Provide a comprehensive, flexible, administratively feasible calendar structure for Furman that will further our curricular aims. The proposal strives to retain the strengths of the current 3-2-3 model, including all of its “off-the-books” adaptations we’ve generated in the past 35 years, while it harmonizes us with peer institutions and the larger higher education community.
The traditional academic year would consist of two 14 week semesters each further divided into 7 week terms. A full week final exam period would be conducted at the conclusion of both 14 week semesters. A two day mid-term exam period (independent of class days) would occur at the conclusion of the first seven weeks of each semester. The fall semester would typically begin on the last Monday in August and conclude with grades due the Tuesday before Christmas Day, the winter/spring semester would typically begin the first Thursday after January 2 and conclude with commencement on the first Saturday in May.
"Summer" would consist of two 4 week short terms (designed specifically for intensive seminars and limited budget travel experiences) and a 7 week term that would mimic those found in the traditional academic year. The first short term would typically begin the first Monday in May and conclude the Friday after Memorial Day. The 7 week summer term would begin the first Monday in June and conclude with a two day exam period in mid-July, while the second short term would begin on the fourth Tuesday in July and conclude mid-August. The three "summer" terms could also be combined into a traditional semester situation or an 11 week experience (short term one and summer OR summer and short term two). Summer commencement would be held the third Saturday in August each year.
Courses would meet for 56 or more contact hours, regardless of meeting pattern for the term:
During the 14 week semesters, courses would meet four times a week for 50 minutes (MTRF), two times a week for 1 hour, 50 minutes (MR or TF), or once a week for 3.5 hours (M or T or R or F). Wednesdays of each week during the academic year would not typically be a class day. Most Wednesdays could be dedicated to non-course intellectual invigoration through whatever means we see fit. Wednesdays could also be used to compensate for a Monday or Friday holiday observance, allow for a graceful recovery from inclement weather, or permit us to deal with other unforeseen events that would cancel scheduled courses.
In 7 week terms, either contained in a semester or the summer, courses would meet four times a week for 1 hour, 50 minutes (MTRF, MTWR in the summer), or twice a week for 3.5 hours (MR or TF, MW or TR in the summer). The "off-day" in the summer term would be shifted to Friday to allow students and instructors to enjoy long weekends.
Finally, short term courses would need to be seminar-based; they would meet every weekday (19 class days) for 3.5 hours to meet contact hour standards.
Student course load:
Assuming we will retain 32 "full" courses as the minimum standard for the award of the bachelor's degree. Students typically would be expected to complete four courses each semester. Three or more courses would be considered full-time. Students would be permitted to overload to a fifth course on a space available basis consistent with current policy provisions.
Students could combine term and semester courses in many ways to suit their needs. All student registration and billing would only need to occur twice each year as long as the student stayed between 3 and 5 courses for the semester as a whole.
We would strongly encourage participation in at least the first short term of each summer as the desirable alternative to overloading during the traditional academic year. Students would pay separately for this term potentially increasing our revenues.
Faculty teaching load:
Assuming we will retain 5 "full" courses as the standard teaching load. Faculty members would be expected to teach three courses in one semester and two in the other. Half-year sabbaticals would retain a two course release and be significantly easier to plan. Three course loads in the fall would be advantageous if we were to implement a freshman experience course which would require a heavy fall for participating faculty.
Instructors could combine term and semester courses in many ways to suit their needs.
We should permit instructors to meet their load obligations in the first short term of each summer to further increase their flexibility.
Retain basic construction of all current courses.... fall and spring courses could easily be re-fitted for 14 week semester, while winter courses would match 7 week term well.
Allow for more travel study opportunities... trips could now be of 14-week (depart August, January or May), 7-week (depart August, October, January, March, or June) or 4-week (depart May or July) varieties.
Increased flexibility and sequencing possibilities.
Misunderstanding about days of the week. Shifting course meeting days to accommodate for holiday observances could confuse students and faculty.
Centralized planning efforts must increase. Increased flexibility and sequencing possibilities will create frustration and hostility if offerings across departments create conflicts for completing major programs or concentrations.
Posted by love at
September 17, 2004 10:59 AM
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