathy Knutzen pointed out to Commissioners that even if you have a D in some courses you can still take the next course, or the next course in the sequence.  The system does not check that.  So the C minus requirement here must be a Banner issue. 

 

Knutzen claimed that a C minus is not a requirement for a prerequisite, which may nor may not be part of the major.  A “D” will always get you into the next course as long as it is not part of your major.  St. Hilaire mentioned this needs to be checked in Banner since some departments trigger a C minus requirement.  (It subsequently was learned that prerequisite checking will not allow registering by a student who did not earn a satisfactory grade.)

§    The catalog coordinator mentioned that the online course proposal form also needs to be reviewed for this.

§    Provost Murphy noted that specifying a C minus is not done unless the department specifically requests it.

 

Graduate Council. 

The Chair asked Commissioners if there was strong feeling about sister courses (cross-listed courses) taken by graduate students for graduate credit.  Commissioners noted that students are limited to the 10-credit rule and this is overseen closely by the Graduate School. 

College of Fine and Performing Arts, 11/9/07. 

§    Commissioners rejected these minutes which list many courses not yet fully revised by the departments.  ACC awaits minutes that indicate a more complete result of the curricular review, and pointed out as an example that many colleges simply prepare a list of courses that were not approved.  ACC meetings are time limited and Commissioners prefer to review approval actions taken by the curricular committee.

§    Commissioners asked about the permanent notation of writing proficiency on page 6, which explores writing proficiency in DNC431.

§    St. Hilaire reported that this is causing problems in transfer articulation.  When a student takes an equivalent course at another university, she/he may expect to also get the writing proficiency credit.  It is better not to list it in this fashion in the catalog. 

§    St. Hilaire suggested that the departments might have to submit writing proficiency courses in a separate list with their schedules in order to avoid the potential problem of students coming in with the equivalent of the course taken elsewhere and getting writing proficiency equivalency also.

 

ACTION ITEMS

Writing Proficiency Table

§    Chair Hearne brought a revised table of fractional writing proficiency and a motion was made by Chelsea Fletcher and seconded by Yvonne Durham to accept the revised table as a replacement of the table of the 11/6/07 minutes.  Commissioners passed the motion following discussion.

§    Provost Murphy suggested that there is a need for further discussion on this topic, as it seems like a large policy issue.  Murphy suggested that we need to ask departments to revise the wording a bit.  We need a weigh-in by folks in the writing center. 

§    Roger Anderson mentioned that it wasn’t clear that people opposed splitting credits like this.  What seemed to upset some people were the exemptions listed already, and why this was allowed.

§    Chair Hearne mentioned that he felt that ACC should not interrupt what departments do in this regard, but he concurred that a group of interested parties ought to get together for further discussion. 

 

DISCUSSION

Qualitative Characterization of Writing Proficiency(WP)

Councilors considered comments sent to ACC, including a qualitative characterization of WP presented by Senator Joan Stevenson, recommendations on writing practice, class size, and assessment from Carmen Werder, Chair, Writing Assessment Group (WAG), and a note from Kyle Crowder expressing concerns regarding how to fund smaller WP sections.

 

Comments from Commissioners:

§    Regarding classroom size, we stipulate what percentage of a class is devoted to WP but no stipulations on how many students can be in a class, and no stipulation on  how it should be part of the syllabus or curriculum.  That is the kind of thing that people want to raise discussion about. 

§    Hearne commented that some people say don’t do anything until you have it figured out perfectly, but if making a change will make things better, and in no way worse, it is okay to advance incrementally.

§    Michael Meehan responded to WAG that if some percentage is devoted to this, there has to be an assumption of a grade, and finds the recommendation of 20 students impossible.  He also rejected the third item on assessment and asked how can you come up with assessment products for every discipline on campus

§    Hearne responded that these comments are not rules, but intend to change the culture to make people more self-conscious about their purpose.  What should we be talking about, why not these?

§    Roger Anderson agrees that you cannot set a cap, but 50 or 60 students is pretty large; many of these courses are best taught at the 300 level, rather than later on in a student’s career, but if it has to be just 15% of the grade it is possible. 

§    Meehan added that instructional time and guided practice is already implicit, and he found the first item unnecessary to mention.  Anderson understands assessment, and tries with his faculty, but he finds the third item on assessment a non-starter.

§    Others noted that the outcomes of assessment are really important, but this sounds like WP is a bludgeon, especially if it acquires special status in terms of assessment on campus.

§    Kathy Knutzen reported that when Western first instituted WP courses we provided support around them.  There were training classes, samples of writing, knowledge-based instructors and a writing center with significant support as well as writing assistants who were available to mentor.  This has all diminished.  Now we have a little writing assessment group which is not integrated into the departments.  There are workshops, but no real support structure for WP.  Some faculty are very leery of teaching a WP course because of the assessment of writing associated with it.  Now we are sort of ad hoc while before there was much less leeriness because guided principles came from qualified faculty who can give writing instruction.  Some faculty want that but there is no support, and it can’t happen in a void.

§    Some faculty say yes, we are articulate, we can write well, and we have Ph.D., but doesn’t mean we are good instructors of writing.  ACC concurred that WAG is not integrated into the system at all.

§    Kathy Knutzen thinks the table approved today is a big improvement.

§    Hearne does not want to proceed unless there is further discussion.  Hearne asked commissioners to review what Joan Stevenson wrote and suggested further discussion at the next meeting.

 

Commissioners’ Concerns and Adjournment

No concerns were brought forward, and Commissioners adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, November 20, 2007

 

ACADEMIC COORDINATING COMMISSION 2007-2007 ROSTER

 

Membership (term ending 2009)

 

 

Chair – James Hearne 2007-2008

 

1

A -  James Hearne, Computer Science, Chair (4 yr)

P

 

Vice Chair – Roger Thompson

(Louis Truschel 10/23 and 11/6)

 

2

A - Roger Anderson, Biology (SENATOR) rep to UPC

P

 

 

 

3.

D – Mark Kuntz, Theater

P

 

Ex-Officio

 

4

E – Yvonne Durham, Economics, CBE

P

17

Dennis Murphy, Provost, nv

       Rhonda Allen, VP Faculty Relations

     P

5

G – Robin Matthews, Huxley

P

18

Lisa Zuzarte (Catalog Coordinator) voting

P

6

H –Chris Ohana, for  M. Riddle-Buly,  Woodring, Fall Qtr

     P

 

 

 

 

Membership (term ending 2008)

 

 

Registrar, Recorder, Guests

 

7

A –  Michael Meehan, Computer Science

P

1

Joe St. Hilaire, Registrar

P

8

B – Dan Boxberger, Anthro; rep to GER

P

2

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder

P

9

C -  Diana Wright, History, Fall Qtr for L. Helfgott

P

   3

Kathleen Knutzen, Assoc Dean, CHSS

   P

10

C - Louis Truschel, History, (for R. Thompson)

     P

4

 

 

11

F -  Marie Eaton, Fairhaven

--

5

 

 

12

I –  Stefanie Buck, Library, rep to EESP

P

6

 

 

13

S -  Annie Jansen, ASVP-Academics, 2007-2008

-

7

 

 

14

S -  Chelsea Fletcher, ASVP,  2007-2008

P

8

 

 

15

S -  Kristina Mader, ASVP,

     P

 

Members Present

16

16

S-   Aaron Hayman

     P

 

Registrar, Recorder, Guests Present

3

 

     

 

 

TOTAL PRESENT  November 20, 2007

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members (18)

 

 

 

 

 

12 faculty (2yr terms) representing each area with 2 as Senators.  6 more members include:  Provost (nv), Catalog Coordinator (ex officio) and 4 students (1 ASVP).  ACC sends reps:  to UPC and to GER Cte.  Registrar & Recorder are permanent guests