Student Facilitated Courses

The Design faculty is pleased to offer undergraduate Design students the opportunity to teach their peers under the auspices of the Student Facilitated Course (SLC). To qualify, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.25. Proposals to teach an SLC can be submitted by individuals or teams of two.

The faculty will review all proposals, and only approve those that hold the promise of maintaining the highest academic standards of the Department and the University. Generally, a successful proposal meets the following criteria: (1) the proposal document is concise, complete, organized and well written; (2) the proposed class is relevant and timely, but does not overlap with existing Design classes; (3) the applicant possesses the communication skills and curricular expertise to teach, as demonstrated in the workshop (see below) and as set forth in the proposal; and (4) the SLC is viable in terms of student interest, scheduling, facilities, and resource requirements. The faculty will not approve more than two proposals per year.

SLCs are variable-unit and graded Pass/No Pass. Final exams are optional. Students reaching an SLC will receive units for developing the class (DES 199FA) and for teaching it (DES 199FB). The number of units received are determined by the standard formula: one unit = 30 hours of work. Students interested in submitting proposals are strongly advised to start the process by approaching and securing the agreement of a Design professor to serve as faculty mentor and–upon approval–the SLC instructor of record.

The SLC process encompasses three sequential phases, each lasting one academic quarter:

  1. Workshop and Proposal (no units)
  2. DES 199FA – Course Development and Planning
  3. DES 199FB – Teaching the SLC

Workshop and Proposal

The work produced during this initial phase is used by the faculty to evaluate the proposal. Working under the informal guidance of the faculty mentor, the student will offer a one-time workshop that introduces and/or exemplifies the SLC curriculum. As a workshop, the student instructor is encouraged to plan for the active participation of students. The student instructor is responsible for all administrative aspects of the workshop, including scheduling, recruitment, and facilitation. A minimum of 12 Design major students must attend and evaluate the workshop in order for the proposal to be considered. At the conclusion of the workshop, the student instructor will distribute an evaluation form to workshop participants and request that they numerically rate and comment upon the workshop. The evaluation should survey interest in the SLC curriculum, teaching effectiveness of the student instructor, and the overall value of the workshop. The forms will be delivered to the faculty mentor, who will subsequently share them with the student instructor. The student instructor will tabulate and summarize the results, including a spreadsheet that averages numerical ratings and a list of student comments. Individual evaluation forms will not be appended to the proposal.

The SLC proposal is a written document that includes an introductory statement (explaining why the proposed SLC is relevant to Design students), course description, expected learning outcomes, material supplies and facility requirements, preliminary course outline (syllabus), and 1 or 2 sample assignments. The proposal will also identify the SLC as a lower or upper division class (DES 98F or DES 198F, respectively), suggested prerequisites, and the number of units students will receive. Also provide two faculty references (these are names and not letters). An appendix will include the summary of the workshop evaluations and a copy of the applicant’s transcript. This document is submitted to the faculty mentor for review, and the deadline for submission is Friday of the sixth week of instruction of a given quarter. Students are advised to schedule the workshop 1-2 weeks in advance of this deadline. Upon approval, the faculty mentor will distribute the proposal to the Design faculty, who will decide to approve, reject, or request modifications to, the proposal.

DES 199FA – Course Development and Planning

With approval of the SLC proposal, the student enrolls in DES 199FA, a preparatory tutorial taken with the faculty mentor. Student and faculty mentor will meet a minimum of 10 hours (1 hour per week) to discuss the SLC. Under the guidance of the mentor, the student will develop course content and format, and establish learning outcomes and planned methods of course assessment. The mentor assumes responsibility for ensuring that the course meets university standards for academic rigor, number of units, and expected workload, and that the student instructor is prepared to teach the course. At the beginning of the DES 199FA quarter, the student instructor is responsible for coordinating the delivery of the class with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for Design, the Tool Room Supervisor and any other Design staff person who needs to be alerted to the class offering.

DES199FB – Teaching the SLC

This course designation provides a vehicle for the student instructor to receive academic credit for teaching the SLC. Unless otherwise stipulated in the proposal, the SLC must be offered in the quarter immediately following the successful completion of DES 199FA. This is to ensure that the Design catalog is accurate and that Department resources–including staff time–are expended efficiently. In addition to teaching, the student will meet with the faculty mentor, now the instructor of record (IOR), 1 hour per week to discuss how the class is going and receive constructive feedback. The student should anticipate that the IOR will attend half of the class meetings. Grading will be performed by the student instructor and final grades will be entered by the IOR. Students enrolled in the SLC will be advised at the first class meeting that they have access to the IOR for consultation. Student evaluations of the SLC and the student instructor are required. The student instructor and the IOR will assess the course at its conclusion.

In order to maintain continuity during a lengthy review, preparation and instructional process, interested students are encouraged to begin the process early in the fall quarter and teach the SLC the following spring. While proposals will be entertained in the winter and spring quarters, students are advised that faculty may be unwilling to commit to serve as mentors for a process that spans two academic years.

Students who teach an SLC will have the wording “STU FAC” in the course short description on the student’s transcript to acknowledge the fact that they served as a course facilitator.


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