Welcome to the comprehensive student information site for the 4-to-3 credit-hour conversion process. This site is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the conversion, including official communications from the University and Q&A's about the process. As the conversion approaches, we’ll continue to add information to keep you up to date and answer specific questions you may email to: email@example.com. Questions will be answered and posted within two business days of receipt. Site updates with new information will be made weekly.
Posted June 30
Extraordinary progress has been made this summer on Phase I of the 4-to-3 credit-hour conversion process.
90% of the 4-credit hour courses that are currently in our undergraduate catalog have been submitted for conversion review. 33 departments and programs across the University have submitted this work. This work has been completed much earlier than anticipated in the project plan.
Six department/program submissions have been approved at all levels and the courses are now being processed by the Registrar’s Office.
One hundred and one courses have been exempted from conversion for pedagogical reasons (e.g. disciplinary standards). Due to disciplinary or accreditation requirements, 7 degree programs have been exempted from the 120 credit hour degree limit.
Phase II of the 4-to-3 credit-hour conversion process will involve revising academic majors, both to meet the 120 credit hour degree limit and to include newly revised courses.
Posted May 31
4-to3 Conversion Update: Moving forward.
This summer, CSU's administration and faculty are working together to convert classes from four credit hours to three. An online submission and review process has been created for faculty to streamline the review and approval process of course materials. Each undergraduate course will be reviewed at the department, college and university levels. Disciplinary and accreditation standards are being considered, as well the course content to ensure that the quality of instruction is maintained.
Also during the summer months and into the fall, representatives from the faculty and the administration will be meeting with advisors to begin the process of creating guides for students to transition from the four-credit hour model to the three-credit model. As the guides are developed, they will be made available to students before registration opens next spring to review with their advisors and decide on a curricular plan to complete their program.
Twenty four departments have already reviewed their undergraduate curriculum and have submitted proposals through the online process. About 2/3 of the course conversions have already been completed by departments, and submitted for review.
Recently Asked Questions
Posted April 29
Q: What concerns me about this change is that professors will continue to teach the current curriculum, but will just teach less in class and shift the burden onto the students. How will CSU ensure that professors actually adjust the workload of their classes to reflect that they are 3 credit hours, and not 4?
A:The university will be monitoring the conversion of each course to make sure that there is a reduction in content consistent with the change in credit hours. If faculty plan to offer a four credit-course as three credits when the conversion is implemented, the department will need to submit a course proposal that describes how the planned change will be made -- a reduction in readings, materials, or other changes. Each proposed course conversion will be reviewed and approved by the department, the college and the university before it can be scheduled and offered to students.
Posted April 26
Q: I just filled out my graduation paperwork but then received a letter in the mail about a week ago saying that they switched the minimum amount of credit hours for a bachelors from 128 to 120? In this case, would I be able to drop one of my electives in fall and still graduate Dec 15?
A: The new curriculum and the 120-credit requirement will be implemented in Fall 2014. Students graduating before then will not be affected. Students graduating after that date will want to consult with an advisor to decide whether graduating under their old plan or transitioning to the new one would be best for them.
Posted April 24
Q: When I transferred to CSU in the fall of 2012 many of my courses from LCCC did not count toward my degree at CSU because they were three credit-hour classes instead of four. A lot were the same classes I needed, but they didn't count. Will these classes now be acceptable?
A: Making it easier for students to transfer was one of the reasons for the curriculum conversion. Currently some departments do not routinely allow transfer credit for a 4-credit CSU course if the transfer course was only worth 3 credits, on the basis that the transfer course did not cover enough content to make the courses equivalent. Others do, but since most programs require students to complete a minimum number of total credits, additional hours may be required to make up the difference. Review of transcripts needs to be done on an individual basis. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor early in their CSU career to discuss their transfer credit. Additional review of transfer credit (particularly if students can provide more information about course content, such as a syllabus) is always an option. Advisors and Registrar's Office staff are happy to help facilitate such reviews. The changes to the curriculum will apply when the conversion is implemented in Fall 2014.
Posted April 23
Q: I have six credits to complete this summer in the management major track. Your letter says programs will be switched from 128 hours needed to only 120. Will this new requirement be implemented immediately, or will everything be starting in 2014? If I only need 120 hours to graduate I can keep my enrollment in my capstone course this summer but my extra three-credit management class this summer would no longer be necessary.
A: Both changes will occur in 2014. Regarding your specific situation, we highly recommend that you work directly with an advisor to ensure that you are taking all the needed classes in the most efficient manner.
Posted April 22
Q: Is it true that instead of needing 32 four-credit-hour classes to graduate, students will need 40 three-credit-hour classes? This would mean that a current four-credit-hour class will still have the same content, but will count less towards their graduation.
A: The comparison of 40 vs. 32 would only apply in a small number of extreme cases. Current students are already taking a mixture of courses that carry various credits, from 1 to 5 or more credits, and most of them do not graduate within 128 credits; instead, they graduate with far more. As a result, many of them take more than 32 courses to graduate under the current model. When the curriculum is converted, there will be more 3-credit courses than there are now, but there will also be 4-credit courses due to exemptions, and most of the other alternative models (1-, 2-, 5-credit or more) will still be offered. Due to better alignment with state and other institutions’ standards, students will be less likely to accumulate unnecessary credits. Although some future students may need to take more classes than some current students, the difference will not be as big as suggested by 40 vs. 32.
Posted April 22
Q: What happens to classes that are currently three credit hours? Do they stay three-credit hour classes even though they may require less work than a current four-credit-hour class?
A: Three-credit-hour classes will remain the same. Four credit-hour classes will be reduced in the amount of class time, the amount of work required and on average, the amount of resources needed for them, such as books.
Posted April 19
Q: I attend classes four days per week now, and I work 30 hours per week at my job. How will this conversion affect my schedule?
A: Most likely the conversion will improve your schedule significantly. The majority of undergraduate students at CSU currently attend classes four days per week, and nearly 40 percent attend classes five days a week. The conversion to three-credit-hour courses enables the university to implement a new scheduling grid that will make it easier for students to attend classes only three days per week, and in some cases two days per week.
Currently, many students unnecessarily wait long periods of time between classes because many courses do not conform to an hourly scheduling grid. Shorter classes are more easily scheduled consecutively, allowing them to start and end each hour on the hour. This will allow students to take five consecutive classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., as an example. Tuesdays and Thursdays, in this instance, would be free for work, family needs or study time. The current system does not readily enable stacked scheduling such as this, partly due to the four-hour courses and an irregular scheduling grid.
Knowing that CSU has many nontraditional students, who also work and care for families, this was an important step forward to help our students succeed and work more efficiently toward graduation.
Posted April 17
Q: What does this mean for new students, who will begin in the fall of 2013?
A: Students beginning college in the fall of 2013 will enroll under the existing catalogue of classes and can choose to switch to the new curriculum in 2014, when the change is made, but they will not be required to do so. They, however, may want to switch to the new curriculum because it will require fewer credit hours to graduate.
Posted April 17
Q: How will this affect graduate students?
A: Graduate programs are not part of the planned conversion. The curriculum conversion is aimed at undergraduate programs to help them complete a degree more quickly. It's coupled with a change in degree requirements for undergraduate programs; for most degrees the minimum number of credits will be 120.
Posted April 12
Q: 4-to-3: what does it mean to current CSU students?
A: There will be no adverse effects for existing students. Current students will NOT have to take any additional credits, stay in school longer or incur additional costs to graduate.
Posted April 12
Q: I’m currently a student at CSU. How will the conversion to three-credit-hour courses affect me?
A: If you’re currently a student at CSU, you will NOT be negatively impacted as a result of the change to a three-credit-hour model. The updated curriculum will not force you to take additional credits beyond those required.
Posted April 12
Q: Why is CSU converting its curriculum to a three-credit-hour model?
A: The change is designed to make scheduling more flexible and to help students graduate on time. Three-credit-hour classes are the norm for schools on semesters. All other Ohio public universities on semesters have converted to three-credit-hour classes. CSU switched to semesters in 1999 but never made the conversion to three-credit-hour classes. The change will allow you to progress in a timely manner towards your degree.
Posted April 12
Q: Will the conversion to three-credit hour courses increase student costs?
A: In terms of total costs, the conversion should lead to a reduction in costs for the majority of students, rather than an increase. Students pay by credit, not course. With the conversion, it’s more likely that a student will graduate with 120 credits, vs. the current situation in which many students graduate with 15 or more unnecessary credits. The mismatch of credits between CSU courses and those offered at other public institutions in Ohio often results in additional unnecessary credits for our students. In addition, with more three-credit classes, more subject areas can be covered within 120 credits, making it easier for students to double major or to have a minor without paying extra beyond what’s required for one major.
Posted April 12
Q: With an increase in the number of classes, will I need to purchase more textbooks?
A: Although in some cases additional texts may be needed for additional classes, this isn’t expected to increase student costs overall. First, textbook costs are only part of the total costs of obtaining a degree, and once the conversion is implemented it is expected to reduce total student costs. Second, when classes are converted from 4-credit to 3-credit, the total content will not increase for most subject areas. As a result, additional textbooks might not always be necessary. Faculty individually will decide whether to use different portions of the same text in two or more courses, or whether a shift to a different textbook would better meet student needs. For example, a typical calculus sequence for mathematics majors requires 11 or 12 credit hours. They may be structured differently at different institutions: a 4-4-3, 5-3-3, or 4-4-4 sequence over 3 semesters or a 3-3-3-3 sequence over 4 semesters; but all would usually be based on ONE calculus book.
Posted April 12
Q: When will we see classes switching, or when will this conversion be implemented?
A: The current plan is to implement the new system in Fall 2014.
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