The Fulton 4-Credit Course Model
In 2007 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, and with Fulton faculty
teaching four such courses per semester and students usually
taking five courses. As the School's March 2007 proposal
states, "[w]e...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 "FAQs for 2010" listed in the menu box
above. The FAQs 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 FAQs also include the Enhancement Menu and COMAR (State of
Maryland) regulations, which also appear as a separate link
below the FAQs 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 wish to access the updated (2010) FAQs.
Questions 22 and 23, new to this year's FAQs, 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.
Anyone with questions about the reform/new 4-credit course
model may contact Associate Dean Keith Brower at
or 410.543.6442. Questions or suggestions about this site
may be directed to Dr. Brower as well.
Last updated: August 23, 2010
Fulton faculty looking to adjust or
change the enhancements they have adopted for their courses
might want to