Academic Senate

The Chancellor's General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC)

Bill Eadie, GEAC Chair (San Diego)

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The Chancellor’s General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC) consists of CSU and Community College faculty and administrators, as well as student representation from the CSU. The committee provides advice to the CSU Chancellor regarding general education issues. Most of these issues concern standards for accepting community college courses for general education credit in the CSU. The committee’s advice is key in developing standards that articulation officers use when new courses or revisions to existing courses are proposed for transfer. These notes are extensive, and they may be viewed online at http://www.calstate.edu/app/documents/
2015-march-ge-reviewers-guiding-notes.pdf
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GEAC sometimes approves pilot projects that require existing standards to be waived for the project to proceed. An example of a pilot currently in progress allows experimenting with fully online versions of community college courses that count for the oral communication requirement in general education. A small number of community college faculty members are experimenting with teaching these courses, and these faculty members are comparing notes periodically. While the result of the pilot is still not known, the students enrolled in the courses composing the pilot will be able to transfer credit for the oral communication requirement.
 
Another GEAC-authorized pilot focused on community college pathways to satisfying the lower division quantitative reasoning requirement. Traditionally, quantitative reasoning has entailed taking a series of courses that ensure students understand high school mathematics, through intermediate algebra. After that time, the student is cleared to enroll in a college-level quantitative reasoning course. Alternate pathways have been proposed, teaching the mathematical concepts that are necessary to understanding a college-level course in statistics and then using that statistics course to satisfy the quantitative reasoning requirement. GEAC has authorized a pilot project utilizing one such approach. Since GEAC did so, other statistics-based approaches have emerged. Committee members heard presentations on the available data from the existing pilot and on the alternative approaches. GEAC decided that the pilot has been promising but lacks definitive data. So, the committee voted to extend the pilot and to invite those who have other approaches to quantitative reasoning to apply to become part of it.
 
Courses included in the pilot are waived from having to satisfy intermediate algebra as the standard for progressing to college-level quantitative reasoning courses. If the pilot proves to be successful, this requirement would need to be changed permanently. At GEAC’s recommendation, theAcademic Senate CSU (ASCSU) is establishing a task force to consider alternate proposals for a new standard. Proposals to revise the standard are controversial, so it will be important for all points of view to be presented and discussed before the task force makes its recommendations.

Because GEAC includes community college representation, this committee has emerged as the place for discussion of transfer issues that may arise from the establishment of pilot community college baccalaureate degrees. We don’t know what the nature of these discussions will be yet, but we look forward to working with our community college members as they present themselves.

The faculty members of GEAC, including the chair (Bill Eadie, San Diego State) and the vice chair (Mary Ann Creadon, Humboldt State) are appointed by the ASCSU Executive Committee. Meetings are held on Tuesdays the week of the ASCSU committee and plenary meetings. Anyone interested in the issues being considered by GEAC may contact Professor Eadie at weadie@mail.sdsu.edu.