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Case Western Reserve University

Report to the Undergraduate Program Faculty
from the Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education
Fall 2013

Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education
2013-2014

FSCUE at-large members:
Mark De Guire, chair (Case School of Engineering)
John Ruhl, vice-chair (College of Arts and Sciences)
Christine Cano, past chair (College of Arts and Sciences)

FSCUE constituent faculty representatives:
Gary Chottiner (College of Arts and Sciences)
Cheryl Killion (Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing)
Rakesh Niraj (Weatherhead School of Management)
Eric Schmul (Physical Education & Athletics)
James Swain (School of Medicine)
TBA (Case School of Engineering)

ex officio: Provost Bud Baeslack

Non-voting provost designees:
Rick Bischoff (VP, Enrollment Management)
Don Feke (Vice Provost, Undergraduate Education)
Louis Stark (VP, Student Affairs)
Jeff Wolcowitz (Dean, Undergraduate Studies)

Undergraduate Students:
Larry Monocello
Samir Shah

FSCUE Subcommittees

FSCUE Academic Standing Subcommittee
FSCUE Admission and Aid Subcommittee
FSCUE Curriculum Subcommittee
FSCUE Student Life Subcommittee

To be considered during the 2013-2014 academic year:

  • Course evaluation recommendations
  • TOEFL score requirement for fall 2014 applicants
  • Undergraduate course requests from non-UPF schools
  • 1250 Committee: classroom use
  • Advise on targets for persistence and retention rates

FSCUE Policies and Recommendations from the 2012-2013 Academic Year

The following policies and recommendations were submitted by the FSCUE and approved/endorsed by the Faculty Senate in 2012-2013. To learn more about any issue, click on the item and it will take you to more information further down the page.

  1. SAGES governance
  2. Implementation of changes to SAGES seminar requirements
  3. Course evaluations
  4. Course repetition and GPA post-separation policies
  5. TOEFL score requirement for fall 2013 international applicants to remain at 90
  6. One term course approval
  7. Better integration of rules related to credits earned through study abroad and domestic off-campus study
  8. Adjustment of the senior residency requirement to expand options for study abroad
  9. Adding courses during the second week of the drop/add period
  10. Approval of new undergraduate majors
  11. Approval of new undergraduate minors
  12. Other FSCUE approvals

More Information

  1. SAGES governance

    A proposal for the governance of the SAGES program was endorsed by FSCUE and discussed at an inaugural meeting of the Undergraduate Program Faculty (UPF) on November 26, 2012. The UPF approved the proposal by a 92% majority and it was subsequently endorsed by the Faculty Senate at its December 19, 2012 meeting. The policy provides that minor proposed changes to the SAGES program can be approved by FSCUE, but that major changes must be approved by a vote of the UPF. The UPF vote is then referred to the Faculty Senate for action.


  2. Implementation of changes to SAGES seminar requirements

    In March 2012, the Faculty Senate had approved changes to the SAGES program, pending review with the Director of the SAGES Program (no later than February 2013) to determine whether it was feasible to implement the revised requirements for students matriculating in August 2013. Professor Peter Whiting, Director of the SAGES program, confirmed that there are a sufficient number of seminars in each one of the SAGES categories to implement the following changes:

    The SAGES Program is modified to eliminate the Common Curriculum (CC) thematic group of First Seminars beginning in August 2013, with the exception of the sections designed for ESL students and developmental writers; and (2) that students who matriculate in August 2013 or later are expected to take a First Seminar and two University Seminars, one from each of the three thematic groups: Natural World (NA), Social World (SO), and Symbolic World (SY), with the exception that students assigned to a section of First Seminar for ESL students or for developmental writers are permitted to take two University Seminars from any two of the three thematic groups.


  3. Course Evaluations

    FSCUE drafted a statement of purpose for course evaluations, which was approved by the Faculty Senate on January 24, 2013. The statement reads as follows:

    • The primary purpose of student course evaluations is to support the process of continuous improvement in the quality of teaching and course offerings at Case Western Reserve University by providing feedback to instructors and those responsible for overseeing curricular programs and instruction.
    • Secondary purposes of student course evaluations include: use as one factor among multiple factors in the evaluation of teaching in decisions pertaining to faculty salary, promotion, and tenure; and use as peer feedback on courses and instruction that can be consulted by students as they select courses.

    FSCUE also completed a draft of course evaluation questions and other recommendations that has been sent out for consultations to the UPF schools, the department of Physical Education & Athletics, and the departments of Nutrition and Biochemistry.

  4. Course Repetition and GPA Post-Separation Policies

    The course repetition policy (calculation of GPA to include all grades from repeated courses and P/NP option prohibition to be lifted for repeated courses) and GPA post-separation policy (all grades earned prior to separation to be included in GPA and student to retain all credits earned prior to separation, not only those for which grades of C or higher were earned) that had been approved by FSCUE in May 2012 were approved by the Faculty Senate at its October 25, 2012 meeting.

    The following plans for implementation of the policies on course repetition and academic separation, over which FSCUE has final authority, were endorsed by FSCUE.

    1. For courses being repeated in Fall 2014 or later, grades earned in earlier iterations of these courses will not be removed from GPA calculations (though any credit earned from the earlier iteration will be removed if the student passes the course the second time), and students may elect the P/NP grading option.
    2. Students who return from separation in Fall 2014 or later will not have their GPAs restarted and they will retain credit for courses taken prior to separation for which they earned grades of D.
    3. Undergraduate Studies will begin informing students of the policy changes after approval of the transition plan by FSCUE.


  5. TOEFL score requirement for Fall 2013 international applicants to remain at 90

    FSCUE voted to approve the following recommendation made by the Subcommittee on Admissions and Financial Aid:

    The FSCUE Subcommittee on Admissions and Financial Aid recommends maintaining the Fall 2012 TOEFL requirement of 90 with continuing efforts to increase the TOEFL scores without sacrificing international admission goals. The committee will revisit this annually and make a commitment to maintaining the quality of the international student population at Case Western Reserve University.

    The Faculty Senate approved the recommendation at its January 24, 2013 meeting.


  6. One-Term Course Approval

    FSCUE considered the current practice that a school can directly offer a course through the "one-time-only" approval process an unlimited number of times. The concern was that the absence of a limit could facilitate bypassing the collective review of undergraduate courses that the FSCUE Curriculum Subcommittee process is supposed to achieve when courses have implications that extend beyond a single constituent faculty. The Curriculum Subcommittee proposed changing the terminology so that courses would be offered with either permanent or one-term approval. One-term approval may be granted no more than twice. FSCUE voted to endorse the proposal from the subcommittee.


  7. Better integration of rules related to credits earned through study abroad and domestic off-campus study

    FSCUE voted to approve the following policy recommended by the Curriculum Subcommittee:

    After matriculation at Case Western Reserve University, students are permitted to earn at other accredited colleges and universities or through an approved program of study abroad no more than 38 credit-hours toward the totals required for their degree, including courses taken through the cross-registration program with no more than 15 credit-hours taken as part of domestic programs or as summer study in a student's home country; any off-campus study credits beyond 15 may only be taken through approved programs of study abroad. Any additional credit earned at other institutions after matriculation at CWRU beyond 15 domestically or as summer study in a student’s home country and beyond a total of 38 including study abroad will raise the total number of credit-hours required for the degree by corresponding number.

    The new policy clarifies that the 15 credit hours of off-campus study taken as part of domestic programs or as summer study in a student's home country are to be included in the total number of allowable off-campus credit hours (38). The total number of allowable off-campus credit hours was increased from 36 to 38 to reflect the current policy of allowing students to take up to 19 credit hours per semester. The new policy was approved by the Faculty Senate at its April 25, 2013 meeting.


  8. Adjustment of the senior residency requirement to expand options for study abroad

    Currently, in order to earn a degree, a student must "earn in residence at Case Western Reserve University a minimum of 60 semester hours, of which at least 30 must be earned after the student achieves senior status" (emphasis added). A student achieves senior status once he or she has earned 90 credit-hours. This policy prevents some students who would otherwise be able to study abroad from doing so in their senior year. FSCUE approved the Curriculum Subcommittee recommendation as follows:

    That the General Requirements for All Bachelor's Degrees be amended to require every candidate for a baccalaureate degree from the university to earn in residence at Case Western Reserve University a minimum of 60 semester hours, of which at least 15 must be earned after the student has earned a total of 105 semester hours.

    This allows students to study abroad during one semester of their senior year. The policy was approved by the Faculty Senate at its April 25, 2013 meeting.


  9. Adding courses during the second week of the drop/add period

    FSCUE endorsed the following clarification of current practice recommended by the Curriculum Subcommittee:

    The language about the drop/add period should include a statement that students who add a course after the start of the semester are responsible for any work missed and are expected to speak with the instructor to learn the consequences of any work missed and/or the opportunities for making up missed work.

    Faculty should be informed that they may add instructor consent as a requirement for students to enroll in a course during the second week of the drop/add period. However, if they plan to do so, this should be included in the Notes section of the course description in SIS. This clarification did not require approval of the Faculty Senate.


  10. Approval of New Undergraduate Majors

    • CAS: Chemical Biology
    • CAS: Dance
    • WSOM: BS in Management--new majors (formerly concentrations) in:
      • Marketing
      • Finance
      • Dean's Approved Concentration


  11. Approval of New Undergraduate Minors

    • CAS: Ethics
    • MSASS: Social Work


  12. Other FSCUE Approvals

    • CAS: Concentration in Popular Music
    • CAS: Deactivation of Actuarial Science Track


Learn more about the FSCUE.

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