To: Department Chairpersons
From: Educational Policy Committeee & Interim Term Committee
Date: December 13, 2013
Re: Planning for Interim 2015
Cc: Academic Deans, Todd Dornbos
The Interim Term Committee with the endorsement of EPC has established a category of “strategic off-campus courses” beginning with AY 14/15. This proposal was presented to Faculty senate for information on December 3, 2012. These courses once approved as such will be able to be offered on a yearly or semi-yearly basis without violating the “spirit of the Interim” as indicated in chapter six of CLAE and other documents. This has implications for strategic curricular planning in your department and majors.
Background and rationale:
ITC guidelines as of AY12/13 allowed for the repeat of successful courses, but called for a “rationale” when a course is to be taught “beyond a second year” (Guidelines for Interim Term Courses, no. 5). In general, the committee has enforced this guideline carefully and, we hope, thoughtfully, but the increasing number of graded core and regular semester courses proposed for interim term has affected the committee’s deliberations. The main problem we pursued with EPC had to do with off-campus interim courses, many of which require months if not years of preparation and investment by faculty and departments
Working in particular with the Engineering department, together with the Director of Off-Campus Programs, the committee proposed the development of off-campus interim offerings that are closely related to specific student learning outcomes within that department; and while any given interim course may not be required of all students in the department’s program, having such courses provides a good alternative for students whose programs are very full and tightly scheduled.
Therefore ITC proposed and EPC and Faculty Senate approved the recognition and endorsement of the concept of “strategic interim courses” the following criteria (by which ITC may judge whether a proposed interim course meets the standard for designation as strategic):
- The course must be endorsed and proposed by a department, not by an individual faculty member;
- The proposed course must meet established and specific SLO’s for the program or major and have an assessment plan;
- The proposed course must meet a curricular requirement within the departments major(s) or program(s);
- The course’s content must be especially suited to presentation in the interim, rather than in the regular semester;
- The course must have a prior history of successfully being offered;
- The course must be a non-graded, W course, open to all students as part of the general interdisciplinary slate of off-campus courses offered during interim;
- The course may be offered in January or in May of any academic year;
Beginning with the AY14/15, departments may propose a slate of strategic off-campus courses offering proofs of adherence to the above criteria. Please note, that no department should expect more than two strategic courses to be approved in any given academic year.
The first step in this process would be to obtain EPC approval of these courses as “strategic.” Next, these proposals may be submitted in February with the other interim departmental proposals.
Strategic off-campus interim courses must be reviewed and ratified every four years, or altered with any major departmental curriculum revision.