Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Office of the Provost


Connections (faculty initiated)

  • Guidelines for Creating a Faculty-Initiated Connection

Connections are sets of two or three courses focused on a shared topic, area, issue, concept, problem, or historical era.  Connections must include courses from at least two of the following six areas:  Creative Arts, Humanities, History, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Math/Computer Science.  The Educational Policy Committee reviews and approves all Connections designed to fill the new requirement (which specifies that each student must complete one-3 course or two 2-course Connections).  Keep in mind that one goal of Connections is to expose students to a wide range of disciplines.  If students’ Connection(s) do not include at least one course from the three divisions of Arts Humanities (A/H), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS), they are required to take a course in the area not covered.  Connections proposals submitted to the Educational Policy Committee should include the following:

1)      Connections Title, course names and numbers, areas represented, and names of faculty involved.  Brief titles are recommended.  Examples:  “Victorian Era”, “Food”, “Elections”, “Evolution”, “South Asia”.  Breadth:  Indicate how many of the three divisions are included.

2)      Rationale

Provide a brief overview of the topic and how the courses will be interconnected conceptually.  Explain how different disciplinary perspectives or modes of inquiry will be illuminated.

3)      Structure

Describe the model by which the courses will be connected.  In paired courses, students may be required to take both courses, or students taking the connection may just be a subset of students taking the individual courses.  Linked courses are sets of three or more courses.  Indicate any prerequisites that may limit accessibility of the connection.  Normally, Connections courses are taught in the same semester or in contiguous semesters (fall-spring or spring-fall).  Note that it is possible for a course to be part of more than one Connection.  It is also possible for a Connection to include some choice (for example, a Connection could include one humanities course, one science course, and one of several social science courses.)  Please be specific about all aspects of the structure so that the Registrar and Advising can formulate a workable registration process.

4)      Development

Indicate the extent of the modification needed in the courses in order to create this Connection.  Modifications may range from minor revisions in the syllabi to the development of out-of-classroom shared experiences (speakers, fieldtrips, etc.) to full scale transformation of courses and the creation of new courses.  Connections requiring extensive faculty development can be supported by Curriculum Transformation Funds.

5)      Foundations/Infusion

Specify if you expect any of the connections courses to fill a Foundations requirement (FYS, Quantitative Analysis, Foreign Language or Beyond the West).  Briefly indicate whether how this Connection might contribute to our overall Infusion effort.

6)      Syallabi

Please attach relevant course syllabi.  If a new course is to be developed, please give a summary description and indicate how it will fit into departmental offerings.

7)      Departmental Comment


  • The Provost, Educational Policy Committee and the Curriculum Support Committee will continually review ongoing and systematic ways of encouraging the development of new Faculty Connections proposals.  (April 22, 2010 Ed Pol Minutes)


  • FYS Seminar

Approved amendment to Faculty Legislation removing First Year Seminar from both Student-Initiated Connections and Faculty Connections.  (Faculty Legislation: Part Two, X.E. 6a Fall 2010) (February 4, 2010, March 11, 2010, Ed Pol Minutes)

  • Adding a Connection

Newly submitted Connections proposals must include a clear outline of the types of collaborative pedagogy that instructors expect to use.  (March 25, 2010 and April 2, 2009 Ed Pol Minutes)


Before petitioning Educational Policy Committee to add a course to an existing Connection, the faculty member submitting the proposal must first receive approval from faculty teaching courses in the existing Connection.  (October 24, 2008 Ed Pol Minutes)


  • Removing a Connection

Faculty should inform the Committee when either discontinuing a Connection or withdrawing a course from a Connection in order that the Educational Policy Committee can track the number and robustness of Faculty Connections. (2009-2010 Ed Pol Annual Report)


  • Faculty-Initiated Connections at other Institutions

Educational Policy Committee is willing to consider faculty-initiated connections with colleagues at other institutions with Wheaton-approved overseas programs.  (Ed Pol Annual Report, 2004-2005 and October 19, 2004 Ed Pol Minutes)

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