College of Arts and Sciences

Educational Policy Meeting

 

Minutes of the 391st Meeting

Thursday February 13th 2003

 

____________________________________________________

 

MEMBERS.

PRESENT:  Ann Marie Barry, Joe Burns, Michael Connolly, Clare Dunsford, Solomon Friedberg, Carlos Jaramillo, Alan Kafka, Thomas McGuinness, Michael Malec, Michael Martin, Gilda Morelli, Robert Murphy, Mary Daniel O'Keeffe, O.P., Jennie Purnell, Joseph Quinn, Grace Simmons, Gabe Verdaguer, Barbara Viechnicki, Derek Williams.   

ABSENT: Andrea Defusco-Sullivan, Clare O'Connor, Eileen Sweeney.

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Dean Quinn called the meeting to order at 4:00 P.M. commenting that today’s meeting would likely be short.

 

MINUTES:  Minutes for October 17th and for November 14th of 2002 were approved. After a brief discussion the full committee agreed that the final minutes would henceforth include names unless individual members wished their names removed.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS.

 

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS:

 

Solomon Friedberg reported that

 

  1. A proposal for an Interdisciplinary Program in Psychoanalytic Studies had been received from Professor Vanessa Rumble, discussed by the subcommittee, and sent back for further work. He noted that a revised proposal would likely be presented to the EPC at the next meeting.
  2. The questionnaire concerning departmental minors had been distributed to the departments concerned and that the information gathered was being reviewed by a subcommittee including comparison to programs at other university.  He noted that a report would likely be made to the EPC at the next meeting.

 

HONORS:

 

Advanced Placement Credits: Bob Murphy reviewed the report of the subcommittee’s discussion of AP credit policies within A&S describing the current situation as follows:

  • generally AP credits grant advance placement but not course credit, the exception being the International Baccalaureate Exam;
  • students with 6 acceptable AP scores can apply for Advance Standing and early graduation;
  • and University policy limits to six the number of Core courses which can be satisfied by AP scores.

 

Murphy also reported that AP test scores of “4 or 5” were usually required for receiving credit, the exceptions being

  • Art History and Studio Art accept scores of “3”;
  • Computer Science accepts a score of 3 for elective credit but not for Core;
  • Math accepts a calculus B/C score of “3” but requires a score of “4 or 5” in the calculus A/B exam;
  • English Literature and Language accept scores of “3”; 
  • French, German, and Spanish all accept scores of “3” to fulfill the Arts and Sciences proficiency requirement.

 

He also stated that

  • while the number of students qualified for advance standing had fluctuated between one fifth and one quarter,
  • the number actually applying for early graduation had historically been very low (2-3 students per class year).

 

Sr. Mary Daniel O’Keefe and Clare Dunsford interjected that the Associate Deans were receiving a record number of inquiries about Advance Standing.

 

Murphy then concluded his description of the current situation noting that practices vary at other institutions, but generally scores of “4 or 5” are acceptable but not scores of “3”.

 

Murphy then presented the subcommittees’ recommendations as follows:

 

1.      The foreign language and English AP exams probably should require a “4” rather than a “3” for core credit.  However,

  • departments should be consulted concerning the merits of the exams and scores;
  • and resource issues had to be considered as a rise would require

§               2 or 3 additional sections per semester in French and Spanish

§               and as many as 7 or 8 additional sections per year for English writing and for English literature.

2.      Mathematics judged the current required score of “4 or 5” on the AB calculus exam and the “3” on the BC calculus exam justified given the relative difficulty of the tests.

3.      Fine Arts had responded that a “3” was too low for core credit and that a “4” or “5” would be more appropriate.  Computer Science has not responded, but any change for Computer Science would not affect the core, as the AP score is used only for placement within the major.

 

Murphy concluded his report noting that

  • while the A&S language proficiency requirement could be acted on by the EPC, any recommendation affecting the Core had to go before the UCDC for approval;  

·        and the sense of the Subcommittee is that the Departments should be polled concerning the use of the AP exam within their majors prior to any action. 

 

Discussion:

·        Dean Quinn stated that the increase in requests for Advance Standing presented a real issue. He also asked if it was a contractual policy or simply practice to accept the International Baccalaureate Exams for course credit.

Mary Daniel O’Keefe replied that the International Baccalaureate Exam was considered substantially more difficult, hence the policy. She also noted that students occasionally used the courses to reduce their load in senior year.

·        Michael Martin offered a defense of the four year degree on pedagogic and developmental grounds adding that Core courses were supposed to consider the nature of the disciplines as well as the knowledge base.

Clare Dunsford responded that the UCDC rule requiring 9 of the 15 Core courses be taken at BC addressed this issue.

Grace Simmons stated she had found most of her BC Core courses were taught at a lower level than her high school AP courses.

Clare Dunsford responded that the quality of AP courses differed from one school to another. Mary Daniel O’Keefe added that many high school faculty thought the AP courses and exams were declining.

·        Clare Dunsford stated that Romance Languages, on its own authority, was raising the required SAT score to 550 but not raising the AP from a “3” to a “4”. Bob Murphy added that Romance Languages judged the AP exam score of “4” equal to an SAT score of 600 thus the equivalent to the first semester of  a third year language courses.

·        Solomon Friedberg asked if anyone had evidence that the writing skills of students who used AP exam scores to avoid the BC writing courses was either inadequate or poorer than that of those who took the BC courses. Grace Simmons offered she felt she really needed the courses at BC.

·        Bob Murphy asked if a joint EPC / UCDC subcommittee should meet to discuss these issues. Michael Connolly reminded the committee that the Language Proficiency requirement lay within the purview of the EPC. He added that 4 semesters of college language seemed to be the standard but noted that the concept of proficiency and what it meant was itself a question.

·        Clare Dunsford noted that there were resource implications which neither the EPC nor the UCDC could address.

Tom McGuinness stated the numbers for new sections might prove inflated as many of the students with AP credits would be in programs like Honors.

·        Dean Quinn stated that the Honors Subcommittee should consult further with the concerned departments and then meet with the UCDC to discuss the issues.

He closed the discussion by stating that any EPC and UCDC proposals should seek to protect the academic integrity of the College and the Core.

 

ADJOURNMENT: Dean Quinn thanked all the members of the EPC and the Honors subcommittee and adjourned the meeting at 4:57 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Michael C. Martin

Secretary to the EPC