Spring Term Fast Facts and Procedures
The engagement of a ST course differs from courses in the regular terms. Students are meant to be fully occupied (30-40 hours per week) as well as uniquely engaged and focused by their class. But it's not a compressed class, nor should it employ identical teaching methods from the long terms. Rather, we encourage new ways of thinking about both the subject matter and the way we teach the subject matter.
Faculty spend 8-10 hours per week in direct contact with the students (class time, lab time, etc.). Students put in an additional 20+ hours per week outside of class in course-related work (reading, writing, researching, rehearsals, creation, blogging, etc.)
The learning outcomes for the spring term are the same as for any term and are determined by each department/discipline learning outcomes. The Spring Term does require "an enhancement of critical and/or creative thinking" in each ST course, and this is defined by each department according to its particular discipline.
Up to $2,000 in funding is available for course enhancements in the Spring Term. Typical enhancements include bringing in a speaker, taking students on a site visit to a library/exhibit/museum etc., purchasing supplies, and so forth. If a course exceeds this support, then the additional costs are passed to the students as a course fee, which must be arranged prior to registration.
Professors can design the daily/weekly schedule to fit their particular teaching needs, using pre-arranged "blocks" that match the registrar's scheduling process. IF POSSIBLE, it is desirable for faculty to allow students to also take a 1-credit PE class during the two set PE blocks: either 8:30-10 a.m. MTWR, or 12:50-2:20 p.m. MTWR. If a course cannot accommodate the PE times, then this must be made clear prior to registration and hopefully early in the fall when Spring Term details are first posted.
Spring Term Abroad
We have a range of robust courses in the spring in which W&L faculty take students abroad for all or part of the four-week term. This requires a more complex process of course proposal, planning, and orientation. For full details, see the Spring Term Abroad page and contact Mark Rush, Director of International Education. (Note: these programs are an additional cost for students and course enhancement funds are not available for these.)
Each year about 10% of the students will take "Spring Option." This means they can spend the spring engaged in an internship, service program, employment, travel or educational program that will broaden and enhance their collegiate education. They must submit the required notification form and do not receive academic credit for this activity.
Spring Term Website
Many resources are housed on the Spring Term Website, including information and FAQs, past faculty academy sessions, syllabi, assessment, reports, and much more.
Proposing a Course
To propose a new course for the Spring Term, there are two forms that must be submitted by the department or program head to the Committee on Courses and Degrees: the standard C&D course proposal form, and the supplemental Spring Term/4-week course proposal form. Both may be found on the C&D committee web site. Basically, once you have a concept for a course in mind, discuss it with your department head, your colleagues, and other faculty; feel very free to involve Marc Conner at any stage in the planning process. Then ask your department or program head to submit your forms to C&D, at firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably no later than September of the year in which you hope to teach the course.