109.3 Interdisciplinary minors

Created by: Dana Trebing on 05/21/2003
Category: 1 - Academic Affairs; 00 - General
Originator: Academic Policies Committee
Current File: 109.3
Adoption Date: 11/19/2012
Reviewed for Currency: 11/19/2012
Replaces File: 109.3
Date of Origin: 05/12/1997
Classification: Faculty
In Archive? 0

109.3 Interdisciplinary minors


A. Background

All students at Furman University are required to declare an academic major in order to receive a bachelor's degree. Also, a student may choose to enrich his or her academic experience and supplement his or her major by studying a specific topic from the perspectives of different academic disciplines. In order to enable students to do so effectively, Furman University has identified certain groups of existing courses, the focus of each group being a specific area or topic deemed appropriate for an interdisciplinary minor.


B. Policy

An interdisciplinary minor at Furman University shall consist of 16 to 24 credits (normally four to six courses) of related course work selected from no fewer than three disciplines. At least 12 of the required credits (normally three courses) shall be in courses beyond the entry level. In order for a new interdisciplinary minor to become part of the academic curriculum, the interdisciplinary minor must be approved by all departments proposing the interdisciplinary minor, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, the Academic Policies Committee, and the faculty. Substantive changes to an interdisciplinary minor must also be approved by the same entities.


C. Guidelines

1. Any group of interested faculty may submit a proposal for a new interdisciplinary minor. This proposal shall be submitted first to the Senior Associate Dean, who shall evaluate the resources necessary for the interdisciplinary minor. The Senior Associate Dean shall forward the proposal, with his or her evaluation, to the Academic Policies Committee, which will in turn evaluate the proposal and report its evaluation to the faculty. If the proposed interdisciplinary minor is approved by the faculty, it shall be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean for final approval.

2. The Academic Policies Committee will require the following information when a new interdisciplinary minor is proposed:

a. A general description of the interdisciplinary minor.

b. A rationale for the proposed interdisciplinary minor.

c. A list of the courses in the interdisciplinary minor, with an identification of any courses specifically required. The list for each interdisciplinary minor will be published each year in the University Catalog.

d. A preliminary assessment matrix that will include: program outcomes and objectives; assessment methods and measures; start date of comparison and target levels; interpretations of results and findings; uses of results and action plans.

e. An estimate of the number of graduates who will complete the interdisciplinary minor each year.

f. An estimate of the effect that the interdisciplinary minor will have on existing departments, majors, and other interdisciplinary minors with respect to course enrollments, frequency of course offerings, and possible similarity to (or duplication of) existing programs.

g. An estimate of additional resources required for the interdisciplinary minor (e.g., faculty, staff, equipment, supplies, library materials).

h. A statement of support for the interdisciplinary minor from each participating department. The statement of support should include a record of the departmental vote on the interdisciplinary minor. Department chairs must invite those who oppose the interdisciplinary minor to submit their views in writing to the Academic Policies Committee and to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean.

3. Each interdisciplinary minor will be administered by an oversight committee with a maximum of ten members composed of faculty from each department represented in the interdisciplinary minor. Members will typically serve a three-year term and membership should rotate periodically to reflect a balanced representation of the departments offering courses in the interdisciplinary minor. The Senior Associate Dean appoints the committee and its chair with advice from the participating departments. The membership of the oversight committees will be published online.

4. Normally, the chair of the committee shall be appointed for a three-year term. The chair of the committee is responsible for coordinating the program for the interdisciplinary minor and will be the contact person for communication and questions pertaining to the interdisciplinary minor. The chair of the committee is responsible for coordinating the advising of students by the committee members on the requirements of the interdisciplinary minor and keeping members aware of all changes pertaining to the interdisciplinary minor.

5. If a student has an interest in an interdisciplinary minor, the student should contact the chair of the appropriate oversight committee. The chair will then assign an appropriate faculty advisor for the interdisciplinary minor and will determine, in consultation with the oversight committee, the process by which the appropriate forms will be completed and submitted to Academic Records.

6. Minor variations from stated interdisciplinary minor requirements for an individual student must be approved by the interdisciplinary minor oversight committee chair or a person designated by the committee chair.

7. The chairs of the oversight committees for all interdisciplinary minors normally will meet at least twice a year with the Senior Associate Dean to provide an overview of their interdisciplinary minors and to enable the Deans to monitor their effectiveness and viability.

8. Substantive proposed revisions to the requirements for any interdisciplinary minor must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, the Academic Policies Committee, and the faculty. Changes to the interdisciplinary minor deemed not to be substantive will be decided upon by the interdisciplinary minor oversight committee.