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Large Lecture Guidelines

Effective Date: Fall Quarter, 2015

Revised: May 1st, 2016

Starting in fall, 2015, the College of Natural Sciences recommends these guidelines for supporting instructors teaching large lecture classes within CNS. Large lecture classes are defined as having enrollment of 120 or more.

The guidelines apply to supporting all instructors teaching large lecture classes independent of the mode of teaching (for example, face-to-face, online, and hybrid) except those courses as noted in Appendix A. 

The amount of support will depend upon the student enrollment. A support unit (SU) is equivalent to 1 WTU added to the instructor's compensation for the quarter or up to 30 hours of paid instructional student assistance for the quarter.  For classes with enrollment between 120 and 179, 1 SU may be provided and for classes with 180 students or more, 2 SU may be provided.

Support for Large Lectures:

Student Enrollment Faculty Support


1 SU
180 and over 2 SU


Support is based on the highest state enrollment in the class between the first day of classes and census day.  For temporary instructors, this may involve issuing a revised contract after census.

  1. The chair determines class capacity.  If a class was not designated as a large lecture, an instructor cannot add students beyond the maximum enrollment set by the department chair for the purpose of receiving large lecture support. The chair should communicate this guideline clearly to the instructors.
  2. Courses that can run as large lecture for which the department deems there is no exceptional workload to warrant support units will receive none.  The dean or designee must approve such courses. These courses are listed in Appendix A. 
  3. A department that has a course or courses that do not meet the large lecture criteria but for which one or more SUs is desired must request support units from the dean. Such requests should be accompanied by a rationale.
  4. If any course has significant changes in course requirements, its status will be reviewed to identify whether it should or should not receive support units when run in the large lecture format.
  5. If a large lecture class is team-taught and support units are converted to WTU, those WTU should be assigned to each instructor based on the percentage of work assigned.
  6. Support units given to a faculty member may not be used by another faculty member.
  7. Support units for classes with enrollment of 180 and above can be given as 2 WTU, 1 WTU and 30 hours of student assistance, or up to 60 hours of student assistance.
  8. Support units can only be converted to WTU up to a full-time workload. 

Appendix A

Below is a list of large lecture courses that do not qualify for support units.

Last updated: July 30, 2015.


NSCI 325: Perspectives on Gender, this along with HUM 325 and SSCI 325 already have their own support structure.