East Stroudsburg University

Welcome to ESU APSCUF, our university's chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty.  APSCUF represents the coaches and the faculty at the 14 public universities in the Commonwealth.  

We encourage all faculty and coaches to join our union.  We also encourage participation in our monthly meetings and our elections.  

Our most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement expired on June 30, 2015.  Negotiations have been ongoing, and it will be important to watch for negotiation updates in the coming weeks.  We can expect mobilization activities to be scheduled, so our concerns for our professional rights are made clear.  We also encourage positive communication about the values of public higher education with our legislators, the media, students, parents, and all citizens.

We have APSCUF meetings at 2 PM on the first and third Tuesday of most months during the academic semesters.  We send delegates to the APSCUF Legislative Assembly at least three times each academic year.  Our State APSCUF headquarters is located in Harrisburg, where there is frequent outreach to the State System and the government.

If you have questions about our Collective Bargaining Agreement, our benefits, grievance rights, election processes, please contact our APSCUF Office Manager Toni Heller.  Her phone number is 570-422-3278.  She will put you in touch with the correct Committee Chair, Officer or contact person.

In solidarity,

Dr. Nancy VanArsdale

President, ESU-APSCUF

 

OFFICERS

Nancy VanArsdale, President - 570-422-3622
Andrea McClanahan, Vice President - 570-422-3697
Michelle Jones-Wilson, Secretary - 570-422-3703
Kathleen Brunkard, Treasurer - 570-422-3705

 

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Cover Letter from the General Education Committee

 

We are asking all continuing faculty to vote on the enclosed proposal for the framework of a new Liberal Studies Program at East Stroudsburg University. This proposal lays out only the framework for revising the General Education Program, and thus does not include the green form that typically accompanies proposals for program changes. If the university community accepts the structure outlined in this framework proposal, there will be a separate opportunity in the future for faculty to vote on a specific proposal accompanied by a specific green form.

 

 

We wish to point out that, because this new Liberal Studies Program is crafted around the University-Wide Student Learning Outcomes, this framework proposal is also a proposal to accept those Student Learning Outcomes.

 

 

The framework proposal lays out the various components that will be part of the new Liberal Studies program, but leaves out some details regarding the new components. The precise nature of those elements will be developed at a later date, and faculty will be consulted regarding the specifics of those elements. At this point, we are simply asking whether you agree to a Liberal Studies Program framework that contains the elements described.

 

 

The Table on the next page summarizes the gross differences between the proposed Liberal Studies Program and the current General Education Program. The sections following the Table provide additional detail regarding changes in both the language and structure of the Liberal Studies Program as compared with the existing General Education Program, and describe also the motivation behind each change. For still greater detail, see the Liberal Studies Framework Proposal itself for a full description of the framework.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposed Framework  45 credits

Current GE Program  50 credits

ENGL 103

ENGL 103

12 credits in areas A, B, C (must cover 4 subject areas)*

15 credits in areas A, B, C (must cover 4 subject areas)

No Fit Requirement

2 Fit courses

First Year Experience (3 credits)

 

Wellness Requirement (3 credits)**

 

Writing Level II***

 

Writing Level III***

 

Global Perspectives***

 

Information Literacy and Technological Skills***

 

Student Learning Outcomes

 

Perspectives, General Knowledge, and Competencies (listed in the catalog under The General Education Program)

 

*Courses in Group B must now meet a minimum quantitative standard. See Appendix A Standard VIII of the framework proposal for details. Additionally, students must complete at least one course bearing an ART, DANC, MUS, or THTR rubric.

**In meeting the Wellness Requirement, a course must contain a faculty-supervised physical activity component.

***The four courses Writing Levels II and III, Global Perspectives, and Information Literacy can be met through courses that satisfy other Liberal Studies requirements or through courses in a student’s major program.  They do not represent separate additional courses that students must complete, though some students may need to take additional courses to meet these requirements.

 

 

Please vote either Yes or No on the proposed framework.  Please use the text space provided to include any comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparison with existing General Education Program

 

 

I.     Existing Language

 

The existing General Education Program at East Stroudsburg University has the following Statement of Purpose:

 

The General Education Curriculum at East Stroudsburg University provides a core of interrelated liberal studies for all students. By design it provides students with knowledge and perspective, and enables them to adopt varied modes of thought and develop specific competencies. Students become prepared to make informed judgments as citizens of this state, this nation and a global society in which the quantity of information continues to grow.

 

The existing General Education Program at East Stroudsburg University lists the following as goals:

 

GOALS OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM

 

Perspectives

 

Students who have successfully completed the General Education curriculum at East Stroudsburg University shall:

 

          Have embraced a sense of values and a commitment to ethical behavior.

 

Possess a broad perspective of knowledge as well as its creation and an understanding of the interrelationships among disciplines.

 

          Value learning and possess intellectual curiosity.

 

 

General Knowledge

 

Students who have successfully completed the Liberal Arts Core requirements at East Stroudsburg University shall:

 

  1. Comprehend life and time from historical and contemporary perspectives, and shall draw from experience to make informed decisions in the present and future.
  2. Understand and appreciate human creativity, expression, and exemplary works that have been produced throughout human existence in the various performance, visual, practical, and literary art forms.
  3. Use concepts from the behavioral, life, and social sciences in order to understand themselves and their relationships with other people, and to comprehend the nature and function of communities and institutions.
  4. Understand the physical world and its interrelationship with human activity in order to make decisions that are based upon scientific evidence and responsive to the values and interests of the individual and of society.
  5. Know and appreciate some of the best original scholarly and creative works that have been produced throughout history.
  6. Use varying modes of inquiry utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
  7. Understand the diverse dimensions and complex interrelationships of culture, language, ethnicity, gender, and nationality, and of the challenges of global interdependence.
  8. Attain knowledge and skills for enriching the quality of life through physical activities which enhance cultural awareness and promote lifetime fitness.

 

Competencies

 

All courses in the General Education Curriculum should be designed so that students who have successfully completed the General Education Curriculum at East Stroudsburg University:

 

Participate effectively in the communication process by listening, speaking, reading and writing.

 

Use mathematical systems effectively in conceptualization and communication.

 

          Utilize appropriate technology effectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II.   Proposed Language

 

The advent of University-Wide Student Learning Outcomes has prompted altered language in the proposed Liberal Studies Program. This language follows.

 

Liberal Studies Program Statement of Purpose

 

The Liberal Studies Program at East Stroudsburg University is a set of interrelated courses that together provide experiences for students that might not otherwise be provided by their respective degree programs. By design, the program improves competencies, broadens perspectives, and nurtures students as they grow to become informed individuals, deliberate decision makers, and active members of the global society in which they live.

 

Goals of the Liberal Studies Program

 

A. Perspectives and Competencies

 

Among the principal goals of the Liberal Studies Program at East Stroudsburg University are both the development of students’ core competencies and the broadening of students’ perspectives. In particular, the following mission statement has been adopted for the Liberal Studies Program:

 

Upon earning an undergraduate degree from East Stroudsburg University, students will value creativity, diversity, ethical behavior, and professionalism. Further, they will have achieved college-level proficiency in seven distinct university-wide student learning outcomes. In particular, they will be able to:

 

 

I.             Demonstrate an understanding of their role as citizens of a diverse, global society.

II.           Utilize critical thinking skills.

III.         Communicate orally, in writing, and through other formats.

IV.         Demonstrate information literacy and technological skills.

V.           Employ scientific reasoning and quantitative skills when analyzing the world in which they live.

VI.         Create and/or critique various forms of artistic expression.

VII.       Demonstrate understanding of and apply various models for the healthy development of the whole person.

 

 

Expanded definitions for each of these student learning outcomes are included in Appendix A: Standards for Qualification of the Liberal Studies Framework Proposal.


B. General Knowledge

 

The Liberal Studies Program shall not achieve competencies by sacrificing breadth. Providing breadth of knowledge and breadth of experience to all students is an essential element of the university mission. The structure of the Liberal Studies Program is designed to ensure that such breadth of exposure is achieved.

 

 

 

 

III.    Comparison of Liberal Studies Program with Existing General Education Program

 

The proposed Liberal Studies Program contains several significant changes when compared with the existing General Education Program. These changes are listed below along with brief descriptions of the motivation for each change. The General Education Assessment Report (hereafter referred to as GEAR) contains much of the data that was considered while developing the framework proposal.

 

  1. Critical Thinking Requirements. Critical thinking will permeate the Liberal Studies Program.  As such, the General Education committee will facilitate the development of a standard for critical thinking that every course in the Liberal Studies Program will be required to meet. The motivation for this requirement comes from University-Wide Student Learning Outcome II (see pp. 37-38 of GEAR), from student performance on direct measures of critical thinking (see p. 12 and pp. 27-28 of GEAR), and from faculty views about the importance of critical thinking in the Liberal Studies program (see p. 11, p. 22, and pp. 30-31 of GEAR).
  2. Writing Requirements. The proposed Liberal Studies Program contains required Writing Level II and Writing Level III courses. It also contains writing-specific requirements that certain Group A courses and ENGL 103 must meet. The motivation for these requirements comes from University-Wide Student Learning Outcome III (see pp. 38-39 of GEAR), from student performance on direct measures of writing competencies (see pp. 15-16 and pp. 27-28 of GEAR), and from faculty views regarding the value of writing components in the Liberal Studies Program (see pp. 14-15 and pp. 30-31 of GEAR).
  3. Quantitative Requirements. Group B courses seeking inclusion in the Liberal Studies Program must meet certain quantitative standards. The motivation for this requirement comes from Student Learning Outcome V (see pp. 39-40 of GEAR), from student performance on direct measures of quantitative skills (see pp. 27-28 of GEAR), and from faculty views regarding the importance of quantitative skills components in the Liberal Studies Program (see p. 20 and pp. 30-31 of GEAR).
  4. Information Literacy Cognate Requirement. The proposed Liberal Studies Program contains an Information Literacy requirement. The motivation for this requirement comes from Student Learning Outcome IV (see p. 39 of GEAR), from student performance on the Information Literacy Test (see pp. 18-19 of GEAR), and from faculty views regarding the importance of information literacy components in the Liberal Studies Program (see pp. 18-20 in GEAR).
  5. Student Learning Outcome I Cognate Requirement. The proposed Liberal Studies Program contains a Student Learning Outcome I requirement. The motivation for this requirement comes from Student Learning Outcome I (see p. 37 of GEAR), and from faculty views regarding the importance of global perspective, global citizenry, and diversity elements in the Liberal Studies Program (see pp. 18-19 in GEAR).
  6. Freshman Experience Course. In the proposed Liberal Studies Program, students are required to take a Freshman Experience Course. The motivation for this requirement comes from faculty feedback regarding the importance of such a course (see pp. 29-30 of GEAR), and from additional internal and external data suggesting the efficacy of such courses in aiding student retention and performance.
  7. Wellness Requirement. In the proposed Liberal Studies Program, students are required to take a wellness course that includes faculty-supervised physical activity. The motivation for the inclusion of such a course comes from Student Learning Outcome VII (see p. 40 of GEAR), and faculty feedback regarding the importance of a wellness requirement in the Liberal Studies Program (see pp. 29-30 of GEAR).
  8. Requirements for qualification and structure of the breadth component. The Liberal Studies program contains a structure that ensures that every student is required to meet a minimum level of proficiency in each University-Wide Student Learning Outcome. In order to achieve this, students are required to complete at least one course bearing one of the following rubrics: ART, DANC, MUS, THTR. Additionally, all Breadth courses have area-specific requirements for qualification.
  9. The proposed Liberal Studies Program contains a reduced credit count (45 credits) when compared with the existing General Education Program (50 credits). This change was motivated by faculty feedback regarding the structure of the General Education Program (see pp. 29-30 of GEAR) and by the need to make space for new elements in the Liberal Studies Program in an equitable way without sacrificing content breadth.

 

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