Guidelines Affecting CTW Course Equivalencies
Guidelines Affecting CTW Course Equivalencies
Effective for students entering in Fall 2009 and thereafter, all students seeking a baccalaureate degree are required to take two critical thinking through writing (CTW) courses in their major. Critical thinking through writing courses must meet the following requirements: be at least three credit hours; contain assignments that focus on critical thinking demonstrated through writing with such assignments constituting a substantial percentage of the course grade; have a maximum of 25:1 student to instructor ratio; and be taught by a CTW-trained instructor.
CTW Course Designations
Each academic department has identified at least two CTW courses for each of its majors. In the University's Undergraduate Catalog each CTW course has a statement added to its description to the effect that this course serves as one of the two Critical Thinking through Writing courses required for that major. A few degree programs identify their CTW courses by the addition of (CTW) to the course title. In addition, all CTW courses are flagged in Banner with the course attribute of CTW. This attribute permits students to search the Class Schedule for CTW courses and facilitates the generation of a Crystal Report of all CTW courses. The CTW requirement is monitored on a student's academic evaluation (CAPP). A list of CTW courses for the student's major is provided in an area labeled CTW Requirement (6.00 hours), and the requirement states Met or Not Met, as do other areas of a student's academic program.
The development of CTW courses is the responsibility of each degree program. An approval process is in place for a course to receive a designation as CTW. This approval process includes submission and approval by the Senate's Undergraduate Assessment Committee of the syllabi and assignments, plan for assessment of student learning, and plan for faculty training. In most instances, CTW courses also are reviewed by the college-level committee responsible for curriculum.
Tracking CTW Course Designations
Administrators of the CTW program are responsible for monitoring changes in each academic department's CTW course offerings. This will be accomplished by the maintenance of a catalog of all active CTW courses approved for each degree major and their effective date of approval. If departments intend to modify their CTW course offerings--for example, remove the CTW designation from an approved CTW course--they need to notify the CTW Director of such action and its effective date. Departments are required to review and update all University Catalog information regarding its CTW courses annually at a minimum to assure its accuracy. Articulation agreements for course equivalency with regard to transfer credits also should be reviewed annually.
The majority, but not all, of the CTW courses evolved from established courses in the major that were previously equivalent to courses offered at other colleges and universities. However, CTW courses are built upon an approved university-wide definition of critical thinking and undergo the approval process outlined above. Thus, to assure the integrity of the CTW graduation requirement and consistency in the evaluation of course equivalency, all courses that have been directly equated to GSU courses designated as CTW effective fall 2009 will be equated to upper division electives for that subject area (i.e., as 3099 or 4099). Transfer credits should no longer be automatically equated to CTW courses, as the course content and structure are normally specific to Georgia State (see University Catalog Section 1430), and equivalencies to CTW courses are rare.
Appeals for CTW Transfer Credit
Students who wish to petition for CTW transfer credit should follow the transfer credit petition procedures established for each college and/or department, with decisions about CTW course equivalents made in consultation with the appropriate department's CTW Ambassador and/or the department chair.
Appeals to Waive CTW Graduation Requirement
Such appeals will follow the route outlined in the Student Code of Conduct (Section IV. B. 8):
a) Appeals of other university-level academic rules and graduation requirements will be made in the first instance by the Academic Director of Student Retention.
b) If the petition is denied, the student may appeal to the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards. The student must appeal in writing and within 10 business days of being notified of the decision of the Academic Director of Student Retention.
c) The Academic Director of Student Retention will copy the Chair of the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee on all letters to students notifying them of results of their petitions. Every semester, the Academic Director of Student Retention will distribute to the Senate Committee on Admissions and Standards a report that indicates (at a minimum) the number of petitions filed, the number granted, and the number denied. Any member of Admissions and Standards may review the documents of any petition when there is a legitimate educational interest.