Baccalaureate Core Committee
||Faculty Senate Executive Committee
||Bill Bogley and Kerry Kincanon, Baccalaureate Core Committee Co-Chairs
||July 15, 2012
||2011-2012 Baccalaureate Core Committee (BCC) Annual Report
The BCC membership list included fourteen faculty members from a cross-section of OSU’s campus, ex-officio members from WIC and DPD, and two student
members. A complete and accurate membership list can be found at http://oregonstate.edu/senate/committees/bcc/member/2011-2012.html
The BCC maintained an active meeting schedule.
||Eight meetings (includes a Finals Week retreat)
Minutes for all meetings can be found at http://oregonstate.edu/senate/committees/bcc/min/2011-2012/
, except for the fall term Finals Week retreat on
December 8, 2011. At the retreat, we worked on idea generation relative to the revised Category Review Process and Baccalaureate Core Assessment (see
section). No minutes were taken at the retreat.
The BCC reviewed and approved thirty-three courses during the course of AY 2011-2012. At our first two meetings, the BCC established a Course Review
) that outlined our approach to course reviews. Thirty-one of these courses have been officially added to
the core. Two courses are still pending Curriculum Council approval. There were three courses that were submitted prior to the end of AY 2011-12 that
are pending BCC review. The following table illustrates the distribution of course approvals:
AY 2011-2012 BCC Activities
||*The Math department changed this course to add an enforced MTH 111 or appropriate placement prerequisite
||CH 231, 232, 233, 261, 262, 263, 271, 272, 273
||The Chemistry department reconfigured its CH 221, 222, 223 General Chemistry sequence and separated out the lab into a separate credit-bearing course.
||SPAN 237, HST 391, 392, 396, 397, ART 208*, FR 329, HEBR 231
||The History courses were pre-existing in the BC; the unit updated submitted "Change Course" requests to update titles and description to better
represent the current tenor and focus of these courses. *Also approved for Literature and the Arts
|Literature and the Arts
||ENG 320, 321, 322, 330, ART 208*
||*Also approved for Cultural Diversity
|Social Processes & Institutions
||*Pending Curriculum Council Approval
||WS 462, PSY 426
|Contemporary Global Issues
||WS 495, PHL 432, AMS 350*
||*Cascades Campus course
|Science, Technology, & Society
||ENGR 363, NMC 427*
||*Pending Curriculum Council Approval
||MB 385, H 476
||*The BCC co-chairs and WIC director learned recently that there were anomalies with WIC course approvals that made it through the system
without review by the WIC director and the BCC. We are working with the Office of Academic Programs to remedy this situation.
On the Horizon for the BCC in AY 2012-13
- Per recommendations from the Committee on Committees, the BCC spent fall term revising our Standing Rules to reflect more accurately the function
and composition of the committee. The revised standing rules, which provide a clearer delineation of committee membership a
nd its stewardship of OSU’s Baccalaureate Core via its two primary functions, course proposal review and category review, were approved by the Faculty
Senate on April 12, 2012.
- One of the recommendations of the Baccalaureate Core Ad Hoc Review Committee (2008-2010) in its final report, Vitalization of General Education
at Oregon State University, was a review of Writing in the core. The Executive
Committee convened a committee to engage in the review during AY 2011-2012. Dr. Susan Meyers, the Director of the Writing Program at OSU, chaired
this group, and she presented findings and recommendations to the BCC on May 21, 2012. The report was subsequently submitted to the Executive Committee with BCC endorsement.
- Baccalaureate Core Implementation Director Vicki Tolar Burton implemented new minimum syllabus requirements as devised by the 2010-2011 BCC. Syllabi
for Core courses must now include the Category Learning Outcomes, and those outcomes must be assessed. This requirement in now included in the OSU
Curricular Policies and Procedures. At
the BCC’s recommendation, Dr. Tolar Burton contacted BC faculty before each term to remind them to include and assess the new category outcomes for
their BC courses. A Core syllabus template suggested by the 2010-11 BCC should be offered as a tool, but the 2011-12 BCC was hesitant to be overly
- The Executive Committee (EC) charged the BCC with resuming the category review process that was temporarily suspended during the Ad Hoc Review, and
incorporating evidence of student learning into that process. The charge dovetailed with institutional concern regarding assessment of student
learning in the core curriculum. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) accreditation visit in the spring of 2011 yielded a
recommendation to further develop assessment efforts in the Baccalaureate Core. It made sense for the Baccalaureate Core category review to be the
site from which to launch a strategic campus-wide effort to improve assessment of learning in Baccalaureate Core classes – an effort that addressed
both the charge of the EC and the accreditation recommendation. The BCC worked all fall and winter with Vicki Tolar Burton and, upon her arrival in
February, Assistant Director of Assessment Stefani Dawn to create a new category review process, which was vetted through several channels (Faculty
Senate, Undergraduate Education Council, University Assessment Council, Provost’s Council, and correspondents from several colleges) and ultimately
launched spring term with the "Synthesis pilot." The Synthesis categories were chosen to be the first reviewed under the new process. Here are some
salient motivating factors, principles, and documents relative to the new process:
- From the start, the principle of shared governance has guided decisions. Using the BCC process to aid the institution in responding to
accreditation recommendations means that the BCC would work closely with Academic Affairs and the Office of Academic Programs, Assessment, and
Accreditation. Leaders from those areas helped to create an Assessment Roadmap (Appendix B) to ensure comprehensive
attention to the Baccalaureate Core Assessment Process.
- This was the first year of having defined Baccalaureate Core Category Learning Outcomes. The BCC recognized that institutionalizing those
outcomes and the process of assessing them will take time, but piloting the process with Synthesis categories in spring would reignite category
review and provide a baseline of assessment data for the accreditation follow-up visit in the fall of 2012.
- The BCC created a Baccalaureate Core Category Review Course Webform to collect feedback from units on how BC Category Learning Outcomes are
being realized in their core classes. The
Office of Assessment houses the webform on its website, and Stefani Dawn will help collate information to be presented to the BCC in Fall 2012. The
Office of Institutional Research has agreed to gather course demographic info, so the burden for providing that portion of important Category Review
data has been shifted from the unit.
- Stefani Dawn and Vicki Tolar Burton coordinated multiple faculty development workshops on strategies for Baccalaureate Core Category Learning
Outcomes assessment. The BCC co-chairs attended most of these workshops, and several BCC members attended as participants.
- The pilot allows the BCC to shift the category review calendar. Traditionally, category review data was collected in the fall and the review
was conducted in the winter and the spring. Now data will be collected throughout the year with a spring deadline, collated in the summer, and
the review will be conducted in the fall. Institutional leaders asked the BCC for assistance in creating a timetable for Baccalaureate Core
assessment. This was initially posed to the BCC as a Five-Year plan but, after putting that time on paper, the committee unanimously agreed
that timeframe was unrealistic. The BCC ultimately landed on a Seven-Year plan. See Appendix C for
Assessment Activity by Cycle Year and Appendix D for BCC Category Review Task by Year.
- The BCC quickly realized that the Baccalaureate Core question sets in the Curricular Proposal System were inadequate now that the BCC is viewing
courses through the lens of student learning and the Baccalaureate Core Category Learning Outcomes. Several proposals were sent back for revisions,
in part, because expectations for BCC approval were not being communicated through the questions. The BCC revised these question sets over the course
of winter and spring terms and presented the new sets to the Office of Academic Programs at the end of spring term. These new sets are now in the
Curricular Proposal System.
- Vicki Tolar Burton worked with Central Web Services to develop a comprehensive website dedicated to the Baccalaureate Core. Selected BCC members
participated in a web architecture session to develop the design and content framework of the site. This site should be ready for launch in the
summer of 2012.
- In coordination with the Office of Assessment, the BCC created a voluntary pilot in spring where faculty teaching courses in the Synthesis categories
could add questions to the ESET to gather student perceptions of Baccalaureate Core Category Learning Outcomes achievement in the course. Pending
review of the pilot, the BCC should work with the Advancement of Teaching Committee and the EC to examine the merits of expanding this voluntary
program to a mandatory program of indirect assessment of student learning in the core. Some faculty voices oppose using eSET for assessment but, if
eSET is deemed unsuitable for this purpose, the BCC recommends that an alternative means must be identified for incorporating student input into the
assessment data stream.
- The BCC had several conversations regarding the presence of upper division coursework in Perspectives Categories being at odds with category
criteria. At our June 6, 2012 meeting, the BCC voted unanimously to strike the "Be lower division and at least three credits" statement from the
criteria of all Perspectives categories and to add the following statement to the criteria for all Perspectives categories: Courses in the Perspectives
categories should be accessible to both lower and upper division students. Prerequisites or class-level restrictions for Perspectives courses must not
create unreasonable barriers for student seeking to fulfill these categories. The BCC co-chairs subsequently sent a memo to the Executive Committee
asking for Senate consideration of this change.
- Potential senate action on proposed change in language to Perspectives Category Criteria.
- Assist with prioritizing and implementing recommendations from the Review of Writing in the Baccalaureate Core report.
- Fall Term: Review compliance on First-Year Skills Requirement for 2011-2012 cohort
- Fall Term: Conduct Category Review of Synthesis
- Winter/Spring: Outreach related to Synthesis Category Review
- Coordinate with the Director of Baccalaureate Core Implementation and the Office of Academic Programs, Assessment, and Accreditation on
communication surrounding upcoming Category Reviews.