Undergraduate Curriculum
Academic Policy Committee

Report to Faculty Senate, Meeting of November 4, 2002

The UCAPC scheduled its second meeting of the academic year for November 7 and, therefore, does not have its usual report for the November 4 Faculty Senate Meeting. However, since the UCAPC’s October 3 meeting, the UCAPC subcommittee to Study and Assess Writing Across the Curriculum (SAWAC) was successfully formed and is comprised of the following members:

Carol Loranger, COLA, Chair
Rudy Fichtenbaum, COBA
Kenneth Schatmeyer, CEHS
Carol Morgan Bennett, COLA
Richard Mercer, COSM
Leo Finkelstein, CECS
Carol Holdcraft, CONH
Joe Law, WAC Program
Jeanne Fraker, UCAPC
Christopher Leapley, SG
James Steinberg, LC
Carol Loranger reports the following from the SAWAC’s first meeting of October 17.
1.The committee surveyed the materials covering 6 years of WAC assessment: WI faculty surveys, compiled data from GE student evaluations, and the Nov 2000 WAC/Writing Center External Review Committee Report prepared for Academic Affairs.  The committee agreed that continuing to solicit impressionistic responses from WI faculty and students would not be productive. The committee will digest the written comments collected by WAC on annual WI faculty surveys into specific areas of concern and use this information as a baseline for further inquiry. The committee further agreed that any information collected should be from all faculty.

2. After reviewing a document from George Mason University on its assessment of its WAC program ( http://wac.gmu.edu/program/assessing/phase1.htm ) the committee agreed that, given our short space of time to meet the spring quarter deadline in Faculty President Jim Sayer's charge, certain assessment activities, such as the collection and review of student portfolios, were not feasible.

3. The committee decided to meet the three prongs of the assessment called for in Professor Sayer's charge thus:

Fall Quarter Activities: assess the mechanics of the program and its impact vis-a-vis its goals:

· determine compliance w/ WAC goals and requirements in courses actually taught. Each member of the committee will examine the syllabuses submitted to WAC (GE and major) each year from their respective colleges to determine compliance. A simple rubric for assessing these syllabuses has been distributed to committee members. In addition, WAC will compile data showing the number of WI faculty per department NOT submitting syllabuses to WAC.

· learn how faculty resources are allocated to WAC in colleges and departments and where responsibilities for WI courses are borne. This requires learning both the percentage of faculty at each rank (full professor through adjunct) teaching WI courses AND the number of WI courses actually taught by faculty at each rank. WAC already has the first data set. The second can be easily extracted.

Winter Quarter Activities: Collect and study dean/chair/faculty analyses

To obtain specific analyses of WAC impact in the major and GE according to deans and department chairs the committee will go through the Council of Deans to help assure full reporting/analysis

· The committee will ask deans to report specifically on how WI is implemented within the college. We will request deans to solicit information on departmental implementation directly from chairs. This will form the basis of the deans' analysis, in addition to any perceptual analysis the deans wish to offer. We will ask deans to indicate how they solicited this information.

· The committee will ask deans to instruct chairs to solicit information from their entire department faculty using a set of questions specifically addressing faculty expectations of the program, perception of outcomes, and documentable outcomes, if any. Separate instruments will be made for faculty teaching WI and for faculty who do not teach WI but who might be considered as "customers" for WI "product." The chairs' report and analysis of this information will form the basis of the chairs' analyses, in addition to any perceptual analysis the chairs wish to offer. We will ask chairs to indicate how they solicited the information.

· Working through deans and chairs, the committee will collect samples of writing assignments and grading rubrics from WI "customers," in order to help understand their expectations.

· The committee will "piggyback" on a WI exit survey currently being developed by student government. With their permission we will insert two or three questions--yet to be developed--into this survey and obtain these results from SG for committee review. 

(Developing the instruments for the above Winter Quarter Activities will be completed during Fall Quarter)

The next meeting of SAWAC is Nov 8, at 12:30, locationTBA.
The UCAPC scheduled its next meeting for November 7.  Colleges submitting curriculum proposals for review need to submit the orginal and 18 copies at least 8 working days in advance of the meeting.