Minutes of the Undergraduate Council Meeting of October 30. 2013

Present: Steven Adelson, Sarah Fuller, Norm Goodman, Peter Khost, Roy Lacey, Anne Moyer,
                Michael Mooney, Jean Peden, Peter Stephens, Scott Sutherland

Minutes of previous meeting: These minutes were approved with the following corrections:
The last sentence of the penultimate paragraph was changed to “Roy and Jeff both think that the question is of little value to the instructor since it is so subjective and difficult to interpret the student’s intent.”  Three typos were corrected:  Childs mansion, conceived, and fulfilled.

Charlie Robbins will meet with the Undergraduate Council at its meeting on November 13th and November 20th to discuss:

  • The TAP audit and its effect on our students.
  • Consideration of making the 101 and 102 courses offered through the Undergraduate Colleges a requirement to help our students conform to the new TAP requirement.  This may possibly require a review of the current grading scheme for these courses.
  • The creation of a Health Sciences major or minor.
  • Moving the deadline for students to declare a major from the current requirement of 57 credits to the end of their 2nd semester.

There was a detailed discussion of the 32 “Areas of Interest” (AOI), which does not count for purposes of TAP, and the choice of one of approximately 112 majors and minors.  At present, students can indicate an AOI or declare a major when they apply for admission, though they can change their choice at Orientation.  Once they are accepted and are on campus, they must get an advisor’s signature to declare or change their major.  The procedure for doing so is not uniform among all departments or programs (e.g., CEAS and Nursing).

The major thrust of the discussion was what could be done to facilitate a student’s ability to indicate a change in their academic program interest while also providing the necessary advising to help them do so. This is necessary because sometimes students aren’t aware of the differences in the academic rigor of courses they took in high school compared with those at Stony Brook. The Council also considered it important to insure that departments/programs are informed of any such changes so that they could take them into account in their program and scheduling plans if necessary. Two different suggestions emanated from this discussion:

  • Establish a two-tier system of declaring a major/AOI:
  • Pre-57 credits: Students can change their AOI or major without a signature, perhaps electronically.
  • Post-57 credits: Any student change would require an advisor’s signature.
  • Have students be required to indicate their AOI/intended major/actual major in SOLAR as the final step of registering for classes, which would alert departments for purposes of communicating with the student and for providing necessary advising.

The Council decided to continue discussing this issue and the two suggested approaches at our next meeting when Charlie Robbins will be present so as to solicit his views.

Respectfully submitted,
Norman Goodman