Faculty Senate continues toward changes in Kent Core

The Faculty Senate voted to pass the supported material proposal made by the University Requirements Curriculum Committee (URCC) for a proposed model of a Kent Core assessment Monday. 

The proposal includes language changes to which senate members made amendments to for wording clarity.

Kent Core is the general education program at Kent State and does not have a current model that makes it easy for students to understand what they will get out of the program. 

According to the Faculty Senate agenda, the proposal from the URCC was endorsed by the Undergraduate Educational Policies Committee. 

According to the Faculty Senate agenda, the proposal outline stated there would be an assessment “at the core at the program level, not individual course level.” Changes to the language of the proposal included “the adoption of paired assessment for core learning outcomes,” a learning outcome program known as LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes should be used, the use of VALUE rubrics and “the establishment of a faculty-led assessment of core learning outcomes council to review assessment data and provide feedback.”

Interim Provost Melody Tankersley provided clarification of the language to distinguish core learning outcomes and the Kent Core. Tankersley explained the Kent Core is only a portion of overall learning outcomes for students.

“I think what we’re doing is assessing the core learning outcomes…,” she said. “…the Kent Core is one aspect of the core learning outcome of a Kent State degree.”

Faculty Senate Chair Pam Grimm emphasized to the senate the importance of student equity and the need for an exploration into the different needs of students as well as how to better accommodate those needs. 

“There is a gap between our stated values and beliefs and the reality that at least some of our students and faculty and staff are experiencing,” Grimm said. “The good news is the Office of the Provost has been collecting and analyzing data and is making efforts to understand and address inequities on campus.”

She emphasized how the role of the Faculty Senate can help influence changes to systemic challenges students and faculty and staff may face. 

“The role of the Faculty Senate in addressing academics is pretty unique,” Grimm said. “I wanted to bring this idea to you because of your personal leadership, that leadership that each of you provide by virtue of your election of senators, but also because the Faculty Senate plays a pivotal role in the structures and processes that influence the day-to-day lives of our students.”

President Todd Diacon told the senate he wants the university to become a student-ready college to increase student success. Diacon shared quotes from the book “Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success” to explain what it means to be a student-ready college.

“‘Becoming a student-ready college requires each and every person who is part of the ecosystem, to make a personal decision to take responsibility and ownership for student success,’” Diacon quoted. 

Diacon said the book focuses on meeting students where they are and creating programs and resources to help students graduate and succeed. 

“As laid out by the authors, becoming a student-ready college flipped on its head this notion of a college-ready student,” Diacon said. “So instead of focusing on the student and their lack of preparation, of his or her deficit… we focus instead on what we can do to help students with these backgrounds, with these deficits, what we can do to help these students succeed.”

In addition to the proposal from the URCC vote, members voted to pass the inactivation of the Integrated Life Sciences major and the addition of an Environmental Studies minor at the Kent and Stark campuses. 

The senate voted to pass the establishment of a Construction Management Master of Science at the graduate level and revise the geography major from a Master of Arts to Master of Science at the graduate level. 

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be on Monday, Dec. 9 at 3:20 p.m. in the Governance Chambers.

Contact Molly Heideman at [email protected].