Joint Boards Articulation Commission
Student Transfer Committee

Meeting Summary Notes
May 4, 2001
OIT Metro
Portland, OR

Members Present
Dave Phillips, Clatsop Community College, Chair
Jim Arnold, Oregon University System
Mary Brau, Lane Community College
Jim Buch, University of Oregon (via phone)
Peter Johnson (for Mickie Bush), Concordia University
Rod Diman, Portland State University
Abbie Allen (for John Duarte), Oregon Institute of Technology
Mike Morgan, Chemeketa Community College
Pat North, Eastern Oregon University
Glenda Tepper, Clackamas Community College
Elaine Yandle-Roth, Department of Community Colleges & Workforce Development
Kay Leum (for Dana Young), Blue Mountain Community College

Guests Present
Andy Duncan, Southwestern Oregon University Center
Dave McDonald, Oregon University System

Dave Phillips called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m.

1. Introductions

Members introduced themselves. Abbie Allen is again substituting for John Duarte, Pete Johnson is here in place of Mickie Bush, and Kay Leum represents Dana Young.

2. Minutes of the February 22, 2001 Meeting

The minutes of the February 2001 meeting were approved as submitted.

3. Status of Proposal Made to the Joint Boards Articulation Commission (JBAC)

Phillips made a report to the JBAC at the March 14, 2001, meeting regarding the February proceedings of the Student Transfer Committee. The JBAC favorably received both the AS/OT in Business and revised-AA/OT proposals. Arnold reported that he had had an initial discussion with the OUS provosts on these proposals and would continue that conversation at the June Academic Council meeting. Phillips indicated that he will discuss these degree proposals with the Council of Instructional Administrators at their May 17-18, 2001, meeting.

4. Further Modifications to the AA/OT?

Mary Brau brought initial concerns from the Lane Community College (LCC) faculty regarding the Student Transfer Committee's (STC) recent suggestions for the AA/OT, namely that this set of requirements (specifically in the science/math/computer science area) would put considerable pressure on the computer science department. LCC is not sure that they could meet the demand.

LCC students typically take three four-credit lab science courses, equaling 12 credits, and therefore, under the proposed guidelines, they would be required to take an additional computer science course (and not be able to take another lab or non-lab science course). Might it be appropriate to re-think this proposal?

Brau cited some statistics from LCC:

The STC appeared to be in agreement that the currently proposed language for the AA/OT modifications needs to be revised. Arnold suggested keeping the current language for the proposal for a while, at least through the meetings of CIA and Academic Council in May and June (since the current language has already been circulated to Academic Council). Phillips agreed to take the current version to the CIA.

However, one change was tentatively approved by the group; add the words "science, or mathematics" in the current version of the science/math/computer science requirement so that it will now read:

Andy Duncan of the Southwestern Oregon University Center also had some observations to make about the AA/OT--comments that had been shared previously at the most recent meeting of the JBAC (see item #4 "AA/OT Issues"). He reiterated that part of the problem with the AA/OT may be the changing nature of OUS lower-division general education requirements over the last few years. Further, OUS campuses are actively pursuing one-to-one articulation agreements with community colleges that make the transfer degree irrelevant in many cases, e.g., WOU's agreements with SWOCC in criminal justice and education programs.

Brau suggested that perhaps the issues Duncan raise are related to a larger cultural problem on campuses. For example, writing skills are not necessarily writing skills per se, but writing skills are needed (and required) in a certain disciplinary area. Hence, as the general education curriculum becomes more and more specialized, constructing a generic general education curriculum is problematic.

Phillips indicated his belief that part of the problem is "advisor education." Clatsop awards more general studies degrees that AA/OTs. Students who pursue the AA/OT at Clatsop are not sure where they're going to transfer to, so that degree probably works best for them. The AA/OT gives those students the most in terms of options in that their general education requirements are met whatever OUS campus they eventually do transfer to. However, advisors are not necessarily aware of the limitations of the AA/OT and that it is not a "one size fits all."

Tepper stated that Clackamas Community College hopes to address some transfer issues like this with their new degree audit system. Diman indicated that PSU now has about 10 programs fully functional now on DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System). Phillips suggested that we may need to move into more specialized degrees for transfer students.

5. Associate of Science/Oregon Transfer Degree(s)

Phillips reiterated that the report to the JBAC regarding the work of the STC was received quite favorably and that there appears to be genuine interest in moving ahead with Associate of Science transfer degrees. We have the Business degree proposal out for feedback and the next step would be to consider the possibility of degrees in different disciplines or disciplinary areas. Both the Academic Council and Council of Instructional Administrators would need to approve of this as a conceptual model and then faculty feedback would need to be solicited.

Toward that broader discussion of AS degrees, a number of materials were furnished in the packet for today's meeting. Arnold briefly inventoried those materials, which included: summary tables for OUS institutions' lower-division requirements in chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental sciences, geology, and physics; transfer guides in many science areas from the state of Arizona; the LBCC catalog copy describing the Associate of Science with emphasis in Engineering Transfer; and other AS transfer degree models from around the county.

Morgan noted that the LBCC program is very effective for moving students from LBCC to OSU. He suggested that a general AS transfer degree in engineering would be easy to devise. One thing to consider is that there are not large numbers of students interested in such a program, however. There are many more students that would be interested in a business degree.

Phillips and Morgan agreed that it would be valuable to have a discussion of the possibility of transfer degrees in science areas with the CIA and both will engage in this discussion at the next meeting. Arnold agreed to make copies of the lower-division requirements tables and distribute those at the CIA meeting.

If response to the AS degrees is positive from the Academic Council and CIA, the STC is prepared to move forward and start developing proposals for AS/OT degree requirements, as was done for the business degree proposal.

6. "Truth in Advertising"

Phillips indicated that a 1997 JBAC document (a letter from the JBAC chair to community college and OUS presidents, academic officers, registrars, admissions officers, and senior student affairs officers) was included in the packet of meeting materials for today. This letter was to clarify the purpose(s) of the AA/OT degree: what is was intended and not intended to do. This was a good communication at the time and the information is still accurate today. The question is: how do we communicate this information more widely?

One member stated that it is very difficult to get faculty advisors to read information like this. How could we put it in a form or format that would increase the likelihood of it being read? Are faculty newsletters, catalog copy, options? Phillips stated that he will take this issue to CIA and suggest that this information be made available as catalog copy.

With respect to the implementation of the AA/OT, it was noted that UO unwraps the degree when a course is taken out of sequence, for example, WR115 taken AFTER WR121.

OWEAC will take up the issue of WR214 being included in the AA/OT degree at their May 18th meeting.

7. Proficiency-based AA/OT?

Arnold introduced this topic by outlining a brief history of the AA/OT discussion as it relates to the desirability of developing a proficiency-based degree. Dave McDonald, OUS Director of Enrollment Services is a guest today to assist in furthering this discussion.

McDonald outlined the most recent developments with the Proficiency-base Admission Standards System (PASS) of the Oregon University System. With PASS, OUS is moving from an "assumptive model" of college admission (assumptions about student achievement based on seat time) to a "demonstrative model" (under which students demonstrate proficiencies achieved and skills developed). There are implications under this system for placement of students at the postsecondary level. And, further, a proficiency model of education in the secondary schools and used for college admission by OUS has implications for the movement of students from the community college sector to the four-year campus sector.

PASS is currently in its initial stages of implementation, gradually phasing in with different disciplinary areas being added each year (to parallel the implementation of the CIM in K-12). The first year of the PASS Recognition (scholarship) Program (PRP) was wildly successful, with over 350 completed applications submitted by high-school students. The cut-off point for the $500 award was at 9 proficiencies; some students submitted applications that had as many as 16 proficiencies. With many high school students seeking the scholarship support offered by the PRP, the dialog with high schools has been more frequent and quite positive. More schools are now asking about how they can participate in PASS.

PASS is more and more able to articulate and communicate what it is that OUS expects of entering students. OUS would like to be able to give a consistent message to all prospective students what it is we expect in terms of skill sets. And, in this environment, the students who are entering postsecondary education are "standards savvy." Students who earn college credits at a community college and then transfer to OUS are among these students. Is it time to develop a transfer degree that is proficiency based?

Many additional questions arise in this area. For example, will students who earn a "H" or "E" PASS proficiency score in writing be able to be placed beyond WR121 at the college level? We don't know the answer yet as we have no experience with students moving through the system. We are just at the beginning stages of working on such questions. With PRP students soon on campuses, we will know a lot more in a couple of years.

College credit from PASS proficiencies may happen faster than its ability to be used as a placement device (if we look at the parallel between PASS proficiencies and IB and AP scores). OUS has a process in the works to look at this.

Other comments made on this topic include:

The topic of a proficiency-based transfer degree will continue to be on the table for some time to come.

8. Articulation Tables

Little time was left for an in-depth examination of this topic. Yandle-Roth indicated that this topic stemmed from discussions at the articulation and transfer conference last December. Such tables are highly labor-intensive to maintain.

DARS and CAS systems are being implemented at PSU and UO, but the possibility of a statewide system seems remote at this time.

9. Adjournment and Next Meeting

The meeting was adjourned at 2:07 p.m. The details of the next meeting are as follows:

Friday, September 28, 2001
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
OIT Metro, Room 139

 

 

 

 

Prepared by Jim Arnold
OUS Academic Affairs
May 14, 2001