ACADEMIC PLANNING COUNCIL
Minutes of November 30, 2009
3 p.m., Holmes Student CenteróHSC 505
Present: Alden, Beatty, Cassidy, Erman, Goldblum, Gorman, Gough, House, Jung, Lee,
Novak, Seaver, Ye
Guests: Donna Askins, Research Associate, Office of the Provost; Carolinda Douglass, Director, Office of Assessment Services; Janice Hamlet, Department of Communication
The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m. It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of November 9, 2009, and the motion passed unanimously.
The APC turned to the review of the IBHE interim report for the Center for Education Policy Research and Services. When a new center is requested, a progress report must be submitted to the IBHE three years after the initial request. The centerís name has been changed from the Center for Education Policy Research and Services to the Center for P-20 Engagement. The name change was approved by the president as a result of several things including the strategic planning process and the achievement of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The center plans on seeking permanent approval. A motion was made to receive the report, and the motion passed unanimously.
The meeting was turned over to Gip Seaver for an update on the Baccalaureate Review. A handout was distributed to the members of the APC, which provides a summary of what has taken place to date. The baccalaureate goals were last reviewed in 1983. A task force and a steering committee were formed to review the baccalaureate goals at NIU. A proposal was submitted to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities to study and revise the general education courses. The baccalaureate goals should drive the undergraduate curriculum and general education. The goals should be for the entire undergraduate experience; not just the general education experience. All the undergraduate activities at Northern should be driven by the baccalaureate goals. The outcome of this process should be a set of baccalaureate goals against which we can measure ourselves. We need to ask the question how students should look when they graduate from this institution.
A very inclusive process was used to conduct the baccalaureate review, and a large number of people including students, faculty, and staff, were part of the dialog. Some of the focus groups were off campus (e.g., parents and community college representatives).
A quantitative analysis was done and the information was compiled into the three Cs (critical thinking, communication, and context). After this information was compiled, it was distributed to the campus community for feedback and comment. The critical thinking sub-goals are literacy, reflectivity, and information skills. The sub-goals of communication are technology, language, and collaboration. The context sub-goals are historical context, global context, and social context. Discussions have occurred regarding learning a foreign language as part of global context, and discussions are continuing on this issue. There has also been some discussion about adding two more Cs (creativity and content). The discussions on adding content focus on where the information on the mastery of a specific knowledge set is captured. Some individuals feel it is reflected in here already, while others think that this information is not very specific. Does the role of the major need to be reflected here? Is the intent to have a skill set regardless of discipline? Some individuals argue that even creativity could be incorporated under the three Cs. We need to be able to articulate these goals. Now we are gathering more information, and the three Cs will be refined. Then learning outcomes will be developed; putting these into measureable learning outcomes will be hard work. This will turn into a template for the general education goals. Every program at the university should be asked what they contribute toward students achieving these goals. Another important question is what about the transfer students obtaining these goals.
As we redefine general education, we are giving people the opportunity to define how their courses contribute to these goals. It is important to make sure that whatever general education critical path is developed someone is keeping track of how many hours students have to take. General education is lagging on this campus. In the program review process programs are asked how the department contributes to general education, and the APC tends to be satisfied with a purely standard response. This question may be strengthened in the program review guidelines: what is the departmentís perception of general education, and how is this valued?
We will still take input on this, and we have tried to be as transparent as possible. The formal reports are on the website. This initiative has the potential to transform this institution.
This is the last meeting of the APC this semester. Thank you all for participating this semester, and have an enjoyable break. The meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.