Senate Committee on Educational Policy
February 6, 2012

Present: Gay Miller, Chair; Paul Diehl, Bettina Francis, Phillip Geil, Michael Krassa, Catherine Murphy, Paul Prior, Trevor Eagle, Shana Harrison

Ex Officio: Andrea Golato, Kristi Kuntz, Faye Lesht, Stacey Kostell, Charles Tucker

Guests:Lucy Rich, Carol Livingstone, Peter Mortensen, Diane Musumeci

A regular meeting of the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (EPC) was called to order at 1:12 pm, on Monday, February 6, 2012 in 232 English Building, with Chair Miller presiding.

  1. Introductions – Chair Miller introduced Stacey Kostell as Keith Marshall’s replacement on this committee. Stacey is the Director of Undergraduate Admissions.

  2. Approval of Minutes – The minutes from January 23, 2011 were approved as written.

  3. Chair’s Remarks (G. Miller) - Chair Gay Miller thanked everyone for all the hard work last semester. Miller introduced a different structure she plans to try for Ed Pol meetings. The first part of the meeting will follow the agenda as usual and the second part of the meeting will be dedicated to presentations as needed and appropriate. This will be a trial to see what works best for the committee.

  4. Provost’s Office Updates (K. Kuntz) - Kuntz noted that the proposal format was reconfigured and the checklist was added. Many people have expressed frustration to Kuntz with the checklist. Chair Miller asked Michael Krassa as subcommittee A Chair to work with Kristi Kuntz and Lucy Rich to assess and possibly revise the checklist.

  5. Graduate College Updates (A. Golato) - Andrea Golato reported one administrative approval for the revision of the research non-thesis project in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.

  6. Old Business

    1. Subcommittee A—Michael Krassa, Chair; Cody Chalkey, Brenda Clevenger, Prasanta Kalita, Stacey Kostell, Catherine Murphy
    2. Subcommittee B—Phillip Geil, Chair; Trevor Eagle, Andrea Golato, Shana Harrison, Jerome McDonough, Steve Michael, Paul Prior, Charles Tucker
      1. EP.12.12 Proposal from the Graduate College and the College of Education to establish the Educational Technology for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership concentration in the Ed.M. in Educational Psychology.

        Phillip Geil reported that this proposal is still on hold as the subcommittee has not heard from the sponsor.

    3. Subcommittee C—Bettina Francis, Chair; Damani Bolden, Paul Diehl, Kristi Kuntz, Faye Lesht, Chris Royer
      1. EP.12.14 Proposal from the Graduate College and the College of Education to terminate the eLearning concentration in the Ed.M. in Human Resource Education.

        Bettina Francis reported that this proposal is also on hold as it is dependent on EP.12.12.

  7. New Business
    1. Subcommittee A—(M. Krassa)
      1. EP.12.19 Proposal from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to establish the Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree (BSLAS) in Computer Science and (LAS discipline).

        Kristi Kuntz reported that there needs to be a discussion regarding the tuition differential prior to this proposal being discussed by the Educational Policy Committee. This proposal is on hold.

      2. EP.12.20 Proposal from the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) to establish a new minor in International Development Economics

        This proposal is still under review and was not discussed.

    2. Subcommittee B—(P. Geil)
      1. EP.12.17 Proposal from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to revise the BSLAS Physics Concentration.

        Phil Geil was concerned that prospective students might be confused as to what degrees are offered in Physics when looking at the LAS program of study.

        Lucy Rich indicated that she would be willing to take another look at the program of study description. Chair Miller asked for clarification on the one semester grace period. Rich replied that if as students GPA falls below the requirement during one semester, the student can work with an advisor to raise it back to the minimum requirement. Chair Miller mentioned that this is also on EP.12.18 and suggests revision to state what this means on both proposals.

        Geil also questioned the Physics degree with a concentration in Physics. Carol Livingstone noted that when the University moved to Banner, LAS made a decision to do all their programs this way. It makes it clear when a student makes a choice. This way a student in Physics with a concentration in Physics is clearly different from a student in Physics with a concentration in Teaching Physics.

      2. EP.12.21 Proposal from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to revise the minor in Communication.

        Geil noted that in this proposal, if the University accepts a course for credit from another institution, it is not necessarily accepted for this particular minor. He asked why these courses might not be accepted. Chair Miller replied that it is a basic concern that some students could transfer in with certain courses that fulfill a minor, but those courses were not taken here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kuntz added that there is a campus residency requirement that a certain number of hours must be taken from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. With this minor, some students might transfer in with all of the required courses to earn the minor without taking an actual course here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That is why the residency requirement was put into place.

      3. Geil recommended that the proposal form be changed to reflect the correct wording for what prerequisite hours are counted towards a minor so the requirements are clear to sponsors. Discussion continued on how different colleges and departments within the University handle how courses are counted that transfer from other institutions and how many hours are required to be taken at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.   

        Chair Miller suggested that Paul Prior chair a subcommittee to determine the minimum amount of course work that is required for a minor and the implications so this committee can examine this issue more closely. Serving on the subcommittee are Kristi Kuntz, Lucy Rich, Faye Lesht, and Phil Geil.

    3. Subcommittee C— (B. Francis)
      1. EP.12.16 Proposal from the School of Social Work to revise the Bachelor of Social Work degree program.

        Bettina Francis noted the one item of concern in this proposal was the reduction of the foreign language requirement from four semesters to three semesters. Chair Miller also noted that the number of hours do not appear to add up to the same total that is listed on the proposal. Francis indicated that it makes sense to her why they are decreasing the foreign language requirement, but was not sure it was the best idea. Lucy Rich reasoned that if a student were to take three years of a foreign in high school, there could be a several year gap since the School of Social Work (SSW) program is a junior/senior program. Chair Miller suggested that someone from SSW should come to a meeting and answer questions related to this proposal. Geil also had a question about the internship requirements. Kuntz noted that exceptions can be made for students when the University makes changes to a curriculum. Questions will be held until the sponsor can attend and directly answer them.

      2. EP.12.18 Proposal from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to revise the Specialized Curriculum in Physics (BS in Physics).

        Francis noted that much of the issues with proposal EP.12.17 are also issues with EP.12.18. It is not clear what the increases in technical courses are. Geil added that it is difficult to compare the changes in hours when the hours for each individual course are not listed.

        Francis requested that in the future, related proposals such as EP.12.17 and EP.12.18 are assigned to the same subcommittee. Chair Miller stated the reason this time was to balance out the workload among the subcommittees, but it turned out more work came in to the committee and so in retrospect it would have been better to assign these to one committee.

      3. GC511 Request from the Graduate College to establish the new course, GC 511

        As not all members of this committee had read the proposal prior to the meeting, this course was not discussed in detail.  However, general questions were raised about the Graduate College offering courses, about staffing, and about course continuity.  It was decided to discuss these questions in detail at the next meeting when everyone has had a chance to read the proposal.

      4. GC550 Request from the Graduate College to establish the new course, GC 550

        Andrea Golato noted that this course was developed by faculty members in the life sciences to help graduate students become faculty in the life sciences. The Graduate College had been the recipient of the PITA grant to pay faculty members a stipend to develop so-called “preparing future faculty courses”.  Individual departments offer these types of courses under their own rubrics, and they are then reviewed by individual disciplinary colleges and by the Program Subcommittee of the Graduate College. However, for the course under discussion, the course content is of interest to students in several different departments.  The faculty of the life-sciences who developed courses felt it would be easier if they were housed in the Graduate College and be taught on a rotational basis. The Program Subcommittee of the Graduate College which is comprised of faculty members has conducted the required first level of review. The course is now presented to Educational Policy Committee for the required second level of review.

      Paul Prior asked who teaches these courses, how are they handled, when should colleges handle courses of this type. Golato replied that this is not the first course like this in the Graduate College. Different faculty would teach the courses. A College of Life Sciences does not exist which is why this is housed in the Graduate College

  8. Other New Business
    1. Academic issues and initiatives for international undergraduates– (C. Tucker)

      Charles Tucker presented three handouts on international undergraduate students to give the committee a better picture of international enrollment. We are very accustomed to international graduate students, but not necessarily accustomed to international undergraduates. There are now more undergraduate international students than international graduate and professional students on our campus.
      The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is number two nationally in the number of international students on campus, counting both undergraduate and graduate students. This campus is leading or is a leader in international undergraduates.

    The “Total Student Enrollment” graph shows that international graduate student enrollment is stable. Most of these students are full-time degree seeking.  Our international students are academically very well prepared, but are not necessarily the most elite of their class. Almost no scholarship money goes to international students. They know they are “cash cows” for American universities.
    All of our international undergraduates arrive here with meaningful English language skills, but not necessarily the skills they need to do their best work.
    Another issue is required physical attendance on this campus for registration. If a student does not arrive on campus until August, many courses are fully enrolled by that time. There is also the requirement to meet with an advisor before registering for courses.  There is now an online program called Elluminate that facilitates getting new international students advised and registered without them physically being present on campus.

    Our campus has not had a special orientation program for international students, but there was one offered in fall 2011 for the first time. There is intent to improve the orientation program, and also engage current student groups to help revise the orientation. This past year it was done the Saturday after the first week of class. This is too late.
    Currently the English language requirement for admission is set relatively high. Still, some international students that attend here need additional preparation. The English Placement Test was developed here on this campus.  This test is used to determine whether student is ready to mainstream in Rhetoric 105, or if the student need the ESL course sequence.  It would be much better if that assessment could be done before students register for classes.  The placement advice is not binding, and some international students do not take this advice, but instead register for RHET 105 when they should be taking an ESL course. Paul Prior gave his opinion that some international students prefer not to be in ESL so they can be with native speakers, or because ESL is viewed as being remedial.

    It is important that international student be able to keep up with their course work. International students cannot fall below 12 hours or they lose their visa and must go back to their home country.
    Engineering has a course that allows international students to hold paid internships as Curricular Practical Training. The internship must be part of the student’s curriculum.  Most other colleges could do the same for their students, with a modest effort. Additional support is needed to help faculty and advisors to teach international students. Diane Musumeci added that availability of suitable instructors is more of an issue than budget when it comes to ESL courses. Having more international undergraduate students creates a shift in the demand for services. International students might need more counseling, and the definitely have greater needs for career services and the Writer’s Workshop.

    Another item to explore is that an international student can come to campus and end up spending most of their time with people from their home country.  For example, a group of students may come from Korea and decide to live together and take the same courses. A major challenge is to find a way to capitalize on the presence of so many international undergraduates to make everyone’s student experience more global and enriching.

  9. Adjournment - The meeting adjourned at 2:58 pm.

Jenny Roether
Senate Staff