Moving to a 5-Course Load

To best support the goals set forth in “For Every Ole,” St. Olaf will move to a 5-course load for tenured, tenure track, and term faculty members with long-term appointments (Special Appointments and Teaching Specialists), effective with the 2023-24 academic year. This change will provide faculty time to more fully engage with both formal and informal advising of St. Olaf students as well as in the professional activities of their discipline.
Frequently Asked Questions

“For Every Ole” and Building on the OLE Core

In addition to the OLE Core, “For Every Ole” crafts a vision that will call on a new level of faculty time, engagement and innovation. The “For Every Ole” initiative envisions robust advising throughout students’ four years at St. Olaf, achieved by developing new programming and a new, highly collaborative, advising model. It expands upon the vision of the OLE Core (now entering the second year of a four-year implementation), which brings together in new ways curricular and co-curricular programming to enhance mentoring of first-year students and through the OLE Experience in Practice highlights the connection between classroom and applied learning (through internships, off-campus study, research, and Academic Civic Engagement courses). And, it calls on faculty members to explore how the Core and majors can align with some of its other elements.

How a 5-course load will support the purposes of “For Every Ole”
  • A full commitment by the faculty to support the First Year Experience and new advising model, with robust advising and a partnership approach in regard to working with Success Coaches and Piper Center professionals. This includes new training.
  • A commitment by tenured, tenure track, and select long-term, non-tenure track faculty members to teach on a regular and frequent basis either the First Year Seminar, or Writing and Rhetoric or other courses that serve primarily first-year students, ensuring that students have contact with some of our most experienced professors early in their time at St. Olaf.
  • Increased capacity to innovate, use pedagogies that improve engagement between students and professors, lead off-campus study courses, support internships and Civic Engagement courses, and mentor student researchers, thanks to fewer course preparations. These experiences are key to both the OLE Core and “For Every Ole.”
Implementing a 5-course load

The change to a 5-course load is a significant investment and requires that the college utilize a number of strategies to accomplish the change. These include:

  • Increasing the size of the faculty by approximately 10 FTE.
  • Reducing the number of course sections offered. The number of course sections offered will need to be reduced by about 10% across the college. Because the number of classroom seats available will need to remain the same to serve our students, this will necessitate the increase of course section sizes across the college by a concomitant amount.
  • Restructuring the model of administrative course release. For those who currently have administrative appointments into the 2023-24 academic year, the number of courses they will have as a release will remain the same for that year. Appointments new in 2023-24 and those continuing beyond the 2023-24 academic year will fall under a newly developed model for administrative course release. This new model will better reflect the workload of various administrative positions and it will resize the total number of course releases to reflect the new teaching load across the faculty. Finally, the pool of funds available for stipends awarded to those in academic positions will be increased to better compensate those taking on these roles.
  • Restructuring the student academic advising model. The expectation for most NTT faculty to advise students will be removed. Faculty advising of students will be primarily carried out by those with a 5-course load including tenure track, tenured, special appointment, and teaching specialist faculty. In cases where term faculty members would like to serve as academic advisors and where there is department or college need, the contribution to advising will be compensated in the form of a stipend.

Please review the FAQ page for more detailed information about implementation. Questions can also be sent to