The Common Curriculum

Section 3


Possibly, staffing these classes could make it more difficult to recruit first year preceptors. This could be offset by the fact that these courses can count for the major and thus staff could still be spared to teach precept. Several departments have already expressed willingness to regularly offer sophomore seminars. There will be faculty who currently are reluctant to teach FYP, but will be eager to teach sophomore seminars

· About 900 first year enrollments will now be released from required history/classics surveys. However, about 560 sophomore enrollments will be absorbed into sophomore level seminars, thus reducing the effect of the above.

· Overall, replacing required surveys with 50+ enrollments with required sophomore courses capped at 20 will cause an increase in enrollments in other courses, and increased pressure on particularly popular departments in social sciences and elsewhere. There will be an increased demand for first year electives (see below).

A few things will potentially offset the effects of releasing first year students:

· In winter and spring terms, some of these enrollments can be absorbed into sophomore level courses (since first term first-years will have acquired some prerequisites). The burden on sophomore enrollments will, in turn, be decreased by the 560 enrollments of sophomores absorbed into sophomore seminars.

· history and classics intend to recreate some of their first year surveys as electives, and can also offer other first year or sophomore level courses, thus absorbing some of the students released from the first year surveys; at present, for instance, first-years do not usually take history electives because they take History general education surveys; without these surveys, first-years might well enroll in history electives.

· some of the sophomore seminars could potentially replace courses that are now, in fact, smaller than 19

Detailed Analysis of Impact of Sophomore Seminar and Removal of History/Classics Surveys

Since we have the same number of students taking the same number of courses, average class size will stay the same. Since we are adding about 28 smaller enrollment courses (averaging 20), it is inevitable that there will be slight increases in class size elsewhere. This is likely to occur in intros, but it is also likely that low enrollment classes will see desired gains. What follows is a term-by-term analysis.


In the Fall there were 235 History enrollments. If History offers one class and Classics one that are of relatively large size (40) and accessible to first years , that will take care of some of these enrollments.

Otherwise, the existing courses offered should be able to accommodate all, if some appropriate combination of the following is exercised:

1. one takes into account existing unused seats in typical first –year courses

2. some courses allow for slightly larger numbers of students, e.g. intro social sciences go to 40 instead of 35

If one were to do the above 2 for Fall 2004, there are about 170 seats available, in other words, enough.

In addition, one could:

3. have more seats saved in advance for first-year students, e.g. in Gen Ed science courses. In some of the intro social sciences there were close to 50% of students, who are upper-class students. Other colleges place stricter limits on such enrollments.

The combination of all of these should address the issue of changing to sophomore seminars completely.


There are 272 History enrollments. Similar remarks to the above apply. There appear to be enough openings in intro type courses that these students should be accommodated as above.


We are also assuming that a change in Gen Ed will cause departments to alter their current pattern of offering certain courses, because enrollments will be shifting from Fall of sophomore year to spring of first year.

Now the issue is about 500 seats. However, students will now be taking courses that would otherwise be taken Fall of sophomore year and there will at least 200 sophomores doing a sophomore seminar and hence freeing up this number of seats. If History offers several first-year courses and Classics another (perhaps Mythology can save 50 seats for first-years), this will also absorb students released from the current surveys.