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145 four-credit courses modified to three

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 00:04


As students register for classes, many may notice courses previously listed as four credit hours now count as only three. 

About 145 previously four-credit hour courses starting in Summer 2013 have been modified to three credit hours in an attempt to streamline the university’s course offerings with the state’s common course catalog. 

USF Provost Ralph Wilcox said at the last Faculty Senate meeting that USF currently offers “somewhere in the vicinity of 300 courses for more than three credit hours that are often three credit hours at other universities across the system.”

The courses, he said, share the same content, prerequisites and learning outcomes, but are counted differently at other universities, sometimes causing confusion for students who transfer credits.

“The genesis comes from the increasing scrutiny and oversight we’re feeling from Washington, Tallahassee and (SACS) Atlanta,” Wilcox said.  “... We need to align ourselves with reality and restore this institution and the academy to some semblance of integrity.”

After emailing college deans with a list of the courses in question, 145 courses, including Business and Life Science Calculus courses, Intro to Statistics, several history, art and classics courses, were changed to three credit hour courses and about 120 are still pending further review.

Wilcox said four-credit courses often “screw up” student scheduling, resulting in additional costs, excess hours and a prolonged stay at the university. 

Some of the credits, he said, did not follow state guidelines and came about as a result of USF’s switch from trimesters to quarters and then to semesters. 

Some faculty at the meeting questioned whether changing the credits would prolong the time needed to degree completion or what the academic reasoning behind changing credit hours were. 

Emanuel Donchin, a professor in the department of psychology and a member of the Faculty Senate, questioned the similarity of the courses offered in the common course catalog, stating that even within his department different faculty offered different teaching based on the same textbook, and said he found “the notion that we should drive our academic plans” to match the state centralized catalog to be “ridiculous.” 

Wilcox said while the university did not have an academic argument for reducing the number of credit hours, it would not have much impact on graduation time. 

“You can divide 120 by four or three, it’s the same (number of total credits),” he said.

Another faculty member stated one could take a 20 mg prescription of a medicine or a 30 mg prescription and have a different end effect. 




College of Arts and Sciences:

American Colonial History to 1750;  American Revolutionary Era;  Age of Jefferson;  Age of Jackson; Civil War and Reconstruction;  The United States, 1877-1914;  The United States, 1914-1945; The United States since 1945; The Old South, 1607-1865;  The South since 1865;  Early Florida; Modern Florida;  American Labor Relations; U.S. Foreign Relations; Immigration History; War and American Empire; American Women I; American Women II; American Environmental History; American Culture, 1830-1860; Introduction to Anthropology; Florida Archaeology; Museum Methods; Honors Seminar; Modern China; Renaissance and Reformation; Medieval Culture; Viking History; Medieval Society; Medieval Politics; History of 17th and 18th Century Europe; History of 19th Century Europe; History of 20th Century Europe; Classical Greece; Age of Alexander; Roman Republic; Roman Empire; German History, 1870 to present; British History to 1688; British History: 1688 to present; History of Imperial Russia, 1689-1917; History of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991; History of Orthodox Religion; World Regional Geography; Regional Geography; Geography of Latin America; Geography of Europe; Geography of Asia; Human Geography; Research Methods in Geography; Urban Geography; Geographic Techniques and Methodology; Topics in Physical Geography; Process Geomorphology; Tropical Meteorology; Soil Genesis and Classification; Hydrology; Water Resources Management; Biogeography; Natural Hazards; Global Conservation; Cultural Geography; Political Geography; Economic Geography; Topics in Urban Geography; Transportation Geography; German Popular Film; Map Interpretation; Computer Cartography; Remote Sensing of the Environment; Geographic Information Systems; New Testament Greek I; New Testament Greek II; Theory of History; Ancient Greek Culture; Nineteenth Century American Culture; Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin American Culture; Modern Latin American Culture; Colonial Latin America; Modern Latin America; History of Mexico; History of Caribbean; History of Cuba; Intermediate Analysis I; Business Calculus; Life Sciences Calculus I; Bridge to Abstract Mathematics; Linear Algebra; Vector Calculus; Microbial Physiology and Genetics; Hebrew Bible/Old Testament; Introduction to the New Testament; Contemporary World Religions; Introduction to Religious Studies; The Religious Quest in Contemporary Films; Religion, Ethics and Society through Film; Life after Death; Comparative Religion: Judaism and Islam; History of Christianity; History of Judaism; Contemporary Christian Ethics; Comparative Religious Ethics; Comparative Mysticism; Who Wrote the Bible (Genesis Kings); New Testament I: Gospels, Acts; Jesus Life and Teachings; New Testament II: Pauline Letters; The Development of Religious Studies; Broadcast News;  Introductory Statistics I; Islam in World History.

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