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. 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.