My college administration is forcing through a change to a 3 credit hour base for all classes. Currently we have a mixed 3 & 4 credit hour system, determined by department. That may sound odd, but it’s actually pretty common–out of 31 colleges in the set we use for comparison purposes, 8 have that split My department uses 4 hour classes, and we are very unhappy about this change. So are the other departments that use 4 credit hour courses. We were not consulted at all, and the announcement was made in such a way as to ensure there would be no opportunity for an actual discussion.
Here’s the rub. There are some good schools that use a 3 credit hour system, but in general it’s more commonly associated with lower-quality schools. 8 of the 16 schools that form our prior and current “peer” institutions list use the 3 credit hour system, and not one uses a 4 credit hour system. 5 of the 15 schools that form our prior and current “aspirant” institutions list (the schools we use as the model to which we aspire) use the 3 credit system, and 7 use the 4 credit hour system. It’s depressing to see my administration making decisions that tie us more closely to the model of our peers than our aspirants.
I will have to cut 14 hours, 25%, from my American Government class. And yet I’m told that this change won’t affect academic quality. I guess that means 25% of my class time to date has been an utter waste.
Funny, but I thought I’d be a better judge of that than someone who’s never set foot in my classroom.