Proposal provides flexibility

Starting next academic year, the credit hour for some courses could change. On Oct. 25, the University Curriculum Council voted on a proposal for a more flexible credit hour. The  vote for the UCC proposal was 79 to 39 with fewer voters than the vote in May.

The UCC proposal was originally defeated last May with a vote of 92 against it and 82 for it. The proposal was reintroduced due to unclear language in the amendment that passed in May. The proposal allows for more flexible language on how the credit hour is defined. Some courses now can be branded as four credit courses that still meet for three hours a week.

“What they would do is change the credit hour definition. Any professor or department could make a motion or proposal to the UCC to make a course that meets for three hours a week worth four credits,” said David Crockett, professor of political science.

In order to change the credit hour for a class, the department or the professor would first need to submit a proposal to the UCC.

“The UCC would have to sign off on this kind of a change. They have to justify to the UCC why this course that was three credits should now be four credits. Individuals or departments could now do that,” Crockett said.

The proposal was meant to give departments more flexibility on how a credit hour is defined. It is not an effort to move to a 4:4 curriculum model.

“There is nothing that happened on Friday that changes our system here to where students would be taking fewer courses. There has been no hint that majors would be fundamentally restructured yet. The question is what happens going forward,” Crockett said.

Departments and professors are now able to increase the number of credits a course is worth with UCC approval, without changing the number of hours a class meets.

“The real question is going to be if you look at the UCC agenda over the next few cycles over the next few months, if you see a lot of courses on the agenda petitioning to have them as four credits then you know something is going on,” Crockett said.