Guidelines for Preparing a Syllabus for University Studies Upper Level Interdisciplinary Courses
- A proposed course syllabus should be written in language that is as free of professional jargon as possible.
- The course title should convey the true nature of the course and in some way reflect the iberal education intent.
- The course description must follow the University practice of a twenty-word limit excluding credit hours and prerequisites.
- Textbook citation(s) must provide complete bibliographic information.
- The section on BASIS FOR STUDENT EVALUATION must specify the number and kind(s) of examinations, indicate minimum numbers of requirements rather than 'some" and conform to University policy, which does not allow attendance to directly affect the course grade.
- The cover sheet for a University Studies course should be consistent with the justification statements in the text of the syllabus; i.e., the level of emphasis must be the same in both places.
- Justification for the objectives should have separate headings for each course component (Content, Teaching Strategies, Student Assignments and Student Evaluation). In addition, each University Studies objective for which the level of emphasis is listed as significant must be explicitly identified in the course objectives and the course outline. Parenthetical references are to be used to identify the significant University Studies objective(s) met by a particular course objective and at a particular point in the course outline.
It is not essential that all or even a majority of the University Studies objectives be met in a significant manner; however, significant emphasis is necessary for Objectives 2 and 6. Needless to say the other objectives cannot be totally ignored but should be addressed to the degree that is appropriate for a given course and the level of emphasis chosen.
- The nine University Studies objectives emphasize students' ability to demonstrate various skills and abilities. Therefore, the justification for significant emphasis of a University Studies objective must include Student Assignments.
The following additional criteria must be met in order for each University Studies objective to be met significantly.
Students must be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate:
- The ability to access and use resources appropriate to the disciplines.
- The critical thinking skills appropriate to the disciplines. Examples of specific skills and the activities that are to be used to achieve these skills must be described in the syllabus.
- The ability to communicate effectively. Faculty members must provide oral or written guidelines for communication projects. In 400-level courses, both written and oral communication assignments are required.
- The ability to describe and explain the historical context of the subject matter.
- The ability to identify how culture has affected the subject matter and how the subject matter has affected culture.
- The ability to integrate subject matter of the disciplines. At the 400 level, this ability must be demonstrated in the research project.
- The ability to identify the values explicit in the subject matter, to describe the issues and values involved in complex dilemmas and to provide rational solutions to the dilemmas posed.
- The ability to describe and assess the order, organization or unity that the subjects under study bring to the concerns of humanity or its most profound ideas. For example, in a course that combines Social Systems, Literary Expression and Development of a Major Civilization, the student would be expected to demonstrate the ability to integrate the order or organization that those ways of seeing bring to understanding the human condition.
- The ability to make responsible decisions regarding the natural, political, and social environment.
NOTE: The dates of approval of all departments and all colleges must be noted on the cover sheet of all proposed courses.