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Minutes of the Quantitative Reasoning Advisory Committee

The College of New Jersey

January 31, 2007


Place:      Science Complex Room SC-P232

Present:  Edward Conjura (Mathematics and Statistics), Orlando Hernandez (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Ursula Wolz (Computer Science), Dan Phillips (Psychology), Jay Hoffman (Health and Exercise Science), Dave Reimer (Mathematics and Statistics), Paula Maas (Institutional Research – ex officio), Sharon Sherman (Elementary/Early Childhood Education), Teresa Nakra (Music; scribe)


Items Discussed:

  1. November minutes approved
  2. Thoughts expressed on changing the QR requirement:
    • Comparison made with campus-wide Literary (writing) requirement:  entrance exam followed by required courses only if student fails the exam.  Aim of teaching intensive writing within the disciplines.  Should QR reflect this sort of structure?
    • QR should not only feature courses, but also a process for quantitative literacy
    • Assessment Issues.  Math courses are usually exam based.  Are exams addressing the course objectives?
    • QR should be more like the Literary requirement structure and address Math competencies and Math attitudes
    • We’re stuck with the one-course model
    • Intro Math courses have evolved over the years to be more applied; not just theory
    • Departments such as Music prefer for Music students to take QR outside of the Music Building to get them wider exposure; it doesn’t necessarily make sense to offer QR within disciplines
    • IMM curriculum includes QR in a variety of ways; QR is integrated into it via “stealth mode” in disciplines as disparate as Journalism, Data Analysis, Modeling and Gaming
    • Computer Science belongs under the QR umbrella; two recent grant proposals strongly focused on integrating quantitative computer science activities into 6-12th grade multidisciplinary projects
    • Recent accreditation process in the Computer Science department involved systematic assessments of programs. 
    • How do we ask the right questions about QR, how do we improve QR literacy for citizens?


  1. QR definitions and objectives discussed:
    • Terms Quantitative Reasoning and Quantitative Literacy used
    • What is the relationship between QR, Math, CS and Statistics?  Does the QR umbrella include CS as well as Math and Statistics in equal measure?
    • QR was reduced in the most recent revisions of the College Curriculum in favor of Writing and Liberal Learning.  This is a problem that should be addressed.
    • Electrical and Computer Engineering contains a lot of QR and Math content as well
    • At the most recent meeting of the AACU, 85% of Provosts and Presidents identified Math and Science on their list of most important areas to work on
    • QR requirements at TCNJ are defined very rigidly and traditionally.  We need creative ways to increase QR across the curriculum.  We need a more inclusive definition of QR. 
    • The recent Spellings Report indicates that students are graduating from college without basic skills that they need.
    • ABET and NCAT national standards bodies
    • Skidmore test available online
    • TIMSS – US students don’t compare well against other nations’ students on international tests
    • “Private Universe” documentary about Harvard graduates

  1. Two sub-committees formed to meet separately before 2/21: 
    • “Perfect World” group  -- Orlando Hernandez, Ursula Wolz, Sharon Sherman (chair)

Will take responsibility for answering this question: “In a perfect world, what would QR look like?”  Will evaluate goals and objectives for QR at TCNJ.

    • “Guidelines group – Teresa Nakra, Ed Conjura, Paula Maas, Dan Phillips (chair)

Will review initial case studies for courses and create guidelines for granting QR status.  Will review Ursula’s petition for CSC104 to be granted QR credit.  Will review one other course.


Quantitative Reasoning Advisory Committee

The College of New Jersey

P.O. Box 7718

2000 Pennington Rd.

Ewing, NJ 08628