Weighing cuts to teaching load, student course requirements
- Vassar College is considering a proposal to reduce professor teaching load by one course per academic year, and to require fewer student credit hours for graduation.
- The teaching plan would reward faculty who aid students with professional development, or who introduce new short-term course options.
- Critics say that while faculty may embrace the reduced workload, additional faculty members should be hired to fill in the gaps.
A reduced workload for faculty members and reduced credit hours required for graduation seems to be a dream for everyone at Vassar, but the new plan wouldn’t account for ensuring professional aptitude in certain disciplines, and it wouldn’t ensure that all students will be able to receive the same level of academic rigor and guidance.
It reveals a larger concern of higher education — the watering down of the collegiate learning experience as schools attempt to increase efficiencies while reducing budget and increasing student costs. Leaders should consider ways to engage faculty in innovative ways to make learning more accessible through technology or changes to teaching methods, or to add credentialing programs in place of work study or or international exchange.
- Inside Higher Ed The price of cutting course loads