Adegoke Ademiluyi and Ronald Johnston Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC 28301
The task of implementing a new course is never easy, especially a web-based course such as Online Weather Studies. The implementation process at Fayetteville State University has proven to be even more daunting because of the extensive checks put in place to ensure that only the highest qualify course content is offered to students and the general public.
Fayetteville State University is a public comprehensive regional university whose primary mission is to provide quality liberal arts-based education to its immediate and regional communities and serve as a resource for business, education, and culture in southeastern North Carolina. Fayetteville State is one of the Five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) within the 16-campus University of North Carolina.
In pursuit of this mission, the university has expended huge sums of money to upgrade its campus technology infrastructure; today over ninety percent of all course offerings are available on-line in some form.
The decision to participate in the AMS Diversity Program is the brainchild of the Provost and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Perry Massey, a geographer by training who insisted on including Online Weather Studies as part of regular and continuing education course offerings. Two faculty members, Dr. Ron Johnston of the Earth Sciences program and Dr. Adegoke Ademiluyi, trained geographer, were sponsored to attend the one week training program at the National Weather Center facility in Kansas City, Missouri.
We came back with the optimism of preschoolers and dreaming of making weather studies a requirement across all degree programs. We returned to the campus at the height of slow and quiet summer months. This environment allowed us to brainstorm among like-minded colleagues as to the best way to implement this course. The result was a document detailing list of steps and strategies needed to navigate the highly charged academic program approval process at Fayetteville State. During the "pre-school" conference we publicized the course to faculty, administration, and students through the circulation of an AMS press release and University radio announcements. These efforts produced a high level of public awareness and interest among students and faculty.
Since our initial goal was to offer the course for the first time this coming spring semester, we began in mid-September to have the course listed in the spring 2003 schedule of classes. We soon found that several issues needed to be discussed and decisions made with regards to course implementation and administration, for example, offering Online Weather Studies as new course or part of any existing meteorology course. Our presentation will expand on these issues.
This Online Weather Studies course is generating unprecedented level of discussions across the various academic units because of the impact of the addition of such a course to the college and degree requirements. We expect to conclude this process by the end of this fall semester and get the course in place by the fall 2003.