- Academic Divisions / Schools
- Division of Arts, Humanities and Communication
- Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Faculty guide to moderation
FACULTY GUIDE TO MODERATION
Purpose of Moderation
- At Moderation, students, with the help of their professors, assess their academic record and their plans for a focused course of study. The Moderation marks the transition of students from the Lower College into the Upper College. It determines whether a student is adequately prepared for more intensive and independent work in a student’s chosen program and whether he or she is capable of completing a satisfactory Senior Project.
Procedures of Moderation
- Students moderate into a major program of study. Students pursuing a concentration or a joint major typically have one moderation board on which faculty from all relevant programs are represented. Students pursuing a double major have two moderation boards, each within a major program.
- Moderation is normally scheduled in the middle of the semester in which a student has accumulated at least 60 course credits (typically the second semester of sophomore year). To moderate, a student needs to have met, or be in the process of meeting, the requirements of their major program.
- Moderating students submit two short papers to their board members and to the registrar. In one of these papers they evaluate their college work thus far and their interest in the specific program, and in the other they outline their plan of study in the Upper College. In addition to the short papers, students are responsible for submitting any additional work required by their program to all members of the Moderation board.
- The chair of the Moderation board is the student’s adviser and is responsible for collecting the transcript and Moderation forms from the registrar’s office prior to the Moderation; reading through the student’s complete academic file including criteria sheets; directing the Moderation; writing theModeration report in a timely fashion (unless another board member is designated reporter) and submitting the Moderation report to the registrar’s office immediately at the end of the meeting. Who schedules the Moderation—student, adviser, program director or divisional chair — varies from program to program, and faculty should consult with their program director.
- Three faculty members (at least two of whom need to be in a student’s chosen program) comprise the Moderation boards. In the case of a joint major, there are typically four faculty members on a board.
- Immediately before each Moderation, without the student present, the board should spend five to ten minutes reviewing the student’s record, including fulfillment of program and distribution requirements, and deciding on the most important issues to address with the student about his or her progress toward the degree, his or her seriousness of purpose, and his or her intellectual development over the past two years. The actual content of the Moderation depends on the individual program.
- The Moderation should be conducted so that a student has a sense of his/her educational goals and gains help in planning a coherent course of study over the next two years, including recommendations for specific courses or subjects, summer work or study, and related extracurricular activities.
- At the end of the Moderation, the board confers and decides to pass (or promote), defer, or fail the student.
- Promotion admits the student to the Upper College.
- Deferral detains the student for a further semester in the Lower College and is recommended when the student has not yet clearly prepared for Upper College work, including needing required courses or still holding multiple incompletes. Deferred students should have a second Moderation the following semester.
- Failure denies the student entry into the specific program and is recommended when the student is unlikely to complete a Senior Project in that program. Failed students must successfully re-moderate into another program of study or face dismissal.
For more detailed information on Moderation, faculty should consult The Faculty Handbook, II.A.
For more information, students should be directed to The Student Handbook, pp. 178 & 256-259.