COMMITTEE: Academic Standards
MEETING DATE: November 18, 2002
PERSON PRESIDING: John Tilley
REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Jim Decker, Joseph Gershtenson, M. S. Ravi, Catherine Rigsby, and John Tilley
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Michael Bassman, Pat Dunn, Purification Martinez, Dorothy Muller, and Katie Sagle
ACTIONS OF MEETING
Agenda Item: 1: Call to order
Action Taken: Tilley called meeting to order at 3:00 PM.
Agenda Item: 2 Approval of minutes for the October 21, 2002 meeting.
Action Taken: Rigsby moved for approval of minutes, seconded by Dunn. Martinez clarified her status as an Ex Officio member. The motion was approved without dissent.
Item Considered in Suspension of Agenda: Committee officials
Action Taken: Decker volunteered to serve as Secretary for the meeting.
Agenda Item 3: Relationship between the General Education assessment process and the current review of General Education program.
Discussion: Michael Poteat, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, provided an overview of the ongoing General Education assessment process. Dr. Poteat indicated the recent SACS review was very favorable, yielding only nine recommendations. On August 27, 2002, ECU responded regarding the nine recommendations. Response to recommendation # 3 was to consider “oral communication” as part of the review of General Education program. Dr. Poteat suggested that this recommendation might be best met with an “Oral Communication Across the Curriculum” schema, similar to the successful “Writing Across the Curriculum” program. Tilley spoke about the difference between General Education requirements and graduation requirements. Poteat articulated the SACS “core requirement” as articulated in the “Principles of Accreditation” which can be found at http://www.sacscoc.org/accrrevproj.asp. Dr. Poteat also provided information attached, which cites relevant SACS documents.
Action Taken: No action was taken at this time. However the committee reached consensus that the committee’s job is to recommend the best possible General Education program for students and should not be constrained by potential assessment challenges.
Item considered in Suspension of Agenda: Student Opinion of Distance Education Courses.
Discussion: Dr. Chuck Rich offered his assistance to alleviate any remaining problems with the recently revised possibly on student evaluation of distance education classes. Tilley recommended adoption of a revised statement, which removes ambiguity in the policy.
Action Taken Bassman moved and Rigbsy seconded approval the following replacement sentence.
“To increase student response rates, all students enrolled in distance education courses will receive a reminder e-mail prior to the deadline.”
Agenda Item 4: General Education credit petition for GRBK 2000, GRBK 4000, and GRBK 4999.
Discussion: Dr. Brian Harris described the purpose of the proposed Great Books program and the petition for general Education Credit. Rigsby questioned the wisdom of approving new General Education course while a review of the en Ed program is under way. Ravi indicated the committee must be sensitive to Gen Ed changes at this time, however revision of the Gen Ed program may be years away given the enormity of the task and numerous other factors. Tilley suggested the course in question might be particularly suited for “Writing Intensive” status. Harris indicated he would pursue WI stats for these courses. Bassmen requested honors section of the proposed classes be stabled. Harris indicated he would pursue honors section of the proposed classes.
Action Taken: Rigsby moved and Bassman seconded approval of GRBK 200, GRBK 4000, and GRBK 4999 for General Education credit. The motion was approved without dissent.
Agenda Item 9: Scheduling of a called meeting prior to the next scheduled meeting.
Discussion: Tilley indicated the business before the committee necessitated an additional meeting prior to the one scheduled in February 2003. Discussion of the business to be accomplished and an interim report to the Faculty Senate was held.
Agenda Item 6: Means of soliciting General Education input from Students.
Discussion: Tilley described the dilemma of soliciting input form students about the General Education program. Tilley recommended four committee members (Tilley, Slagel, Bassman, and House) meet with the Student Government Association Senate for the purpose of receiving input on General Education. Bassman suggested Honors program student be solicited for input. Muller suggested Teaching Fellow be solicited for Gen Ed input. Ravi suggested The East Carolinian be approached to run a feature on the General Education Review and solicit student input. Tilley indicated that Katie Slagel (Ex Officio Committee member0 is a member of TEC editorial board. Tilley volunteered to discuss this with Slagel.
Agenda Item 5: Discussion of the “Foundations Curriculum” drafted by Rigsby.
Discussion: Extensive discussion was held in reaction to the “Foundations Curriculum’ drafted by Rigsby. Suggestion for clarification, enhancement and extension the concept were entertained and debated. Related After extensive discussion Rigsby agreed to incorporate several of the concepts offered and to construct a second raft of the proposal to be discoed at the next committee meeting.
Motion to Adjourn: Passed at 5:24 PM.
NEXT MEETING: November 26, 2002 @ 3:30 PM
From Michael Poteat, Director of Institutional Effectiveness
The first statement concerning SACS requirements is from the SACS Criteria, which are being replaced by the Principles. The criteria are, however, were the standards by which ECU was evaluated. Note that this statement reads that we must demonstrate that graduates are competent in, but we only have to show that students have course work (catalog requirements) in each area. We were judged to comply with all areas except oral communication. The 1998 criteria can be found at:
The institution must demonstrate that its graduates of 29
degree programs are competent in reading, writing, oral 30
communication, fundamental mathematical skills and 31
the basic use of computers.
Effective with the class of 2004 (that is the the SACS term and it refers to the schools undergoing reaffirmation visits in the 2004-2005 academic year), all institutions will be under the recently adopted principles. The principles are only 16 pages long compared to the approximately 80 pages of criteria. The must statements are gone and there are far fewer specific requirements. The principles can be found at:
I copied three statements, which I thought were of particular relevance to general education and the assessment of institutional effectiveness, from the principles. The first statement (the one I inadvertently replaced with non-relevant text) reads:
c. offers a general education program at the collegiate level that is (1) a substantial
component of each undergraduate degree, (2) ensures breadth of knowledge, and
(3) is based on a coherent rationale. For degree completion in associate programs,
the component constitutes a minimum of 15 semester hours or the equivalent; for
baccalaureate programs, a minimum of 30 semester hours or the equivalent. These
credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one course from each of the
following areas: humanities/fine arts; social/behavioral sciences; and natural
science/mathematics. The courses do not narrowly focus on those skills,
techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. The
institution provides a written justification and rationale for course equivalency. (This section is on page 9 and is part of the Core Requirements. However, I am not sure of its meaning if it is read within the context of the entire statement..)
Another core requirement (page 8) states:
5. The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that incorporate a systematic review of programs and services that (a) results in continuing improvement and (b) demonstrates that the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission. (This is, of course, what my office is charged with facilitating.)
Finally, one of the two principles that SACS had developed for the basis of reaffirmation is:
The Commission on Colleges expects institutions to dedicate themselves to enhancing
the quality of their programs and services within the context of their missions, resources,
and capacities, and creating an environment in which teaching, research, and learning
The concept of quality enhancement is at the heart of the Commission’s philosophy of
accreditation; this presumes each member institution is engaged in an ongoing program
of improvement and can demonstrate how well it fulfills its stated mission. Although
evaluation of an institution’s educational quality and its effectiveness in achieving its
mission is a difficult task requiring careful analysis and professional judgment, an
institution is expected to document quality and effectiveness in all its major aspects.