Feedback from Fall Faculty Meeting

This post contains feedback gathered at the Fall 2014 faculty meeting.

  1. Add more sections of FSTY so classes (writing) are smaller.
  2. I’d like to see a clear pathway for Gen. Ed goals and objectives to integrate with content areas. Also, a simple, elegant set of principles to guide our community. Also, faculty training that efficiently addresses Gen Ed objectives.
  3. Big ideas: What to expect after college (not a final year course, but one that exposes students to a set of expectations from employers in diverse fields.
  4. Replace one (or more) Culf classes with one that includes sections on: a. Time Management b. Risk Management c. Personal Financial Management 4. Interpersonal Communications.
  5. Personal Success (all systems) Financial, Physical, and Spiritual.
  6. Financial Literacy.
  7. Themes strands in General Education curriculum – minors? E-Portfolios. Problem-Solving. Civic Engagement.
  8. I think the Gen Ed curriculum has vital learning outcomes and effectively builds on the four years – so I’d like it to continue to be part of the curriculum for Junior/Senior year, but I’d like more flexibility within each course – so building in more themes/strands within each course like Experience, Dilemmas, and Capstone. My main concern is courses “competing” with CULF/CAPS courses – like Race class, Gender Competing with Dilemmas or Senior Thesis competing with CAPS – so finding a way to integrate that coursework.
  9. Specialized Tracks in Gen Ed and Cohesive Progress where students see a logical build-up of ideas. Yes, maybe E-Portfolios.
  10. The flexibility of scheduling Gen Ed courses throughout the 4 year curriculum. The Ability to flip the first 2 years of requirements into the 3rd and 4th (We in music have the opportunity to open a new 2 year degree with a British Music Institute. That degree can then flesh out to a full 4 year Bachelor degree with flexibility of scheduling).
  11. Fewer hours! Capstone in the major – more flexibility for course requirements.
  12. More flexibility, please. Coupled with few hours in Gen Ed. Capstone in the major, with more emphasis on discipline-specific methods and presentation.
  13. Look at the number of hours required by majors, they take away flexibility from students also.
  14. Less overall Gen Ed credits. Maximize flexibility.
  15. Tracks within Gen Ed.
  16. General Education – ability to customize General Education requirements to enable more electives and internship opportunities.
  17. Flexible. B. Fewer Requirements C. Global Connections.
  18. Use technology more actively in GE courses so students are comfortable with this before Discipline-specific courses (online quizzes, [illegible], discussion boards, etc.
  19. Information Literacy, Quantitative Literacy, Scientific Literacy.
  20. Focus on: information literacy, scientific literacy, quantitative literacy.
  21. Literacy to include computer languages equivalent to “modern language” requirement. Ruby, Java, Python = Spanish/French
  22. Quantitative Literacy: Data analysis. Reading/interpreting graphs/statistics.
  23. Given the large/big/important inclusion of technology in the lives of our students, Univ. studies needs to add online learning to the curriculum; doesn’t matter which course(s).
  24. Fewer hours = less than 35. Capstone in the major. No mini-Capstone course! A block approach that allows students x-hours if they want to study abroad.
  25. More specific senior thesis classes in lieu of CAPS. Move more Reasoning Component of CAPS into CULF 3331.
  26. General Education “Big Ideas:” A. Capstone must move to the majors (or it will continue to be meaningless for many students). Free first-year writing from the stronghold of “THE RESEARCH PAPER.”
  27. Disciplinary Specific Capstone!! Focus on quality writing skills on all types of assignments.
  28. Replace Capstone with a disciplinary specific senior project.
  29. More flexibility to customize students’ individual interests. NSCI Senior seminar could count as capstone.
  30. Capstone in major. General knowledge to build critical thinking. Allow General Ed. To be basic courses in majors – can double count.
  31. Move or allow “capstone” equivalent to the majors. Reduce overall number of hours of General Ed. This allows either a). increased major hours and/or b). increased elective hours for students.
  32. Keep a Capstone course.
  33. Devolve Capstone to the majors as a senior seminar course. Transfer some of the Social Justice/Values emphasis of Capstone to American Dilemmas. Decouple CULF 3330 and 3331, so that they can be taken at any point after freshman year so as to facilitate study abroad. Transform CULF 3331 into a POLS-International Relations course. Eliminate Science in Perspective, combine CULF 1318 and 1319.
  34. Combine 1318 and 19. Let majors decide what Gen Ed. Courses are important.
  35. No more science in perspective. No more Culf 3331. No more capstone. Capstone: as it stands right now, give it to the major, but keep some features (required, etc.).
  36. Reduce General Education to 42 hours. Instead of doing our own thing, follow AAC and U Leap or English—6 hrs, Language—6 hrs, Speech (oral comm.)—3 hrs, Math—3 hrs, Science—3hrs, Ethics/Rel.—3 hrs, History—6 hrs, Global Culture—3hrs, Arts—3 hrs, Capstone (IN MAJOR)—3 hrs.
  37. Not Capstone, devolve to major. Not 3331—It is an International Relations Course. Not 3330—it is useless. Not Dilemmas—it is strayed from its mission of Pols/Econ and Sociology.
  38. E-Portfolios are useless!
  39. Make Freshman Studies an intimate classroom experience rather than a big-class experience. Can still have common text(s), just not big lecture.
  40. History of Business, located in MSB.
  41. New media issues; business course.
  42. 48 Hours: 3—[Political? Illegible]. 3—Culture (MTS/[illegible]). 3—History [illegible]/specific. 3—Global Perspective. 3—Specific ANA. [illegible]—Oral/Written skills throughout/research. 12—Language. 3—Science. 3—Math. 6—[illegible]. 6—Ethics/RS.
  43. Personal Financial Planning!! Course Exists: FINC 1332—Sec. p 139 of 2014.15 UG Bulletin.
  44. I appreciate how the CULF classes build on one another and fulfill the university’s mission. It is important that the Gen Ed be more than just a way for every department to get students into a particular course for the sake of numbers. An effective Gen Ed. Would not only provide a diverse education, but would also bring the students closer to being the globally, culturally, and socially aware young people that the University is striving to produce.
  45. Try to reach the goal of preparing all students in all majors to function/working a more international global market. Truly open the world more to the graduates in terms of their professional future.
  46. Ed. Continue global awareness, involvement, preparation. Make study/experience abroad more affordable. Spring Break/May term trips (Quebec, Dominican Republic) develop a “voucher” system to partially fund study abroad.
  47. The French-Speaking world (political and cultural aspects).
  48. Cross cultural awareness. Disciplinary specific Capstone with more/most oversight in the major. No more university-wide [illegible]—or at least make standardization across the school/university.
  49. Ed. – Big Idea! Global Perspective. Thematic approach is interesting. Although I think they all need a history class or two.
  50. I think you need to think about how to increase the ‘Global’ focus of the Gen Ed courses and they need {illegible] – context. This will complement the global vision.
  51. Less “American Experience” and more Global Experience.
  52. Study Abroad course component.
  53. I would enjoy seeing some sort of internship be required and this could be in the major (literally) or service-related. International = [illegible].
  54. A learning outcome that addresses the health and wellness of the student. It should prepare graduates to think as healthy individuals. Topics: diet, exercise, stress management, moderation, risky behavior avoidance.
  55. Critical and Creative thinking. Skills like oral and written comm. Mission. Keep Capstone not tied to major.
  56. Teach skill levels appropriate to courses that culminate for (in) CAPS i.e. a.) topic/thesis development. B.) secondary/primary sources using/interpreting. C. critical analysis. More Capstone to each major (Senior Seminar).
  57. Emphasize creativity and the connections between written, visual, and performing arts.
  58. General Ed. Should focus on full [illegible] of all the conceptual and discipline-based topics into a [illegible] whole—break down compartmentalizing and have cross-school interdisciplinary courses and teaching teams.
  59. General Education: Consider locating courses in appropriate disciplines and more training for instructors who don’t have background in those disciplines. Or revise courses to fit the expertise and training of faculty who teach the courses.
  60. Increase academic rigor in gen. ed. Courses. Include faculty from the disciplines that contribute to the GE classes in the creation of GE courses. Emphasize critical thinking. Emphasize specific and identifiable intellectual skills which classes can develop and have accountability for both the faculty teaching those courses and the students.
  61. New models for “class”—project-based structure (instead of a class based on a topic, interdisciplinary projects drive structure).
  62. Capstone: should engage student’s disciplinary interests. Change format from pro/con to focus on stakeholders (or audiences). For example—what do MDs say, Activists, educators and so for say about the issue. And then the students informed assessment.
  63. Perhaps more integration with and collaboration/to the respective schools and majors. Perhaps organizing Gen Ed across, cutting themes like global change and innovation, sustainability and responsibility, etc. (ask schools to come up with key themes to be tackled in an interdisciplinary way. Perhaps more integration with career development and personal transformation as fitting with Holy Cross roots.
  64. More interdisciplinary/cross disciplinary.
  65. Gen Ed. Too many hours now. Need to limit the number between 30-35. More direction for departments regarding capstone and gear capstone to department needs. Let departments determine direction of capstone.
  66. It would be great if Gen. Ed. Classes could have more disciple-specific names, especially the “CULF” classes, The CULFs seem generic and don’t excite the students. Instead, have an “intro to Lit” class and a “world history class” and a “political science” class that make students feel like they’re being introduced to disciplines.
  67. Linking Gen-Ed to other schools: select books that prove a focal point that can be discussed from different angles depending on the school. Gen-Ed needs to toot its own horn. As faculty, we know that man employers prefer SEU students because they can read and write and many can understand both points of an issue. Our students are unaware that if they take Capstone seriously, it gives them a competitive advantage.
  68. Some format for a cross-disciplinary course connecting science to global and/or society issues. E.g genetics and disease. E.g. global change and storms. E.g pathogen biology and human behavior. E.g. energy, sustainable design, and economics.
  69. Cross-disciplinary courses, for example: a class in which a science major could get a credit for a science elective and credit for ethics. Like wise, a BSS major could get required science credit and ethics credit in the same course. This could also include required interdisciplinary courses.
  70. There definitely needs to be more flexibility—could there be one regular science and a lab (4 hrs) vs 2 non-lab classes (6 hours)? This gives students hands on practice and cuts down hours. Team teaching a larger class to get 2 GE credits out of the way—science and ethics for example? Our majors do a lot of speaking in classing—could we demonstrate proficiency for presentational speaking requirement in another way?
  71. Non-Science major required to take a lab course. Service is your major (e.g. bio major visits local Elementary school to teach 3 lessons on the local fauna/flora).
  72. Consider replacing science in perspective with a hands on [illegible] experience. Allow greater than 2 electives, pre-med students need to take sociology and psychology. Writing in the major field, sophomore level class.
  73. What do I wish? I wish that there was a course for GENED that is taught in the major focused on: research, presentation speaking, analysis of different points of view, the history and context, and writing.
  74. All our peer Catholic Institutions require 6 or more hours of theology/religion studies. Central to Catholic [illegible] and gets away from having to defend why we only require 3 Phil or Theo.
  75. Please consider providing our students more course hours in religious studies, beyond the 3 now in place. Virtually all Catholic collages and universities require six or more hours in direct connection to the catholic character and mission. The requirement could be shaped to foster study abroad and other values.
  76. Themes within Gen Ed that students could use to tail on their [illegible] to their [illegible] – e.g.: social justice, environment, women, transformation.
  77. Have a broad understanding of where we’ve come from as a human race, where we are now and find ways to direct and shape our human potential and where we can go.
  78. Establish a yogurt chair in University studies. Gen Ed: I tossed it ‘round/ inside my head/ but I do not dream/ of General Ed.
  79. I want to know how we’ll involve [illegible] in the gen ed. revision.
  80. Make sure that our Gen Ed program adequately considers and accounts for our adjunct vs. full-time faculty hiring practices. Our current program has many adjunct faculty teaching critical courses for first-year students. Whatever we adopt needs to support an ethical approach to faculty hiring and one that pairs experienced full-time faculty with the courses we consider t be the most important.
  81. Stronger focus on writing skills! The number of graduate students that cannot write a paper is disturbing!
  82. Allow students to take 2-3 electives. Have a class to teach reading and writing in the specific discipline –early on and require it sophomore year.
  83. writing in as many courses as possible. B. American civics (more of this). C. Fewer “must be taken on campus” so that transfer and study abroad are easier.
  84. 2 semesters of first-year writing. 1 focused on writing in the disciplines with writing experts and disciplinary faculty. Faculty “Big Read:” all faculty reading experience during which we discuss what Liberal Arts education even means. Move Capstone into majors/disciplines.
  85. Writing!!!
  86. Gen Ed Wish list: classes in Gen Ed should focus on the values articulated in our mission: balance among humanities/sciences/prof., appreciation of other disciplines, critical/creative thinking, moral reasoning/social justice, oral and [illegible] communication, global experience.
  87. Literature, Fine Arts, Creative Thinking, Mindfulness.
  88. Gen Ed main goals in my opinion: to create critical thinkers with open minds aware of their surroundings and backgrounds as well as the fascinating diversity of those around them—locally but especially globally. To ensure students have strong literary skills (as basic as that sounds) as well as research skills. To nurture strong moral and ethical students. Currently the courses we offer could be consolidated and more flexible for transfer students.
  89. Focus on a). Mission of University b). Catholic identity c). Communication – written and oral.
  90. I would like to see an increased focus on civic engagement and social justice across the curriculum and faculty support to implement service learning and experiential learning, programming.
  91. Every General education course should include assignments that reinforce a. written and oral communication (e.g. papers and presentations). b. reading comprehension, including information and quantitative literacy (e.g. research methods and understanding data, trends, rates of changes, proportions, percent’s, ratios, projections, models, etc.). c. Collaboration (e.g. group projects). d. Synthesis of the above skills to solve a problem, propose a solution, make a decision or conclusion, etc. (e.g. a final or “capstone” paper, project, or presentation). These assignments should reinforce and build upon each other throughout the general education curriculum.
  92. University is drifting…nay, galloping toward a neo-liberal wet dream of disruptiveness, turning SEU from a liberal arts school into a job-training academy. This, I submit, is a bad thing. More of an emphasis on cultural literacy, the traditional core of a liberal arts education, and less on bells, whistles, acronyms, and biz-speak in general would improve our offerings. Philosophy, art, literature, math, sciences in their purer forms. Abolish school of Business.
  93. I would like to see General Education make more of an effort to value liberal arts. SEU seems to be losing touch with its liberal arts heritage.
  94. Keep it wide-ranging, liberal arts.
  95. I would like to see a general education program require students do some kind of community engagement, SL, etc.
  96. Continue to require at least one diversity-themed course, but these should be “dream courses” proposed by instructors across the schools, in their areas but meeting UELO, as approved by somebody—this will update CULF and let teachers engage their passion and training. Let’s not lose the sequenced 4 yr progression of writing and research. If Capstone has lost support – some more moderate project with more freedom and not taken in the last semester? Our Gen ED, Capstone, [illegible] our focus on writing is a unique and valuable feature of our mission guided curriculum.
  97. General Education should teach students how to navigate the world of information and how academic [illegible] force and resists the flow of information.
  98. “Current Dilemmas” instead of American Dilemmas.
  99. Teach critical thinking and good judgment. b. Disciplinary Capstone. c. Reduce hours.
  100. A few fewer hours, keep social justice.
  101. Streamline number of Gen Ed hours to allow students more options in their school and major curriculum.
  102. Reduce number of mandatory classes by 50 percent. b. review course content every year, not every 20 years. c. Have courses taught by all disciplines, not just a few in the program.
  103. Keep Gen Ed requirements (and degree requirements) down, in terms of number of credit hours required, this provides more flexibility (possibly affordability) for students (no major should require more than fifty hours).
  104. We lose students due to too much core!!! I would love to see very strategic and few core classes and more of the core in required major classes.
  105. Reduce number of Gen. Ed. Requirements from 57 to 48 to free up electives.
  106. Issues of Immigration and Demographic change in U.S. population.
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About Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Frost Davis Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology Rebecca Frost Davis joined St. Edward’s in July 2013 as Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology, where she provides leadership in the development of institutional vision with respect to the use of technology in pursuit of the university’s educational mission and collaborates with offices across campus to create and execute strategies to realize that vision. Instructional Technology helps faculty transform and adapt new digital methods in teaching and research to advance the essential learning outcomes of liberal education. Previously, Dr. Davis served as program officer for the humanities at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), where she also served as associate director of programs. Prior to her tenure at NITLE, she was the assistant director for instructional technology at the Associated Colleges of the South Technology Center and an assistant professor of classical studies at Rhodes College, Denison University, and Sewanee: The University of the South. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in classical studies and Russian from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Davis is also a fellow with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE). As a NITLE Fellow, Dr. Davis will develop a literature review relevant to intercampus teaching, which will cover contextual issues such as team-teaching, teaching through videoconferencing, and collaboration; a survey of intercampus teaching at NITLE member institutions; and several case studies of intercampus teaching at liberal arts colleges, including interviews with faculty, students, support staff, and administrators. This work will be summarized in a final report or white paper to be published by NITLE. At Rebecca Frost Davis: Liberal Education in a Networked World, ( Dr. Davis blogs about the changes wrought by new digital methods on scholarship, networking, and communication and how they are impacting the classroom. In her research, she explores the motivations and mechanisms for creating, integrating, and sustaining digital humanities within and across the undergraduate curriculum.

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