Criteria for Propsal Evaluation and Decision Making:
(1) The committee uses the following criteria to evaluate each course proposal:
- Does the proposal present clear, relevant, and academically challenging learning objectives?
- Does the proposal present fair, appropriate, and comprehensive means of evaluation?
- Does the proposal present meaningful readings?
- Does the proposal reveal the instructor’s expertise?
- Will the course have a sizeable audience? (e.g., topic not obscure, hasn’t been taught too often, not duplicating subject of another interim, not going to same locale as another interim)
- Arethe resource implications related to teaching this course reasonable (e.g. Library or Lab Expenditures)?
- General for off-campus international interims are two instructors for 15 to 30 students. Exceptions may be granted for one instructor to lead smaller groups.
- Is the course a creative use of the interim term?
- Does the course serve broader college strategic or missional goals (e.g. FEN, environmental/economic sustainability, relationship with another institution, etc.)?
- If off campus, is the budget reasonable for the locale and activities proposed (General guidelines: $1,000-3,000 for a domestic course; $3,000-$5,000 for an international course)?
- If off campus, does the itinerary makes sense?
(2) After evaluating individual proposals, the committee makes decisions about the slate of interim courses to be offered. The following principles will guide its decision-making:
The committee’s goals are 1) to avoid undue administrative upheaval that may result from offering significantly more courses than college enrollment can sustain; 2) to give departments the opportunity to prioritize their offerings; and 3) to give faculty early feedback in order to avoid significant time expenditure developing a course that ends up being turned down to achieve a sustainable slate of courses. These goals are implemented by the following process.
1) The committee solicits “initial course abstracts” of off-campus courses in November including size, topic, and cost estimates in order to get a preliminary estimate of the distribution of topics, locations, and costs.
2) The committee determines approximate enrollment targets for on-campus and off-campus courses based on most recent three year average.
3) The committee identifies potential imbalance in the tentative slate of on-campus and off-campus courses using the enrollment targets. If imbalance is noted, the committee will identify potential redundancies: for on-campus courses, are there similar topics or similar target student populations; for off-campus courses, are there similar destinations or activities, similar target student populations, too many courses from the same department, or too many courses at the top end of the price range?
4) For courses that are so identified, the committee communicates back to the departments from which the proposals came, offering the chance to revise the proposed offerings or at least to prioritize them.
5) In February, final, full on-campus and off-campus proposals are submitted to the committee. If, after evaluation as individual courses, the slate still has a significant imbalance, the committee will restrict the total in order to achieve balance. Note that a course that is cut at this point (based on college balance rather than individual merit), will generally be given a higher priority if resubmitted in a subsequent year (in order to spread the off-campus opportunities fairly among the faculty).