THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT ASHEVILLE
Senate Document Number 4311S
Date of Senate Approval 04/07/11
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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:
APC Document 30: Change LS 479 from 3 credit hours to 4
Effective Date: Fall 2011
1. Delete: On page 46, under Integrative Liberal Studies Program:
Integrative Liberal Studies Program 47 semester hours
Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium 3 semester hours
Add: On page 46, in place of deleted entry:
Integrative Liberal Studies Program 48 semester hours
Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium 4 semester hours
2. Delete: On page 48, under Liberal Studies Colloquia:
The ILS Program requires students to complete two 3-hour colloquia.
Add: On page 48, in place of deleted entry:
The ILS Program requires students to complete a 3-hour introductory colloquium and a 4-hour senior capstone colloquium.
3. Delete: On page 48, title for third area:
Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium (3 semester hours)
Add: On page 48, in place of deleted entry:
Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium (4 semester hours)
4. Delete: On page 183, title for LS 479:
Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium (3)
Add: On page 183, in place of deleted entry:
Liberal Studies Senior Colloquium (4)
Under this proposal, the student credit hours earned for LS 479 will increase from 3 to 4. This change will not increase tuition for students who are enrolled fulltime. Class scheduling blocks will increase by 15-20 minutes (or more in cases of once per week sections) to meet the contact hour requirements for a 4-hour course. The impact on staffing resources will be as follows:
-Humanities Program instructional staff (lecturers) will absorb this additional credit hour as part of the regular contracted 4/4 teaching load.
-Faculty from departments who teach LS 479 will cover one (1) additional contact hour per 479 section. If teaching load is determined by number of courses taught, the increase will have no impact on staffing. If the load is determined by contact hours, the impact will be one (1) additional contact hour taught. This will make teaching LS 479 equivalent to teaching any of the Humanities courses.
The impact on classroom space will be as follows: The combined number of senior capstone sections offered (HUM 414 or LS 479) is expected to remain the same as it is now under current enrollment levels. Existing LS 479 sections (approximately 5 sections per semester) will occupy classroom space for an additional time period required to meet the contact hour requirement for a 4-hour course. The extra time needed in classrooms will vary according to the time slot. For evening sections this change will likely have no impact on available classroom space. Daytime sections can potentially be offered during the Humanities time slots. In such cases, the 4-hour LS 479 course will utilize space already allocated to the Humanities Program. The Honors Program has sufficient available classroom space to accommodate this extra meeting time. This change will be reviewed after the Task Force on Curriculum has completed its deliberations.
This 1 credit-hour increase will make LS 479: Cultivating Global Citizenship equivalent to the second senior capstone option, HUM 414: The Individual in the Contemporary World. Credit-hour equivalence between the two is logical in a number of ways.
First, the two courses are presently substitutable according to the catalog and thus presumed to be equivalent. Since the start of implementation of the new ILS program (2004) both courses have been available and as capstone options for students. Advisors are frequently asked to explain the difference in credit hours. This persistent confusion has brought to light the need for a correction to the catalog to represent accurately the equivalence of the two options.
Second, the two options are already demonstrably equivalent in terms of length of assignments, and scope and rigor of content. HUM 414 requires 520 pages of assigned readings and LS 479 requires over 700 pages.
Third, teaching faculty view the course as a demanding, appropriately rigorous capstone for seniors, and as requiring a level of preparation typical of a 4-credit course. LS 479 faculty have been consistently engaged in an ongoing effort (including yearly curriculum development summer workshops and weekly faculty meetings) to create and refine the present iteration of the LS 479 core syllabus. Recent faculty collaborations have resulted in some significant new initiatives now already underway:
1. Co-authored textbook: Citizenship in the Biosphere; A unified volume of original articles co-authored by LS 479 faculty, planned for LS 479 classroom use and for submission to publisher, Fall 2011.
2. Honors Program 479 Service Learning / Community Project
A required 479 Community Project/Service Learning component for all Honors 479 sections through Asheville’s “I Have A Dream” Foundation (every semester 2008-present).
3. New Study Abroad Program: LS 479: “Cultivating Global Citizenship” in India
A new study abroad experience based on the 479 curriculum and directed by Drs. Keya Maitra (PHIL) and Katherine Zubko (REL) (approved by UNCA International Study Abroad Program October 2010)
Fourth, at this time LS 479 faculty are planning a return to a weekly common lecture format. From 2006-2009 we used this format but we cancelled it due to the challenge of covering the core readings. A change to 4 credits would make it easier to incorporate this valuable common experience back into the course. The 479 lecture series helps students by contextualizing the week's material, and it reinforces the culture of a shared "core" experience. Further, the 479 lectures are beneficial to the 479 teaching staff for the same reasons they help Humanities staff to teach interdisciplinary material. Faculty teaching a core curriculum need to share expertise. The ability to hear a colleague's lecture for one meeting time each week also offers an incentive to faculty to take on the challenge of teaching outside the home department. Faculty are relieved of responsibility for class preparation during that meeting and may take a day to learn alongside their students.
Finally, LS 479 was designed to provide a senior capstone experience equal in rigor and scope to that provided by HUM 414. Present LS 479 faculty have dedicated substantial work to creating a demanding, integrative and globally-focused capstone option for our students. The amount of faculty effort to provide this core curriculum needs to be accurately represented by the number of credit hours earned so as to communicate to future LS 479 faculty a realistic idea of the level of commitment required to teach the course.