The Fulton 4-Credit Course Model
the Fulton School of Liberal Arts initiated transformational,
comprehensive curriculum reform via the adoption of an
innovative 4-credit course model. The purpose of the
reform was--and continues to be--to provide all SU students
taking Fulton courses--via majors, minors, Gen Ed courses and
electives--with an enhanced, deeper, more focused, more
engaged, and more rigorous learning experience than the
School was able to offer via a more traditional 3-credit course
model. This is accomplished first and foremost via
significant enhancements made by faculty in each course--as made possible by
the 4th credit and the menu of course enhancement options
available to faculty--in combination with the attendant shift of
faculty teaching load from 4/4 to 3/3 and of student course load
(in most cases) from 5/5 to 4/4. As the
School's March 2007 proposal states, "We...believe that the
adoption of the 4-credit course model and the changes in both
student and faculty focus [will] invigorate the liberal arts
at SU and revolutionize how both students and faculty
work--and work together--in the Fulton School setting."
Via the adoption and integration of one or more course
enhancement options (from, for example, more reading, writing
and research, to civic engagement, service learning and in-course
study abroad, and more; the complete Enhancement Menu can found
in the link above), Fulton faculty have enhanced more than 500
pre-existing Fulton courses (90+% of them via the more
independent, non-seat-time-related options mentioned above,
though more seat or studio time is a viable option) and been
inspired by the reform to create several new courses, all
following the new 4-credit model and embracing the purpose,
goals and spirit of the reform that put the model into place.
Many faculty have also adjusted or changed their enhancement
choices, following the first, or first few, offerings of their
reformed courses. This is all part of the reform process,
even part, one might say, of the "growing pains" that come with
such a significant, even radical, change.
The reform that created the Fulton 4-credit course model
continues, via the ongoing offering, and "enhancement tweaking"
or outright re-enhancement, of the hundreds of reformed courses,
the creation of new, reform-inspired courses, the adoption of
new, and often more ambitious, enhancement options by faculty
new to some of the enhancement areas, and the gathering and
processing of results related to assessment of the reform.
The reform, in other words, though in place and well launched,
continues to be--and must continue to be--a work in progress.
Using this website:
New Fulton faculty and visitors to this site might
want to begin with the "FAQ for 2010-2011" listed in the menu box
above. The FAQ give a brief bit of history and basic
information regarding the reform, with an emphasis on both the
"why" of the reform and the "how" of enhancing courses.
The FAQ also include the Enhancement Menu and COMAR (State of
Maryland) regulations, which also appear as a separate link
below the FAQ link. The 2008-2009 Faculty Reform Survey
Report link leads to a brief summary of the more than 70 faculty
responses to a May 2009 survey that asked faculty how the first
year of School-wide adoption of the reform went (three "starter"
departments launched in 2007-2008, with the rest of the School
following in 2008-2009). New faculty and visitors who wish
more background, history and details regarding the reform may
also want to peruse some of the many documents linked under
"Original Reform Documents," including the 2007 reform proposal
and a wide range of documents related to how to enhance a course
and prepare an enhanced syllabus package for presentation to the
Fulton and University curriculum committees.
Veteran Fulton faculty already teaching reformed, 4-credit
courses might also wish to access the updated/most recent (2010-2011) FAQ.
Questions 22 and 23, new to this year's FAQ, might be of
particular interest to faculty thinking about or in the process
of adjusting or completely changing the enhancement elements of
their courses. #23, in particular, addresses the ongoing
role of COMAR.
Finally, for both Fulton faculty and visitors to this
site, the most recent postings to the site (as of August 2012) are two
documents: "Curriculum Reform: A Progress Report" and "Fulton Reform Report November 2011." The former (five pages)
serves as a summary of the latter (31 pages). The latter
provides a history and overview of the reform, as well as a
report on the reform's effectiveness and impact as it entered its
fourth year of School-wide implementation in 2011-2012.
Anyone with questions about the reform/new 4-credit course
model may contact Associate Dean Keith Brower
or 410.543.6442. Questions or suggestions about this site
may be directed to Dr. Brower as well.
Last updated: October 16, 2012