WESTERN CULTURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM

 

 

2002-2003 Annual Report

 

 

Dr. Ronald J. Weber, Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Cultural Heritage Program

University of Texas at El Paso

Liberal Arts Building Room 233

915-747-5835

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

 

In the past year the Western Cultural Heritage Program (WCH) has continued its long-standing commitment to promoting student awareness of their cultural heritage. It is the goal of WCH to aid each student in locating himself or herself within their cultural environment. Central to this awareness is knowledge of the origins and development of the ideas and ideals of life on the U.S.-Mexican border. WCH is committed to building an educated border community. With no majors of its own WCH serves UTEP by providing students with a solid foundation in the diverse intellectual, scientific, and cultural heritage that is the basis of border culture and which ties the border to U.S. and global cultural traditions.

 

Faculty and students in WCH classes examine the diversity of current global society by measuring the Western Tradition against all other cultural and social standards. WCH provides logistical support to the university through a strong commitment to good teaching and the development of improved teaching techniques. It supports graduate programs by providing teaching assistant support for graduate students and lecture positions for advanced PhD candidates.

 

And while it has been criticized for the narrowness of its title, WCH has always been, and continues to be committed to promoting the practices of real diversity in higher education. Its curriculum presents divergent texts from different areas in side-by-side comparisons not found in discipline specific courses. To examine these texts WCH draws students from every department and program within the College of Liberal Arts, combines them with students from most other programs on campus, and directs their education under the tutelage of a varied faculty from different disciplines with different academic and personal perspectives.

 

STAFF:

 

Program Director: Dr. Ronald J. Weber

Part Time Secretary: Ms. Sara Rodriguez 

Work Study Student: Mr. Victor Gutierrez

 

CURRICULUM:

 

In 2002/03 WCH supported three chronologically arranged courses with 1691 students: Humanities 3301, Ancient Roots of Western Culture served 709 students; Humanities 3302, Medieval and Renaissance Culture served 489 students; Humanities 3303, Modern Western Culture served 467 students; and Humanities 4390, Special Topics in Humanities served 70 students. 

 

The common principle of all WCH classes is a commitment to a consistent content base in all sections of each class, the reading of whole texts in each class, and a significant writing component that facilitates higher level thought development in students and improves their communication abilities.

 

STUDENT PERFORMANCE:

 

Students that completed courses with a grade of C or better:

 

 



 

Fall 2002

 

HUMN 3301   71.34%

HUMN 3302   68.93%

HUMN 3303   77.56%

HUMN 4390   33.33%

 

TOTAL:           71.66%

Spring 2003

 

HUMN 3301   55.52%

HUMN 3302   69.88%

HUMN 3303   88.02%

HUMN 4390   66.66%

 

TOTAL:           68.21%


 

 

WCH has also supported a Minor in Humanities with 37 students in 2002/03. A special topics course—cross-listed in other departments—was presented in each semester and in the Maymester to support the Humanities Minor:

 

Fall 02 HUMN 4390   Hellenism and the coming of Rome       

Cross-listed w/HIST 3361

Spring 03         HUMN 4390   Greek Mythology        

Cross-listed w/GREK 3350 and ENGL 3301

Maymester 03  HUMN 4390   Layers of Rome, from the Classical to the Christian      

Cross-listed w/HIST 3390

 

FACULTY AND THEIR DEPARTMENTAL AFFILIATION:

 

 



 

Armitage, Shelley          English

Ferret, Juan                  Philosophy

Haddox, John               Philosophy

Harding, Sandra           History

Johnson, Lawrence       English

Louden, Bruce              Lang and Ling

Pynes, Patrick              History

Reimers, Christine         CETal

Roberson, William        CETal

Ruiter, David                English

Simon, Julius                 Philosophy

Springer, William          Philosophy

Symons, John               Philosophy

Weber, Ronald History

Wren, Robert               WCH


 

 

Support for research and travel  (number and amounts of money given to faculty)

 

Weber, Ronald Chicago, IL                  12-27-02 to 01-04-03             $  380.35

Weber, Ronald Atlanta, GA                  04-03-03 to 04-06-03             $1016.08

Ruiter, David                Victoria, BC                 04-09-03 to 04-13-03             $  487.50

Haddox, John               New Orleans, LA         04-16-03 to 04-09-03             $  360.00

Weber, Ronald Rome, Italy                   05-19-03 to 06-16-03             $  829.00

Simon, Julius                 Heidelberg, Germany    07-04-03 to 07-30-03             $  500.00

                                                                                                TOTAL:           $3572.93

 

ENDOWMENT: Phillip Gallagher Memorial Endowed Fund (total assets of $35,000)

 

GRADUATE STUDENT SUPPORT:

 

Teaching Assistants and their major departments. 

 


 

Colley, Dawn               English

Gibson, Christopher      English

Hijar, Andres                Philosophy

O’Keeffe, James          English


 

 

Lecture ships

 

Pynes, Patrick              History

 

TEACHING INNOVATIONS:

 

Development and use of innovative computer conferencing site to facilitate active student learning and greater student interaction.

 

On-going cooperation with the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning to promote active student learning through the development of new small group learning techniques in the humanities.

 

In conjunction with Oklahoma City Community College, the creation of a course entitled “The Layers of Rome” to promote broader student experiences and cultural exchanges by conducting classes in Rome, Italy. 

 

FUTURE GOALS:

 

Name change to reflect true open and diverse nature of program

 

Promotion of a better UTEP faculty community

            Better faculty interaction across campus

            WCH integration into a more complete general studies program

 

STUDENT EVALUATIONS:

 

Evaluations are available only for the Spring 2003 semester, as this assessment tool was implemented only at the beginning of the 2003 calendar year.

 

HUMANITIES 3301- Ancient Western Culture (Total Responses 217)

 

1.      Student rating of their level of understanding of the Humanities upon entering the class

Little or None at all 52%          Some understanding 40%               High understanding 8%

 

2.      Student estimation of how much WCH courses improved their abilities to read and analyze written texts in literature, philosophy and history

Little or None at all 9%      Some improvement 35%         Great improvement 56%

 

3.      Student estimation of how much WCH improved their ability to write analytical essays

Little or None at all 17%      Some improvement 35%            Great improvement 48%

 

4.      Student evaluation of how much WCH classes helped students to understand their cultural heritage

Little or None at all 21%             Some help 21%                     Great help 58%

 

5.      Student evaluation of the value of WCH courses to teach them to collect and use information in the humanities

Little or None at all 18%           Some value 22%         Great value 60%

 

Student’s response:

Dr. Haddox has done an incredible job in motivating me to truly investigate and look for information for my class. This is the one class in which I can say I have learned.”

 

HUMANITIES 3302- Medieval and Renaissance Culture (Total Responses 116)

 

1.      Student rating of their level of understanding of the Humanities upon entering the class

Little or None at all 14%      Some understanding 59%             High understanding 27%

 

2.      Student estimation of how much WCH courses improved their abilities to read and analyze written texts in literature, philosophy and history

Little or None at all 12%        Some improvement 34%           Great improvement 54%

 

3.      Student estimation of how much WCH improved their ability to write analytical essays

Little or None at all 20%         Some improvement 28%           Great improvement 52%

 

4.      Student evaluation of how much WCH classes helped students to understand their cultural heritage

Little or None at all 18%        Some help 31%                          Great help 51%

 

5.      Student evaluation of the value of WCH courses to teach them to collect and use information in the humanities

Little or None at all 13%          Some value 24%                        Great value 63%

 

Student’s response:

My previous Humanities course prepared me well for this one.”

 

HUMANITIES 3303- Modern Western Culture (Total Responses 157)

 

1.      Student rating of their level of understanding of the Humanities upon entering the class

Little or None at all 14%         Some understanding 57%             High understanding 29%

 

2.      Student estimation of how much WCH courses improved their abilities to read and analyze written texts in literature, philosophy and history

Little or None at all 2%      Some improvement 28%              Great improvement 70%

 

3.      Student estimation of how much WCH improved their ability to write analytical essays

Little or None at all 10%        Some improvement 27%          Great improvement 63%

 

4.      Student evaluation of how much WCH classes helped students to understand their cultural heritage

Little or None at all 13%        Some help 25%                   Great help 62%

 

5.      Student evaluation of the value of WCH courses to teach them to collect and use information in the humanities

Little or None at all 8%            Some value 18%                Great value 74%

 

Student’s response:

“It helped me see how all the art and literature fit in together with the time period. Really good course! I want to learn more on my own time after the class is over.”