General Education Intitiative Task Force:
Minutes of Meeting - October 15, 1997
Members Not Attending:
- Phil Creighton promised refreshments at subsequent meetings.
- Steve Hetzler provided a handout to facilitate faculty use of Newsgroups.
- Pat Richards reminded everyone to review Jerry Gaff's agenda for next week.
- Phil Creighton would like everyone on the Task Force to attend some sort of conference this
year. Let Pat Richards know.
Kathleen Shannon is interested in attending the conference in Tampa.
George Whitehead will talk to Jerry Gaff during his visit to get more information about the
conference in Washington in January.
- Minutes from the last meeting were approved with the elimination of the information regarding
year 2 and 3 from the tentative timetable.
- Phil Creighton distributed a handout regarding university learning requirements from California
State University, Monterey Bay.
- Phil also discussed the Chancellor's desire for a Virtual University with a center in Montgomery
County. This might be used for special training courses, but would have serious implications
related to offering general education courses. Mike Garner questioned the rigor in similar
courses being offered by University College. Phil Creighton said that 9 out of the 11 campuses
in the system are studying general education. George Whitehead raised questions dealing with
the articulation agreements that we have with community colleges in the state and the
constraints that may place upon us. Pat Richards suggested that we might create a sub-committee which would examine possible inhibitors to any changes that we might make.
Robert Smith discussed information regarding Maryland general education requirements which
he received at a conference he attended. Pat Richards will make copies for the Task Force.
- At Elon College, Gail Welsh attended a conference entitled "Challenge and Response:
Rethinking Key Issues in College Learning" which was designed to provide opportunities for
multidisciplinary conversations focusing on interdisciplinary learning, active learning and
experiential learning. Dr. Felder from North Carolina State University discussed the current
paradigm shift to a different curriculum structure which encourages more teacher/student
interaction. It is not content-based but emphasizes what students can do. This requires a
different kind of teacher and teaching. There is often an integration of disciplines and different
kinds of students. Dr. Leon Botstein, one of the key note speakers, was recommended as a
possible provocative speaker in the future on our campus.
- A lively discussion followed based on the need for ONE model versus a multi-paradigm model
(Mike Garner). Tom Erskine suggested that we limit our research to peer institutions since we
have 26 mandated credits and therefore limited flexibility in using the remaining possible 20
credits. Victoria Hutchinson cited that based on her experience from the San Antonio
conference last year there are many models which exist. Kathleen Shannon said that we should
distinguish between what we require versus what we offer and make available to students.
Mike Garner suggested that we not rule anything out at this point in the discussion.
- Pat Richards then asked the Task Force to work in small groups and to list the Top Five
Common Attributes a Salisbury State graduate should possess based on our prior deliberations.
Items did not need to be listed in a prioritized manner.
1. broad base of knowledge including mathematics, science, technology, history, culture and art
(visual, performing, literature)
2. oral and written communications skills to include native and foreign language
3. critical thinking / problem solving skills to include reasoning, logic, intuitive; ability to
synthesize, integrate, multi-disciplinary
4. Respect / appreciate all people: ethical, social justice, philosophical, religious, civic
1. life-long learner, Jeopardy fan and Capital Campaign donor
2. responsible citizenship / conduct
3. critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving
4. command of language (listening, reading, writing, ability to extrapolate, generalize, etc.)
5. broad base of knowledge (sense of past, awareness of other cultures, literacy, aesthetics,
1. broad base of knowledge including modes of inquiry, facts and organizational structures
2. critical thinking i.e. ability to analyze, synthesize and organize information; ability to find and
recognize problems / questions (reason)
3. read, write, speak and listen effectively; communicate effectively using one or more sign system
4. problem solving --> Q & S literacy, C/I literacy for some ability to work with others (reason)
5. develop an awareness of many cultures both present and past
Next Five Common Attributes
1. ability to consider / discuss / evaluate ethical issues
2. aesthetic appreciation
3. think scientifically
4. understand relationship between / among disciplines
5. development of dispositions i.e. curiosity, respect, persistence, initiative, flexibility, risk-taking,
1. ability to read, write and speak effectively and to value and apply skills in technology
2. ability to think: critically, analytically and creatively
3. ability to identify and solve problems and to make informed and ethical decisions
4. ability to understand, appreciate and value diversity
5. ability to acquire and then to transfer and apply knowledge, integrating thought across many
disciplines as life-long learners
Next Two Common Attributes
1. develop an aesthetic appreciation
2. develop individual and civic virtues