EPAG Minutes
February 6, 2007
9:45-11:15, Campus Center 214

Kendrick Brown, Beth Cleary, Terri Fishel, Ellen Guyer, Diane Michelfelder, Jayne Niemi, Joan Ostrove,  Michael Schneider,  David Seitz, Peter Weisensel (co-chair)

Guests:  Danny Kaplan and Dan Balik

  1. Minutes:  The minutes from January 30th were approved.    
  2. Assessment:  Danny described the plan for assessment “exams” that will be administered to students starting this fall.   All first year students will be required to take an exam.  Students will take three different “tests”:  about 150 will take part of the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) about 150 will take the other part, and about 200 will take the “Macalester Learning Assessment” (MLA).  They hope to address the new General Education requirements in the MLA.  These FY students will be followed longitudinally, with two additional tests administered to them before they graduate.  This is expected to happen with each new FY class.  MLA could focus on things that are particularly important to Macalester.  A group to develop the MLA should have a General Education Subcommittee representative from each Subcommittee.   GES subcommittees will likely need help with assessment issues.  Danny has “gobs and gobs” of ideas for how to help, which he shared.  He is hopeful that an assessment plan will be required for GE course approval, whether a self-developed one or a plan coordinated by the assessment folks.  This would be a stronger measure of the GE effectiveness.   We asked Danny about those faculty who are in principle opposed to most institution-wide assessment, and if he had any advice for the GES about dealing with that opposition.   He acknowledged the opposition, and made the point that the College isn’t about the faculty – it’s about educating the students (doing it well, positioning in the marketplace, proving we are worth the tuition/fees we charge).   We have to be able to demonstrate our effectiveness with more than anecdotes.       Terri reviewed the assessment project that is run by the library, in which the participation is voluntary.  MASC will coordinate with them.   Assessment has not been a consistent theme in department self-studies, although some do include it.  It’s likely that the departments will be asked that in the future.  MASC is trying to develop instruments to help departments in their assessment efforts, and would be grateful for any statement from EPAG that supports assessment, especially re the GE requirements.  EPAG should request that a representative from each GES be designated to the MASC CLA/MLA group which will develop the Mac version – since most GES chairs were present, it was so requested.  Since FY course teachers will play a “cheerleader” role with their classes for this effort, Ellen offered to add this to the agenda for the April meeting of FY Course teachers.
  3. Latin Honors:   We reviewed the options for Latin Honors criteria.  The winning option was one that allowed for approximately 30 percent of the class to receive Latin Honors at the following GPA breaks:  3.65 for cum laude, 3.80 for magna cum laude, and 3.90 for summa cum laude.   This will be effective for any student graduating in the 2008-09 class.  Peter will prepare a motion for the faculty meeting, and Dan will provide him with data to support the motion.    
  4. Dean’s List:  Dan presented his data on mean grades for juniors and seniors – the only way to align a student with a division is by declared majors.  His conclusion is that there isn’t a negative impact by division for any GPA-based honors, such as the Dean’s List.  Grade submission deadlines vary by semester, so in the fall the list will be published one week after Mac’s grade submission deadline, and in the spring it will be three weeks.  This will begin in the Fall 2007 semester.  The idea of an award of excellence for multiple consecutive terms on the Dean’s List might be considered after the Dean’s List has existed for a while.   We concluded that there was no need to bring this recognition program to the faculty for a vote, although Diane will include it in her remarks at the faculty meeting.
  5. Nursing Program:  Diane mentioned that the Rush Cooperative Nursing Program will be deleted from the next catalog, due primarily to the lack of participants since the late 1970s. 
  6. IC Review:  Diane reminded us that review of the International Center will happen during the last week of March.  We agreed that we would meet with the reviewer at our regular meeting time. 
  7. Agenda planning:  We should plan our marathon meeting time that will be devoted to Allocations.   Please bring your calendars to the next meeting so that a time can be arranged.  The restructuring question might be affected by the elections schedule – we need to decide whether and how that could be done this semester.  Next week:  GES apps, CNS review questions.   Subcommittees could handle the restructuring issue, also the Admissions question.    

Adjourned 11:15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Jayne Niemi, Registrar