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Manoa Faculty Senate Annual Committee Report 2007-08
General Education Committee (GEC)

The following is a list of accomplishments, decisions made, and issues addressed.

A.    The following modifications to the UH Mānoa General Education Requirements document were presented to the Faculty Senate for action and were passed on September 19, 2007:

         Modification to the section related to Hawaiian and Second Language requirements

         Clarification of the language regarding student representation on the GEC and boards

         Deletion of the section on GES involvement in faculty mentoring

         Clarification that college and major requirements do not fall under the purview of GEC

Note: these modifications were drafted last academic year by the GEC.

B.     The GEC provided feedback to the SEC on the assessment instrument Collegiate Learning Assessment.

C.     A deadline policy was established for changes to Focus section designations after the Schedule of Classes had been printed.  No changes will be made after registration has begun.

D.    The GEC participated in ongoing discussions of Gen Ed assessment. An “assessment preamble” was developed in consultation with the boards and was passed on to the SEC and OVCAA for their approval/information. Student Learning Outcomes for the Foundations, Oral Communication, and Contemporary Ethical Issues areas were developed at a fall assessment workshop, reviewed by the GEC, and sent to the appropriate boards for input. Some Boards are piloting aspects of their assessment plans and rubrics, but all will need support from the UHM Assessment Office to fully implement their plans.

E.     Representatives of the GEC met with WASC Special Visit team member Scott Evenbeck. Discussion focused on mapping of Gen Ed requirements to WASC Core Competencies. The OVCAA was subsequently asked for clarification of the core competency “college level quantitative skills.” To date, no clarification has been received.

F.      Representatives of the GEC met with Chancellor Hinshaw to explain the Gen Ed Program. It was noted that overlap of Gen Ed and college or major requirements can be a source of confusion for students. Subsequent discussions were held to outline possible means of clarification. The UHM advisors working with the Ka‘ie‘ie degree pathway program are creating program advising sheets in which Gen Ed requirements are separated from degree and major requirements.

G.    The GEC discussed implementation of Gen Ed language that states that students should complete their Foundation requirements in their freshman year. The GEC decided to focus initial efforts on the FW requirement. A faculty committee was formed and a proposal developed to 1) eliminate the current backlog of students who have not completed their FW requirement, 2) ensure sufficient seats in FW classes for all incoming freshmen, and 3) establish the FW course as an integral part of the freshman experience. OVCAA approved funding for the first year of the proposal. The success of the first year will be assessed and reported to the GEC and OVCAA next year. The committee will continue to seek funding for the remaining aspects of the proposal which include a comprehensive mentoring program for freshmen and transformation of FW courses into freshmen-only courses.

H.    The GEC consulted with the OVCAA on ongoing academic advising initiatives.

I.       Difficulties in classification of courses into the A, H, and L Diversification categories prompted GEC consideration of possible changes, including mergers, to the three categories. It was decided that the categories should remain as currently defined.

J.       The GEC discussed faculty workload issues, particularly in reference to courses requiring significant feedback to students such as Writing Intensive and Oral Communication focus courses.  It was recommended that GEC continue these discussions next year in consultation with other Senate committees and the broader faculty community.

K.    New Foundations Course: 

L.     Renewals of Foundations and Diversification Courses

Foundations Renewals

 Diversification Renewals

Submitted by Jane Schoonmaker, Chair

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