UNDERGRADUATE INSTRUCTION

     This report describes Fall semester 2001 instruction. We hope to soon add the same information for Spring 2001 and Fall 2000 semesters.

FALL 2001 Semester

     The Department of Criminal Justice offered 53 undergraduate sections in 50 different classes.[1]
     Location. We taught the bulk of classes on the main campus (37 sections; 74%) with ten (20%) being taught at Ambler and 3 (6%) being taught at the Center City campus.
     Class size. The Department of Criminal Justice has tried to offer small classes when possible. Faculty view it as crucial for effective instruction. Class size ranged from 7 to  75 and averaged 38.7 (median = 37.5). Half of the classes offered ranged in size between 25 and 51.
     Introduction to Criminal Justice. Introduction to Criminal Justice (CJ 50) is an important "gateway" course to the criminal justice major. In addition it is widely attended by other undergraduates because it helps satisfy some distributional requirements. In other words, it is both a majors course and a service course. We offered 9 sections of introduction to criminal justice. Class size ranged from 28 to 75 and averaged 51 students. Our commitment to this course is reflected not only in the relatively small class size, but also in the presence of full time instructors in 67% of these sections (6) and Presidential, tenure-track faculty in 44% of these sections (4).[2]
     Overall Instructor Mix. Sixty-two percent of our classes (31) were taught by full-time instructors; 38% of these classes (n=19) were taught by Presidential faculty. In considering this latter number it must be recalled that for the Fall 2001 semester one Presidential faculty member was on leave (Welsh), and three Presidential faculty lines were not filled (Avakame, Greene, Piquero), resulting in four Dean's Appointment faculty in the department.
     In a three credit course each student generates three hours of credit. Overall, the department generated 5,802 credit hours during the Fall 2001 semester. Full-time faculty generated 65% of those credit hours; Presidential faculty generated 42% of them. Graduate students, all of whom had completed a required teaching practicum, generated 12% of the credit hour total. "Part-time" or adjunct faculty, the instructor receiving the least supervision and the least commitment of departmental resources, generated only 23% of the credit hours produced.
     The slightly stronger contribution of full time instructors and Presidential faculty to credit hours in comparison to classes suggests these teachers were responsible for slightly larger than average classes. Conversely, adjunct faculty were receiving slightly smaller than average classes.

Department of Criminal Justice Fall 2001 Instructor Mix

  Instructor Type Credit Hours Generated Classes
A Full-time Instructors 3789 65% 31 62%
B Presidential Faculty 2451 42% 19 38%
C Graduate Instructors 669 12% 6 12%
D Adjunct Faculty 1344 23% 13 26%
  Total (A+C+D) 5802 100% 50 100%

     Overall Course Mix by Level. Each semester the department tries to offer a mix of courses containing a good selection at each level of difficulty. We usually speak of four different levels: below 100, 100, 200, and 300. Courses below 100 are gateway courses (Introduction, Discovery); 100 level courses are introductory in nature; 200 level courses are moderate in difficulty and specialization, and 300 level courses are the most advanced and the most specialized. For the fall, we offered 10 gateway courses, 20 introductory courses, 9 moderate courses and 11 advanced courses.
     Is the mix tilted too heavily toward gateway and introductory courses, with 60% of our offerings at this level? Perhaps so, but this proportion should be examined in light of two issues. First, we offer many sections of our introductory course (CJ 50) because of our commitment to relatively small class size for this gateway course, and because of our commitment to the college and the wider university to staff this as a service course.  Second, we were missing many Presidential faculty this semester who are the faculty most qualified to offer advanced courses.

Department of Criminal Justice Fall 2001 Course Level Mix

N of Courses

Percent of Courses

Introductory

10

20.0

100 Level

20

40.0

200 Level

9

18.0

300 Level

11

22.0

Total

50

100.0

------

[1] A section is not synonymous with a class. In the schedule there was one instance of a double section meeting at the same time and place and taught by the same instructor (Criminal Justice 130). These two sections were combined into one class. In addition, the practicum class was listed separately for Ambler and Main campuses, but was taught only at the main campus. The latter two sections also were combined. The same procedure was followed for the two practicum supervision sections.
[2] "Full-time" instructors included Presidential faculty, full-time Dean's appointments, two full-time administrators in criminal justice who also teach (Jon Clark, Steve Smith), and one full-time administrator in the Dean's Office of the College of Liberal Arts (Lori Pompa). It does not include graduate students on a full-time teaching assistantship line who are teaching one course per semester as a primary instructor.