ERIC Number: ED331413
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Making the Upper-Level Course "Upper-Level."
This discussion describes standards developed by Villa Julie College (Maryland) to avoid arbitrarily designating courses as "upper-level." Initially the school established a double concept of quality: either the absolute or "floor" sense (taken from minimum standards of accreditation) or the relative or "ceiling" sense (established on consultation with bodies within the college community). Three models of the upper-level course were identified: first, courses requiring sequential prerequisites; second, courses requiring no prerequisites but appropriate only for those with some subject familiarity; and third, courses requiring non-sequential prerequisites. Consequently Villa Julie accepted the following six macroscopic requirements for upper level courses: (1) be sufficient in number; (2) contribute to program coherence; (3) contribute to relationship of programs to college community and society; (4) cast balance between depth and breadth; (5) contribute to balance between student's time spent on the major and not on the major; (6) stand in balance with the lower-level courses. Additionally, microscopic requirements for each upper-level course suggested the need for: differences from lower-level courses in quality and quantity in contents and requirements; assumption of either a prerequisite or subject background; having the student employ analysis, synthesis, interpretation, critical thinking, and fine discriminations; assuming student independence and responsibility; and assuming that students will be mature enough to allow class focus on content. Thirty-one references are included. (JB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Villa Julie College MD
Note: Paper presented at The National Seminar for Successful College Teaching (Orlando, FL, March 1989).