COMMITTEE:   Academic Standards Committee      


MEETING DATE:   January 22, 2007




REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Bauer, McConnell, Smith-Canter, Lorenzo, Thomas, Wolfe




OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE: Dr. Charles Garrison, Chair of the Department of Social Sciences, faculty members from the Department of Social Sciences, Dr. Nancy Spaulding representing the Department of Political Science, Dr. Lynn Roeder, Dr. Dorothy Muller, and Dr. Michael Poteat.






Agenda Item:    Approval of Minutes of 11/20/06


Action Taken:  Approved


Agenda Item:              Consideration of the following courses from the Department of Social Sciences for Social Science Foundation Credit:  SOCI 3025 (Sociology of Mass Media), SOCI  3219 (Sociology of Immigration), SOCI 4300 (Sociology of Emotion), and SOCI 4400 (Sociological Perspectives of Sport)


Discussion of SOCI 3025 (Sociology of Mass Media):  Questions from the committee were raised concerning how research methodology would be addressed in the course.  The instructor responded that the textbook for the course contains information on research methodology and she would be working with each student individually throughout the course on their research as well as giving out handouts in class.  Michael Brown suggested that the foundation goals could be incorporated clearly within the course description and that the issue of research methodology and how it would be addressed in the course should be improved within the syllabus.


Action Taken: SOCI 3025 was approved by the committee for Foundations Credit; the revisions requested by the committee can be made without resubmitting for committee approval.


Discussion of SOCI 3219 (Sociology of Immigration):   Questions arose from the committee concerning the clarity of the foundation goals within the syllabus.  George Bailey stated that the syllabus did not make it clear that the course was a sociology course, and the foundation goals should be clearly expressed in the course objectives.  He further explained that two of the three foundation goals were not addressed in the syllabus and that the intent of a foundations course in this area should be to provide an introduction to the discipline of sociology.  The committee agreed that there needs to be a new syllabus written to propose this as a new Foundations course; the syllabus provided was from a course of similar content previously taught. 


Action Taken: Dr. Rebecca Powers, the instructor of SOCI 3219, agreed to create a new syllabus following the committee’s directives and return for committee review and approval.


Discussion of SOCI 4300 (Sociology of Emotion):  The committee requested clarification from the course instructor about the objectives of the course.  A question was raised concerning whether courses approved for Foundations Credit must include a research paper (for this course lacks one); George Bailey responded that courses approved for Foundations credit only require that students be trained in the discipline’s research methodology, not that they be required to write a research paper using that methodology.  The committee agreed, however, that this course proposal did not adequately address the issue of research methodology. 


Action Taken:   The committee recommended that revisions be made to the course proposal and syllabus and that both be resubmitted for approval.


Discussion of SOCI 4400 (Sociological Perspectives of Sport): The committee agreed that the foundation goals are clearly stated in the overview, but that the instructor needs to also include these within the syllabus.


Action Taken: SOCI 4400 was approved by the committee for Foundations Credit; the revisions requested by the committee can be made without resubmitting for committee approval.



Agenda Item:  Consideration of POLI 3042 (American Politics Through Music) for Social Science Foundations Credit.


Discussion:  Dr. Nancy Spaulding presented the information about the course on behalf of the instructor who could not attend the meeting.  She explained the course objectives, how the course would blend the students’ interest in music with the study of political expression, and how the foundation goals for social science would be met.  


Action Taken:  The committee agreed to approved POLI 3042 for Foundations Credit.



Agenda Item:              Report from Michael Brown on Service Learning


Discussion:   Michael Brown shared with the committee the results of recent meetings of the Service Learning committee: a definition of service learning within the academic environment.  The definition states:


          Service-learning is a method of instruction used to instill a sense of commitment and an understanding of community leadership in students, most of who are undergraduates at ECU.  All volunteer hours and community service hours are not service-learning.  Service-learning courses meet the following broad guidelines:

1)  service-learning is structured within a course and has a formal, academic curriculum that is rooted in the discipline in which the course is being offered.

2)  the course contains a set of organized community-based learning activities through which students directly serve a constituency as a means to address an identified community need; and

3)  the course provides structured opportunities for students to formally connect their service activities to the course curriculum.


Action taken:  N/A


Agenda Item:  Consideration of the proposed policy on how to handle classroom disruption


Discussion:  Dr. Lynn Roeder presented the Policy on Academic Disruption that had been drafted by Maggie Olszewska, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  She expressed how the policy has to be designed to protect the instructor as well as consider the rights of students.  George Bailey suggested that the Governance committee rather than Academic standards might better regard this issue.  He recommended that our committee could write a letter that recommends that the Policy on Academic Disruption be considered by both the faculty and administration.


Action Taken:   The committee recommends that we should put forward a recommendation to the faculty and administration that asks for their consideration of the Policy on Academic Disruption.


Agenda Item:  Consideration of the revised Peer Review of Teaching Instrument and Procedure


Discussion:  Dr. Dorothy Muller stated that the faculty resolution that approved the revised Peer Review Procedure and sample Peer Review Instrument called for an evaluation of the revised procedure after three years.  Dr. Mark Taggart, Chair of the Faculty, had asked that the Academic Standards committee review the Peer Review Procedure.  She explained that her department had been trying to complete a survey by contacting each department and asking specific questions about the instruments and procedures used.  There is still great variety in instruments (there are, for instance, 3 different peer review instruments for Music), and she is trying to compile a summary table that will display indicate specific variations in what instrument each department uses and how often reviews are taken.  She said she would prefer to return when she had more complete information.  Linda Wolfe asked what the role of our committee would be in this review—whether we are being asked to make recommendations or to recommend the formation of a new committee to review this.  


Action Taken:  The committee agreed that the topic should be reconsidered at a future meeting (perhaps the 2/19/07 meeting).


Agenda Item:    Consideration of assessment for foundation courses


Discussion:  Dr. Michael Poteat presented information regarding the federal Department of Education and their recommended changes.  He said that it is difficult at this point to be able to tell what we will be required to do, but we should follow SACS requirements.  He detailed how ECU will conduct a small pilot of the Collegiate Learning Assessment using 20 freshmen students and 20 seniors beginning in the Spring semester (from Feb. 5 through April 15)—though the problem will be in find freshmen students that begin university study in the spring semester.  George Bailey raised concern that the move toward using the CLA had not been discussed nor approved by the faculty senate, and that the faculty should have some input in what instrument was going to be used for learning assessment.  Dr. Poteat stated that there would still be time for discussion, but that the administration wanted to move ahead with the pilot study for more data to explore if this might be a possible assessment option.


Action Taken:  The committee will hear further reports on assessment in the future.  In the meantime, George Bailey said that he is working on a draft of outcomes assessment to be used for Foundation Credit courses.


ADJOURNED:   4:00 p.m. 


NEXT MEETING:  Monday, February 19, 2007



ITEMS TO BE DISCUSSED:    Reconsideration of Social Science Foundation Credit for SOCI 3219 and 4300;  consideration of MATH 2151, MATH 2152, and MATH 2153 for Foundations Credit; continued discussion of the Classroom Disruption Policy, the Peer Review of Teaching Instrument and Procedure, and Assessment for Foundation courses.