Summer School Procedures Manual Chapter 05: Planning Course Offerings


Summer School Procedures Manual Chapter 05: Planning Course Offerings

5. Planning Course Offerings

Schools and departments share in Summer School mission to offer courses that meet curricular goals and students' academic needs, while remaining within each unit's budget.  Therefore, when planning course offerings, units should consider factors such as projected enrollment, instructor salaries and ideal mode of instruction.  Summer School welcomes proposals to add courses or programs that fit academically with a unit's needs for its students and that can be accommodated in the summer session format.

Each unit's Summer School administrator submits a list of courses to be offered in each session, as well as the number of credits and a description of each course.

A. Planning

  1. Planning is very important. It is critical that the initial schedule of course offerings be realistic. Courses that are set up in Connect Carolina in the fall should remain as stable as possible so that students can plan accurately. Students will see the list of course offerings on the Summer School website in December. Summer student enrollment provides all of Summer School's financial support, including instructional personnel stipends, and affects each unit's allocation for the following year. Good planning begins with a review of the previous summer's courses and enrollments. Courses that are popular during the fall and spring semesters and that have wait lists are likely to be successful in the summer.  Enrollment trends and changes in curriculum requirements have implications for summer course enrollment.
  2. Summer course offerings should be based on student and curricular need, not faculty preference. Once the schedule of courses is announced in December, students make plans based on that schedule. After February 2, changes in course time or mode must be approved by Summer School; only in extraordinary circumstances will changes be allowed after that date. Once registration begins in March, changes in class times and instructional modes will not be considered. See the planning calendar for deadlines.
  3. Courses especially designed to attract incoming first-year students should be offered in Second Session because the public school calendar overlaps with First Session. First-year seminars can be offered with permission from the Office of Undergraduate Education.
  4. Summer School administrators must verify that all courses included in the summer schedule have been approved by the proper administrative board in time to be offered the following summer.
  5. Units can set up independent study or directed reading courses and must follow the College of Arts & Sciences or appropriate unit guidelines for such courses. 
  6. In rare circumstances, a unit may add a course that has a waitlist for fall after registration begins. Summer School grants permission after consultation with the unit's Summer School administrator.
  7. If any course is initially created with an instructor designation of "staff," units should identify the instructor no later than April 30.

B. Budget Considerations

  1. If a class consistently under-enrolls, Summer School will encourage the unit to replace the course. Administrators should regularly evaluate summer course enrollment data.  As programs develop, some different courses might need to be added. Some previous offerings might no longer be the most desirable.
  2. Be aware that trade-offs cannot be made between your allocations for First Session and Second Session because these are in different fiscal years. Summer School can make adjustments in unit allocations within sessions when it learns of a specific need.  Make requests at
  3. Units can usually add sections of courses that have high demand. Consult with Summer School at

C. Class Times and Contact Hours

  1. Classes should be scheduled using standard meeting patterns as shown in the calendar. (See Summer School Manual Chapter 03.)
  2. Classes meeting at other hours are discouraged because that could prevent a student from registering for additional courses. Summer School may approve more flexible schedules if there are compelling extenuating circumstances.
  3. A course for graduate credit should meet less than three contact hours per day. The Graduate School guidelines require at least one week of class contact per credit hour.
  4. Generally, a three-credit-hour course should have a minimum of 37.5 contact hours equaling 2,250 minutes and for a four-credit course 50 contact hours equaling 3,000 minutes (final examination time should be included). Faculty are expected to hold class meetings at the scheduled times and locations and not shorten the teaching schedule. Any change should have approval of the unit Summer School Administrator or chair/dean. Guidelines for courses with other numbers of credit hours are roughly proportional. Activity courses, studio courses, field courses, and laboratory courses count three hours as equivalent to one contact hour.
  5. Remote courses should provide instructional and learning activities equivalent to the required number of contact hours.
  6. Maymester courses must meet at least 12 days, and the final exam time is included within the 12 days. Maymester course sections are designated by 01M, 02M, etc., and must be scheduled in the three times outlined in the Summer School Manual Chapter 03 (Summer Calendar).
  7. Online courses through Summer School are designated by 01W, 02W, etc.
  8. Courses that begin in First Session but end in Second Session will be attached or designated as Second Session because that is when grades are posted. They can be listed in First Session offerings with the extended dates included as part of the course description. Instructors, however, should be nominated and paid in Second Session when the course ends.
  9. For First Session courses, schedulers should ensure that courses did not default to Session A but are accurately set up in Session 1.
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Article ID: 132170
Thu 4/8/21 9:25 PM
Tue 9/5/23 1:58 PM
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