Shared-Resource Courses Policy

Approved by the President
December 2, 2015

Latest Revision
May, 2023

Policy Contact
Dean of Graduate Studies
Contact Information TBD

Policy Statement

Graduate courses and upper-division undergraduate courses, which have been previously approved through the shared governance process, may be run concurrently in the same room and at the same time when course content overlaps and enrollment, faculty workload, transportation needs, equipment or space availability, and/or other factors make it desirable. Each course must meet the respective level-appropriate requirements as described in the course catalogs.

Lower-division undergraduate and special topics courses may only be taught as shared-resource classes with graduate courses if first recommended by the Graduate Committee and approved by the Provost.

Faculty will only receive teaching credit for the course with the higher enrollment.

Rationale

Because students come from a wide array of backgrounds into graduate programs, there is often basic course content that must be covered in graduate courses that is similar to that in undergraduate courses. In a shared-resource course, graduate students can master that content while additionally meeting other learning outcomes and completing work at a higher level than undergraduate students who are enrolled in the class meeting concurrently.

For experiential learning courses, students may need to go to the same locations for an equal amount of time but will be able to focus on different activities when they arrive. Concurrent meetings allow for more efficient use of institutional resources and faculty time. In addition to reducing consumable resources (gas, mileage, etc.), this also allows for more robust enrollments, limiting the need to teach low-enrolled courses.

As an additional benefit, these courses serve as a gateway introduction exposing first-generation students to post-graduation opportunities. The inevitable interaction between these two groups also allows for mentoring and other opportunities.

Applicability of the Policy

This policy applies to all SUNY Oneonta courses.

Policy Elaboration

Because undergraduate students will be enrolled in an undergraduate course that has been previously approved through shared governance, and graduate students will be enrolled in a graduate class that has also been previously approved through shared governance, we are in full compliance with the “Curricula and Awards” section of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York (Title 8, Chapter II, Subchapter A, Part 52, Section C), which only applies to students taking courses at a level above their current program (i.e. undergraduates enrolled in graduate courses).

As each course has been previously approved through shared governance, they will already have level-appropriate outcomes that need to be met irrespective of method of delivery. Courses offered in a shared-resource format are not required to be offered in the same format in the future. Indeed, there may be times when it is most appropriate to offer the courses individually (e.g., the combined expected enrollment exceeds pedagogically reasonable classroom sizes, or a cohort of graduate students exists with sufficient background training in the course material).

Since only in special circumstances should the content in lower-division courses overlap with graduate classes, these pairings will need to be approved by the Graduate Committee (see Procedures). Similarly, because Special Topics courses do not go through shared-governance for approval, they will also need to be recommended by the Graduate Committee for pairing as shared-resource courses.

Definitions

Any course at the 3000-level or higher is an upper-division course.

Any course at the 1000 – 2000- level is a lower-division course.

Any course at the 5000-level or higher is a graduate course.

Any course numbered XX94 is a special topics course. A class may only be offered twice as a special topics course before it must be registered as a course in its own right.

Procedures

Upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses may be scheduled as shared resource sections if deemed appropriate by the department offering them and will be submitted as part of the regular schedule that is approved by the appropriate Dean. When scheduling, the department will need to determine the appropriate distribution of seats in the two courses based on room size and pedagogical reasoning.

To offer lower-division undergraduate or special topics courses as shared resource sections, they must be submitted to the Graduate Committee by November 1 for the following Fall Semester, or by May 1 for the following Spring Semester so that they can be reviewed prior to submitting schedules to the respective Dean. The syllabi for the two courses to be offered in a shared-resource format must be submitted, as well as a table clearly indicating the different expectations of undergraduate and graduate students. A written justification must be provided that explains the significant content overlap and why it is appropriate to mix these disparate levels of students in a classroom setting.

Contacts

Questions related to the daily operational interpretation of this policy should be directed to:

Dean of Graduate Studies

Contact Information TBD

Effective Dates

Approved by President: December 2, 2015

Latest Revision: May, 2023

Next Renewal: TBD

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