February 13, 2014
Present: Calderon, Caswell, Clayton, Coon, Czarnecki, Licari, Milambiling, Muhayimana, Noh, Pohl, Schmitz
Absent: Christ, Fontana, Nesbit, Ogbondah, Stokes
Guests: Chris Edginton, Kasee Fuller, Julianne Gassman, Janessa Hageman, Pam MacKay, Katie Schug, Susie Schwieger, Rachel Suckow, Joy Thorson
The meeting was called to order by Chair Clayton, who thanked everyone for attending the meeting. Introductions followed.
Motion by Pohl to approve the minutes of the December 12, 2013 meeting; seconded by Caswell. Motion approved.
Graduate College Reports – Licari mentioned information provided by President Ruud related to the university budget. He added that assuming the legislature goes along with what the governor recommended, the budget situation for FY 15 will be okay; not good and not bad. The challenge is that there are already legislators who have voiced some opposition to the governor’s proposal. If the University does not get what the governor proposes, the budget situation will shift from okay to bad. Licari added that the Graduate College would be sending a group of faculty and students to Des Moines to attend the UNI Day at the Capitol on February 24. He added that any chance to speak with an elected official to help them understand the good work done at UNI would be helpful.
Licari reported that the first round of graduate coordinator meetings this semester had recently concluded and he thought the meetings were productive and useful. A few technical issues related to paperwork timing were discussed at the meetings, while outcomes assessment and the challenges of teaching graduate/under-graduate classes were revisited. A Graduate Student Advisory Board meeting took place recently with Leila Rod-Welch, Outreach Librarian, in attendance which was very useful. He mentioned that graduate student commencement would take place on a Friday evening this May and pointed out that Czarnecki would be the graduate student speaker. Moving forward, there will be a separate graduate student commencement ceremony in both December and May, which will help spotlight graduate students and their accomplishments. Licari was not sure whether or not the event would continue to take place on Friday evenings.
Coon informed the Council that she was caught up on student requests. She also noted that there would soon be a query coming from the Registrar’s Office regarding how faculty would like to handle the repeatability of common course numbers. This would be the one opportunity to make changes in the course descriptions outside of the regular curriculum process. Faculty and their departments need to discuss the matter and respond to the query. Related to Faculty Senate approval of graduate curriculum, Coon reported that the Senate had approved the curriculum packets of all colleges in one meeting, however, some senate members thought they were only approving the undergraduate curriculum packets. As a result, the Senate will have the opportunity at the February 17 meeting to specifically consider any graduate proposals. Otherwise the vote to approve the packets stands.
Schwieger noted that the Graduate Student Symposium would be take place on April 1, with the registration deadline extended to February 28. She asked Council members to encourage students to participate. Graduate Assistant Scotti Hagensick will present a LinkedIn workshop on February 19. An added workshop feature will be the opportunity for participants to have a photo taken for use on their LinkedIn page. Upcoming workshops and projects include the Attending a Professional Conference workshop, the UNI Grad Student News newsletter publication and the updating of the Graduate College display case to highlight UNI graduate alumni. Schwieger encouraged Council members to provide names of alumni to highlight, as well as information to share in the monthly newsletter.
Chair of Graduate Faculty Report – Pohl reported that the latest Brown Bag Lecture with Distinguished Scholar Award recipient Katherine van Wormer was interesting and 30 people were in attendance. Patrick Pease will present on February 26 at Noon in the Oak Room, Maucker Union. The event was originally scheduled for February 24, but rescheduled due to UNI Day at the Capitol. The Annual Graduate Faculty Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 17 at 3:30 p.m. in Seerley 115.
Pohl noted that she and Clayton are serving on the committee charged with designing the survey for Provost Gibson’s 5-year assessment, which will be out in the near future.
Discussion and vote on policy relating to graduate degree credit for Camp Adventure
Clayton commented that she had not been at UNI long enough to know the entire history of Camp Adventure, however it was her understanding that for 20+ years it has basically been the policy that Camp Adventure credits do not count toward graduate degrees, except in specific circumstances. Clayton had gone back into the history and records and said that it did not appear that the Graduate Council ever actually discussed and voted on this particular policy. Thus, the Graduate Council wanted to take that step in order to be able to advertise very clearly to faculty and students what the policies are for graduate students.
Clayton asked Coon for input regarding the Leisure, Youth and Human Services internship. Coon said there are four courses that Camp Adventure graduate students usually register for; three of which are 5000-level and one is 6000-level. The 6000-level course is also used in the LYHS program when a student does an internship in the area. On occasion, when a student has been a site coordinator and supervises other students for the Camp Adventure Program, that credit has been allowed to count as internship credit toward the LYHS degree. This has been the most common exception in Coon’s time as associate dean.
Clayton opened the floor for comments and additional information regarding Camp Adventure. Edginton began the discussion by providing historical information related to the Camp Adventure Program. He also talked about the course outlines, materials and rubrics related to course assignments, as well as outcomes of the program. Edginton provided printed material related to course outlines and to the assignments required for graduate credit from a Camp Adventure experience. Fuller added that her dissertation is about the reflection portion of one of the Camp Adventure courses and that she has access to the responses and submissions students provide for their reflection papers and course assignments, as well as comments provided by Janey Montgomery in the Department of Teaching. Various opportunities available to students starting as camp counselors, instructors or lifeguards and progressing to project director were shared.
Gassman provided details about her experience with the different levels of Camp Adventure starting as an undergraduate student in a camp counselor role, progressing to project director and the increasing level of responsibilities associated with advancement. She also highlighted the areas of the Camp Adventure program that she feels relate to the goals and objectives outlined by the University’s core values and strategic plan. Since the Camp Adventure Program takes place on military bases, Gassman talked about the various standards and curricula that project managers must know and adhere to, as well as train their staff on. Gassman mentioned that when she went to her second assignment she thought the experience would be the same, when she actually had a totally different learning experience.
Edginton shared the eight core competencies identified by Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University as they relate to the Camp Adventure Program and outcomes measures, and to validate the impact of the program. Fuller presented an abbreviated version of her graduate research in order to highlight service learning and to present the findings of her content analysis of the final reflection papers that students submit at the end of the summer. She outlined the stages of her advancement through the program and the service learning that was involved. Fuller also mentioned Bok’s eight competencies and provided her findings on service learning and the frequency of mentions for each of these core competencies as they relate to the final reflections.
Following Fuller’s presentation, Edginton stated that they would respectfully like to request that the current policy be rescinded, but with the caveat that no more than six hours be allowed to be applied to a graduate degree at the discretion of any program on campus. He added that there are not that many individuals who are at the graduate level; 11 of 30 are part of the supervisory core and there would not be many requesting to use the credit. Rescinding the current policy would enable students to use the Camp Adventure credits at least to a maximum of six hours. He said letting the departments make the decisions on which courses to use would be appropriate
Clayton noted that since there was not a quorum at this point a vote would not take place at the current meeting, however she would open the floor for questions, comments or suggestions. Coon asked if there was a recommendation for the course titles or numbers that would be acceptable for graduate credit. Edginton responded that this information could be provided and he thought that field experience would probably be one of those. He added that they would want to be careful in limiting the courses to two, since Department of Teaching courses are also being used. In additional conversation, Edginton mentioned that when he came to UNI, the Camp Adventure Program was not what it is today. The program has learned, grown, changed and gained information to try to improve based on experiences that take place and that UNI has made the program a better one.
With Coon’s input, it was clarified that currently students in supervisory roles have not asked for more than three hours of graduate credit. Edginton commented that any time a student is in a supervisory role their experience is elevated. After additional conversation, Clayton mentioned that an existing policy states that a limit of three Credit/No Credit hours can apply to a graduate degree. Coon responded that the policy refers to opted Credit/No Credit for an ordinarily graded course. She added that it would be ideal to have specific course numbers that can count on a degree so every student would not have to submit a student request.
MacKay mentioned that there is a two credit hour training course that is taken on campus that can apply toward a graduate degree when taken on campus.
The meeting adjourned at 4:49 p.m.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. in Lang 115.