January 2012 Minutes  


Wednesday January 25, 2012

10:45.am. – 12 noon in RVAC317 – 11

Committee members in attendance: C. Pudlinski, J. Conway, M. Dischino, M. Leake, M. Levvis, P. Mihalek, L. Braun, S. Mastrobattisto

1.       Approved minutes of December 2011 meeting


2.       Revise by-laws (add peer leader as voting member; see attached)


M. Leake moved to revise the by-laws to have a student peer leader as a voting member of the FYE Steering Committee.  The committee voted to have L. Braun as the first peer member of the FYE Steering committee.  The other members of the committee introduced themselves to L. Braun.  The committee decided to have the peer member serve a two year term.   P. Mihalek suggested having nominations for the peer committee member very second April. 


3.       Update: Fall 2012 FYE classes


C. Pudlinski shared with the committee that spring enrollment is low.  Half of the students enrolled in FYE courses are new (first-year or transfer) students and half are first year students that did not have an FYE course in the fall semester.  About half of the students that did not have an FYE course last semester have an FYE course this semester.  There are 15 new students that are currently enrolled in an FYE course, but there are 31 first year students entering in the Spring who do not have a FYE course this semester (although they should). 


C. Pudlinski mentioned there were two FYE sections that had to be cancelled, English 110 and FYS 103.  M. Leake would like to see CACE make FYE a higher priority; C. Pudlinski will speak to Ken Poppe and CACE about this.  P. Mahalek suggested a floating FYE.  C. Pudlinski mentioned that all the FYE sections last spring were filled, and he is unsure why the FYE sections this spring are not filled. 


4.       Update: Fall 2012 FYE classes


C. Pudlinksi shared with the committee that there are already 60 FYE sections for the fall.  There still need to be some sections added.  There are no Criminology FYE sections.  C. Pudlinski plans on talking to the Criminology Department to see if he can get them on board.  C. Pudlinski would like to see another Communication section of FYE.  There are typically three sections of MYS and there are none scheduled for the upcoming fall.  M. Leake will talk to the chairs of the School of Business about FYE.  The committee is interested in having another Management FYE section.  There is always a need for more business FYE sections.  C. Pudlinski mentioned to the committee to send any instructors that are interested in FYE to him to talk. 


C. Pudlinski mentioned that in Fall 2011, all but three FYE sections completed the FYE assessment and that the committee would talk about the assessment at the February meeting.         


5.       Timetable for recruiting and interviewing peer leaders


C. Pudlinski wants to ask all FYE faculty if they want to have a peer leader be a part of their FYE class.  The goal of the committee is to have 35 to 40 peers for Fall 2012.  C. Pudlinski and S. Hazan will train the peer leaders.  Faculty might have recommendations for students that would make good peer leaders.  M. Leake said that she thinks peer leaders who are accepted with a 3.0 GPA but then it drops below a 3.0 GPA after the next semester should be allowed to continue being a peer leader if they participate in an academic intervention through The Learning Center.  The committee decided that peer leaders must have a GPA of at least a 3.0 at the point of acceptance.  C. Pudlinski will change the qualifications for being a peer leader on the website. 


C. Pudlinski shared with the committee that five peer leaders are interested in returning, three no longer qualify, seven have said they are not returning, and he still has not heard from one peer leader.  There need to be about 30 new peer leaders recruited for the fall semester.  


6.       Budget: 2011-2012 and planning for 2012-13


M. Leake pointed out that the “FY 2013 Requests” only has four items.  She mentioned that she is trying to predict what will be needed for funds in the future, and trying to get a base budget.  The budget is organized by priority with leadership as number one, professional development for faculty as number two, FYE Peer Leader Program as number three, and Community Engagement Funds as number four.  M. Leake shared with the committee that CCSU commits considerably fewer funds to FYE programing than many other schools.  She also mentioned that numerous colleges have whole departments and full time staff devoted to FYE.   


C. Pudlinski mentioned that there is funding for this year.  M. Levvis asked if next year's budget was already submitted, and M. Leake responded that it had been submitted.


M. Leake shared with the committee that $30,000 per year is needed as a base budget for the CCSU FYE program.   


7.       Faculty Development Plans and Ideas for Spring 2012?


M. Leake acknowledged that faculty development is important and the current CCSU FYE program does not provide funding for faculty development.  J. Conway pointed out that it takes time to build up a faculty pool.  M. Dischino suggested connecting with another CCSU faculty professional development committee headed by Mary Collins.  The goal of FYE faculty development is to bring faculty together to make the program better.  C. Pudlinski will email the topic for the April FYE faculty development to the committee, and contact Mary Collins as well.


8.       Critical Inquiry Seminars (CIS) and FYE (discussion with Robert Wolff)


R. Wolff mentioned that the transition from FYE to CIS would be different for some departments, but not all.  CIS are a three credits plus one credit design.  The CIS committee sees the seminar as being very integrated.  One of the goals of the course would be to help new students transition to CCSU.  Another goal would be to show students how to integrate what they are learning in different courses.  Some FYE instructors have concerns, some do not, and some are interested in CIS. 


R. Wolff shared with the committee the CIS are being designed for general education.  He also mentioned there will be no changes for this upcoming school year.  He has met with several departments to discuss CIS.  J. Conway said that CIS sounds great, but wonders if CIS will meet the goals of FYE.  He went on to say that CIS appears to meet some of the goals, but not all the goals of the current FYE program.  R. Wolff commented, CIS and FYE have the same goals, but maybe the language in the description of CIS needs to be changed to reflect the similarities to FYE.


R. Wolff went on to say the goal is to making CIS a requirement of general education.  One of the concerns is not being able to cover all the desired material in CIS.  P. Mahalek was curious as to how CIS would work for the School of Business.  He went on to say that CIS might not be suitable for the School of Business.  M. Dischino echoed his sentiment, saying she thinks CIS and the School of Engineering and Technology might not be a good fit.    


R. Wolff mentioned that there is a lot of flexibility in general education and it would be possible to fit CIS into the general education curriculum.  Given the CIS would not be major specific, M. Dischino mentioned that an advantage of FYE is being able to steer students to the most important resources for that major.  C. Pudlinski added that it is easier to get faculty to teach a majors only course.  He went on to say that maybe CIS would be expecting too much too soon out of students.  L. Braun is fearful that if CIS replaced FYE some of the beneficial aspects of FYE would get lost. 


M. Leake suggested making CIS a second semester course, that way it would not conflict with FYE.  She also mentioned that FYE had been able to engage all four schools, and moving to a different model would mean having to start over. 

R. Wolff finished by saying that CIS would meet student where they are.                 



First Year Experience Steering Committee by-laws

(approved at April 6, 2009 meeting, revised at January 25, 2012 meeting)

a.       The First Year Experience steering committee shall consist of the following voting members: one faculty representative each from the School of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education & Professional Studies, and Engineering & Technology; the Director of the Learning Center; a Vice President of Academic Affairs; a Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee); a student peer leader and the Faculty Director.

b.      Annually in April, the steering committee will nominate 2 faculty members to serve on the committee for a two year term.  These nominations will be forwarded to the Dean of the associated School for approval.  Faculty representative terms will be staggered by school.

c.       The Faculty Director will serve for a three-year term (currently from July 2008 to June 2011).  In the Fall of the Faculty Director's third year, the steering committee will elect a Faculty Director to serve for a subsequent three-year term.  There are no term limits; directors can serve for more than one three-year term.

d.      The steering committee reports to the Provost (or designee).

e.    Annually in April, the steering committee will nominate a peer leader to serve for a one year term.  Peer leaders may serve for more than one year.


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