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PROGRAMS COMMITTEE

MINUTES

December 12th 2008

MEMBERS PRESENT : Scott Belobrajdic, Linda Carlisle, Ayse Evrensel, Laura Fowler, John Hunt, M. Jane Gillespie, Chair, Stephen Hansen, Stephanie McAndrews, Steve McCommas, Michael Shaw,Valerie Yancey

MEMBERS EXCUSED : Gameli Kumasi, Andrzej Lozowski

GUESTS : Isaac Blankson, Chair, Speech Communication
Wai Cheah, Graduate Program Director, Speech Communication
Joel Hardman, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature

I. Announcements

There were no announcements.

II. Minutes of November 14th, 2008

Michael Shaw made a motion to accept the minutes as amended; Stephanie McAndrews seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

III. Form 91A - Speech Communication (CAS-08-063)

The graduate program wishes to enhance the rigor of its program and to organize its fields of study in a manner to help better market the Speech Communication graduate program. The graduate program supports future PhD students very well and the graduate program would like to improve the applied side of the program and bring it "up to these same high standards." These changes would also help students to focus on their area of interest: health communication, organizational communication, or interpersonal communication. The five changes proposed "are needed to strengthen and enhance the rigor of [the] MA program." They include creating the emphases noted above; formalizing the structure of the program of study into three categories, theory and area of specialization, methods and statistics, and electives; reducing the credit hours of SPC 500 (Seminar in Communication theory) and SPC 501 (Communication Research Methods and Tools) from four credit hours to three, thereby reducing the number of hours required from 35 to 33; and adding a restriction on electives for students with no background in communication.

Although the program asked for the change to be effective Spring of 2009, this date will be changed to Fall of 2009.

Michael Shaw made a motion to accept the request; Laura Fowler seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IV. College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Program Assessment Plans

The Committee reviewed the following Assessment Plans:

A. Art Studio, MFA

B. Art Therapy Counseling, MA

C. Biological Sciences, MA, MS

D. Biotechnology Management, MS

E. Chemistry, MS

F. English, MA

G. Environmental Science Management, MS

H. Environmental Sciences, MS

I. Geographical Studies, MS

J. History, MA

K. Mass Communications, MS

L. Mathematics, MS

M. Music, MM

N. Physics, MS

O. Public Administration, MPA

P. Social Work, MSW

Q. Sociology, MA

R. Speech Communication, MA

Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Stephen Hansen reminded the Programs Committee that the purpose of assessment is to determine whether the curriculum is achieving what it intends to do and whether it is successfully meeting the goals of graduate education. He distributed the "Goals of Graduate Student Learning" document.

Goals of Graduate Student Learning

The purpose of graduate education at SIUE is to provide students with the intellectual ability to understand, create, integrate, and apply sophisticated discipline specific knowledge. Because knowledge is dynamic, students are additionally expected to learn the intellectual system of the discipline, that is the discipline's system of thinking, knowing, and acting, in order to acquire and evaluate future knowledge. Toward those ends, the Graduate Council adopts the following goals for graduate student learning.

  • Demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge in the discipline

Graduate students should understand the current and historical theories, concepts, and models of the discipline. They should possess the ability to access and evaluate the literature of the discipline and understand the major issues in the current state of knowledge. In addition to knowing the specific content of the discipline, students should be able to understand and appropriately use the methods and techniques of advancing knowledge in the field of study.

  • Effectively communicate knowledge in the discipline

Graduate students should possess the ability to write and speak about the current issues of the discipline to peers, practitioners, and the public. They should be able to articulate and demonstrate knowledge of the discipline and write and present scholarship to professionals.

  • Demonstrate an ability for analytical thinking in the discipline

Graduate students should be able to identify and understand critical issues in the discipline. They should possess the ability to challenge and evaluate information, as well as to synthesize and integrate knowledge in the discipline.

  • Exhibit the best practices, values, and ethics of the profession

Graduate students should understand and exhibit the professional standards for responsible conduct of research in the discipline and understand the values and ethics of practicing the profession in society.

  • Apply knowledge of the discipline

Graduate students should possess the ability to apply knowledge in the discipline to solve sophisticated problems and to interpret technical issues.

Associate Provost Hansen stated that the Assessment Plans should be measurable and observable.

The Programs Committee conducted a general discussion about the eighteen graduate program assessment plans. It noted that most of them fell short of expectations. Stephanie McAndrews suggested having a meeting with the chairs and graduate program directors to better inform them of what an assessment plan is expected to accomplish. Mike Shaw suggested providing them with concrete examples of good assessment plans. Hansen remarked that he holds informational meetings with graduate program directors every semester. He will include this issue on the agenda for the next meeting, which will be held in the second week in February.

Valerie Yancey asked to what extent these are used in graduate program review. Steve McCommas stated that some graduate programs such as those that have outside accreditation understand the assessment planning process but for other graduate programs the process of assessment may seem foreign and unnecessary. He felt that the Graduate School needs to make the case that the assessment process is important. Laura Fowler said that each department needs to include a performance rubric, and McAndrews suggested that each department needed to examine its assessment data. Shaw suggested each graduate program look at a sample of a well-written assessment plan and submit a revised version of their assessment plans to the Graduate Council by May or to the Programs Committee by its April meeting.

The Committee agreed that Steve Hansen and Joel Hardman should make a presentation to graduate program directors and chairs at the next graduate program directors meeting in the spring semester.

V. Continuing Business

There was no continuing business.

VI. New Business

There was no new business.

VII. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen L. Hansen
Associate Provost for Research and
Dean, The Graduate School

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