Motions and Recommendations passed by the

Academic Coordinating Commission 2004-05

(from Minutes) 

Thomas Downing, Chair






Senate Executive Council

ACC Chair Appointed as Permanent Member of the Senate Executive Council

Chair Downing referred to a recent action by the Senate which appointed chairs of the ACC and the University Planning Council to the Senate Executive Council as non-voting members. 


Chair Downing distributed copies of a motion passed by the Senate (text follows): Freshmen Interest Groups (FIGs) - MOTION of the Senate:   �A faculty member suggested that the Senate might like to familiarize itself with various aspects of the FIGs program, prior to the upcoming discussion in ACC.   . . . the Senate 'directs the ACC to review and evaluate the Freshman Interest Groups known as the FIGs program.'" .


Letter from Provost Bodman re GURs - TIMELINE

Bodman emphasized the tight timeline on GUR implementation, and that the catalog has to be put to bed by March 1st.   Bodman will continue to update with a bi-weekly �e-gram� to Deans and Chairs, forwarded to ACC and GER committee members.

Routing for orphaned courses

ROUTING for Courses with No Formal Home

Associate Dean Kathy Knutzen suggested that a particular body should be assigned to review these orphaned courses that come from American Cultural Studies, Women Studies, International Studies and other areas, so that they get the same ordinary scrutiny as other courses.  Writing II course which are new courses for the GERs should go to the appropriate college committee, and then on to the GER Committee.  Commissioners insist that all courses go to a college curricular committee, including First Year Experience.  

Writing proficiency Jeff Purdue made a motion, seconded by Jeff Newcomer, that �we form an ad hoc committee to look at writing proficiency for this year� (and to report back not later than the end of February), which passed. 10/19/04
Writing proficiency

         Jeff Newcomer made a motion, seconded by Jeff Purdue, that �we put a moratorium on new writing proficiency point systems�, which passed unanimously.


Motion re FIGS          The committee formed to review the FIGs and the FYE  will be asked to submit an interim report to enable the commissioner to determine whether all of the issues that commissioners might have regarding FIGs are being addressed.

         The Executive Committee will bring back a modified charge for a five person committee (four faculty, one student).  Specific questions will be asked, but it will be made clear to the committee that its task is not simply to run down the list of questions and answer them; they will simply provide some guidance.

Writing proficiency courses

Writing Proficiency.         Members endorsed the GER Committee�s purview over writing and writing proficiency courses.  Provost Bodman will have Assessment (Joe Trimble, Sharon Schmidt) collect the data on existing courses � which can be currently identified in �Classfinder�.

General Studies major

General Studies (GS) Major.  Commissioners requested a clearer profile of the GS graduate.  If there are 100 students in the GS major, let us see patterns that lead to the choice. Commissioners requested the information from the Registrar.  .

         Commissioners recommended getting the �gatekeeper� courses � the courses that constitute barriers to success in a traditional major -- out of the senior year, so that students can discover that these are barriers earlier and they can find some alternative in a timely fashion, for example, a more well-structured general studies major than the one we now have.

Old course numbers recycled after 5 years


Recommendation:  The ACC with advice from the Registrar and the Catalog Coordinator asks that an old course number not be used for a new course number for at least five years after the demise of the old course in order to avoid confusion in the catalog for stu`dents.

Satisfying GERs listed in a single issue of the Bulletin General Education Requirements (GER) Committee, 11/4/04.  Accepted.  The GER Committee established an important principle regarding which general education requirements a student must satisfy.  The rule is:  Each student must satisfy the general education requirements contained in a single issue of the University Bulletin.  This may be the Bulletin issued the year the student entered Western or any subsequent year.  Other rules at WWU require that for a student to claim the requirements in the Bulletin in effect at the time of matriculation, the student must not miss two consecutive non-Summer quarters. In any event, the new rule or interpretation of existing rules serves mainly to disallow picking some portions of one set of requirements and other portions of other requirements, but it does permit students to satisfy the most recent requirements regardless of which ones were in effect at entry into WWU. 1/4/05
FYE courses

Recommendations:  Commissioners recommended creating a course form specific to FYE courses.  The form would specifically list those characteristics required for the FYE right on the form.  Such a form would make life easier -- to centrally review all of the FYE proposals systematically, as well deciding which to include in the GURs. 

Commissioners noted that there are still questions about how FYE, residential programs, and FIG can all work together to serve freshmen, and agreed that retaining a variety of options is important.  A further question is whether departments that are participating in the FIG are thus discharging their obligation to the FYE.  All agreed that it is automatic that all courses go through the regular approval process.

Members also recommended that FYE courses go through the GER committee for right now. 

Classification of FYSs; qualifications of FYE courses

Members proposed the following as prerequisite for FYE courses:

�A First Year Student for the purposes of stating a prerequisite for FYE courses is any student with fewer than 45 credits, no matter the origin of the credits. The prerequisite for FYE courses is: FYS status or permission of instructor.�

Increase in graduate credits of ES and Geology

MOTION to increase Graduate Thesis Credits

Jeff Newcomer moved, and Maryann Reynolds seconded, �that the proposal in the Graduate Council minutes of 11/9 and 11/16 be accepted with the caveat that only increases in thesis credits for Environmental Science and Geology programs be approved through the 2006-2007 Academic Year.  The Commission charges the Graduate Council to research �time to degree� for thesis-required Masters� degrees across campus, and to recommend a policy that will work for all such programs.�.  

The motion passed unanimously.

Cancellation of General Studies

Newcomer Motion (from the ACC minutes of 1/18/2005)

Cancel the existing General Studies program effective Spring quarter 2006 (Provost Bodman corrected this to read Fall Quarter 2006 when the 2006-07 catalog would go into effect).  Existing students will be allowed to complete the program, but no new students can enter after Summer 2006.

Ask those colleges that are willing to support such a program to put forward proposals through the normal curricular channels during the 2005-06 academic year to create �clusters� based degree options.  The clusters based degree should:  include upper division courses from three departments, provide for student access to upper division courses, provide advisors for students, and meet all state and university requirements for degree conferral.

Access to the clusters based degrees should be limited to students who are unable to complete a traditional major.  The clusters based degree should neither be used as a substitute for student-faculty designed majors, nor as a fallback for students who are unable to decide upon a major.  As such, students should not be allowed to declare a clusters based degree before having completed 150 credits.

Retaining GS major and including a seminar class taken by declared students

Kimball Motion (handout distributed at meeting)

Commissioners reviewed a motion from Linda Kimball which acknowledged that the GS major serves a significant need for both students and the University in terms of completion, time to degree, and numbers of students who take advantage of it.  In the first part Kimball recommends:

�that the General Studies major be continued, with the addition of one capstone course in each college, to be offered each quarter as a requirement for graduating with a major in General Studies.�

Kimball�s document stated that �In order for the GS major to be respected as a degree of intellectual rigor, it must have a clearly demarcated hallmark of rigor, specifically either a required sequencing of courses, or a capstone seminar experience.  Kimball suggested a capstone experience will meet the greatest student need.

Kimball addressed cost and observed that retaining the degree as it now stands will cost Western in terms of prestige, although this is difficult to quantify.  Dropping the major would impact Western negatively.  A capstone course would retain much of the current structure and would be most cost effective in the long run, ensuring the academic rigor which is currently missing.  Kimball�s final MOTION reads as follows: 

�that the General Studies major be retained as currently structured with one exception.  That exception is the addition of a required capstone seminar which will be offered by each college every quarter.  The prerequisites for admission to that seminar will be enrollment as a General Studies major.�