CAA discusses revising Undergraduate Learning goals

Samuel Nusbaum, Administration Reporter

The Council on Academic Affairs met and discussed a progress report packet on learning goals Thursday afternoon.

Eastern is revising their University Undergraduate Learning Goals and is incorporating them into both general education and major courses.

This academic year marks the third year of the four-year plan to revise learning goals and put them into different major and general education courses, with each year focusing on different things.

Karla Sanders, the executive director of the center for academic support and assessment, said she met with Rebecca Throneburg, a communication disorders and sciences professor, and provost Blair Lord and talked about what could be doable this year considering people’s time commitments with teaching and projects.

“What we were hoping to do was continue the project, but not the full-blown plan that we had envisioned before the giant budget impasse sort of derailed what we had been doing,” Sanders said.

During the first year of this plan, the report said background research was conducted to see how educated people were about the four-year plan.

The second year of the plan revolved around adjusting the general education courses to meet the new learning goals. They also formed two committees, the general education committee and the learning goals committee.

The third year was last year and during the budget impasse. It was seen as unrealistic to get the two newly made committees to meet because they require 40 faculty members.

Sanders gave three possible courses of action.

The first one is to start working with two of departments on getting their courses aligned with the learning goals and have them serve as a model for other departments.

The second possibility is to work with a small group of faculty members to present a plan to the CAA late this semester that aimed at working with departments in Spring 2017.

The third option is to work with a small group of faculty on revising senior seminars and to possibly move towards a sophomore seminar.

Economics professor Jim Bruehler said option two, with the aim to make a plan this semester and work with departments in Spring 2017, seems to be the only option.

“We have to keep working on that plan to get it to a point to where it can be approved,” Bruehler said.

Bruehler said they need to keep working on the plan until it can be workable.

This does not prevent everyone from doing other things and achieving other goals, but option two is the best course of action, Bruehler said.

Part of the packet handed out included a chart about how to align each class with each learning goal.

The chart was created earlier but as a result of the impasse, it had to be put on hold.

“What we decided to do this year is to tweak this and take it around campus,” Throneburg said.

Throneburg said the chart will be presented to all the departments before the CAA votes on it.

Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]