General Education Task Force
Charge for General Education Task Force
Beginning in 2015, the Board of General Studies undertook the first ever self-study of the San Jose State University GE program. Faculty and students were surveyed and two external reviewers were invited to campus in the spring of 2017.
Four broad themes emerged from the exercise; a lack of perceived coherence among GE courses, lack of appreciation of the value of GE, an opaque governance structure, and the lack of meaningful data collected from an overly burdensome set of assessment policies and practices. Of the four, the most pressing and immediately consequential is assessment.
The Program Planning Committee recommended creating a task force to begin addressing the issues raised in the self-study and the implementation of the action plan developed by the Board of General Studies, the Program Planning Committee and the Provost. The first order of business and the charge of this task force, is the examination of assessment policies and practices. In consultation with GE course coordinators, faculty who teach in the GE program, the University Assessment Facilitators, and in coordination with the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs and the Board of General Studies, the task force is asked to propose a reimagined assessment process, both at the area level (the current GE learning outcomes) and the program level. The proposal may include appropriate changes to learning outcomes, ongoing assessment improvement, closing the loop mechanisms, coordination and reporting structures and processes, tools and support systems, indeed, anything related to effective assessment.
The GE Task Force will comprise of a faculty chair appointed by the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, 5 additional faculty members including those who teach GE courses and those who don’t, one student, one academic advisor, and one administrator. One member of the task force will also be a member of the Board of General Studies.
The GE Task Force will engage with GE course coordinators, faculty who teach GE courses, students, the University Assessment Facilitators, and the wider campus community through open forums and other outreach approaches (e.g., focus groups, surveys, email updates, a web page) as needed. It will review current GE policies, practices and guidelines relating to assessment and make recommendations to the AVP of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, the Board of General Studies, and the Curriculum and Research Committee in relation to the following:
- The crafting of meaningful GE program-level learning outcomes, aligned with student success and university learning goals
- Program-level assessment approaches and processes
- New assessment practices in accordance with the GE program identity, that are less onerous and more demonstrably effective
- Suggestions for structures and procedures for continuous improvement at both the area level and the program level
- Outreach, communication and engagement with the campus community, particularly faculty who teach GE, throughout the process of developing the new assessment practices