Joint Boards Articulation Commission

Meeting Summary Notes
February 19, 2003

Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

Members Present

Liz Goulard, Chemeketa Community College, (Temporary) Chair
Jim Arnold, Oregon University System
Craig Bell, Portland Community College
Dave Phillips, Clatsop Community College (via phone)
Michele Sandlin, Oregon State University
Karen Sprague, University of Oregon
Glenda Tepper, Clackamas Community College
Mark Wahlers, Concordia University
Elaine Yandle-Roth, Community Colleges and Workforce Development


Guest

Andy Duncan, Oregon University System

 

Liz Goulard called the meeting to order at 10:25 a.m.

 

1. Introductions and Announcements

Jim Arnold announced that Mary Kay Tetreault would be absent from the meeting today, as she was unavoidably detained in Washington, D.C. due to weather conditions there. Liz Goulard has agreed to facilitate the meeting today in her place. All those present introduced themselves. Michele Sandlin welcomed everyone to the Oregon State University campus and reviewed the options in the Memorial Union for lunch.

2. Minutes of the January 15, 2003, Meeting

The minutes of the January 2003 meeting were approved as submitted. The discussion of the production of meeting minutes was deferred until the next meeting, when Tetreault will be present.

3. Report from the AACRAO Transfer Taskforce Meeting

Arnold distributed material from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) that announced the formation of a national “Transfer Taskforce.” Also distributed was a membership list of the 12-person group, of which Arnold is a member. The first meeting of the Taskforce was held January 24-26, 2003, in Washington, D.C. Although the Taskforce’s announced charge was to “explore what constructive role AACRAO may be able to play in facilitating the transfer of academic credit and in providing assistance to both the sending and receiving institutions,” a significant portion of the conversation during the first day revolved around the possibility of transfer issues being addressed in upcoming federal legislation (the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act). Although the specifics of what may be included are not clear, the subject has arisen at the urging of the Career College Association (CCA), the lobbying organization for private career schools. What appears to be at issue is credit transfer from nationally accredited colleges to regionally accredited institutions. Arnold agreed to keep JBAC apprised on the work of the national taskforce as it proceeds.

4. Variability of General Education Requirements

Andy Duncan, of the OUS Southwestern Oregon University Center, gave a short presentation on “The General Education Requirements Dilemma” – the same presentation he gave at the 2002 Articulation & Transfer Conference that created some controversy about the apparent lack of success of the current Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree. In the presentation, he reviewed the core requirements of the AA/OT and compared them to the current lower-division general education requirements at the seven OUS institutions. There is much variability in the OUS general education requirements, as there is among community colleges (for example, some of the community colleges have sequence requirements in their versions of the AA/OT). The great differences between campuses can, and does, create much confusion for students who transfer. Especially problematic is the AA/OT-seeking student who forgoes the degree and transfers to an OUS campus prior to completing it. However, the variability of OUS general education requirements is a good argument in favor of the AA/OT…and argues, also, for a good statewide computer system that can handle all course-equivalencies. This conversation necessarily leads to the question about whether or not the University System (or JBAC) should be seeking more uniformity in the lower-division general education requirements. With students typically attending two or more institutions to accumulate enough credits for a degree, the coherence and consistence of general education requirements is an important issue. Comments on this topic included:

Phillips indicated that he believed the issues raised by Duncan were a perfect lead-in to a discussion of the work of the Student Transfer Committee.

5. Report from the January 29th Student Transfer Committee (STC) and Status of AS/OT-Bus

Phillips indicated that Duncan had framed the dilemma (and many of the issues currently under discussion by the STC) well. The various issues under discussion are “quite messy.”

AS/OT-Bus

With regard to the AS/OT-Bus, the STC talked extensively about this proposed new degree. The CIA in their recent meeting addressed the topic as well. Everyone seems to acknowledge that the AS/OT-Bus does not solve all problems currently associated with the AA/OT. At the CIA/CSSA meeting on February 13th, there was much discussion of the “subject to change without notice” admonition in the last section addressing university prerequisites. The primary issue raised was that transfer students obtaining the AS/OT-Bus appear to have fewer protections than native OUS students who would enter their academic programs under a particular academic catalog and have a specified time to complete. At any rate, the STC recommends moving forward with this degree proposal; even though the degree may not be perfect, it merits a try and if problems arise we can attend to them. The STC believes that if we move ahead with this statewide degree, it should be adopted as is, that is, courses or sequence requirements should not be allowed by the individual colleges that implement this degree. The STC passed the following motion:

The Student Transfer Committee recommends to the Joint Boards Articulation Commission that they make the recommendation to the Board of Education that the AS/OT-Bus be adopted by community colleges “in full” or “not at all.” For colleges who adopt and offer the AS/OT-Bus, no additional requirements or modifications should be allowed.

As part of its ongoing charge in matters of articulation and transfer, the JBAC would be the body with responsibility for monitoring the implementation of the AS/OT-Bus; the JBAC would rely on the Business Chairs and University Deans group for guidance, review of the degree requirements, and updating of the prerequisites section. The current version of the degree proposal, including all entries in the university prerequisites section, has been approved. In making this degree a success, communication with students will be the key.

One concern expressed about the degree was the inability to communicate changes in the degree (or prerequisites) to students. And, what about students who don’t complete the degree? How many students will we have in that category, and what will happen to them? Who will keep up the degree requirements and prerequisites and communicate them to interested constituencies? (Answer: Jim Arnold, OUS.)

Despite some reservations, and unanswered questions, Phillips indicated that this is a risk we have to take. It may be that some colleges opt to not offer the degree, or to decide to offer it at a later time. Do we (the JBAC) want to move the degree forward to the Board of Education? The motion was made (Tepper) and seconded (Phillips) that:

JBAC accept the STC motion and move the AS/OT-Bus degree proposal forward to the Board with the recommendation that colleges only propose degrees for approval, under statewide guidelines, that impose no additional requirements.

The motion was unanimously passed.

In response to a question about an OUS institution (perhaps OIT) offering the degree, the approval process would be different. If an OUS campus wanted to offer the AS/OT-Bus, it would have to be approved by the Board of Higher Education.

The draft version of the AS/OT-Bus docket write-up, written by Arnold for consideration by the State Board, was approved with minor modifications.

Speech Communication

With regard to the STC’s consideration of the “notes and clarifications” section of the AA/OT, the topic of the Oral Communication/Rhetoric requirement was revisited. The question is: is the original intent of this requirement still valid today? In the early days of the AA/OT, the requirement was fulfilled by SP 111 (a “stand and deliver” speech course), but the kinds of speech courses that some colleges use to satisfy that requirement now include “persuasion” and “interpersonal communication.” The decision arising from the STC is to gather some speech/communication faculty together and have them frame what ought to be the educational outcomes for the AA/OT in terms of communication/rhetoric. Yandle-Roth will recruit and convene such a group in time for a report to the next STC meeting in May.

Studio/Performance Courses in the AA/OT Arts & Letters Distribution Requirements

The question that the STC has been grappling with in terms of studio, performance, or “skills” courses, is: should they be allowed in terms of fulfilling requirements in the Arts & Letters? In the beginning, such courses were not allowed, but some are now included. The STC discussion focused on the desire to be able to express outcomes for such courses if they were to be included in the AA/OT. The STC directed two of its members, Mary Brau of Lane Community College and Martha Pitts of the University of Oregon, to explore what language might be used (based on a model now in use at UO) to describe acceptable outcomes for courses that would be considered to be in this category. Brau will provide LCC syllabi for courses that will be examined in light of guidelines for acceptability under UO’s UNDERGRADUATE GENERAL-EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS GROUP-REQUIREMENT POLICIES.

Karen Sprague informed the JBAC that, to date, the UO Undergraduate Council has examined about 100 courses and compared them to the criteria outlined in the new group-requirement policies. Most courses have measured up, but some have not. She expressed eagerness to examine the LCC courses.

“Fixing the AA/OT” Memo

Phillips referred to the policy memo, prepared by Arnold, entitled “Do we need to “fix” the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree?” This document does an excellent job of framing the issues and concerns that have been discussed at recent Articulation & Transfer Conferences as well as in several meetings of the JBAC and STC regarding the transfer degree. One idea discussed at length at the STC meeting was the concept of a “statewide, standardized, transferable, lower-division general education core curriculum.” This would be a “sub-degree” point of completion for students that would be transportable and transferable without loss of credit. Phillips and Arnold discussed this concept with the joint CIA/CSSA groups on February 13th, and the group seemed to think that the idea/concept was worth exploring further. Phillips wanted to alert the JBAC that this is an idea that the STC will be researching, and may come back with a recommendation in this area at some point.

Bell indicated that the CSSA group also talked about this concept in a separate meeting. Some of the observations arising from that conversation were:

The suggestion was made to see what the experience has been in other states (e.g., Arizona, Illinois) that have implemented transferable general education core curricula. Did students benefit from doing this? Is this pathway really being used and is it beneficial to students? How do we know? Did it encourage students to NOT complete an associate’s degrees? Arnold agreed to explore such questions with other states.

Other questions that JBAC members had included: what exactly is the idea being proposed? How would the process look? Is this concept really viable? How do we proceed? For JBAC to endorse such a proposal, OUS naturally would have to be involved. There seems to be genuine interest in the concept. Arnold will share the policy memo draft with Vice Chancellor Clark so she is briefed on the latest discussions at the JBAC and STC level.

Phillips indicated that there is some interest on the part of some CIA members regarding the option of “mandating” conformity to the AA/OT degree. We may want to spend some time discussing possible ramifications of such an approach at a future JBAC meeting.

6. Status of the AS/OT-CS (Computer Science)

Yandle-Roth and Arnold reported that a proposal for an AS/OT in computer science has been drafted by one of the computer science department chairs (after a meeting last fall when the concept was briefly discussed at the computer science chairs statewide group). As far as can be determined, the proposal has not been widely circulated, and certainly not yet widely discussed. The current proposal will likely be addressed at the next full meeting of the computer science chairs (this spring). The suggestion was made that the CS group may benefit by hearing from a representative of the Business Chairs and University Deans. Arnold and Yandle-Roth will monitor activity and report back to JBAC.

7. Transfer Activity in Oregon Postsecondary Education 1996-97 to 2000-01

Arnold referred to the recently-released report “Transfer Activity in Oregon Postsecondary Education, 1996-7 to 2000-01”, which the JBAC has seen at several points in its development. While the report addresses some implications, it does not go so far as to address possible policy directions. Given that, Arnold invited the group to engage in discussion about possible policy issues, or perhaps make recommendations for future study as the report is projected to now be regularly updated on a biennial basis.

One suggestion was offered to set up a separate subcommittee of JBAC to address Arnold’s request and then lead the larger group through a discussion of issues raised. A few comments on data presentation were offered:

8. Meeting Schedule and Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.

The remaining meetings for the year are as follows:
March 19, 2003                     9:00 - 11:00 Conference Call
April 16, 2003                        9:00 - 11:00 Conference Call
May 14, 2003                        9:00 - 11:00 Conference Call
June 11, 2003                       10:00 - 2:00 at OIT Metro

Prepared by Jim Arnold
OUS Academic Affairs
February 27, 2003
Revised: April 17, 2003

http://www.ous.edu/aca/2-19-03.htm