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Proposing an Advanced PWR Course

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Upper-division elective PWR courses (also called "Advanced PWR") for an academic year are selected through a competitive process in the previous spring. 

Advanced PWR Course Proposal

In order to apply to teach an upper-division, elective PWR course, instructors submit proposals, which include three parts:

  1. a one-paragraph description of the course addressed to colleagues, which includes the main goals of the course, the perceived student need it addresses, how the course would appeal to students, a note about which track the course most closely aligns with (science communication, cultural rhetorics, media and technologies), and which WAYs classification the course could offer. Lastly, this portion of the proposal also includes discussion of how the course extends and relates to the lecturer's work in PWR overall in terms of intellectual and pedagogical interests.
  2. a prose description of the course addressed to students, similar to the opening of a PWR 1 or PWR 2 course description.
  3. an annotated list of major assignments with examples of projects the students might pursue.

A strong advanced PWR proposal would contain the following elements:

  • a clear and convincing message to students about the likely value of the course
  • a clear understanding of how this course speaks to student interest (rather than just being presented in terms of instructor research interest or expertise)
  • a clear distinction from existing PWR 1 and PWR 2 courses and, if possible, a description of how the course builds on students' prior experiences in PWR 
  • a clear alignment with a WAYs requirement
  • for Science Communication courses, clear alignment with the learning objectives for the NSC; for Cultural Rhetorics courses, clear alignment with the learning objectives for the NCR

Proposals (with instructor's identifying information removed) is evaluated by a student focus group as well as by PWR leadership.  Proposals are approved both based upon individual merit as well as how they fit in with the overall elective curriculum for the upcoming year.

Further resources

See Hayden Kantor's notes from his September Sessions 2022 panel on developing and writing an effective advanced course proposal.

See the most recent Call for Advanced PWR courses (archived on Canvas)

For questions about upper-division elective/advanced PWR courses, contact Christine Alfano.