Academic Senate

Reports from the Standing Committees:
Academic Affairs Committee (AA)

Jodie Ullman (San Bernardino)

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This Month's Issue
Front Page
Message from the ASCSU Chair
Report of the Faculty Trustee
Reports from Standing Committees

Academic Affairs
 
Academic Preparation &
   Education Programs
Faculty Affairs
Fiscal and Governmental
   Affairs

Talking about General Education: The first in a series of courageous conversations
Capitol Watch
The California State University Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association (CSUERFA)
STAR act (SB 1440): Call for discipline faculty course reviewers
Resolution Summaries

Academic Affairs has a busy and productive year planned.  A central topic for the year is general education.  With various stakeholders becoming increasingly interested in the purpose and scope of general education in the CSU, we as faculty have an obligation to lead the discussion.  To this end, the Academic Affairs Committee introduced a first reading resolution at the Academic Senate’s September plenary proposing the establishment of an ad hoc working group on general education.  This group will undertake an examination of General Education (GE) across the system with overall goal of understanding our diversity of practices and identifying best practices.  GE is under scrutiny by external stakeholders, and has undergone recent changes within the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation guidelines. Because GE is solely the purview of the faculty, it seems for reasonable and healthy for us to engage in an examination of GE every several years.  The intent of this working group is to inform stakeholders, faculty, campuses, and the system about GE curriculum. The Committee is now seeking feedback and recommendations for further refinement of the resolution before it returns for action as a second reading item at the November plenary.

Also in the area of General Education, specifically the “Golden Four” (oral and written communication, quantitative reasoning and critical thinking), Academic Affairs presented another resolution as a first reading item recommending that the minimum grade for credit in the Golden Four should be a C (Grade Minima for CSU General Education Courses in the  “Golden Four” (AS-3020-11/APEP/AA [Rev]). This grade minimum is also clearly indicated in Executive Order (EO) 1100 Section 2.2.2 “General Education Breadth Requirements” which required a minimum of a C (2.0) for all native and transfer students.

 

Recently, however, Coded Memorandum ASA-2016-08 “Basic Subject Courses and the Grade of C-“ was issued, stating that, “students performing at the low end of the scale at any CSU or external campuses that do not award C- might likely receive C grades.  The consequence is that the literal intention of section 2.2.2 of Executive Order 1100 cannot be evenly enforced” and the minimum grade for Golden Four GE credit was changed to a C-.   The rationale behind the change was equity-based.   Some campuses and universities offer +/- grading and other do not.  So there is the possibility that there could be inequity in transfer.  (Note, California Community Colleges are not allowed to give a C- grade in the Golden Four). Unfortunately, the faculty were not consulted on the Coded Memo prior to distribution so we are now working with personnel in the Chancellor’s Office to develop a solution that maintains the grade standard while addressing any potential inequity. Passage of ASA-2016-08 last academic year, led to the formation of a working group of ASCSU Senators and Chancellor’s Office Personnel and the solution the working group proposed formed the basis of this resolution. The solution proposed in the resolution is course to course transfer, honoring the prior institution’s faculty on their judgement of the passing grade in these courses.

 

We have gathered feedback on the draft “Delegation of Authority to Approve Subprograms (Options, Concentrations, Special Emphases) and Minors”- Executive Order 1071 from the ASCSU and campus senates and we are providing consultation in the form of a memo to the ASCSU Executive Committee.

 

In addition to these immediate topics, other subjects the Academic Affairs Committee will take up during the upcoming year include the Quantitative Reasoning and Ethnic Studies Task Force reports, a variety of issues that affect Veterans, and ways of promoting the work of the Institute of Teaching and Learning.  And without a doubt, the Graduation Initiative 2025 will be an ongoing topic of discussion throughout 2016-2017.

 

 

For more information, please contact Academic Affairs Committee ChairJodie Ullman