The Emporia State Faculty Senate discussed the new bill “Report on Assessment of International Students’ Preparation in English Usage” and passed the Modification of the Policy “Providing Students with Syllabus” on its second reading at their meeting on Nov. 16.
“In some cases, (international) students are not very well prepared for their academic courses, and in some other cases they are quite well prepared. It seems to vary … from discipline to discipline how serious this issue might be,” said Dwight Moore, associate professor of biological sciences and chair of academic affairs.
According to the report, international students study in science, such as mathematics and economics and do better in business and some other programs which require high English skills, while the higher TOEFL scores do not indicate the better performances in the classroom.
“Perhaps different programs could have different standards for English usage, or they could access them in different ways,” Moore said. “We just want to bring before the university this possibility.”
In fact, the nursing program has already had a higher standard for non-native speakers’ English skills than the university’s requirement for undergraduates. International applicants to the nursing program must meet minimal scores in every sections of the TOEFL-IBT.
Jonathan Rivers, senior secondary education major and president of associated student government, said ASG was going to send out mailers to Gov. Sam Brownback to get his support on the Kansas Commitment, a $50 million fund plan aimed at boosting the Kansas economy by investing in higher education.
“We just want the new government to realize that this is very important to all of us,” Rivers said.
Rivers said they planned to get at least 500 students’ signatures around campus as well as from other universities.
Tes Mehring, provost and vice president for academic affairs, reported that about $175,000 was saved from last summer through applying a series of energy saving plans.
“That’s probably really good, since how hot the summer was,” Mehring said.
The senators passed FSB 10001 Modification of the Policy “Providing Students with a Syllabus.” This policy will replace FSB 03011 “Providing Students with Syllabi,” the current policy in university policy manuals.
According to the new policy, course syllabi should be available to students within one week of the start date of the class. Furthermore, all syllabi must include statements of the criteria set forth for grades, student accommodations for disabilities and the academic dishonesty policy in details.
However, students still cannot have access to a class syllabus when making decisions about which class to take before the class begins.