Faculty discusses transfer credits, student goals

Posted by Alex Brehm

Skidmore faculty and administrators convened for the third faculty meeting of the fall semester Nov. 5. Acting President Susan Kress, vice president of student affairs, officiated the meeting. President Philip Glotzbach is on sabbatical.

The college announced plans to expand acceptance of transfer credit for first-year students. Under current policy, first-years may enroll with up to 16 transfer credits, either earned with college Advanced Placement credit, International Baccalaureate classes or classes taken at another college. However, administrators announced plans to raise that number in the future.

Additionally, the college plans to begin accepting credit from online classes taken with accredited institutions. As more schools, particularly large universities, use video and other internet resources to teach classes, the college expects to find more transfer students requesting such classes count for credit in their application.

In another vote, faculty continued clearing the list of interdepartmental majors. By affirmation, the faculty voted to remove the Biology-Philosophy major from the catalogue. Meanwhile, Anthropology-Sociology was flagged for a similar vote next month. The college believes interdepartmental majors generally lack the structure of more conventional majors and instead provide the equivalent of two minors.

The faculty heard a report on information gained from the National Survey of Student Engagement, which has the stated purpose of evaluating students' activities and estimating their gains while in college.

The survey asks incoming first-year students if they intend to pursue an extracurricular research project while in school, if they intend to perform community service and other similar topics. The survey asks graduating classes whether or not those expectations were fulfilled.

Overall, incoming students over the years have reported increasing expectations to pursue research, community service and other projects. Graduating classes report an increase in carrying out such projects. However, for most categories there is a gap showing that generally not all students who enter school expecting to take on such projects end up achieving those goals while in school.

A report was also given on the results of the "Creative Thought, Bold Promise" fundraising campaign. The goal of the campaign was to raise $200 million from June 21, 2004 to May 31, 2010. Exceeding the goal, the college raised $216.5 million.

Such donations included more than $100 million from trustees, nearly $100 million from alumni and the more than $40 million donation to building the Arthur Zankel music center.

Additionally, faculty gave $4.2 million to the school, with 76 percent of faculty providing donations.

Other institutions similar to Skidmore often achieve faculty donation rates of about 30 percent.

A spokesman from the Office of Advancement commented that such a high giving rate speaks to the community fostered on the campus. The faculty thanked the Office of Advancement for a successful campaign with a standing ovation.

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