In the context of a study in which we used a semi-structured protocol to interview
engineering majors, we discovered issues related to technical courses that are taught by
departments outside of a student’s major department. We have categorized these courses into
three broad areas: shared core classes, pure service classes, and quasi-service classes. Our
analysis shows that student satisfaction with these courses across categories depends on the
perceived quality of the instructor and the perceived match between the course content and the
student major. We also found student dissatisfaction with courses in the quasi-service category,
where a course enrolls both major and non-major students.
T. R. Rhoads, A. Reynolds, M. J. Fleener, S. E. Walden, T. J. Murphy, D. A. Trytten, and R. L. Shehab, “Impact of Departmental Sovereignty and Faculty Autonomy on Service Classes for Engineering Majors” presented at the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA, 2004.