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VPAA 95-01 GUIDELINES AND POLICIES CONCERNING COURSE CREDIT UNITS, CLASS SCHEDULES, AND COURSE NUMBERING

Applies To:
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Month/Year Posted: 
04-1995
Policy Number: 
VPAA 95-01

 

REISSUE: Originally published on October 15, 1984, by Timothy McCaughey, Dean for Academic Planning, as a part of the conversion from the quarter system to the semester system. The section regarding the conversion of course credit units from quarter to semester system has been omitted from this updated document. Additionally the "Class Scheduling Policy" recommended by the Academic Resources Allocation Committee and the Academic Senate and approved by the Provost on April 5, 1995 is attached to this document as an addendum.

The following policy guidelines, recommended by the Council of Deans, have been approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, to provide faculty members and administrators with a common framework within which the development of the curricula under the semester system shall proceed.
 
It must be acknowledged that the common framework which is described below has the regrettable effect of eliminating alternatives which might otherwise be open and of diminishing opportunities for unusual course scheduling.   A common framework which has such effects can only be justified by the benefits which it preserves for the entire instructional program and not by regularity for its own sake. Though the benefits are indicated or suggested in the exposition of policies which follow, a brief summary of them in this preamble may help reconcile the academic community as to the sacrifice of freedom necessary to gain them. The chief benefits of the framework are that: (1) It minimizes scheduling conflicts and thus preserves freedom of course selection for students; (2) It regularizes other (than one's own) department's scheduling choices, and; (3) It avoids inefficient use of assigned space throughout the week and thus increases the availability of desirable instructional facilities.
 
Section I - Class Scheduling Policy: College deans are responsible for approving all class schedule offerings.
 
Two principles guided the selection of the following class scheduling formats. First, the number of course selection alternatives must not be unnecessarily restricted. Students must be provided the opportunity to select courses offered at one hour of the day without significantly reducing the available choices at another hour of the day. Second, the course schedule must recognize faculty preferences and the demands of some curricula for extended periods of classroom contact. While these two principles conflict, the following class scheduling policy is believed to adequately accommodate both.
 
1.                     Scheduling Time Blocks
 
The basic scheduling time block for all instructional days shall be a 50 minute period beginning at the start of each hour. No course shall be scheduled to begin at times other than the start of each hour, with the two exceptions noted below.
 
The first exception is that courses can be scheduled to begin at or before 7:30 a.m. on any instructional day, at the discretion of a college/department. The duration of these course class sessions is left to the discretion of the college/department, provided that the constraints presented in #2, below, are satisfied.
 

The second exception is intended to accommodate the need for extended classroom contact time. The following 80 minute time blocks (which provide for a 5 minute break) shall be available for scheduling on Tuesdays and Thursdays only:

 
 8:00 a.m. -    9:20 a.m.                                                   2:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
 9:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.                                                  3:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.                                                  5:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.
12:30 p.m. -    1:50 p.m.                                                  7:00 p.m. - 8:20 p.m.
 8:30 p.m. - 9:50 p.m.
 
The availability of these 80 minute time blocks does not preclude colleges/departments from scheduling 50 minute sections between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
 
Normally, lecture, lecture-discussion, and seminar courses (with C-classifications C-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) shall be scheduled in either 50 minute blocks Monday through Friday between the times 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or in the 80 minute blocks provided above. Exceptions to this policy shall be permitted by the Office for Academic Affairs only when compelling curricular need has been clearly shown to offset the disadvantages of diminished flexibility in student choice that such exceptions entail.
 
Courses can be scheduled at or after 4:00 p.m. in blocks of time which appear to a college/department to best suit the needs of students and the nature of the course's design. These courses, however, must be scheduled to begin at the start of the hour.
 
The basic scheduling time blocks for three hour laboratory sections offered during the day shall be standardized among the disciplines as follows:
 
 8:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
11:00 a.m. -    1:50 p.m.
 2:00 p.m. -    4:50 p.m.
 
Three hour laboratory sections offered after 5:00 p.m. may be scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., or 7:00 p.m. at the discretion of the college/department, provided the sections are scheduled to begin at the start of the hour.
 
A Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday meeting day pattern can be used (in addition to the more traditional patterns, noted above) at the discretion of the college/department.
 

2.                     Conformance with Class Contact Hour to Credit Unit Ratios

 
 
Classes shall be scheduled to meet for sufficient time to satisfy the requirements of system-wide class contact hour-to-credit unit ratios. These ratios vary depending on the "C-Classification" of the course involved and specify the number of contact hours per week which must be scheduled in order to award one (1) unit of course credit, as presented in Table One:
 
 

 

Table One
 
Number of Hours* Per Week A Course Must Be Scheduled To Justify One Unit of Course Credit,
By C-Classification
 
C-Classification                  C-Classification Included                        Number of Weekly Contact
Group                                                                                                          Hours per Credit Unit
_______________________________________________________________________________
 
I                                              1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6                                                1 (50 minutes)
II                                             7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14                            2 (110 minutes)*
III                                            15, 16, 17                                                      3 (170 minutes)*
IV                                            18, 19, 20, 21                                                  greater than 3
 
*The number of minutes per week can be calculated by first calculating the product of the number of hours per week and 60. Second, from this product, 10 minutes is deducted.

                                                                                                                                                             

3.                     Procedures for Scheduling Classrooms: Since Fall 1992 classroom scheduling for lecture/seminar type courses has been accomplished through the use of an automated system called "Schedule 25."
 
a.                     All lecture/seminar classes (C-classifications C-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) will be scheduled through the use of "SCHEDULE 25." After the scheduling procedure has been completed and the information has been loaded back into the BANNER student system, colleges/departments will be permitted to schedule classes into non-restricted classroom space in the on-line environment of the BANNER system using the scheduling conventions described above.
 
b.                     In the case of interdisciplinary laboratories or activity classrooms, schedules shall be constructed in a two step process. Requests to use these facilities shall be first submitted to the staff in the Academic Computing Office in the Computer Center who will construct a tentative schedule which identifies conflicting requests, if any. The tentative schedule shall be sent to an appropriate committee of the faculty members who propose to use the facility. The committee shall verify the appropriateness of the planned use, resolve scheduling conflicts, and return the final schedule to the Academic Computing Office for processing. Subsequent requests for the use of these facilities shall be handled by the staff in the Academic Computing Office.
 
c.                     Discipline-oriented laboratory and activity classrooms shall be assigned by the Office for Academic Affairs (on a continuing basis) to the appropriate College for scheduling. Reassignment shall occur at the discretion of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in order to better meet the needs of the instructional program
 
d.                     Classes should be scheduled in rooms in a way to match expected enrollment with the room's capacity.
 
 
 
Section II.      Creation of Courses Designed to Begin and End in Less Than 15 Weeks
 
The creation of special courses designed to begin and end in less than fifteen weeks (not including final examination week) will be permitted. Such courses will be authorized only when it is clearly shown that such schedules are necessary to achieve curricular goals for students which are not easily achieved under normal semester scheduling arrangement. Further, the following constraints apply:
 
1.                     The only alternative scheduling modules will be half-semester (each lasting 7-1/2 weeks); one-third-semester courses (each lasting 5 week); and weekend courses.
 
2.                     For half semester and one-third semester courses the beginning and ending dates shall be uniform for all classes.
 
 

 

3.                     Registration for half semester, one-third semester, and weekend courses shall occur at the same time as does registration for the normal semester. Class schedules for these special sessions shall be published as part of the class schedule for the normal semester involved.
 
4.                     Room assignments for half semester, one-third semester, and weekend courses shall be made after the needs of normally scheduled courses are satisfied.
 
5.                     The general scheduling policy guidelines (e.g., beginning times, contact hour to credit unit ratios, etc.) shall apply to all half semester, one-third semester, and weekend courses.
 
6.                     No special add/drop opportunity shall be available for late half semester, one-third semester, and weekend courses.   All registration processes shall occur during the registration periods of the normal semester.
 
7.                     Credit unit values of half semester, one-third semester, and weekend courses shall be assigned in conformance with the policies and guidelines which apply to courses offered during the normal semester.
 
Section IV - Course Number System
 
The following is the approved system to convert and to standardize the course numbering system used at HSU effective 1986/87. The purpose of this system is to provide the instructional areas with greater flexibility in sequentially numbering courses so as to better reflect the prerequisite structures of the curricula.
 
1.                     General Numbering Scheme
 
001-099:       Remedial courses
100-199:       Courses appropriately taken in the Freshman year in order to make reasonable and orderly progress toward satisfying baccalaureate degree requirements.
100--109:     Courses satisfying lower division general education requirements
100-102:       Courses meeting lower division general education requirements in area "A."
103:               Courses meeting lower division general education requirements in the breadth area in which they are listed (A, B, C, or D)
104-109:         Courses meeting lower division general education requirements in breadth areas B, C, D.
200-299:       Courses appropriately taken in the Sophomore year in order to make reasonable and orderly progress toward satisfying baccalaureate degree requirements.
300-399:        Courses appropriately taken in the Junior year in order to make reasonable and orderly progress toward satisfying baccalaureate degree requirements.
300-309:         Courses meeting upper division general education requirements in breadth areas B, C, D.
400-499:        Courses appropriately taken in the Senior year in order to make reasonable and orderly progress toward satisfying baccalaureate degree requirements. These courses satisfy the advanced degree requirements for a baccalaureate degree and can satisfy some portion of the requirements for a master's degree, at the discretion of the college/department.
400:                 Courses meeting upper division general education requirements in area "E."
500-599:            Graduate courses which may be taken by qualified seniors on an elective basis.
600-699:           Graduate courses open only to graduate students.
700-799:            Credential/Licensure courses.
 
2.                     The numbers assigned to the following special courses shall be used by all academic units:
 
480/580/680                      Baccalaureate/Master's Special (Selected) Topics
482/582/682                      Baccalaureate/Master's Internships
485/585/685                      Senior/Master's Seminar
490/690                               Senior/Master's Thesis
491/691                                Baccalaureate/Master's Comprehensive Examination
293/493                                 Supplemental Work (to make up deficiencies in previous course work)

 

492/692                                Senior/Master's Project
495/695                                Senior/Master's (Field, Applied, Directed) Research
499/699                                Baccalaureate/Master's Directed (Independent) Study
 
3.                     Laboratory, activity and discussion courses associated with a lecture but which may be offered independently from the lecture, shall be given the same number as the appropriate lecture course, with the addition of a suffix of "L," "A," or "D" (L=laboratory; A=activity; D=discussion) as in BIOL 114 (Genetics) and BIOL 114L (Genetics Laboratory).
 
4.                     Other lettering conventions include the use of W, X, Y, Z which designate courses in a sequence meeting general education requirements There are two limitations: (1) the entire sequence must be completed in order to earn the credit (the student must complete the "Z" course before any units count toward general education requirements); (2) not all units earned in the sequence count toward the requirement, only the number specified (usually three).
 
 
5.                     Courses lasting for two or more terms shall be given sequential numbers, as opposed to the use of a letter suffix. Letters "B" and "C" distinguish between courses assigned the same number (for example, THEA 103, 103B, 103C). Such courses may or may not be a part of a sequence.
 
 
ATTACHMENT: Addendum to the Class Scheduling Policy approved by the Provost on April 5, 1995 

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