Thursday, December 8, 2005
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Jayne Niemi, Beth Cleary (Chair for the Day), Caroline Ettinger, Joan Ostrove, Michael Schneider, Ellen Guyer, Karl Wirth, Peter Weisensel, Linda Schulte-Sasse, Diane Michelfelder
Minutes from the last meeting were approved.
Study Away Discussion
Caroline reported what she has heard from other students. There seem to be a lot of questions about the following issues:
- The participation of international students in study away, in particular questions about costs, payment, and financial aid applicability.
- The concept of applying both to the program and Macalester is not well-understood by students
- Concern about the constellation of programs offered for certain majors
- The application process is not well understood by student who haven’t begun the process yet
Other committee members chimed in with their impressions and opinions. Some topics were discussed, including the following:
- Some students aren’t aware of the need to meet deadlines in this competitive situation, as they are in other analogous situations.
- Diane reported on her conversations with the President concerning the three parts of the process: advising, SARC review, post-decision.
- A suggestion was made that the application calendar could include a period of several days after the deadline, during which the IC staff would review all applications for missing documents and notification would happen with a quick turnaround deadline.
- Application materials might be changed to indicate the seriousness of deadlines and missing pieces, with great clarity.
- There were questions about need for an official transcript as part of the application. Can there be other documents used by SARC (academic audit) or transcripts provided at no charge?
- Is there a difference in the scrutiny of application between semesters because of the cap? If so, should there be one deadline for the year?
- Are there inconsistencies between printed documents and what advising is received? (from study abroad adviser or academic adviser)
- The list of recommended programs and what’s “recommended” through advising sources can be different.
- There is a tension between the college’s responsibility to ensure a good program and the idea that a student may go anywhere they choose.
- How do programs get on the recommended list? What are the criteria? Is there broad faculty input?
- Could the notification letter be revised to sound more personal and individualized?
- If there are criteria cited in writing, they should match what is in the handbook.
- The grounds for appeal need to be clarified, and the process re-considered. (e.g., should there be any appeal,should appeals include the original application)
- If there continues to be a cap, the probable relationship to GPA to cap should be more widely advertised.
- Next year we have to return to EPAG notifying the student, instead of the Provost.
On a broader level, we discussed the idea that study abroad should be considered part of a liberal arts education, and need not necessarily connect directly to a student’s major or minor. The question was posed, “If we had no process, what would we ask of a student who wants to study abroad?”
Do we have a document that states goals and objectives of study abroad that could frame this conversation? Perhaps the IC has such a statement. The Provost might have a prototype of Grinnell’s assessment through the Teagle grant. What do we want the students to have? What do we want the program to offer?
We should schedule a conversation with Mike Monahan, Paula Paul-Wagner, and Katherine Yngve next semester, to talk about goals, objectives, our ideas, their ideas, and clarification of the recommended program listings.
We should seek input from the faculty as a larger community, perhaps through luncheons.
The study away handbook could be made more widely available to advisers in print. The website could also be advertised for those who prefer it.
Adjourned 4:35 p.m.
Jayne Niemi, Registrar