Education Committee Annual Report 1997-1998

Each academic year the Education Committee places new issues on its agenda that are deemed of importance because of their impact on the educational programs of the University. In addition, the committee completes a number of routine tasks, which may include reviews of proposals for new degree and statutory certificate programs,

Departmental name changes and the establishment of new Institutes and

Centers. Much of this work is done by subcommittees that report to the full Education Committee upon completion of their tasks. As of this date the Education Committee has held eight meetings.


Guests of the committee

Several guests were invited to the committee meetings. Some meet with the committee on an annual basis. Others are invited specifically to discuss current issues.











New programs reviewed and approved by the committee

One of the routine tasks with which the committee is charged is the review and approval of new degree and statutory certificate programs that are proposed by various units of the University. The following programs were studied by the committee for their educational content, appropriate faculty coverage, disciplinary overlaps, programmatic duplication with programs offered by other units of the university and any other matters that arose during the review process. Following committee approval, resolutions were proposed to the full senate for its approval:

DDS/MBA (SDOS/Business) (approved 9/26/97)

MD/MBA (P&S/Business) (approved 9/26/97)

MA degree in the Mathematics of Finance (GSAS) (approved 9/26/97)

Ph.D. degree in Communications (GSAS /Journalism) (approved 1/30/98)

MA degree in Human Rights (GSAS) (approved 2/27/98)

MA degree in Physics and Philosophy (GSAS) (approved 2/27/98)

Certificate in the Conservation of Historical Buildings (Architecture)

(approved 3/27/98)

Certificate in the Conservation of Archeological Sites (Architecture)

(approved 3/27/98)

Certificate in Dental Assisting (Dental and Oral Surgery) (approved 3/27/98)

Proposals for new programs that are under review

Subcommittees are reviewing the following proposals for new programs:

MS degree in Financial Engineering

MA degree in Regional Studies: East Asia

MA degree in Regional Studies: Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe

At the time of submission of this report, it is not clear if these programs will be approved before the senate summer recess.

Departmental Name Change

The committee reviewed favorably and forwarded to the full senate for approval a name change for the Department of Applied Physics (SEAS) (approved 1/30/98).

The new name will be the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics.

A new non-degree document: Certification of Professional Achievement

Dean Friedman (SEAS) requested that the committee find a solution to the problem of an inappropriate non-degree document: the Statement of Attendance, for a series of proposed continuing education programs consisting of 4 credit courses in SEAS. The deans of all professional schools in the university were consulted as to the usefulness of a possible new document for their programs. Their positive response led the committee to propose a new type of non-degree document between a Statement of Attendance and a Statutory Certificate. This document: the Certification of Professional Achievement, was subsequently approved by the senate on 2/27/98. The Education Committee will review new programs leading to a Certification of Professional Achievement, but these programs will not require senate approval. The Statement of Attendance will continue to exist, but its use will be limited to programs that do not involve credit-bearing courses. The Education Committee will not be required to review proposals for programs that issue the Statement of Attendance.

Distance Learning

The committee informed itself at several meetings of issues that arise when an educational institution begins offering distance learning programs. Distance learning programs are offered at present by some units of the University and the experience that has been gained in those programs was helpful to the committee in establishing a list of issues that must be reviewed when new distance learning programs are proposed

(attached). The list will be the basis of a set of new guidelines for the development of these programs.

5-year program review

When the senate approves new programs, the resolution usually stipulates that the program will be reviewed after a period of 3 years. This period was extended to a more meaningful 5 years. While such reviews have been conducted in the past, it was thought useful to develop a brief form requesting specific information in order to facilitate the review process. The new document (attached) was put to the test in reviewing the MS degree program in Prosthodontics. This review was successful. The problem of a program falling short of its initial goals has not been encountered as yet, but when it arises, the implication of the review process is that such a program should be re-reviewed, and possibly closed down. This brings us to the question of what happens to programs that are no longer viable. Is there an "academic graveyard" for such programs, or are they carried on the books indefinitely? In the not too distant future the Education Committee should address this problem.

CASA review

The committee also reviewed the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA). A report on the activities and financial status of the Center was filed with the University Senate and with Dr. Herbert Pardes, Dean of Faculties at the Medical School. A Subcommittee of Medical faculty including Dr. Jack Gorman, Dr. Myrna Weissman, and Dr. Steven Schinke examined the report and offered their conclusions to the Committee. The Committee concluded that the Center is able to attract a high level of funding for its operations and is fulfilling its stated missions.

Teaching Resource Center

The committee spent some time discussing the sad fact that no action has been taken in establishing a Teaching Resource Center. In 1993 the senate voted in favor of a resolution to establish such a Center. Despite the subsequent efforts of two planning committees appointed by the Provost, the financial barriers that prevent the Center from becoming a reality appear to be insurmountable within the current set of academic priorities. The need for the coordinated development of the teaching skills of both graduate TAs and junior faculty continues to be recognized by students and at least some of the faculty. While acknowledging some dissent, the Committee believes that the time has come for some programs, such as a series of teaching workshops, to be established. These programs may be considerably less expensive than the originally envisioned Center, but should go some distance towards meeting needs that that led to the resolution that was passed five years ago and that continue to be felt.

Meetings with Trustees

As is customary senators (Moss-Salentijn and CP Krishnamurthy) have attended the meetings of the Trustees Committee on Educational Policy and the State of the University October 3 and December 5,1997. At both meetings senator Moss-Salentijn gave reports from the Senate. These reports have become a standard (albeit final) item on the agenda of the Trustees committee meeting. The principal agenda item of the October

3rd meeting was "The School of Engineering and Applied Science. A Strategic and Action Plan" presented by Dean Zvi Galil. On December 5th Provost Jonathan Cole and Vice President Elaine Sloan gave a presentation on "Libraries and Academic Information Systems: A Plan of Action." At both meetings the Trustees indicated their interest in meeting with members of the student body. A request from the Education Committee representatives to have a Trustee attend Senate Education Committee meetings regularly (which was a practice in some past years) was taken under consideration.

2 attachments


Issues to be addressed in the design of and proposal for a distance learning program

--From the Education Committee of the Columbia University Senate

1. The program

Selection criteria:

What audience is this program intended for?

Why is a distance learning mode selected rather than the

"traditional" mode ?

What tie-ins with "traditional" programs will exist for the students in this program?

Course content (program and course content are of key importance):

How do the courses in this program compare with courses in the traditional setting?

(DL courses should have the same content as traditional courses)

Participating Faculty:

To what extent will outside faculty be involved--or--what is the minimum level of full-time Columbia faculty that will be responsible for the course?

Delivery mode of course materials (e.g. Web, videotape, videoconferencing):

Will it meet the goals of the program and will it meet the needs of all students?

2. Student support

Advise and counseling: (students must have a sense of belonging, a sense that someone cares)

How much contact between faculty and student is built into the program?

What kind of ongoing evaluation will be in place?

What communication tools will be used (e.g. voice-mail, fax, e-mail,

teleconferencing, computer conferencing, on-campus course components)?

Library access:

Will students use a virtual or a real library?

In either case: what arrangements have been made?

Social structure of program:

What arrangements have been made for contacts among students?

What will be the possibility of setting up study groups, networks, social contact?

Other student support issues that must be addressed (but of secondary importance for Education Committee):

Will DL students have access to financial aid?

Will DL students have access to other University facilities (e.g. housing, athletic)?

3. Credentialing (a strong emphasis on expected competencies is recommended)

How will issues of academic honesty be addressed?

How will the integrity of the testing process be maintained (e.g. how will we know there is a student at the other end?)

Where will exams (if any) be held and who will be responsible for arranging them?

Who will be responsible for arranging for proctors?

What form of ID must the student present at the examination site?

How are issues of asynchronous administration of an examination addressed?

4. Outcomes

What methods will be in place to assess outcomes of the DL program?

What methods will be used to compare outcomes across modes of delivery?

DL vs. traditional

DL - different delivery modes

New program review (5 years after Senate approval)

Program............................................................Approval date..........

Program Director...............................................

1.Student information

A. How many completed applications were received for this program for admission in this academic year?

B. How many applications have been received thus far for the next academic year?

C. How many students are enrolled in the program in the current academic year?

First year .................................

Second year (if applicable)...................................

Third year (if applicable).......................................

D. What progress have students made toward completion of the program?

2. Curriculum

A. Attach the current bulletin listings of the program, as well as any additional descriptive material, if available.

B. Compared with the original program proposal, have any changes been made?

a. Course(s) deleted (reason?)

b. Course(s) added (reason?)

3. Faculty

List the participating faculty for the current academic year.