UNDERGRADUATE INSTRUCTION:
Spring 2002, Fall 2002, Spring 2003

    This section of the report describes undergraduate enrollments, and changes in those enrollments, over the last three semesters. To provide a slightly longer historical perspective, we also include information from the spring semesters of 1998 and 2000. We have compiled data from these earlier semesters as part of an ongoing project linking student evaluations and grades.

    The backdrop for these changes has been increased interest in the criminal justice major. We have gone from 540 majors in December 2001 to  679 majors currently. This burgeoning popularity has created challenges for the department's scheduled instruction. We have tried to meet this challenge by offering, starting in the Fall of 2002, slightly larger sections where the course content and instructor were both appropriate.

Changes in Number of Sections Offered

    As the figure below shows, the number of sections offered has increased from 36 in Spring 2002 to 56 in Spring 2003, for a 55% increase.[1]  

 

 

Number of Sections Offered and Instructor Status

    This growth in the number of sections has been accompanied by an increase in the number of sections taught by adjunct faculty.[2]  Over the last three semesters that number has increased from 11 to 19 to 21. But since full-time faculty also have been teaching more, we have been able to keep the portion of sections taught by full-time faculty at slightly above 60% (69%, 63%, and 63% for the last three semesters). The numbers of sections taught by semester by full-time status appear below.

 

 

Class Size 

   Although we have increased the numbers of sections offered, we have  held "typical" class size steady at about 40, and for about half of our sections, class size ranges from about 30 to about 50.  We have started departmental discussions about possible ways to increase class size in some courses.


Class Size by Semester: 
Mean, Median, and Interquartile Range
Semester	Mean	Median	Percentiles
				25th    75th
SP 98		42	47	34	51
SP 00		36	37	18	48
SP 02		42	40	34	50
FA 02		40	40	30	50
SP 03		40	41	29	49

    The table below shows the distribution of course sections by level. Our introduction to criminal justice, which is our "gateway" class, is offered about 5 to 10 times per semester, and constitutes 15 - 20% of our offerings. Introductory courses to specific topic areas, numbered at the 100 level, routinely make up 40 - 50% of our offerings. This level includes several of our courses required for the major (130, 145, 160, 161).  200 level, somewhat specialized courses make up about 10 - 20% of our offerings. The most advanced undergraduate courses, 300 level,   make up 20-30% of our offerings. We will be trying in future to offer more "senior" level experiences in these 300 level courses by limiting class sizes to (hopefully) no more than 30 or so.

 

Semester SP 98   SP 00   SP 02   FA 02   SP 03  
Course Level  Count   Count   Count   Count   Count  
Introduction 5 15% 8 17% 7 19% 11 22% 11 20%
100 Level 17 50% 19 40% 15 42% 24 47% 23 41%
200  Level 5 15% 9 19% 5 14% 6 12% 6 11%
300 Level 7 21% 12 25% 9 25% 10 20% 16 29%
                   
Total 34 100% 48 100% 36 100% 51 100% 56 100%

 

Location

    We have increased slightly the number of sections offered at our Ambler campus; for the last two semesters we have offered about ten sections there each semester. We also have increased the number of full time faculty assigned there to accommodate this increase, placing two faculty there for each of the last two semesters. Ambler sections represent about 15-20% of our sections offered. We continue to offer four sections a semester at the Center City location.  Given the increase in Ambler sections, we have decreased the fraction of sections offered on Main Campus to about 75%.

 

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[1] These counts exclude both independent studies, and the field and class portion of the criminal justice practicum. Although the class portion of the criminal justice practicum represents regularly scheduled instruction, multiple sections are listed for that class.

[2] We count as full time faculty Presidential faculty, Dean's Appointments, full-time administrators who also teach, and graduate student primary instructors, since they are now assigned "full time" loads of two courses per semester.