Academic Senate
Santa Barbara Division

To: Denise Segura, Chair, Undergraduate Council
From: Harold Marcuse, co-chair, General Education Workgroup
Date: May 19, 2003 (draft)
Re: Interim Report Summary

Dear Denise,

I would like to summarize the results of the GE workgroup's 14 group and many individual meetings over the last two quarters. For details of rationale, data analysis and implementation, please see my detailed interim report. I emphasize that these recommendations are not final, but the results of our internal deliberations and initial consultations. We now need to take them to the divisions and various consitituencies for further consultation.

  1. Course Criteria. We have formulated four formal criteria that all courses approved for GE should meet: 1) be open to non-majors on the first registration pass; 2) not have course prerequisites, except one other GE-approved course; 3) should be taught at regular intervals, ideally once each year; 4) should have a recent syllabus available publicly.
  2. Core Areas. We reaffirm the GE task force's new methodological definitions of the core areas, with one modification: "Technology" should not be dropped from the title for Area C, "Science, Mathematics, and Technology."
    1. Areas A and B. We reaffirm that no changes should be made to core areas A and B.
    2. Total number of required core courses. We recommend abandoning the GE task force report's attempt to establish "one GE program for all bachelor's degrees." Instead, we recommend reducing the number of currently required core courses by 3, while adding one new core area, one new special requirement, and changing core subarea E-1 into a special subject area requirement. Thus we would have a net reduction of 2 core courses, and a net addition of two special subject area requirements.
      We have not yet discussed what modifications to our suggested GE program would be necessary for the B.S., B.M. and B.F.A. degrees.
    3. Area C. We recommend keeping this requirement at 3 courses.
    4. Area D. We recommend reducing the number of required courses from 3 to 2.
    5. Area E. After renaming this area to "Historical Studies," we recommend removing the subareas E-1 and E-2, and reducing the number of required courses from 3 to 2.
    6. Areas F and G. We recommend combining these two areas into one area with two subareas, and reducing the number of required courses from 4 to 3.
    7. New core area "Interdisciplinary Studies." We recommend the creation of a new core area with a 1 course requirement. The area would be defined as follows:
      Interdisciplinary Studies. Includes courses that connect basic concepts, theories, methodological issues, and/or analytical tools from two or more subject areas.
  3. Special Subject Area Requirements.
    1. Quantitative Reasoning. No change.
    2. Writing Requirement. Should remain at 6 courses. We recommend that the definition be clarified as follows:
      1. The course requires one to three papers totaling at least 1,800 words exclusive of elements like footnotes. (Timed writing pieces, such as midterms and finals, do not count as papers.) Papers must give evidence of sustained exposition.
      2. The papers are appropriate to the discipline-e.g., they give students some experience participating in the discourse of that discipline (to write using APA style, for example, gives students some understanding of how social scientists create and share knowledge).
      3. The paper(s) are a significant consideration in the assessment of student performance in the course. They must constitute at least 25% of the grade.
      4. The recommended class/section size for W course is no more than 30. If it is larger than 30, departments should provide an explanation of how evaluation of the papers is managed.
    3. Ethnicity requirement. We recommend leaving the current requirement defined as is, but renaming it to "US Ethnic Groups Requirement" to avoid confusion with the proposed new requirement.
    4. New special requirement EGQ. We recommend the creation of a new special subject area requirement in "Ethnicity, Gender, or Queer Studies." The precise wording of this requirement has not yet been worked out.
    5. New special requirement "European Traditions." We endorse the GE task force's recommendation that the core "Western civilization" area E-1 be transformed into a special subject area requirement. We also recommend renaming it to make it symmetrical to the present "non-Western culture" special subject area requirement.
    6. Non-Western Cultures. We recommend keeping this requirement defined as it is, but renaming it "Non-European Traditions" to keep it parallel to the new European Traditions requirement.
  4. Implementation. We recommend the creation of a position of a faculty director of GE who would coordinate and monitor GE offerings. We also think that the current policy regarding student petitions should be modified. We have not yet worked out details of these recommendations.
  5. Bio-bibliography. Finally, as a means of raising the visibility of GE among the faculty, and rewarding faculty who make the extra effort to offer GE courses, we recommend the inclusion of a faculty member's participation in GE on the bio-bibliography, with appropriate consideration during advancement and promotion. We have yet to contact CAP about this.
Harold Marcuse
prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Oct. 27, 2003
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