Summer Session Policies and Practices
The policies and practices outlined in this document identify the interdependency of all participants in presenting UH Hilo summer sessions that serve faculty and students well. The benefits for students, departments and UH Hilo are realized through a collaborative effort of all involved.
1. Roles in planning and delivering Summer Session credit courses.
- Academic units, in particular departments through their chairs, have oversight over curriculum, course content, and faculty.
- CCECS handles non-academic but essential services: scheduling and registration, library services for courses, instructor pay, room and laboratory assignments, Banner issues, student concerns and complaints, marketing, instructor hire and compensation, and special course-related activities.
- When a department chair elects not to exercise oversight over the department summer schedule or faculty, CCECS will work with other appropriate officials, such as the division chair, dean, or graduate director, to resolve questions of academic concern.
2. Summer Session Schedule.
- Each UH system campus schedules summer sessions according to individual campus objectives (Board of Regents Policy BORP 5-5.c). UH Hilo-CCECS has two summer sessions, the 4-week Summer Session I, from mid-May to mid-June; and the 6-week Summer Session II, from mid June to Late July. Under special circumstances, courses may have special schedules, so long as they comply with item (b) below.
- Summer credit offerings must be equivalent to the fifteen-week semester standard in terms of content, contact hours, availability of instructors for consultation outside of class, and other matters of substance (BORP 5-5.c) .
3. Credit Load in Summer.
- BORP 9.7 does not specify teaching overload limits for UH Hilo faculty except to state that nine-month faculty who are receiving pay for summer research or other university service may not be compensated for summer teaching. The faculty contract Article XXI.2 reaffirms this restriction, while Article XXI.3 specifies a 6-credit overload limit for nine-month faculty during the academic year but does not specify a limit for summer or the calendar year.
- The compressed schedules for the 4-week interim session and the 6-week regular session require a serious commitment of time and energy from both faculty and students. CCECS recommends to departments that no faculty should teach more than two courses in Summer Session I or more than two courses in Summer Session II, and that no faculty should teach more than four courses over the two sessions.
4. Faculty Pay.
Salaries for faculty are those established by the contract between the University Professional Association and the UH Board of Regents. Faculty must be paid full summer session salary for their rank and status.
5. Summer Tuition.
Summer session tuition rates are set by the UH System (Executive policy E6.201); current tuition schedules for summer are posted at www.hawaii.edu/academics.summer.html
6. Course Enrollments.
- It is UH Hilo practice during the regular school year that the enrollment cap or maximum for each traditional, face-to-face course is determined by the number of seats in the classroom, laboratory, or special facility. CCECS acknowledges this practice. However, in recognition of the compressed schedules of summer sessions, an instructor may request that enrollment be capped at 20. A lower cap can be set if the classroom, laboratory, or special facility has a smaller number of student seats.
- CCECS sets minimum course enrollments and may cancel courses that do not meet these limits as of cut-off dates established each year.
7. Maximum Number of Summer Session Credits
A student may enroll in up to 12 credits in the UH Hilo Summer Session, distributed between the two summer sessions. Students may not enroll in more than 9 credits in the regular, six-week session nor more than 6 credits in the interim, four-week session. Under unusual circumstances, students may appeal to the deans of the college which houses their major, or to the dean of CCECS to be allowed to exceed these limits.
8. Summer Session as a Special Semester.
Departments are encouraged to consider Summer Session as a supplementary term during which they can offer courses that they have been unable to offer during the regular academic year, or courses where additional sections are needed to meet student demand, or experimental or special topics courses that faculty would like to teach but which the department cannot afford to offer.
When departments develop two- and three-year course projections, CCECS will suggest that they include summer session in their planning.
9. Collaboration with Departments and Other Academic Units.
In addition to inviting proposals from individual faculty for summer courses, CCECS works directly with department and unit chairs during the planning for the following summer. (See duties of department chairs, BORP 9-1.a.3.) Department chairs are provided with information about the summer schedule, faculty pay, and other information to assist them in approving and scheduling faculty proposals for summer courses so as to maximize the department’s ability to serve student needs and attract new students.
10. Effective Scheduling.
- CCECS provides chairs with enrollment patterns, works with them to identify high-demand and low-demand courses, and advises them on summer course scheduling that balances faculty course requests and year-round scheduling with student course demand. This is an advisory role only since the Chairs know the full annual teaching loads of individual faculty.
- Department chairs and other mentors might wish to advise their colleagues to use the summer for research and scholarship and to limit their teaching responsibilities during the summer.
- To maximize the benefit to their curriculum, faculty, and students, departments should avoid offering specific courses in the summer that would be better offered during the regular school year. The department chair is best positioned to determine what these courses are and to discourage faculty from offering such courses in the summer.
- To maximize the benefit to students, courses should be selected and scheduled so that they meet student demand, as inferred from previous enrollment patterns in summer session and the regular academic year. Courses with a history of low enrollments should be offered in alternative summers or not at all. Courses with a history of high enrollments are candidates for two sections in the summer, but this decision should be made carefully: year-round demand for the course is another important factor.
- Courses should not compete for students. In general, no more than one section of a particular course should be offered during each of the two sessions. In most cases, just one offering of a course for the entire summer is adequate to meet student needs. Tracking of enrollment registrations may indicate another section would be of benefit for students. The department is best positioned to make that determination.
11. Online Courses.
- BOR Policy 5.10 affirms that “The University of Hawai‘i is committed to a vigorous distance learning and instructional effort to equalize, as far as possible, higher educational opportunity in all parts of the State. As such, distance learning is an integral part of the mission and a primary responsibility of every campus in the UH system.” Executive policy E 5.204 (rev.) affirms this system commitment to DL.
- As the community outreach arm of UH Hilo, CCECS believes that online courses are a pedagogically sound and cost- effective means of making higher education available to students across the state.
- CCECS believes that departments are best positioned to determine the number of departmental online offerings that are appropriate for their own faculty and students and to set their own limits.
- The enrollment cap for online courses is the same as for the equivalent face-to-face course.
- CCECS, as a benefit to Departments, will work with the Office of Instructional Technology and User Services to offer a course design and review service to all faculty offering online courses in the summer to help them to improve the quality of their online instructional methodology and course design.
12. English Language Institute Students.
English Language Institute students can only register for Summer Session courses after they have been advised by the ELI Director, who will then enable them to register for the appropriate Summer Session course(s) through the ELI office.
13. Course Evaluations.
Consistent with the campus policy that all UH Hilo students have the right to evaluate each course in which they are enrolled, the Office of Institutional Research offers summer session students an online version of the standard UH Hilo course evaluation form.