Undergraduate Curriculum
Academic Policy Committee

April 11, 2002 Meeting

Present: Roderic Brame, Jeanne Fraker, Joe Law, Jan Maxwell, Katie Mechlin, Virginia Nehring, Doug Nord, Joe Keferl (for Patricia Renick), Tom Sav, Patricia Vermeersch, Kefu Xue, Harvey Wachtell, Mindy Young. Guests: Tony Ortiz.

Approved Minutes of March 7, 2002.

Course Inventory and Modification Requests

Approved Modifications: EE 140
Approved Inventories: ISE 483, ISE 470
Approved Modifications: EDT 110
Approved Inventories: ATR 487
Approved Modifications: PLS 210 (Instructor Permission Required after Term Begins)
Approved Inventories: CHI 201, CHI 202, POR 101, POR 102, POR 103
New Programs
CEHS: Approved the Bachelor of Science in Education: Athletic Training Major.

 The major is being proposed to meet the standards established by the Committee on Accreditation of allied Health Education Programs.  Those standards require that all accredited athletic training programs be established as major programs. To comply with the standard, this proposal converts the existing WSU athletic training program to a major program. The proposed program is available as follows (additional attachments are available in the Faculty Office):

Bachelor of Science in Education: Athletic Training Major
General Education Program Changes
University College: Common Text for Freshman Week and University College Freshman Seminars.

The committee reviewed a request submitted by Lillie Howard, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the University College to approve the use of a "common text" for incoming freshman so as to achieve a more "coherent" first-year student experience. The text (e.g., a fictional or nonfiction novel) would be "distributed" to all incoming freshman and used during New Student Orientation, Freshman Week, and in the current courses taught by the University College (the UVC courses).  Upon approval, other colleges would be "encouraged" to consider "voluntarily" incorporating the common text in the "freshman seminars and/or freshman experiences offered by their respective colleges."  In addition, use of a common text is proposed to "provide linking opportunities, where faculty deem it appropriate, for first-year general education courses."

During its review and discussion of the proposal, committee members continually expressed their commitment to supporting curriculum initiatives that enhance academic progams and the academic preparation and success of students. However, in this case the committee was unclear as to what was being proposed since the proposal did not conform to the normal guidelines and formats of proposals required of and submitted by other colleges or schools. In addition, while the proposal at first requests approval for the use of a common text in "only" those courses offered by the University College (UVC courses), it explicitly inorporates implications for the General Education Program, faculty teaching General Education courses, and other colleges. Thus, if implemented, committee members would like to know how all of these implications play out.  Aside from those concerns, the committee felt that, in general, if the proposal was exclusively limited to selecting or adopting a text for use in the UVC courses, then that decision would be the prerogative of the University College faculty or staff teaching UVC courses as long as such is in keeping with the approved course objectives, etc. Otherwise, a course modification proposal needs to be submitted to the committee. Yet, the proposal appears to go beyond such courses ( that enroll 50% of freshman) by "distributing" the text to ALL incoming freshman. This raised questions as to the proposals thrust to create a "coherent" program when only 50% of freshman are taking such courses. Additionally, questions were raised as to how stable that 50% is and if it decreases in the future then how does it impact the proposed "coherence."  Given that the majority of incoming freshman do not enroll in the UVC courses and would not be exposed to the text, additional questions arose as to curriculum problems of "incorporting" the text in other college "freshman experiences" and "first-year general education courses."  Members would like to know what specific "first-year general education courses" are intended and noted that some or many students do not take so-called first-year general education courses until the junior and sometimes senior year. In such cases, the "coherence" of proposal tends to be absent. Members also noted that while the use of a common text as perhaps proposed for use in "learning communities," may create curriculum problems because students who voluntarily enroll in such communities are also mixed with non-learning community students in certain classes. In such cases, the committee questioned how the text would be incorporated into the class. An added concern, but from a budget in constrast to a curriculum perspective, was the proposed distribution of the common text to all incoming freshman. As the proposal stands, WSU would purchase the text for all incoming freshman. It was announced that the intention is in the future to attempt to secure corporate sponorship for the purchase of the text, but at present the budget burden remains on the University.

Overall, the committee could not act on the proposal at this time. However, as indicated above, the committee would welcome a revised proposal that conforms to the policies and procedures previously adopted by the Faculty Senate and the University Faculty and incorporates the full range of curriculum change implications.

The proposal is available as follows:

Common Text For Freshman
The College of Science and Mathematics has withdrawn its request to offer SM 205 Great Ideas in Science (non-laboratory) as a substitute to a Natural Science course under the current General Education Program. The written request for withdrawal was distributed to committee members. The proposal before the Faculty Senate will be withdrawn at the May 6 meeting. The SM 205 course is currently being proposed as a College Component Course under the New GE Program.
The committee scheduled its next and likely last meeting of the academic year for May 17. Colleges submitting curriculum and policy proposals for review by the committee need to submit the original and 18 copies NO LATER THAN 5:00 p.m., May 8.

Curriculum and policy proposals received after May 8 will be forwarded to next year's committee for consideration in either September or October 2002.