Developing a Minicourse Program Course
Definition of Minicourse Program Courses:
Minicourse Program courses (minicourses) are distinct from regular courses at the university by their degree of flexibility. They may be course offerings that do not fall within the normal curricula of the university or they may treat highly specialized or especially timely subjects. They may also offer some variations of the typical two or three hour course by offering, for example, decimal fractions of a credit. The minimum credit for a minicourse is 0.5 credit hours, and all other assigned credit will be limited to increments of 0.5 credit hours up to a maximum of 3 credit hours. In assigning credit hours, the Committee on Mini Courses (COMC) will use the formula of fifteen contact hours equals one credit hour. Courses are offered for Grading Option 2 (Pass/Fail). Minicourses are offered during the fall and winter semesters only.
Topics for a minicourse could include:
- An issue which needs to be considered while timely, e.g. a political election, international event, etc.
- A skill or technique which may be introduced and perhaps even partially mastered through several intensive sessions
- An area of concern which may be part of a larger course but warrants special treatment to allow greater depth or more thorough examination
- A course related to a speaker, performer, or drama group visiting on campus or the community
- Interdisciplinary courses, i.e. those which find no permanent home in a particular department
Sponsor for minicourses:
Only members of the full-time teaching faculty may sponsor a minicourse. All minicourse presenters must work under faculty supervision and in consultation with the faculty member. By signing a course proposal, a faculty member assumes total responsibility for the conduct of the course and the assignment of academic credit.
- Contact the Special Programs and Continuing Education for course proposal forms and consultation concerning the course topic.
- Proposals for minicourses should be submitted to the Committee on Mini Courses (COMC) at least six weeks prior to the planned date of the beginning of the course so as to allow time for approval, a registration period and publicity.
- Special Programs and Continuing Education will forward these proposals to the COMC for consideration at their next meeting.
- Presenters will be notified of the meeting date and time so that they can be present to answer questions about their course plan.
- COMC's decision will be sent to the presenter soon after the meeting.
- If approved, a course code number will be assigned.
- The presenter of a minicourse may obtain a room for the course and notify SPCE of the room number, or, if desired, SPCE will obtain a room in Kennedy Union.
- While no set minimum or maximum is required, the minicourse instructor can determine the course enrollment.
- SPCE will handle the publicity by utilizing the Flyer News, Campus Report, notices on bulletin boards, description brochures sent to students on a mailing list, etc. Feel free to contact the staff if you have any suggestions for further publicity for your course. Many presenters also do their own flyers for distribution around campus.
- Students register for minicourses through the Registration office using a Drop/Add form. Minicourses are free to full-time undergraduate students.
- Following the completion of the course, the sponsoring faculty member will be expected to forward SPCE a personal evaluation of the minicourse experience that will then be given to the COMC. If an evaluation is not received within ten days of the completion of the course, repeat offerings of the course will not be considered by the COMC.
- The contact person for the COMC is Julie Mitchell, Director, Special Programs and Continuing Education.