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Meeting Notes

September 11, 2009


General Studies Taskforce
11 September 2009

1. Overview of Taskforce Charge: Provost Golich gave the Taskforce the charge (attached).

2. Role of Committee: Taskforce Chair, Joan Laura Foster discussed the role of the Taskforce to act as a catalyst in meeting HLC’s request for clearly defined learning outcomes. The Taskforce will study the past General Studies committees’ work, model General Education programs, literature from a number of sources provided by Sheila Thompson. The Taskforce will develop ideas which will be sent to the departments for discussion within their disciplines and discussed in Faculty Senate, the Council of Chairs and Town Hall meetings to incorporate multidisciplinary perspectives, send ideas back to the Taskforce who will modify their work as appropriate.

3. Detailed Discussion of Charge: The charge was discussed point by point.

4. Other Discussion: The taskforce discussed different approaches…should the taskforce propose learning outcomes and have the college community discuss them, provide input and then the taskforce modify them based on the input or should the taskforce ask faculty to look at their existing General Studies courses and tell the taskforce the existing learning outcomes for the courses.
The taskforce then discussed proposing meaningful and measurable learning outcomes for College discussion. Several approaches were discussed including the overarching questions of: What do we want a MSU Denver graduate to know and be able to do? What is unique about our students? What are we doing that is working so well?

5. Development of Timeframe: The Taskforce determined that it would initially focus on these 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Review what past committees have learned and proposed
    Review major literature on General Education Programs including AAC&U
    Website. Sheila will provide other readings
    Read the “Revising General Education-And Avoiding the Potholes pamphlet by
  • Step 2: Study the process for writing high level learning outcomes
  • Step 3: Propose learning outcomes for the foundational skills and abilities (currently described as Level I)

6. Communication to and from the College: The taskforce discussed the absolute importance of communication and how best to achieve it. The taskforce would like information sent out to the faculty via @Metro and email as well as through the taskforce members, Faculty Senate, and Department Chairs. It was suggested that the best approach would be to send liaisons as pairs, not individuals.

7. Role of the Faculty Senate General Studies Committee: They are charged with the review of proposed General Studies courses but there aren’t any at present. The FS General Studies Committee Chair, Lunden MacDonald proposed that she would act as a liaison between the taskforce and the FS General Studies Committee. In addition, the FS General Studies Committee will keep the General Studies website current.

Future Meetings: There was no other time slot that had more than 7 members of the taskforce able to attend so the group decided to move the meetings 30 minutes later. They will be 10:30-noon on Fridays. Location will be SPS conference room (WC 133).

Enclosures: Taskforce Charge Letter from HLC on focused visit Two page description UNL Article LEAP Learning Outcomes

Resources to support the taskforce: (last general studies committee website)



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