Minutes from December 2009 meeting  

Committee members in attendance:  Chris Pudlinski, Meg Leake, Peter Bauman, Paul Mihalek, and Jim Conway

1.       Approve minutes of November 2009 meeting

a.       Change 2.d. from “data shoes” to “data shows

b.      Minutes approved by acclamation


2.       Update on previous issues:

a.       January retreat

The January retreat was set during the last committee meeting.  C. Pudlinski will send an announcement this week.  Pudlinski restated the agenda for the retreat (9:30a coffee; 10:00a Marty Levine; 11:30am Open Discussion; 12:15 lunch).  The retreat will be held in the Nutmeg Room.  Those interested in attending will respond to C. Pudlinski.  M. Leake will need a headcount by 1/11 for lunch.  Committee recommended inviting last year's FYE faculty as well.


b.      Restricting add/drop for first-year students

C. Pudlinski mentioned an upcoming meeting with Susan Petrosino (Registrar) regarding restricting add/drop for first year students.   M. Leake stated that she would be in attendance as well.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss what can be done about restricting add/drop (options and ideas) and the information will be brought back to the committee.  The ramifications of the new block scheduling on the stand alone FYE course will also be discussed.

C. Pudlinski stated that of the 60 students who dropped their FYE course, 9 students had a GPA higher than a 2.0.  Pudlinski stated that an intervention before the student drops a course my help improve student success.  M. Leake stated that first year students need to have a conversation before dropping any course (re: impacts of dropping) this conversation may also help students realize that they can do well.  J. Conway questioned who would be having this conversation with the students.  Pudlinski stated that this conversation would need to take place in August or early September.  Leake responded that her graduate staff could be trained to do this as it could be considered an academic support issue.  J. Conway stressed that restricting add/drop will impact students adding and dropping courses (i.e. switching from one section to another of the same class).  Leake stated that there could be a “pre-approval” process over the summer.  Pudlinski stated that it will be easier to deal with the 099s and the FYE courses to start.


c.       Spring 2010 Registration update

C. Pudlinski reported that 50 second semester students need an FYE course in the spring for a variety of reasons.  15 withdrew before the add/drop deadline.  27 are already registered for an FYE in the spring.  Pudlinski reviewed the enrollment in the various FYE sections mentioning that the remaining seats will be filled by first time students starting in the spring semester. 

The committee also had a discussion pertaining to RDG 140 as an FYE course.  It was discussed that RDG 140 as an FYE may not be appropriate or fit in to the programs of study for certain majors.  It was agreed that enrollment in RDG 140 as FYE doesn't necessarily fit for all majors.

d.      FYE Assessment update/concerns

C. Pudlinski stated that the FYE survey cannot be an assessment and an evaluation.  It is problematic to use the tool as an evaluation and the tool is intended to be used as an assessment of the FYE program.  Pudlinski cited section 4.11.8 of the AAUP [document] concerning a student opinion survey and discussed implications of running into departmental jurisdiction issues.  Pudlinski further stated that this tool cannot be used to evaluate faculty or administrators.

M. Leake suggested that when delivering the assessment results, the committee should provide a global note addressing the low scoring areas and offering assistance in areas that need improvement. 

C. Pudlinski stated that this goal of this tool is to 1) evaluate the programs learning outcomes; 2) Identify areas where resources need to be provided 3) aid in the development of resources; and 4) provide a snapshot comparison of the embedded FYE course versus FYE 101.

C. Pudlinski questioned whether or not department chairs should get a copy of the assessment.  J. Conway suggested that they should not, as it could make it into DEC.  The committee agreed.  Faculty can, however, place the assessement into their file if they choose to.

P. Mihalek agreed that the assessment should not be forwarded to department chairs and that it should be used for self-improvement.

Both P. Mihalek and C. Pudlinski stated that there are already “evaluations” given for the embedded courses. 

Mihalek questioned if somebody will review the communication that will go out to FYE faculty and Pudlinski stated that he will ask Jason Jones to review it from a union perspective.

M. Leake mentioned the instructions ask that the completed assessments be sent to NC 231 – this should read NC 241.

C. Pudlinski stated that no individual feedback will be kept; it will be returned to the faculty for review and self-improvement.

P. Mihalek asked if the committee was “uninviting” faculty from teaching FYE sections.  Pudlinski stated that the committee is not yet at that point. 

C. Pudlinski will inquire about which faculty is interested in teaching an FYE in fall 2010.  Pudlinski stated that there are a few faculty members who have taught FYE in the past that expressed interest in returning.


3.       Discussion:  Connecting FYE to at least one Living Learning Community and one themed Living Community for fall 2010. 

C. Pudlinski stated that this is an initiative from Residence Life.  M. Leake will be attending a meeting with Jean Alicandro tomorrow concerning this.    P. Mihalek asked if the community would remain the same all year.  Pudlinski stated that it would be. 

C. Pudlinski stated that there should be an FYE course as part of these communities.

M. Leake will email the group after the meeting with an update and more information.

C. Pudlinski stated that the students would share at least (2) courses as part of a community.


4.       Discussion (if time): Evaluating our university's first-year climate

                                Discussion tabled. 

5.       Other business?

Committee discussed the compilation of assessment results.  They assessments will be sent to M. Leake upon completion.  J. Conway stated that he will need the data file to analyze results.  C. Pudlinski questioned how much raw data will be needed.  Conway responded that one row of data per student plus responses separated by section number would be necessary.  Conway also stated that if this data were to be used in a publication it would need to be run through the Human Studies Board.


6.       Set time/date/objectives for Spring semester meetings

The committee indicated that meeting on the second Wednesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. (until 12:45 p.m.) would work.  The first FYE meeting for spring 2010 is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday February 10th at that time.


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