Name of course

Robinson, Dr. David drobinson at
Sun Jul 15 14:21:49 EST 2001

I teach a freshman-level botany course for non-majors in a small liberal
arts college. Currently, the course is called "Botany".

Some of my colleagues think I could attract more students by calling it
something more interesting like: "Liberal Arts Botany", "Plants and Humans",
"Plant Biology", "The Plant World", etc. 

I have resisted this because I feel the quality of the course/teacher should
be what attracts students, and not the "sexiness" of the courses' title. I
am not embarrassed to be a botanist. (This is the same reason I was also
opposed to changing the name of the American Society of Plant
Physiologists...but aIas, I was in the minority there!) 

But I have to admit that most of the students currently enrolling are
upperclassmen, not freshman....I think that entering freshman might actually
be turned off by the title of the course (I have literally heard them groan
at the prospect of taking "Botany"), while upperclassmen enroll because they
hear from other upperclassmen that it is a decent course. 

Have other Botany teachers changed the name of their non-major courses? If
so, did it improve enrollment of freshmen? What name did you adopt?

Dave Robinson
Bellarmine University
Louisville, KY
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