2019 Spring Regular Meeting Minutes

Thank you Noela for recording the minutes. If there are any additions or corrections, please submit them now in the comment form below, or come prepared with them at the meeting.  There will be opportunity at the meeting to discuss the minutes prior to approving them.

These minutes are for the meeting with this agenda:

2019 Spring Regular Meeting Minutes – March 8, 2019

The meeting was called to order by Chairman, William Bernsen at 12:29. The Chair declared a quorum and asked that each participant introduce themselves. Those present were as follows:

Members (Quorum):
William Bernsen, Steven Blaskey, Miguel Escobar, Noela Oliveira Garza, Sonia Gover, Keith McNease, Dan Stone & Donny Sosa (Remote attendance)

Faculty and Staff:
Christine Allman, Tianxing Chu, Davey Edwards, Scott King, Antonio Medrano, Jamie Pyle Rodriguez, Hongzhi (Jessica) Song & Mike Starek

GISSO Student Representatives:
José Congo
Heather Zavesky

Members absent were:
Mike Beavers, James Carr, Ken Gold, Brent Jones, Brandi Lowe, and Sheila Steffenson.

Unfinished Business:
Chair asked if anyone had any unfinished business. The membership had none.

Approval of the 2018 Spring Regular Meeting Minutes:
Chair said that the minutes of the last meeting had been posted for online review. Chair asked if any one had any questions, deletions or additions. Membership had none. Stephen Blaskey moved to approve the minutes as posted. Miguel Escobar seconded. The minutes were approved and accepted unanimously.

GISSO Report: Chair called for the GISSO report. Heather Zavesky, the GISSO president, gave the following report:

  • GISSO membership – 28 students last semester and 17 students this semester so far.
  • Activities include Recruitment booth at Career Fair at American Bank Center, TSPS Convention, Recruitment booth at STEM Fair, Recruitment boot at GIS Day at Del Mar. Students will also be involved in preparations for Field Camp.
  • Future activities will include participation in Earth Day, Skills USA, and Island Days; Students will participate in NSPS in Virginia.

Discussion followed regarding recruitment. Students sometimes man the recruitment booths by themselves, and the AAC suggested that it would be good to always have a faculty member present so that parents could receive answers to questions that a student may not know.

Heather stated that an additional group of students would be coming in to the meeting at 1 p.m. for student feedback to the AAC.

Member Reappointments:
Chair stated that five members’ terms would expire this year: Noela O. Garza, Donny Sosa, James Carr, Ken Gold, and Brent Jones. All five have agreed to continue their membership if approved. Chair asked for objections, and there being none, all were reappointed by unanimous consent for another term.

University Updates:
Chair asked Jessica Song to provide the updates. She gave the following:

  • Enrollment update:
    There are 53 students currently enrolled. There are 8 Freshmen, 6 Sophomores, 10 Juniors, and 27 Seniors with 10 potentially graduating May 2019. There are 2 students enrolled to get the GIS certifications. Recruiting is top priority and is getting positive results. Several students have applied for the Fall semester 2019, with 4 confirmed.
  • Program structure:
    Handout “2019-20 BS-GIS (8 Semester Plan)” was distributed to GIS members. Discussion followed regarding making the flow of classes easier for students. Some semesters have overloads. There are various suggestions that the faculty is working on.
  • Faculty/staff changes:
    Gary Jeffress retired but will be working part time. Jessica Song is now Program Coordinator. Lucy Huang is the GSEN Program Coordinator. There have been three new faculty members added: Davey Edwards, Tianxing Chu, and Antonio Medrano.

[AT THIS TIME, TEN ADDITIONAL STUDENTS CAME IN TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO THE ACADEMIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE. THE FACULTY WAS ASKED TO STEP OUT DURING THIS PORTION OF THE MEETING.] Note: To ensure that the students felt comfortable discussing whatever they wanted, Chair advised the students that no minutes would be taken regarding what they were saying. After 45 minutes of great, constructive discussion and exchange of ideas, the faculty returned at 1:45 and the regular meeting resumed.

University Updates (continued):

  • Curriculum Updates:
    • Faculty is working on additional electives. It was mentioned to the faculty that this was something that the students had talked about wanting during their feedback earlier. Discussion followed about some possible ideas for electives or for subject-matter incorporation into current courses. Some things discussed were: Forestry (including tree identification, soil identification, etc.); environmental surveying; drone (UAV) surveying (including getting their 107 license).
    • Miguel Escobar asked which junior colleges had agreements with TAMUCC for course transfer. Jessica said that right now TAMUCC only had an official agreement with Del Mar but were working on more. It was mentioned that these types of agreements were also a recruiting tool, because of the ease of transfer for the students attending the other schools.
    • Faculty is working on improving some courses such as Drafting. May change as a co-requisite to GISC 2470. It was mentioned to the faculty that that was also a concern mentioned by the students. AAC feels that the faculty is listening to student needs.
  • Discussion about “selected topics” classes.
  • Discussion about certificate program classes offered online.
  • Question: What is the average time for graduates to receive SIT/RPLS certifications?
    • Discussion followed regarding various reasons why some graduates delay in taking the various tests. There was discussion regarding sending out a questionnaire to get that information if needed.
  • ABET Weakness Discussion:
    • Handout “Student Outcome and Performance Indicators”, and handout “GISC Performance Indicators Revision (02/27/2019)” were distributed. All handouts were reviewed and discussed. A motion to approved Student Outcomes 1-6 was made by Stephen Blaskey. Motion was seconded by Dan Stone. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
    • Discussion followed regarding Performance Indicators for 1-6. A motion to accept the Performance Indicators as written was made by Stephen Blaskey. Motion was seconded by Keith McNeese. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
  • For Agenda Items E and F, ABET Identified Weaknesses and Other Meeting Preparation:
    • Handout “Program Educational Objectives” was distributed. Discussion followed for changes of verbiage to #2 and #3. Subject was tabled to allow AAC members time to review and make suggestions remotely. Jessica suggested a deadline of May for suggestions. Then these can be reviewed and voted on remotely.

Other Business:

  • Jessica noted that a name change had been submitted from Geographic Information Science to Geospatial Systems Engineering.
  • Faculty submitted proposal to add 6 hours of science or math or both. This has not been approved to date.
  • Next meeting time was tentatively set for Friday, September 27, 2019. This will be confirmed at least a month in advance.

There was no further business, so the meeting was adjourned at 3:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by

Noela O. Garza

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