AGENDA RETREAT General Studies Program Committee Thursday, October to 4.30pm, C1429 (Abbotsford)

AGENDA RETREAT General Studies Program Committee Thursday, October to 4.30pm, C1429 (Abbotsford) 1. Agenda Approval 2. Minutes, August retreat 3. Welcome New Members, Upcoming Elections Att. 2.1
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AGENDA RETREAT General Studies Program Committee Thursday, October to 4.30pm, C1429 (Abbotsford) 1. Agenda Approval 2. Minutes, August retreat 3. Welcome New Members, Upcoming Elections Att Updates 4.1. Feedback from Faculty Councils 5. For Review and Decision 5.1. Portfolio v. capstone 5.2. Requirements for IDS 201 and 401 Att. 5.1, For Discussion 6.1. Core Competency Criteria: Digital Literacy 6.2. Other Core Competencies Criteria 6.3. Use of courses to meet multiple competencies 6.4. TO development Process and Ideas Att. 5.6 Next Meeting: October 29, , Room: C1429 MINUTES RETREAT General Studies Program Committee Tuesday, August 25 Noon to 5pm, C1429 (Abbotsford) PRESENT: REGRETS: Nancy Barker, Margret Bollerup (recorder), Peggy Bray, Kim Mills, Mandy Klepic, Elaine Newman, Michelle Rhodes (Chair), Barbara Salingre, Alisa Webb Christine Dalton, Gillian Mimmack, Kevin Antonishen, Tim Haner Regrets were not noted Michelle welcomed everyone and noted that this meeting will make the other meetings more efficient. 1. Agenda Approval Motion: that the Agenda be approved as presented with the change that 5.6 be moved to 2.1. Carried unanimously. 2. Review of Minutes/ Action Items from June meeting postponed until the next meeting Branding and Materials The group discussed branding as a creative act, and how this relates to pitching the BGS brand. This degree is still called General Studies as the process involved with renaming takes a couple of years. Ideally, it will eventually be called Bachelor of Customized Studies. The group also discussed specific ideas about branding, like hammering home the idea of customized in promotional materials, using a square peg/round hole visual, and possibly the song Who Are You by the Who The group discussed the identity of target students: who are they? Are they staying in the Valley? This idea is related to UFV s overall strategic direction of serving the community. These students are finding their own paths with intentionality. The group agreed that the education of faculty about who this student is will be key: these students are not people who can t make it anywhere else, and their GPAs are on par with other programs. Faculty should be told about the thematic options and be given examples of who these students are. Many of the Top-40 Alumni are grads of this program; the alumni should be tapped in terms of where do people go with this? The group thought that perhaps Grad Studies and the Career Centre (among other things) could be contacted for support. Perhaps research around the aging population in the valley would indicate who is choosing to go back to school, and who will choose to go back in the future. The group discussed marketing: the committee will be working with MarCom on product development. Louise is excited to get started, and Michelle would like to send her ideas soon. The key emphasis here should be on employability: the idea that everyone can get a job. Employers are looking for a variety of skills that other degrees might not provide as they are heavily (exclusively?) knowledge/theory-based. The group thought cohortbuilding networking opportunities should be organized people doing interesting work could do panel talks and their stories could be posted on the website to sell the program. This degree embraces new trends of customizability and variety even in terms of distinguishing the intentional stream from the confused stream. General Studies brings the pieces together for the students who have been collecting certificates and diplomas. The emphasis for students should be on the skills they will acquire through portfolio-building. The group thought there should be a BGS alumni Facebook page and/or student association. Motivated grads should be actively sought out and asked to develop this. The group highlighted that there were no real venues in which BGS students could build networks; years ago there were information sessions but nothing has happened for the last 8 years. The group agreed that it is easier to get grads/alumni together online than in person. It would be better to build momentum online before holding in-place events The group discussed the potential slogan The RIght FIT: Flexible, Interdisciplinary, Topical and agreed it was better for the intentional student than for the younger student looking to belong The group asked about enrolment stats: Elaine and Mandy said that these are growing, but a lot of the applications come in really late. Graduation-wise, the BGS is the 4 th most common degree. 1 st is the BA, 2 nd is the BBA, 3 rd is KPE, and the BGS comes in just before the BSc. 3. Summertime Updates 3.1. Name change status The change has been submitted to the Dean of the College of Art (see for details) but unusual names are a hard sell, even when (as here) the name refers to what the degree actually is. The application is now waiting for a decision from the ministry, which may be stalled because the Minister uses the top 60 jobs to approve new degrees. This complicates things because customizable can t be directly linked to jobs; if thematic examples or the idea of responsiveness to trends in the job market were included, maybe this would be less confusing during the approval process. We are moving ahead with changes to the program in anticipation of the new name. A bachelor s degree is an entrylevel requirement now: employers say the specific degree doesn t matter, but the completion of the degree is associated with perseverance, and a specific skill set. The group discussed marketing and made the suggestion that the degree be called Bachelor of Customized Studies: [Descriptive Handle]. The group agreed that the evolution of a degree presents problems: it s not a new degree but it does need a more job-friendly name emphasizing its holders employability and adaptability to changing job market Presentations to faculty councils schedules Att We re taking this tour on the road: five of the six presentations to faculty councils have been arranged, but Access & Open Studies has yet to respond. These presentations, which will be about name changes, will be a maximum of 15 minutes inclusive of questions. Four of these will be complete before the first meeting of the regular year and so we will then be able to discuss them and consider feedback The presentations should cover why I should care : the group suggested offering samples of thematic options that might benefit programs with low enrolment and/or funding issues. Arts funding, for example, could be funneled to Business if non-business students are enticed to Business courses and new courses need to be created. Many students are GSD because they can t get into Business classes due to GPA requirement issues, but the presentations should focus on the potential intentionality of this, and the texture this will lend to classes. New brand reimaging of the GSD as a choice and not a lesser student option would help with this. Let s focus on expansion and inclusion rather than replacement The group acknowledged that Science, for example, may need a specific explanation about the change of name, and that UFV 2025 could be incorporated into many of the presentations. ACTION ITEM: BARBARA TO SPECIFIC IDEAS ABOUT PRESENTATIONS TO MICHELLE 3.3. Report on Resource Needs for Senate, Dean of Arts Att The idea behind this was to create a report that would go on to Senate and present the needs of the GSD. The draft is in the Agenda package, attachment 3.2. The draft discusses central points, including the fact that this is a high-demand degree that would improve in numbers if students better understood the thematic option. Even without the equivalent support/engagement of other departments, it achieves these high numbers. In 2013/14, this was the 3 rd most-awarded degree. The 2025 Visioning exercise seems to want to invent a degree that already exists its stated goals are easily accommodated within the GSD program The report underlines that the most significant concern is a glaring lack of resources. Science is expensive to administer, while General Studies is inexpensive and achieves higher numbers. Imagine what could be done with resources and representation at career fairs, orientations, and support positions! Advising is more complicated with the GSD than with other programs: students cannot be slotted in to specific degrees. More administrative support is imperative: everything is currently downloaded on to Mandy. Managing a course-by-course reserve process requires resources as well. The group agreed that there is a need to deal with inconsistent messaging. This is the first committee that deals with interdisciplinary issues, and the first that doesn t answer directly to a specific discipline. If students declared GS as a major, reserves could exist in relevant thematic classes ACTION ITEM: PLEASE SEND YOUR REQUESTS FOR PRESENTATIONS AND IDEAS FOR EDITS FOR THE REPORT (ADVISING NEEDS? ADMIN SUPPORT?) TO MICHELLE BY END OF THE WEEK. 4. For Review and Decision 4.1. IDS 201 Course Outline Draft & 4.2 IDS 401 Course Outline Draft The course outlines and calendar copy need to reflect what is expected from the program, which is to fill a needs gap. Michelle focused on thematic options with practical applications, and included portfolio creation, learning plans, and using planned processes to develop the skills to analyze topics. Of course, the bent of specific sections would depend on who is teaching them. The outlines provide starting points for how courses might be constructed The group discussed who the student targets were for these courses, and the nuances of the courses themselves: portfolio vs. problem. The group identified potential redundancy issues: the learning outcomes are the same as the ones for Arts 100 which is currently too arts-focused. The portfolio also echoes what is being proposed for the BA The group discussed how to serve both BGS and non-bgs students the learning plans and portfolios seem BGS-centric. Could Arts look at Interdisciplinary studies? The group discussed ARTS 100 (which is 9 credits/2 instructors) and its similarity to IDS 201 (3 credits/1 instructor). The group discussed faculty issues, and the need for potential faculty with the ability to see through multiple lenses. The group talked about ideas around how to support team teaching, and some of the impediments to this including expense, funding (sources and availability), and motivation issues related to having halfsections. These courses are intended to begin a program portfolio. IDS 201 and 401 are centred on how to foster interdisciplinary thinking The group had some questions about what fostering interdisciplinary thought would look like, and discussed how members had interpreted the course outlines. They determines that the evaluation would not be on the topic or theme, which would just provide the structure to access the process, but on how the students thought through the interdisciplinary lens. The portfolio created would be valuable across the disciplines. The group thought changing the language would clarify some of the interpretation issues: for example, approach rather than solution The group wondered if this course would work in isolation, or if it should have components across disciplines. Members discussed how 201 & 401 would inform and interact with one another, and determined that 401, as a required course, would have less need for a theme, but 201 would need one due to enrolment concerns earlier in the program. Students with less than 90 credits would take 201, while students with more than 90 credits would not be required to take it. There was general agreement that 401 should be BGS-centric, and provide opportunities for students to network and market themselves (for example, during the capstone presentations.) ACTION: MANDY TO LOOK AT FINAL-YEAR NUMBERS OF STUDENTS TO PREDICT ENROLLMENT IN The group wondered if the 401 would be too much so close to graduation, but decided that the capstone projects puts rigour around this degree and that the demands placed on the student makes the BGS degree more valid. A member of the group raised the concern that prior learning could have occurred a decade or more in the past, but the group acknowledged that the different challenges would emerge for students with different educational and work histories, and the portfolios would serve as records of development, not records of outcomes Previously, the vision/mission statement had embraced outcomes-based learning. Funding concerns determined that this was all that could be proposed this program exists on almost no money and yet thousands of students graduate from it. Because of this, the priority becomes asking for more resources or asking students to do more in a course due to resource concerns. (ie in a single course in 4 th year as opposed to more). Michelle asked the group to consider whether this course is actually not a single course. If not, does the group need to ask for more courses (and resources)? What happen if the group is denied? The group discussed student-based concerns: should 201 be in order to support success in 401? 201 is the how to (process) component; 401 is the what (end product) component The group discussed how students would decide the shape of their capstone courses: what they want their capstone projects to look like would determine the courses to take on their way there. A member of the group suggested including an addendum to the project in order to break down how learning would be assessed, which led to a discussion about how the capstone project would be assessed: would it be a collaborative assessment involving two other people chosen by the student, with each assessor assigning a percentage of the total mark? The group wondered if this might function better as an independent study course Michelle noted that the 401 enrollment would not be 36; more likely, it would be Alisa noted that following a rubric in assessment doesn t necessitate expertise on the part of the assessor. The group discussed the idea of norming exercise by committee, and the possibility of grading the presentations with credit or no credit: how does this meet expectations/outcomes? Kim Mills noted that experts might recognize things through their knowledge lens as exceptional. The group agreed the student would develop criteria and follow methodology, but whatever the project is going out into the world it needs to be correct Michelle summarized the group s discussion with a list of questions: Outcome- or exit-focused? CR/NCR or graded? Single instructor or multiple instructors? Choice of capstone or portfolio? Or both? Rubric used in assessing competencies? Use of external examiners as part of 401? 201 as required for everyone, or just for those with fewer than 90 credits? What is being assessed in 401? Discipline-specific knowledge evaluated in disciplinary courses, with capstone assessed? Theme for 201? Michelle notes that she will kill the theme for 401 and include theme only for The group agreed that faculty engagement may create questions around funding A group member noted that Faculty is a drop-down menu that could be left blank Calendar copy revisions for UEC Att Michelle reviewed the revisions and asked for recollections about the June meeting as minutes were not available. The calendar copy has been extensively rewritten. Much of it is cut and pasted from the calendar, but there are major changes in program requirements. Decisions on 201 and/or 401 need to be made The group discussed the core competencies: Effective Communications: refer to Arts. The group discussed how a second communication course would have to be dedicated to process (of writing or of communications). The group discussed whether courses dealing with oral, written, or visual communications would count for only one area. Use and Interpretation of Numerical Data: numerical data is a re-wording because students are afraid of the word statistical. Electrical Foundations could be included here. Scientific Literacy: cut-and-paste from science. The group had no objections to including practical, applied science, though a member asked if this requirement would include courses with both lab and lecture components Michelle will check into this. Mechatronics could also be listed here. Digital Literacy: The group generally felt that GDD courses could count for both Digital Literacy and Effective Communications if the student demonstrated six literacies. Cultural Literacy: there was some confusion as to its definition and was therefore left off the list. The group was asked for decision on the inclusion of cultural literacy; it was not included on the calendar copy, but the breadth requirement (of six different disciplines) seems to cover it. A humanities-specific course is not necessarily required. Alisa Webb noted that in Arts, the plan is to vet courses that COULD meet an intercultural engagement requirement. Should this requirement be built into 401? Alisa Webb shared a definition of intercultural engagement: Identify one s own cultural norms and biases Articulate characteristics and features of another culture Interpret intercultural engagement through more than one perspective Articulate similarities and differences between cultures in a nonjudgemental way Kim noted that two of the CIS courses are Microsoft courses and not necessarily digital literacy Michelle noted that the general course list was generated from the BA list Under Courses at Other Institutions, the group noted that a minimum of 24 upper-level credits must be completed at UFV for a total of 30 as per the residency requirement. Barbara noted that the Subsequent Degree policy only applies to recognized degrees, not unaccredited ones (CBC, for example.) The group had some concerns about the word sufficient in the last bullet point under the Applied, Experiential, and Professional Skills Learning Component, though agreed that it had been largely approved The group wondered if there would be a way to address how BGS students register: with approved thematic options, could they be permitted to register earlier? ACTION: SEND CORRECTIONS TO MICHELLE BY THE END OF THE WEEK. Michelle noted that copy won t be moved forward until October so there is time to work on this. 5. Projects for Faculty Engagement Strategies The group discussed messaging conversations, and what that might involve. Suggestions included compensation (honorariums, acknowledgements) as faculty would need to know what s in it for me and/or how me/my course/students will benefit. The group thought using sample Thematic Options involving fields from each Faculty Council might be helpful The group discussed how BSG students are seen as the amorphous other, but how they represented potential: for example, an introduction of diverse perspectives/and input, courses would benefit from exposure, interdisciplinary bums would be in seats without any need to change course content. Bringing experts in for capstone project assessment might engage faculty. The group discussed how having direction and being goal-oriented would benefit thematic option students in that declared goals would potentially engage faculty s external interests, and inspire better mentorship of identified BGS students with potential for bigger DIS projects as well as service and research connections The group discussed the next steps, which could include soliciting potential themes of cross-disciplinary options, and thematic option development. Also discussed was how to respond to the barriers faculty may throw up. Ideas included thoughts about improving communication and the dissemination of information like the numbers of GSD students, and the fact that they are held to same standard as other students. Perhaps there will be a need for follow-up conversations after the presentations to faculties The group agreed that presentations at department meetings would
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