Lehman College

Undergraduate Curriculum Committee


  Spring ’04 General Education Workshops



As a part of the 2003-04 Academic Affairs Strategic Plan, Provost Garro asked the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to develop the overall learning objectives of Distribution and LEH courses. To accomplish this task, the Curriculum Committee sponsored two workshops, the first for Dist. and LEH committees made up of Dept. representatives, the second for all adjunct and full time faculty teaching Dist. and LEH courses. The workshops were held on Feb. 27 and May 14, 2004.  


The over-all purposes of these two workshops, as defined in the Academic Affairs Strategic Plan, were to “refine both the objectives of the General Education program and the mechanisms to ensure that these objectives are integrated into specific courses.” Specifically, each Dist. Area/LEH committee was given four tasks:


1.      Define the over-all learning objectives of the distribution area.

2.      Describe the mechanism that will be used to ensure that these objectives are integrated into specific courses.

3.      Discuss how to communicate objectives and mechanisms to students and faculty.

4.      Discuss assessment of learner outcomes/course objectives.


All nine committees addressed these tasks at the Feb. meeting. Their suggestions then became the springboards for the May deliberations. At this second workshop participants revised, changed and further expanded on the four General Education tasks. This document summarizes their recommendations.





Area 1: Individuals and Society


Members present 2/27/04:, Bruce Byland  (Anthropology);  Juliet Neil (Black Studies); Milagros Ricourt (LAPRS); Tara Somersall (Library); Tomohisa Hattori (PolScience); Vinnie Prohaska (Psychology); Elhum Hagighat (Soc/Swk); Chery Smith Gabig (SLHS)

Faculty Writing Specialist: Bruce Byland  (Anthropology)

Recorder: Chery Smith Gabig

Elected Chair: Chery Smith Gabig


Members present 5/14/04: Frank Mercogliano (Sociology ); Jenny Brooks-Klinger (Sociology); Keith Happaney (Psychology); Gina McCormick (Sociology); Grigoris Argeros (Sociology); Tom Conroy(Sociology); Bernadette Garam            (Sociology); Elhum Haghighat (Sociology); Juliet Neil (Black Studies); Vinny Prohaska (Psychology); Dana Fenton (Sociology);      Cheryl Smith Gabig (Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences)



1. Over-all learning objectives of the distribution area.

 Area one participants revised the course Description at the  Feb. Workshop and those at the May workshop concurred. It now reads:

Area 1: Individuals and Society. A systematic study of individuals, their impact on society, society’s impact on them and how individuals are constituted within social contexts.  Goal: To introduce students to modes of inquiry and systematic ways of thinking about individuals and their positions in societies.


At the May meeting, members expanded on the learning objectives and voted to include some of the objectives defined by Area 2 during the Feb. 27 workshop. The objectives adopted to be included in Area 1 are:


There was also a spirited discussion about plagiarism and the need to introduce students to research in the discipline teaching the course. It was recommended that each course should include at least one use of primary source material. This inclusion would provide an opportunity for a discussion of proper citation practice and plagiarism.



2.      Mechanisms for integration of objectives into courses.

The Feb. discussion focused on academic freedom in the development of syllabi and course content. It was decided that some generalized criteria could be identified that would act as a benchmark in reviewing course syllabi and content of a course in Area 1.  The criteria agreed upon included:

·        Does the course identify the position of the individual in society?

·        Does the course include information on the development or definition of the individual?

·        Is there a focus on the individual within a society or societies?


Participants of the May workshop agreed with these three general course criteria and recommended that they be implemented in a generic course template or guideline that would be distributed to potential instructors of Area 1 courses in a timely fashion (i.e. before syllabi are prepared).


Another idea  at the May workshop was to create a web-based discussion space for all of the instructors teaching courses in the distribution area. For example, the space could be to set up as blackboard “course” in which the instructors would be the “students”.



3. Communication of objectives and mechanisms to students and faculty

At the Feb. meeting, this question led to a spirited discussion as to whose responsibility it is to communicate the definition, goals, and measurement criteria of an Area 1 course to a faculty member. The committee was assured that only full-time Lehman College faculty members were eligible to teach a distribution course, thus minimizing the possibility that adjunct faculty would be assigned such a course and may not have access to lines of communication within a department concerning distribution course goals and objectives.  (Note from Curriculum Committee editor to members of the committee: although the goal is to have only full time faculty teach the courses, adjuncts also participate ).


There was also discussion concerning whether departments had a department curriculum committee that could communicate this information to a faculty member or whether it was the responsibility of the chair of the department. It was decided that the responsibility and mechanism for communication should be the College Curriculum Committee. The College Committee should inform the faculty member (s) teaching courses assigned as distribution courses under Area 1, the definition, goals and objectives for Area 1 as well as the syllabi  review criteria defined by this subcommittee.


 Members in the Area 1 Dist. Area expanded on their suggestions at the May meeting. They suggested that a Point Person be identified within a department who will have the responsibility to communicate via written material (i.e. criteria/template/guidelines) with the course instructor(s) and to review the course syllabi to ensure area objectives are included. The discussion also addressed the need for compensation for the Point Person (e.g. release time from teaching load or monetary compensation) especially in departments that teach large numbers of sections of an Area 1 course.


4. Assessment of learner outcomes/course assessment

This issue was discussed only at the May 14th workshop. There were a number of recommendations offered as to how to assess learner outcome and course effectiveness including:




Area 2: Socio-Political Structures


Members present 2/27/04: Anthony LaRuffa (Anthropology); Alice Akan (Curriculum Comm.); Dene Hurley (Economics); Juliana Maantay (Geology/Geography);Yi Sheng (Library); Nkechi Nwakanma (Political Science);

Faculty Writing Specialist:  Elin Waring (Soc/Swk,)

Recorder: Alice Akan  

Elected Chair: Juliana Maantay


Members present 5/14/04: Dene Hurley (Economics); Juliana Maantay (Geology/Geography);Yi Sheng (Library); Nkechi Nwakanma (Political Science);

Faculty Writing SpecialistElin Waring (Soc/Swk,)

Recorder: Juliana Maantay 

Elected Chair: Juliana Maantay


1.      Over-all learning objectives of the distribution area


May 14 participants modified the course description suggested at the Feb. 27 meetings. The revised description now reads:


Area 2:  Socio-Political Structures. A systematic study of the organizations, institutions and structures of society.  Goal: To introduce students to typical modes of inquiry and a systematic way of thinking about the organizations and institutions of society, and to help them understand the impact of socio-political structures on themselves and their communities..


The Feb. 27 workshop  also further specified this general description into workable purposes and objectives.  Except for the addition of a last item, the May workshop concurred. 


Purpose: To develop students’ ability to recognize, analyze and understand current political, economic and social structures, issues and relationships.



Students will have the opportunity to develop their abilities to:


·        Effectively express themselves, orally and in writing.

·        Utilize information resources and evaluate the quality of data and information.  (Differentiate between data and anecdote)

·        Interpret and analyze documents, graphs, tables, and maps.

·        Describe the impact of socio-political structures on themselves and their communities.

·        Apply critical thinking skills in the interpretation and application of information, equipping them to become independent thinkers.

·        Become independent, life-long learners.



2.      Mechanisms for integration of objectives into courses


Members of the May 14th workshop revised and added to the list of mechanisms suggested at the Feb. workshop. They now read:


·        Include assignments that require the use of library resources.  (Include a library orientation in the freshman seminars.  Disciplines that require the use of specialized library resources may need additional orientation.)

·        Incorporate current socio-economic-political news into the classroom discussion. 

·        Interpret, analyze, and present qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. maps, graphs, surveys, as appropriate to the discipline).

·        Include writing assignments, especially those requiring submission of a first draft and opportunity for student revisions

·        Hold workshops on plagiarism and other ethical issues

·        Give exams requiring a variety of skills and responses (short answer, essay, multiple-choice).

·        Create opportunities for students to give oral presentations.

·        Integrate collaborative activities into the class, such as student work on group projects or team assignments.

·        Invite guest speakers to the class

·        Conduct field trips, when appropriate


3.      Communication of objectives and mechanisms to students and faculty

May committee members  also revised and expanded on their suggestions as to how these objectives and mechanisms should be communicated.

·        The primary method for communication is a detailed syllabus that clearly states the objectives of the course and specific assignments.

·        Provide written information to the students and faculty outlining the over-all learning objectives for the distribution area and recommended mechanisms/methods for achieving them.

·        Provide standardized communication from the department chair (or Provost?) to assigned faculty regarding the above.

·        Improve communication with part-time faculty regarding distribution course objectives, mechanisms, and assessment. 

·        Hold orientation of General Education faculty under the aegis of the Provost.

·        Develop web site for General Education Information for all faculty and students. 


4. Assessment

Issues of academic freedom were a concern of one member of the group at the Feb workshop.  At what point is academic freedom compromised when objectives, methods and course expectations are dictated to faculty teaching a specific course?  Can faculty be required to submit this information? Another member suggested that since the general education curriculum was developed to meet specific academic objectives, it is appropriate to expect consistent outcomes. This is not unlike teaching courses that are pre-requisite to other courses within a department where there need to be common expectations of students who will be enrolled in subsequent courses.


The May 14th workshop discussed assessment in much more detail.


·        Encourage faculty to perform an internal assessment of their course’s success in meeting the stated general education objectives.

·        Develop a one-page anonymous survey form for faculty re: meeting general education objectives.

·        Develop follow-ups of Lehman alumni, as well as students leaving Lehman before graduating, regarding the value of general education courses. 

·        Recommend that faculty conduct pre-course and post-course testing of students as a means of assessing student learning progress and effectiveness of the course.




Area 3: Literature


Members present 2/27/04: Dean Marlene Gottlieb (Curriculum Comm.); Robt. Carling (English);          

Carmen Esteves (Languages & Lit.); Manfredi Piccolomini (Languages & Lit.); Rona Ostrow


Faculty Writing Specialist: Carmen Esteves (Languages & Lit)

Recorder: Dean Marlene Gottlieb


Members present 5/14/04  Professor Carmen Esteves, Languages and Literatures;

Professor Licia Fiol-Matta, Languages and Literatures; Professor Noelle Morrissette, Black Studies;

Ms. Deirdre O’Boy, English; Professor Rona Ostrow, Library; Professor Manfredi Piccolomini, Languages and Literatures;            Ms. Anna Purves, English; Professor Thomas Spear, Languages and Literatures


1. Over-all learning objectives of the distribution area


Members of the May workshop accepted the recommendations of the Feb. meeting in regards to this first task.


Revised Description  

Area 3: Literature. Close readings of literary texts. Goal: To increase students’ understanding and appreciation of literature


The Literature Distribution Faculty Group agreed that the criteria this area will address are:

·        Writing assignments (remove the word “intensive”)

·        Oral expression

·        Basic computer literacy

·        Critical thinking

·        Basic library/database literacy.


Specific Objectives of the Courses in Area III:

To develop:

·        An understanding of the complexity of literary texts, their underlying process and structure, and their relationship to the human experience

·        A desire and ability to read literary texts beyond the confines of the course

·        The ability to articulate ideas both orally and in writing

·        Basic computer literacy:

·        Communication by e-mail with attachments

·        Word processing

·        Blackboard

·        Library Skills

               i.      Retrieval of information about an author, a topic, a myth, etc.

             ii.      Use of electronic card catalogues and databases

            iii.      Ability to prepare a bibliography

           iv.      Bibliographical citation MLA format

·        Skills needed for CPE task I (the group still needs to work on this part)



2. Mechanisms for integration of objectives into courses

The May group expanded on the Feb. list and agreed that:


·     All faculty members of the group will read John C. Bean’s book Engaging  Ideas. We will investigate the availability of funds to purchase copies for members of the group.

·     Reading assignments will be primarily from literary works, not works of literary criticism

·     Research papers will not be assigned in the courses in this area

·     Writing assignments of various types will be given. A list of these types of writing and possible assignments will be prepared by this group (with the assistance of our Faculty Writing Specialist, Carmen Esteves, who will seek such materials from the Lehman Writing Across the Curriculum group).

·     Strategies for inclusion of oral expression will be developed by this group; various types  of exercises in oral expression will be targeted, e.g. ability to speak before a group, ability to select appropriate passages to read aloud,  ability to read a text aloud

·     Library assignments will be given, drawing upon the Information Literacy Action Plan (3/17/04) prepared by the Lehman College Library, the Middle States document Developing Research & Communication Skills, and any other materials Rona Ostrow may find it appropriate to provide.

·     The group will explore the possibility of explicit connections between skills developed in distribution courses and those needed for the CPE.  Instructors should have informational materials on the CPE from the CPE Faulty liaison  and model assignments provided by the Library.

·     All student papers will be word processed

·     Blackboard will be a repository for all course syllabi and documents

·     Written communication between faculty and students will be by e-mail with assignments attached

·     Each member of this faculty committee will prepare a list of terminology to be covered by all courses and the group will agree upon a basic list for all courses. The May workshop agreed on the following list of terms for the study of literature: Theme, Genre, Plot (Explication, Complication, Climax,  Resolution); Character; Setting; Point of View (First Person, Third Person, Omniscient, Modified Omniscient Narrator Protagonist/Antagonist Imagery Symbolism Tone Figurative Language Metaphor/Simile Style)

·     Syllabi of all courses in the distribution area will be posted on the Gen Ed Web site



3. Communication of objectives and mechanisms to students and faculty (discussed at May workshop only)


·        In all materials that describe the courses, incorporate appropriate statements of the purposes of distribution courses from (a) the CUNY General Education Project, (b) the Lehman College Mission Statement,  and (c) a statement that may be developed by the Committee on Curriculum from these workshops.

·        Communicate to students through statements on standard syllabus as well as through such creative means as a ?Letter to Students? (which describes the objectives of the course as well as what is expected of students) to which students reply in letter form.

·        Communicate to faculty by putting course syllabi on-line (at a special site for distribution courses?) as well as allowing faculty preparing to teach a course to participate as ?course guests? on the Blackboard site  for that course.



4. Assessment of learner outcomes/course objectives (discussed at May workshop only)


·        Assess students by both traditional means (written work, oral expression, library skills) and new means (such as student self-assessment) to be developed by the group.

·        Assess the courses primarily by informal means, in keeping with preferences of the group for meetings to trade ideas and materials rather than formal evaluations:  sharing of course outlines, assignments and exercises, portfolios of representative student work.




Area 4: The Arts


Members present 2/27/04: Herb Broderick (Art); Gary Schwartz (Curriculum Comm.); Sandra DeMinco (Library); Marta Ghezzo (Music); William Hoffman (Theatre/Dance).                             

Faculty Writing Specialist:  Robt. Roarty  (Theatre/Dance).       

Recorder: Gary Schwartz


Members present 5/14/04: no record



1. Over-all learning objectives of the distribution area

Area 4 accepted the Feb. workshop report on tasks 1 and 2. Deliberations, for the most part, focused on tasks 3 and 4.


Revised Description:

Area 4. The Arts. Introduction to Art, Music, Dance, or Theatre and the terminology, techniques and  tools of each.  Goal: To familiarize students with a medium of creative/artistic expression and enable them to participate in aesthetic and creative experiences.


There was consensus in the group that as many skills criteria as possible (writing intensive assignments, oral expression, computer literacy, critical thinking, data analysis/numerical literacy, library/data base literacy) should be maintained in all courses, recognizing that within the six criteria there was a definite interdependency, and that the concept of the interdependence of functions of A. Radcliffe Brown was a helpful model to refer to in curriculum design in general. 


There was acknowledgement in the group that the Arts had the advantage of promoting oral expression and critical thinking and that they provide great opportunity for arguing a wide spectrum of points of view.  Since they deal with tangible elements such as works of art which can be seen and heard, drama, cinema and dance, they supply a basis for phenomenological analysis and interpretation of the human condition, which analysis and interpretation may lead to a truth, some truth, or an approach to truth.


2. Mechanisms for integration of objectives into courses

The mechanism through which we do this is oral expression (discussion) writing and library and computer assisted research.

The general methodology for the Arts distribution courses is to learn to look, learn to listen and to learn to interact with the performing arts.

Much of the success of Distribution Area IV depends upon the instructor’s

ability to access student experience.  For example, students are skilled in story telling, which is the basis of the content of works of art in various fields, even if the works are abstract, but do not have the means of matching their experience with someone else’s story as imbedded in a painting or play. 


3. Communication of objectives and mechanisms to students and faculty (discussed at May workshop only).


We suggested a.) including the over-all learning objectives statement for all the distribution areas in 1.) the College Bulletin 2.) the semester distribution “menu” and 3.) on the syllabus for each distribution class and 4.) add the objectives statement and a question about it to the College student course evaluation questionnaire.


For faculty, we suggested that each semester the Chair, or designated advisor for distribution courses in each department, meet with faculty teaching distribution courses to discuss the  common objectives of the courses being taught in any given semester. We also suggested once-a-year meetings of all faculty teaching distribution courses in their Areas.


4.  Assessment of learner outcomes/course objectives (discussed at May workshop only).


We felt that in addition to traditional grading of tests and assignments, Instructors might submit a portfolio of written work and/or performance video for each distribution course taught and/or statements by students as to the course’s having  reflected the over-all objectives of the distribution area. The group also felt that it was important for distribution classes in the arts to have students attend “live” performances/exhibitions on campus or in the City whenever possible and that funds be allocated, as needed, for students to be able to attend such events where free admission is not possible.



Area 5: Comparative Culture


Members present 2/27/04:,:Maria Lagos (Anthropology); Jim Jervis (Black Studies); Bertrade Banoum (Curriculum Comm.); Xavier Totti (LAPRS); Galina Letnikova (Library); Patricio Lerzundi (MLJ);Jose Laguarta (Political Science); Kofi Benefo (Sociology/Soc Work)                         

Faculty Writing Specialist: Joseph Dauben (History). 

Recorder: Bertrade Banoum


Members present 5/14/04: no record

Area 5 participants revised and expanded on all four of the tasks at their May meeting.


1. Over-all learning objectives of the distribution area:

Area 5: Comparative Culture. Systematic ways of thinking about similarities and differences among cultures. Goal: To develop students’ understanding and appreciation of cultural dynamics from a comparative perspective. 

The over-all learning objectives will be achieved by

·        Providing students with direction and guidance to affect cross-cultural coverage in their choice of distribution courses and making all courses in our distribution area truly comparative. 

·        Familiarizing students with historical processes that give rise to diversity and helping them to analyze contemporary global issues and complexities.

·        Improving students’ analytical, verbal, research and writing skills. 


 2.  Mechanisms used to integrate these objectives into specific courses

·        Conceptualizing, planning and teaching of courses to achieve the specific objectives of the Distribution Area


·        Capitalizing on the cultural diversity that our students bring into the classroom.

·        Developing research and communication skills by using library resources, including an orientation on the use of electronic resources

·        Incorporating regular writing assignments


3.  Communication of objectives and mechanisms to students and faculty


·        A syllabus clearly outlining the course objectives, mechanisms, and requirements.


4. Assessment


·        Students’ performance could be assessed by using some of the following mechanisms: writing assignments, responses to readings and viewings, oral presentations, debates, team projects, portfolios, research projects, examinations.

·        For Faculty: Periodical meetings (virtually and physically), exchange of syllabi, development of our distribution-area syllabi database, information sharing on our distribution area and on latest developments in the field, construction of Comparative Culture Website with the support of our colleague from the library, development of a Comparative Culture Blackboard component with support from the library and the information technology center.


Area 6: Historical Studies


Members present 2/27/04:,: William Seraile (Black Studies); Richard Blot (Curriculum Comm.);           

Madeline Lopez  (LAPRS); Janet Munch (Library).                             

Members absent:  Louis Flam  (Anthropology); Timothy Alborn (History).                    

Faculty Writing Specialist: Duane Tananbaum  (History)

Recorder: Duane Tananbaum


Members present 5/14/04: no record


At the May meeting, participants revised the text on the first task and added to their report with suggestions for the remaining three.


1. Over-all learning objectives of the distribution area

Revised course description:


Area 6: Historical Studies. A systematic study of the way historians and other scholars interpret the past through documents, artifacts, and/or other primary source materials to understand the past and the present in historical context.


Goal: To encourage students' understanding of and critical thinking about major events, ideas, institutions, personalities, and changes of the past, by developing their ability to evaluate traditional and online sources, form an interpretation based on these materials, and communicate their ideas and conclusions orally and in writing.


In Historical Studies courses, students should learn how to locate sources, both printed and online, which are appropriate to college-level assignments.  This includes understanding the difference between primary and secondary sources and distinguishing between facts and opinions.  When using online sources, students should consult the library's subscription databases before resorting to other search engines.  When using the latter, they should consult with their instructor regarding the reliability of the information they have gathered.  Students should learn correct citation methods and should learn to distinguish between plagiarism and proper documentation.


In forming a historical interpretation, students should learn to integrate information about the past with themes explored in the course and with their own personal experience.  They should also learn how to engage with contrasting scholarly interpretations of the past.


2.  Mechanisms for integrating these objectives into courses


These courses will typically require students to exhibit proficiency in both oral and written expression.  Oral expression may include class discussion, formal presentation, and conversation with the instructor.  Written expression may include brief in-class exercises, journals, book reviews, response papers, longer research papers, and essays on exams.  In addition, such courses will encompass data analysis and numerical literacy, such as the use of maps, graphs, and/or charts; and computer and library information literacy.


The students' learning experience may be further enhanced by means of visual media, guest speakers, and field trips.


3.  Communicating these objectives and mechanisms to students and faculty


This statement should be distributed to all faculty teaching courses in the Historical Studies Distribution Area, and we encourage them to include it in their syllabus.  We also suggest inserting it in the Bulletin and the Schedule of Classes in appropriate places.


4. Assessing learner outcomes/ course objectives


At our next meeting we should discuss some of the assessment techniques suggested in other distribution areas, including: collection of syllabi, pre-course and end-of-course skills tests, course evaluations with specific questions regarding our objectives, and end-of-course surveys/interviews of instructors.



Area 7: Knowledge, Self, Values


Members present 2/27/04:,: Julie Maybee (Philosophy); Abigail Mellen (History); Robert Farrell (Library); Young Kun Kim (Political Science).

Faculty Writing Specialist:  Robin Kunsler (Health Services),

Recorder: Julie Maybee

Elected Chair: Julie Maybee


Members present 5/14/04: Julie Maybee (chair & record-keeper), Rosalind Carey (Philosophy), Robert Farrell (Library), David Gantz (Philosophy), Brian Scott Madden (Philosophy), Abigail Mellen (History), Luis Rodriguez-Abascal (Philosophy


Area 7 participants at the May meeting clarified, revised and expanded on their Feb. deliberations. Of particular note: they recommend that the title of the Area be changed to “ Meaning and Value”


1. Over-all learning objectives of the distribution


Proposed new title for Area VII:  Meaning and Value


Proposed revised description:  Area VII:  The critical examination of fundamental concepts and interpretations of the meaning and significance of human life, as they are expressed through myth, politics, religion, morality and philosophy.  Goal:  to foster critical reflection on, and an appreciation for, these systematic modes of thought, and to facilitate students’ development of their own comprehensive world-views.



 Skills and Objectives:


1. The ability to analyze selected, important texts, including their logical structure

2. Critical thinking, including the ability to relate personal experience to meanings of texts and themes

3. The ability to formulate fundamental questions about the meaning and significance of the world and human life

4. To develop an awareness of elements of intellectual history and the students’ places in it

5. Writing aimed at reflection, clarification and argumentation

6. Oral expression, rearticulating arguments and modes of thought

7. Library/research literacy skills introducing students to scholarship in the discipline

            Two further skills/objectives are recommended, but not required:

8. Teachers should be encouraged to design courses that develop students’ computer literacy skills

9. Teachers could be encouraged to address the basic data/numerical literacy skills required for the CPE



2.  Implementing and 4. Assessing objectives & skills:


1.  External oversight and design:

Department chairs or departmental curriculum committees should create departmental mechanisms and strategies such as workshops, meetings and the collection and examination of proposed syllabi to ensure that teachers are designing courses that will meet the objectives. 


Some of these strategies--such as workshops--could also possibly be coordinated with or include other General Education and library personnel.


2.  Internal implementation, correlated with skills and objectives (1.1-1.9 above):

             •Various types of writing assignments:

            •Writing abstracts: develop 1.1 and 1.2

•Informal interpretive or reflective activities such as journals: develop 1.1 - 1.3 and 1.5

•Formal, argumentative/thesis papers: develop 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5

             •Oral debates and/or presentations: develop 1.6

•Library/research workshops for students to be carried out in cooperation with library staff, and the use of assessments such as the research log developed by the library: develop 1.7 and 1.8

                        •Use of the Blackboard computer service and e-mail: develops 1.8

            •Use of graphs and symbolic logic: develops 1.9


3.  Assessment: External and Internal


•Student proficiency on some portions of the CPE--particularly those involving critical analysis—indicate whether students meet our Area VII objectives. This test is not relevant to transfer students exempted from Area VII.


•Performance measures of student assignments can assess whether students in a course are meeting the Area VII objectives.




3.  Communicating Area VII objectives to students and faculty:


Descriptions of the above should be distributed and made available:

            •On the Lehman College web site

            •In the Lehman College catalog

•In handouts to be prepared by the General Education coordinator and distributed to students in individual classes

•In workshops or meetings within departments and with teachers of the General Education courses

            •In College organized workshops.        

These workshops would discuss the objectives of the different distribution areas as well as various teaching strategies that could be used to meet the various skills requirements.


Each teacher of General Education courses would be required to attend the workshop once.  Current teachers would attend the first one, after that, new teachers would be required to attend the workshop as they became associated with Lehman and before they began teaching General Education courses.


Contract employees could be asked to attend these workshops during the contract period, but all non-contract employees should be paid for time spent at the workshop, especially if attendance at the workshop is made a requirement of their employment.



Natural Sciences


Members Present 2/27/04 Joseph Rachlin, Gabriel Aisemberg and Miguel Cervantes-Cervantes, from the Biology Department

Recorder: Miquel Cervantes-Cervantes


There was no representation from the Natural Sciences at the May workshop. Following are the suggestions from the Feb. meeting.


1. Over-all learning objectives of the distribution area

Main objective:

To provide students with writing and critical thinking skills, including data analysis, so that all students will be able to read and evaluate reasonably sophisticated articles written in lay journals, newspapers, and magazines. This will be accomplished through specific activities in the natural sciences distribution courses.


Goal: Distribution courses in the natural sciences will have as their primary goal the development of critical thinking and analysis of popular scientific information.


2. Mechanisms for integration of objectives into courses

·        Aspects of academic ethics will be approached by discussions on how to avoid plagiarism and instructors will provide guidelines on how to cite from internet sources. This will contribute to dispel the notions that everything available on the internet belongs to the public domain, and that everything found on the internet is reliable.

·        Peer review will be discussed as a mechanism to avoid producing unreliable information or scientifically unsound topics in electronic databases.

·        Showing students how to discern proper information from databases will fulfill the purpose of providing library literacy and concomitant computer skills while simultaneously leading them to appreciate the value of the peer review process.



LEH 300/301


Members present 2/27/04:Whittaker (Languages & Lit); race Bullaro (English); Evelyn Ackerman (History); David Manier (Psychology); Madeline Ford (Library).                                               

Recorder: Rob Whittaker


Members present 5/14/04: no record


For the most part, May workshop participants accepted the recommendations from the Feb. meeting.


1.  Over-all learning objectives of the distribution area


LEH300 and LEH301 provide juniors and seniors (pre-requisite 60 college credits) with two upper-level, advanced interdisciplinary courses in addition to the student’s major, in order to develop skills in analytical thinking, research, and writing as applied to topics of general interest. 

The topics in LEH300 are unrestricted, combining study in multiple disciplines of the humanities or the sciences or both. The topics in LEH301 treat aspects of American society and culture with an emphasis on the question of what it means to be American. 


These topics are studied from the point of view of several disciplines by applying the methodologies of at least three to issues and problems, to texts and to other appropriate materials.  


2. Mechanisms for integration of objectives into courses

The students are expected to do “300-level” college work, i.e. to do advanced research with original sources, demonstrate information/computer literacy, and utilize source material and secondary information in a variety of acceptable forms.  Rather than the passive learning of a standard, textbook variety, these courses encourage students to take an active role in researching topics of interest to them.


4. Assessment:

The grading policies of these courses will avoid satisfying students’ inappropriate expectations, especially when the student is new to the experience of upper-level work at Lehman.  Measures of student interest in and evaluation of the courses will be used to improve the quality of course design and implementation.

The instructors will continue to meet at least once during each semester at a workshop to discuss issues of mutual concern and share best practices.


The syllabi and schedules for the sections of LEH300 and LEH301 will continue to be posted in order to develop the sense of common purpose and standards among sections of the course.