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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

CHANGES TO THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ASTRONOMY IN THE COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES CHAPTER OF THE
UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2010-2012

Dean Mary Ann Rankin of the College of Natural Sciences has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the following changes to the Bachelor of Science in Astronomy in the College of Natural Sciences chapter in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2010-2012. The faculty of the college approved the changes on June 10, 2009, and the dean approved the proposed changes on October 5, 2009. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general interest to more than one college or school.

The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review recommended approval of the change on November 23, 2009, and forwarded the proposed changes to the Office of the General Faculty. The Faculty Council has the authority to approve this legislation on behalf of the General Faculty. The authority to grant final approval on this legislation resides with the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If an objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. The objection, with reasons, must be signed by a member of the Faculty Council.

To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by December 14, 2009.



Greninger Signature

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty and the Faculty Council


Distributed through the Faculty Council web site on December 9, 2009.


CHANGES TO THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ASTRONOMY IN THE COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES CHAPTER OF THE
UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 2010-2012

NAME OF DEGREE PROGRAM(S): Bachelor of Science in Astronomy

EXPLAIN CHANGE(S) TO DEGREE PROGRAM:
There are three college-wide changes being made to the prescribed work and special requirements for this degree: (1) A statement that students must satisfy the University-wide core curriculum requirements has been added and redundant line requirements have been stricken; (2) Honors course options are listed as satisfying the introductory chemistry requirement in the degree; (3) The GPA requirement statement has been modified to reflect the change to +/- grading.

Option-specific changes to degree requirements:
Option I: Astronomy
The list of physics courses that satisfy the major has been updated to by removing PHY 453 and adding PHY 355 and PHY 353L.

Option II: Astronomy Honors
The breadth requirement was revised to ensure that students would satisfy the university core requirements in Natural Sciences I and II, and the introductory physics requirement was removed from the breadth area and given its own line. The number of approved elective hours was reduced from 25 to 15 to fix a mathematical error in the 08-10 catalog. Two statements have been added in special requirements to clarify that students must be in good standing in the Dean’s Scholars program to graduate under Option II, and AP credit may not be used to satisfy the breadth requirement in the degree.

Indicate pages in the undergraduate catalog where changes will be made. pages 501-502

GIVE A DETAILED RATIONALE FOR CHANGE(S):
College-Wide Changes:
(1) Core Curriculum:
The college is adopting the University-wide common core for its B.S. degrees for the 2010-12 catalog. Our degree plans are being updated to reflect this change.
(2) Honors Course Options:
For the past two years, qualified natural sciences students have had the option to complete an honors biology sequence (BIO 315H and BIO 325) and an honors chemistry sequence (CH 301H and CH 302H) to satisfy their introductory biology and chemistry course requirements. The degree plans in the college are being updated to reflect this option.
(3) GPA Requirements:
The college’s adoption of C- as the minimum grade required for course credit raises the possibility that students may satisfy all degree requirements with grades of C- but simultaneously fall short of the minimum 2.0 GPA required in the major. Therefore, the college is implementing a common GPA statement for all degrees in the college to clarify that students must have a grade of at least C-, and a grade point average of at least 2.0 in the math and science courses required in the degree.

Option-Specific Changes:
Option I: Astronomy
The list of physics courses required for the major has been modified to reflect the discontinuation for PHY 453 and its replacement in the degree plans with PHY 355 and PHY 353L. The required hours of upper-division physics is being increased by two, which will not change the overall hours required for the degree. This change was a direct response to the recommendations of an undergraduate curriculum review committee in physics formed by the department chair, John Markert, which found that students were lacking in their exposure to the basic ideas of modern physics and thermodynamics. To expose physics majors in all options to these concepts, PHY 355 (Modern Physics) will be required as a common requirement for all physics options. PHY 355 has long provided an introduction to modern physics for engineers and will now provide the same service for physics majors as well. The department has also created a new laboratory course (PHY 353L) to explore these concepts of modern physics and thermodynamics in more depth. This course will also be required for all majors. The recommending committee consisted of Professors Michael Marder, Duane Dicus, Peter Antoniewicz, Sacha Kopp, Austin Gleeson, and Roger Bengtson (chair), with additional advice from Professor Emeritus Mel Oakes, undergraduate coordinator Pat Morgan, and student adviser Susan Brown.

Option II: Astronomy Honors
The changes proposed in this degree are reflective of the changes being made across all honors degree plans in the college. 1) The breadth and thesis requirements in the honors degrees have been revised where necessary to either clarify eligible courses, add “hidden” lab requirements, or ensure that students would select course combinations that would satisfy the university core requirements for Natural Sciences I and II. 2) The degree plans now specifically state that AP credit cannot be used to satisfy the breadth requirement because the intention of the degrees is to provide students with an honors-level course in these areas. The physics requirement for the honors degrees in astronomy and physics was moved to its own line item to recognize the fact that most of the honors students in these degrees arrive on campus ready to begin in second-semester physics with AP credit for PHY 301. 3) The hours of additional approved electives were modified where necessary to accurately reflect the number of elective hours that students had available. It was discovered that there were mathematical inaccuracies in the 08-10 catalog and these are being fixed. 4) It was deemed necessary by the faculty to clarify that students must be in good standing in the Dean’s Scholars program to obtain the honors option of a degree. This was an implied requirement that was never officially stated in the catalog. It is now being added.

SCOPE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGE(S):
Does this proposal impact other colleges/schools? If yes, then how? No.

Has the other college(s)/school(s) been informed of the proposed change? If so, please indicate their response. N/A.

Will this proposal change the number of required hours for degree completion? If yes, please explain. No.

Does this proposal involve changes to the core curriculum (42-hour core, signature courses, flags)? If yes, please explain.Yes, it incorporates the new University core curriculum.

COLLEGE/SCHOOL APPROVAL PROCESS:
Department Approval Date: May 19, 2009
College Approval Date: June 10, 2009
Dean Approval Date: October 5, 2009

To view the edited version of the catalog changes click the PDF link at the beginning of this document.