The Keene State College Senate approved a new Master’s of Arts program in History and Archives, as well as solidified language for a new college-wide learning outcome on sustainability at their meeting this past Wednesday in the Mountain View Room of the L.P. Young Student Center. 

While the language regarding the newest sixth college-wide learning outcome of sustainability has been in talks much of this year, co-chairs of the committee Jo Beth Mullens and Cary Gaunt released the finalized language. It reads, “Keene State College students will explore their place in interconnected natural and human systems; evaluate the personal, social, and environmental impacts of their choices; and apply their knowledge and skills for building a just, resilient, and thriving world.”

The language was unanimously approved by the College Senate.

Gaunt said adding sustainability to KSC’s list of college-wide learning outcomes is necessary for the college to achieve gold status from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Gaunt said the goal is to reach gold status by 2020.

Additionally, during the Senate Executive Committee report, senators shared a change to come with the implementation of the two-school system next year. Departments in the School of Arts, Education and Culture were given the option to opt out of requiring their students to take a modern language. Should any of the departments express interest in requiring their students to take a modern language, individuals in the given department will need to go through a curriculum process. As of now, only two departments opted out of requiring their students take one: holocaust & genocide studies and history. 

In terms of KSC’s Yellow Ribbon School status, Provost William Seigh said the college is moving forward with the initiative in effort to make the college more veteran-friendly. Seigh said student-veterans granted a leave of absence would receive a 100 percent refund of their tuition for that semester, and then later be able to re-enroll if they chose to. The Senate unanimously approved the motion. For more information on KSC becoming a Yellow Ribbon School, see The Equinox’s article, “KSC to become a Yellow Ribbon School.”

The senators also discussed a change to the late add/drop registration fee policy. Senators said the $10 add fee doesn’t produce much revenue and provides little incentive for students to add courses. Last year, about 330 students paid a late registration fee, and taking a more positive approach to the issue would save time in different offices and allow for more positive student-staff interactions. The topic was discussed, but not yet voted upon. 

Moving onto the Academic Policy Committee report, Senator Gregory Knouff said the group discussed the course withdrawal policy. Previously, a student couldn’t withdraw (W) from a course after the 11th week of the semester without being given a letter grade. However, the motion at the April 2018 Senate meeting proposed a W be allowed to be given to those students with extenuating circumstances after the 11th week under discretion of the professor and the dean of students. The motion was unanimously approved. 

The Academic Standards Committee unanimously voted to approve the Admissions Standards for the Master’s of Arts in History and Archives.

The Curriculum Committee unanimously voted to approve the Master’s of Arts in History and Archives and the History Graduate Certificate program.

After Massachusetts’ Mount Ida College announced Friday, April 6, it would be closing its doors, KSC Interim President Dr. Melinda Treadwell shared that KSC is now offering immediate review and decision on admittance for those students. Treadwell addressed the Senate and said on Saturday, April 14, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, students could participate in the review and decision. 

College Senate will meet for the last time this semester on Wednesday, April 25, in the Mountain View Room of the L.P. Young Student Center. 

Jessica Ricard can be contacted at jricard@kscequinox.com