Millersville University, Faculty Senate

General Education Curriculum

Program Review

May 1996


III. Costs of the Program

A. The former General Education curriculum required sixty-two credits, including:

1. English 110: English Composition (3 credits)
2. Communications 100 (3 credits)
3. Fifteen credits in the division of Humanities and Fine Arts
4. Fifteen credits in the division of Social Sciences
5. Fifteen credits in the division of Science and Mathematics, including one laboratory science course
6. Four credits of Health and Physical Education, including a one-credit swimming course.

In addition, the following constraints were imposed.

a. None of these courses could be within the major.
b. Two courses must be taken in one department in each division.
c. No more than 2 courses may be taken in one department to fulfill requirements 3, 4, 5.
d. Only four General Education courses can be required related courses.
e. Additional courses ("electives"), as necessary, to bring the General Education total to 62 credits. These courses could not be required related courses.

B. The current General Education curriculum requires fifty-four credits, distributed as follows.

1. English 110: English Composition (3 credits)
2. Communications 100 (3 credits)
3. Four courses in the division of Humanities and Fine Arts (12 credits)
4. Four courses in the division of Social Sciences (12 credits)
5. Four courses in the division of Science and Mathematics, including one laboratory science course (12 credits)
6. Three credits of Health and Physical Education
7. One upper-level composition course (3 credits)
8. Two Perspectives courses (6 credits), of which one can be from the major department

In addition, the following constraints are imposed.

a. Except for one perspectives course, none of these courses can be within the major.
b. Two courses must be taken in one department in each division.
c. No more than 2 courses may be taken in one department to fulfill requirements 3, 4, 5.
d. Only four General Education courses can be required related courses.
e. Four courses must be designated as "W" (writing) courses; any of these can be courses in the major.
f. Four courses must be at the 200-level or above.
g. Four courses must have either a significant communications component ("C") or a significant quantitative reasoning component ("Q").
h. One course must deal principally with the learning of quantitative techniques ("QARC").

The current General Education Program requires the following.

1. English 110: English Composition (3 credits)
2. Communications 100 (3 credits)
3. Four courses in the division of Humanities and Fine Arts
4. Four courses in the division of Social Sciences
5. Four courses in the division of Science and Mathematics, including one laboratory science course
6. One upper-level composition course
7. Three credits of Health and Physical Education
8. Two Perspectives courses

In addition, the following requirements must be satisfied.

a. Two courses must be taken in one department in each division.
b. No more than 2 courses may be taken in one department to fulfill requirements 3, 4, 5.
c. Four courses must be designated as "W" (writing) courses.
d. Four courses must be at the 200-level or above.
e. Four courses must have either a significant communications component or a significant quantitative reasoning component.
f. One course must deal principally with the learning of quantitative techniques.

The former General Education Program required sixty-two credits, including the following.

1. English 110: English Composition (3 credits)
2. Communications 100 (3 credits)
3. Fifteen credits in the division of Humanities and Fine Arts
4. Fifteen credits in the division of Social Sciences
5. Fifteen credits in the division of Science and Mathematics, including one laboratory science course
6. Four credits of Health and Physical Education, including a one-credit swimming course

In addition, the following requirements must be satisfied.

a. Two courses must be taken in one department in each division.
b. No more than 2 courses may be taken in one department to fulfill requirements 3, 4, 5.

To assess the costs of the present General Education curriculum, we shall compare the cost of the former curriculum to the cost of the present curriculum. In each case, we shall determine the cost for a student who just satisfies the requirements. We shall assume in addition, that each student can meet the "additional" requirements (the "lettered" entries above) in the course of satisfying the principal requirements (the "numbered" entries above). Because any statement of costs in dollars would be affected by inflation, seniority of faculty, etc., the cost is measured in faculty contact hours per student. For example, if a faculty member meets for one hour with a class of twenty (20) students, the cost of providing that faculty member for each student is1/20 (= 0.05) faculty contact hour.

We use average class sizes for each category: from the 1988-89 academic year for the former curriculum, and from the 1994-95 academic year for the present curriculum. Below each academic year are four columns: (1) the required credits of that type of course, (2) the average class size of each type of course, (3) the faculty contact hours per student-credit (fh/sc), and (4) the product of the first and third columns (the "cost" of this requirement). To obtain the third number (fh/sc), the number of faculty contact hours needed to teach each section (3 in the case of all 3-credit courses, 6 in the case of the 4-credit laboratory science courses) is divided by the average class size times the number of credits. The very last column ("fixed cost") is the cost of each requirement (in faculty contact hours), assuming that class sizes had remained fixed at their 1988-89 levels (except for Perspectives which were taken at their 1994-95 academic year levels since no reliable 1988-89 data are available).

The totals (as well as the figures in the "cost" columns) are expressed in faculty contact hours. Since a faculty member teaches 24 contact hours each academic year, each contact hour represents 1/24 of a faculty load. If we assume $52,000 as the annual cost of an average faculty member, the cost of (2.167 $52,000/24 =) $4695 per student in 1988-89 has become (2.466 $52,000/24 =) $5343 per student in 1994-95, a 14% increase in constant dollars.The apparent cost of the present general education curriculum is 13.6% greater than the former general education curriculum (2.548 compared to 2.243). If class sizes had remained unchanged, however, the present general education curriculum would represent just a 4.2% increase in the cost of providing each student's general education (2.338 compared to 2.243).

Requirement credits fixed size fh/sc "cost" credits size fh/sc "cost" "cost"
ENGL 110 3 cr 19.6 .0510 .153 3 cr 20.1 .0498 .149 .153
COMM 100 3 cr 24.2 .0413 .124 3 cr 24.5 .0408 .122 .124
HM-FA 15 cr 32.9 .0304 .456 12 cr 27.4 .0365 .438 .364
SocSci 15 cr 32.2 .0311 .466 12 cr 28.2 .0355 .426 .373
SciMa 11 cr 36.0 .0278 .306 9 cr 26.3 .0380 .342 .250
lab 4 cr 20.9 .0718 .287 4 cr 19.9 .0754 .301 .287
HPE 4 cr 21.5 .0465 .186 3 cr 28.0 .0357 .107 .140
AdvComp 19.5 .0513 3 cr 20.2 .0495 .149 .154
Perspec 6 cr 26.3 .0380 .228 .228
Add'l 7 cr 26.4 .0379 .265 7 cr 24.5 .0408 .286 .265
TOTAL 62 cr 2.243 62 cr 2.548 2.338


Introduction
I. Demand for and Reputation of Program
II. Quality of the Program
IV. Compliance with Board of Governors Policy
V. Five-Year Plan for Major Resource Needs
VI. Recommended Action Plan
VII. Acknowledgments

Return to Table of Contents
Return to Faculty Senate Home Page
Return to MU Home Page