EAC - Ad Hoc 4-Credit Conversion Committee

4-Credit Conversion Committee Minutes
February 16, 2004
by Porter Raper

Present: Nancy Wilder, Linda Warwick (with Catherine Landwehr), Frank Goulard, Kate Dins, Jan Abushakrah, Scott Huff, Stedman Burroughs (an advisor standing in for Susan Wilson), Karen Jolly, Guy Sievert, and Porter Raper


  • Articulation issues with 4-year schools, other community colleges, and from PAVTEC?
  • Student success.  Will this be a key to increase student success?
  • Faculty work load?
  • Which courses?  Probably all LDC and maybe some PT (Business).

Reasons why we should convert:

  • PSU offers 4-credit courses; students can move back and forth easily.
  • Most OUS schools offer 4-credit courses, or seem to be moving in that direction.
  • Students take courses in 150 other schools while attending PCC, and many of these schools have 4-credit courses.
  • Writing 4-credit courses provide better foundation to those students who take only one writing course. We do want to ensure that our student preparation in writing is not watered down.
  • Texts are based on semesters.  4-credit courses don't waste so much text material (or student $$ in purchasing a text they use half of).
  • Students will take fewer courses, so they can focus more on them.
  • Faculty in many disciplines and programs are asked to infuse more in their courses (ie, critical thinking, written communication, and other core outcomes): 4-credit courses would allow more of this depth.
  • 4-credits equal 120-130 hours of student learning that can be done anywhere, not just in a classroom.
  •  Two 4-credit courses should = three 3-credit courses.  Our sequence should then be 8 credits (2 courses).  This may be the only way PCC keeps sequences.  (Currently there is an undercurrent to remove sequence requirements from AAOT degree.)
  • Adds creative possibilities to delivery.  May encourage more hybrid some on-line instruction and some on campus instruction.
  • Can transfer to semester colleges more easily.  4-credit quarter equals 3-credit semester.
  • One less startup for the sequences.  Saves about a weeks time.   

Reasons why we should not convert:

  • Scheduling night courses may be problematic meet 4 hours each night
  • Reduces choices for students; they will take fewer courses.
  • Fewer choices of students may limit the depth of course offerings.
  • Students may not have access to computers to do the outside, on-line work.
  • Part-time faculty often don't have access to computers on campus for more hybrid-based courses.
  • Two nights a week for one course may be a hardship for both students and faculty

Other Issues:

  • Semester conversion shall we discuss it at the same time that were discussing 4-credit conversion?  Consensus let semester conversation seep in with no formal discussion.  We may be priming for semesters, but not during this discussion.
  • What happens to the Gen Ed requirements?  16 to 24 credits?
  • How will a faculty teaching schedule look?

Where do we go from here?

  • Institutional research what articulation problems exist?  What do our students face when they transfer?
  • What courses are we talking about?
  • Look at current AAOT and ASOT degrees.  Perhaps suggest Degree/Certificate committee review.
  • What will be the impact on PT faculty with salary and benefits?  How will load be determined?
  • All articulation agreements need to be reviewed.
  • The BA sequences need to be reviewed.  Learning by compressed courses is not always best.
  • Will this cost more to the college?
  • How will Gen Ed requirements be affected?
  • Talk to core people programs and disciplines underlying question:  Would student learning be enhanced?

Result:  There are two major issues being discussed currently at PCC.  In addition to this issue, there is discussion about required pre-requisites on all Gen Ed classes.  Suggest that we provide joint EAC/TLC conversations about both issues.  Faculty could begin discussion and become engaged in issues on a college-wide level. The 4-credit conversion discussion also needs to take place at the SAC/program level as well: perhaps we can get the topic on the agenda of SACs as they meet for in-service spring term.


  • Sample articulation sheets Stedman Burroughs or Susan Wilson
  • Sample ways a degree may look Guy/Amy Alday-Murray
  • English/Modern Languages and Arts information Linda
  • OCCS Office Porter
  • Review from Business Nancy
  • Review from Social Sciences Jan

(Need to be sure to get input from DOIs and cabinet.)

Next meetingMonday, February 23, 2:30 pm, CPWTC


Committee Chair 2005-2006: Porter Raper, updated on October 14, 2004


Historical Information